When buying a new homestead property, especially when it's raw land, it can easily become overwhelming at all that needs to be done to establish it into a well-functioning homestead. Learn the steps to take (and which NOT to take) to avoid that overwhelm and enjoy the process.
This podcast episode is actually a recording of one of my Pioneering Today Academy member coaching calls.
If you'd like to join the Academy (which is coming up on its SIXTH anniversary!) you can sign up to get on the waitlist. Doors will open in March of 2022 for the first time this year!
Today I'm chatting with Stephanie, who is looking to buy some raw land and start from scratch with a new homestead. Her plan is to put yurts up on the property, have a large garden, and even raise chickens, ducks, goats, and possibly even a donkey!
She would like to live a more self-sufficient life, leaning into what she and her family can do themselves instead of relying on stores.
See the list of topics we cover in this episode below and be sure to click through to any posts you may find helpful!
In This Episode
We cover a lot of topics in this podcast, I'll note some of the highlighted topics below, then link to other blog posts that will help to research in deeper detail.
- Who is Stephanie and what is she and her family wanting to do with their new property.
- Considering frost lines when planning garden spaces or where to plant fruit trees, fruit bushes, and gardens. Read more on time-saving tips for new gardens, and the 8 common mistakes made by new gardeners. Also check out how many fruit and berry bushes you need to plant per person, how to prune and care for blueberry bushes, how to prune raspberries, and when and how to plant fruit trees.
- Mapping out the layout of the property and where things will go BEFORE planting to avoid needing to replant items later on. See this post on permaculture gardening for beginners.
- Use non-permanent structures for animals while you're learning the layout of your land before deciding on the final placement of the permanent structures. Read more on raising backyard chickens.
- When possible, use temporary fencing until you know the permanent layout of where you want your animals to be. (Check out my podcast I did with Joel Salatin where he helped me figure out how to improve my land by rotating our cattle.)
- Purchase and plant perennial fruit and berry bushes using grow bags until you know where their forever home will be. (This is also a great idea if you're planning on moving to a different home, plant them in grow bags and take them with you!)
- Which animals are best to start with? Read more about raising pigs here.
- Verse of the week: Ezekiel 22:30
Melissa K Norris: Hey there, pioneers. Welcome to episode number 336. Today's episode, we are going to be talking about how to choose what to get started with, when you are starting a new homestead. What's some different criteria that you can use to know what is the best place to start for you. And while this is one of our coaching sessions and it's someone who is starting a brand new homestead, this actually can apply to if you are brand new to homesteading or if you are like myself, looking to add the next thing to the homestead because one of the things I have realized with being both a fifth-generation homesteader as well as my husband and I have been homesteading, I would say very dedicatedly, really serious, for 13 years, though we were doing a lot of elements even prior to that for over... How many years have we been married now? Coming on 23 years.
Melissa K Norris: But, even with that much time underneath our belt, there are still things on my home setting bucket list that I haven't done yet, or I haven't gotten to do as much, or at the level that I would like to do. I say that, because even though this is going to be geared to, if you are starting out a brand new homestead, it really is also for those of us who have been at this awhile and you're looking at what do I begin to implement next? This is going to help give you some guidance and some criteria all along those lines. So today's episode is, one of our Pioneering Today Academy member coaching sessions. Now, to access any of the things that we talk about today, you can go to the direct blog post that accompanies this episode at melissaknorris.com/336, just the number 336, because this is episode number 336. But, we are doing a series of these, because the Pioneering Today Academy is my membership.
Melissa K Norris: It is one of the oldest online memberships for homesteading, I think, as far as I know online. We started it back in March of 2016. We are coming up on our... I had to do some quick math there, counting. We are coming up on our six year anniversary of the Pioneering Today Academy. And March 23rd, 2022 is when we will be opening the doors for new members. We have not had open enrollment, almost been half a year. If you are interested in becoming a member, you can get on the wait list and you can do that at melissaknorris.com/PTA, we'll also have links in the show notes. But this is just one of the advantages when you are inside the academy and are a member. And we will send out emails to members only and you fill out a form and you have an option to do one of these one-on-one coaching lessons.
Melissa K Norris: And we have found that they provide value not only to the person who's getting a one-on-one session, but many of the questions or the areas that people need help in, it's not just them, it applies to so many more. We have turned these into podcast episodes as well. I'm really excited to introduce you today to our member Stephanie. You'll get to hear her story and what her goal is, and the steps, or the criteria, the guidance from me on how she can reach that, that I know will also apply to you, so without further ado, let's jump to it.
Melissa K Norris: Stephanie, I am so excited to have you on today. Welcome to the Pioneering Today Podcast.
Stephanie Hester-Rodriguiz: Thanks Melissa. It's going to be great, I'm excited too.
Melissa K Norris: Awesome, so share with everybody a little bit about your story with homesteading, kind of where you're at and then where you want to see things and how I can help you get there?
Stephanie Hester-Rodriguiz: Well, I've been doing kind of suburban backyard gardening for probably the past six or seven years. Expanding a little bit, as far as the space I'm gardening every year, I've been doing some studying and of course taking classes, and Pioneering Today, and listening to some mentors, and just slowly learning how I want to do it and what to do before I just jump right in. And so my husband passed away in October and that's giving me and my kids the opportunity to start over. And so we're looking for some land, it's going to be raw land, so now we're just trying to figure out what the best steps are, what we need to do first, what we should focus on, and then just kind of building that from the ground up.
Melissa K Norris: Okay. Yeah. Well, I'm sorry to hear about your husband. But your attitude and way of looking at it, my heart just goes out to you, so with the land that you guys are looking for... First off, what is your ultimate goal that you would like to see? I'm assuming a larger garden with the land. Are you hoping to bring in livestock? Do you have some specific type of livestock that you're wanting to bring in or just first, buy the property. If it's raw land, obviously get a house so that you can live on it. But, what's kind of... When it's at its dream state that you would be doing homestead wise?
Stephanie Hester-Rodriguiz: This is actually the really fun part. We will actually not be doing a typical house. We are going to be putting Jurts up.
Melissa K Norris: Uh-huh (affirmative).
Stephanie Hester-Rodriguiz: And we'll have a couple of those and then we would like, yes, of course a bigger garden, but also chickens. My daughter really wants ducks, and then hogs, goats, maybe a donkey. And just seeing, some of it's going to depend on the space we have. But going from there. But ideally, what we would like to do, we would like to be self-sufficient and be able to not only grow most of our own food, but being able to just depend on what we can do for ourselves. And I actually have a dream of opening a nonprofit and using those skills as far as growing, and preserving, and homesteading to teach women how to do those things for themself, so that they can earn that confidence and have that and take that and kind of apply it into other areas of their life.
Melissa K Norris: Yeah. Well, I love your dream. I love big dreamers. I love hearing that, so that's really fun. But of course, that's the dream and then we have to figure out how to reverse engineer that backwards to the starting point.
Stephanie Hester-Rodriguiz: Right.
Melissa K Norris: You've already got your vision, which is awesome. And actually, one of my best friends growing up, her dad had a big farm and there was a Jurt on the farm, so we always loved to go over it, so I'm familiar with Jurts, I haven't ever lived in one, but they hold a special place. I think the first thing obviously is finding the property and then, and you know there're ideals, I think with property at least too is like, there can be ideals. Like in our mind, this is the perfect piece of property that I'm looking for. It needs X, Y, Z, but the reality is we can homestead on anything and you really can make any piece of property work, you just sometimes have to be creative or maybe adjust things along the way, so I say that just because we have looked for the perfect piece of property in the past and even currently and realize, No, we're going to make what we have work for us.
Melissa K Norris: And so I know when you're looking, like we did the same thing, we're looking for property and none of them fit all of the check marks that they needed to for us, so just starting with that. And with the gardening part, so the first thing when I go to a piece of property, and this is what we did actually when we moved onto the piece that we're on now, is taking some time to really evaluate the lay of the land because it's a lot harder to put something in the wrong spot and then have to move it later rather than taking some time to evaluate. For me, one of the things especially with the garden is actually where are you located? Do you guys have hard freezes?
Stephanie Hester-Rodriguiz: I'm in Oklahoma, just outside Tulsa.
Melissa K Norris: Okay.
Stephanie Hester-Rodriguiz: Yes, we will get hard freezes.
Melissa K Norris: Okay. Okay. I actually was one of the things I'm like, oh, I should know a little bit more about your climate, but this is kind of true for all climates, but especially if you get any types of frost and freezes, and that is if it's in the wintertime where you're actually getting snow and/or frost and freezes, it's the easiest to identify because you will see exactly where that shade line is, where it's the last place to thaw when the sun comes up. Or if you have snowfall, it's the last places that the snow melts, et cetera. If you buy the property when it's not freezing or you're looking at it then, as long as you have a heavy dew, you can really do the same thing. You just have to be there in early morning and go out and you can see where does the dew dry first and where does it dry last?
Melissa K Norris: And that'll kind of give you the same thing. That's really good to know because that's going to help you if you are going to be putting in a permanent chicken coop versus like a chicken tractor or permanent barns and stuff, you're not going to want to have those in that shade line or the frost line during the winter, if you have really extreme winters. And then same thing with, especially the vegetable garden, you're going to want to make sure that's in an area that's getting full sun that's not in a spot that is some of those little colder micro-climates for the vegetable garden. And or if you're planning on putting in any perennials, especially like fruit trees, berry bushes, asparagus, those types of things, maybe an herb garden, you don't want those to be in that hard frost line either over the winter, because it's going to potentially be harder on those plants depending on what they're rated to as far as the low temperatures that they can survive during the winter months.
Melissa K Norris: Just some of those things to just kind of look at, at first and to document, documenting what surrounding things you've got like trees that have leaves or don't have leaves in the wintertime, once they're leafed out, they're going to throw more shade, just taking some time to be aware of the surroundings, how the sun comes up on your property, where's your southern exposure, those types of things and just kind of mapping that out is some of the things that I really like to do first, so then I can accurately decide what is going where. We didn't do that when we first moved in, we didn't take into account and then I had to move our first orchard of thankfully it was only like five trees, but I had to move them two years later because they were not thriving because I hadn't paid attention to that, which then set us back like an extra year before we actually got fruit off of them, because they were very immature.
Melissa K Norris: It seems like such a simple little step, but it can be really important, so the would be that. And then with all of the livestock like chickens are great because you can build a chicken tractor pretty inexpensively and move that around the property. Especially if you're getting chicks in the spring or even the summer and move that around and be on the land for a while. And actually living there before you have to put in an actual permanent structure. And we actually even over winter, our chickens in our chicken tractor and we'll move them around, so that's nice because when you're wanting to put in your barns and if you're having water put in and water sources and all of that, for some of the other livestock, it allows you to get started with the chicken and you do get eggs, depending on how old the chickens are when you get them.
Melissa K Norris: If you get them as chicks, it's going to be about six months, but it allows you to start to get some daily food source from them relatively soon without a huge investment in putting in a ton of infrastructure, so that would be kind of those first things. And then with the vegetable garden, a lot of it that first year is going to depend on when you actually get the property basis on what you're going to actually be able to plant. If you get it in wintertime, you'll probably be able to prep beds come spring and put in a full summer garden. But if you buy it, say in August, you might be able to get in some fall crops, but you're probably not going to be able to put in the majority of the garden, obviously that late in the year, that type of thing, so some of it will depend upon that. Have you guys started looking at property?
Stephanie Hester-Rodriguiz: We have, there's been a couple that we've seen. It's such a tricky time right now. There is one particular we just saw last week and luckily it does have some fencing and a barn that's already on the property, I'm cautiously optimistic, but I'm not counting anything yet.
Melissa K Norris: Yeah, I know. It seems no matter what part of the country you're in right now that property or housing, like just goes so fast and can get into bidding wars. It's a hard time to buy, really?
Stephanie Hester-Rodriguiz: Yes.
Melissa K Norris: Yeah, so I'm sorry for that, but I'm glad that you're like, okay, I'm being cautiously optimistic, so you're not getting your heart too set on it, but obviously if you could get property that already does have a barn and fences in, then that's one thing that you'll be able to take advantage of... depending on what type of shape it's in you may have to do some shorting up type of thing, but at least part of it's already in.
Stephanie Hester-Rodriguiz: Right.
Melissa K Norris: Yeah. Some of the things, depending on what you're doing now, because I know you mentioned wanting to do like preserving and teaching and doing that type of thing. Are you also wanting to put in like fruit trees and Berry trees or are you thinking more like just regular vegetables or a mixture of both?
Stephanie Hester-Rodriguiz: No, a mixture of both and all the things, including herbs and like a medical medicinal type garden space, and a tea garden and yeah, all the things.
Melissa K Norris: All those things. Yeah, a girl after my own heart. I love it, so some of the things really that you could do now, especially with things like blueberry bushes, if that's one of the fruits you plan on growing, but some of those fruits that are more shallow rooted, raspberry canes, and definitely quite a few of the herbs is you can start growing those in some of the grow bags or the containers so that you can get them going now, but you'll be able to move and take them with you because like blueberries usually they need to be about three years old, if you're getting one year old plants or starts before you allow them to the blossoms to actually form and create the berries so that their root system can become established and you'll have a good plant that will be vigorous for years to come. And so you can get them obviously the younger they are and the smaller they are usually the cheaper they are, so you could get some of those things started now in some of those smaller grow bags and stuff because they're small, even perennial wise.
Melissa K Norris: And then you'll be able to move them with you when you get wherever you're at, and it'll kind of be a jump start on those, especially the perennial type things, so that would be something that I would look at doing, even with the herb garden because like yarrow and feverfew, they don't have extensive roots and so they can be grown even in smaller plants, even your lavender. Young lavender starts do well in pots, rosemary, like there's quite a few of the herbs actually that grow really, really well in containers, so if you don't already have them, that would be a great thing that you could do now that would set you up so once you get there, then you can still keep them, do some evaluating but you'll be able to get them in the ground and kind of give you a year or two's jump start versus if you're waiting until you're actually on the property to get those.
Melissa K Norris: Do you have any specific questions for the livestock or anything else really with the property, like pre that you could do now or like when you first get on it, that type of thing?
Stephanie Hester-Rodriguiz: I guess, especially when it comes to livestock, because I don't have any experience with that. I mean, other than chickens, which are really easy to kind of start with, what would you suggest being the first animal to start with where you could really learn quite a bit before you add more? Because I assume adding one at a time would be better than just getting them all.
Melissa K Norris: Yeah. I would recommend like definitely the chickens. I mean, I'm with you. I feel like chickens are small enough and our chickens are relatively easy. I mean, with any animal, there's always things that can crop up, they're an animal. But I feel overall chickens are pretty easy to deal with. When you're looking at the bigger livestock. Yeah, I agree with that. It's easier to add one larger form of livestock, get confident and comfortable with that and then move on and bring the next thing. If you're doing pigs, most of the time, you're not going to start with a breeding pair. And I probably wouldn't recommend starting with a breeding pair because that's a whole nother level, is getting some piglets and then you're raising them depending upon the breed, so if you're doing something like a Hereford, you're going to get them and at about six to eight months of age, they're going to be harvestable butcher size, so you're not dealing with them year round.
Melissa K Norris: And you're getting a fairly large amount of meat back in a pretty short period. I mean, six to nine months, that's pretty short for for a pig. Like you're getting quite a bit of meat, usually at least 150 to 200 pounds of meat, depends on the breed, et cetera. But you're getting a good portion of meat. And then you're getting that break through the winter time of not raising them, so that kind of gives you some time to think about what do I want to add in next? Or do we want to do pigs again? Maybe we need to change some things and with the pen or what we're doing, but it gives you kind of that break to evaluate before you start in again, or it might be like, oh my gosh, like we love this. Let's look at getting our own breeding pair and going that route.
Melissa K Norris: But it gives you some time to kind of pull back and do an assessment and then decide the best way to move forward, rather than if you get goats, which I know if you listened to any of the previous podcast episodes, I have little grudge against goats, because I haven't had the best experience with goats. However, a lot of people love their goats. Goats, you can have as a dairy animal also as a meat animal, et cetera, they can help clear brush, they will eat things even if they are things you don't want them to. They're notorious for getting out of fences, but they have a lot of good qualities, so I'm slowly being won over, even though we don't have goats at the moment. But your goats are something where you're going to be dealing with them all year round.
Melissa K Norris: And I will say too, like pretty much all of the livestock, even your cows, but the goats and the pigs, you definitely want to do at least a pair, they don't do well by themselves. And honestly, it's pretty much almost the same amount of work to raise two as it is one and even three, as it is two. Yes, you're going to have to buy a little bit more feed, but as long as you have the space, you're just increasing the size of the pen or where you have them out or if you're moving them, that type of thing. But really the day to day labor and work isn't hardly anything more to do three pigs as it is to do two pigs. Now, if you go from like three pigs to 10, yeah, that's going to be a little bit, but you know that, so there's kind of those things to consider with the goats.
Melissa K Norris: But even with that, if you get like she's bred you're looking for it to be a milk animal and you're getting what some, a goat that has been milked, is an established milker, she's already been trained to milk. If you're looking at dairy goats and she's already bred. And then you know that as soon as she has the baby, then she'll be in milk again, so you can get an animal like that that's going to start providing you with milk pretty soon. And then you can decide if you want to raise the baby up for meat, if it's a male or if you're going to increase the dairy line, et cetera. There's lots of ways, but I would pick one or the other. And I feel from, if you do go the dairy goat route, then you're going to have the milking part, which is more of a commitment. It has to be done, consistently and daily, so I feel like pigs might be easier to start with, but either one could be started and done very successfully.
Melissa K Norris: It's also like what's your burning desire? Like if you're like, no, I want a dairy animal like right now, then I would say, go for that. If that's what you really want. But I do feel that the pigs personally from our experience are going to be a little bit easier to jump into and not as much of an overall commitment as dairy goats.
Stephanie Hester-Rodriguiz: And I'm sure this is something I could look up, but is there in your opinion, what's the best like amount of space you need to start with pigs?
Melissa K Norris: Yeah, that's a great question and there is like general rules of thumb. We ideally really like to have our pigs... They are great rooters, so when you buy the property, if you have an area where you do have brush or you've got some stuff that you would like removed, we have blackberry vines here like no other, they're certified as a noxious weed actually where we live. And so we like to put the pigs in spots like that, where we want that cleared for more pasture for the cows or maybe that brush to be knocked back. And so they're excellent rooters. And of course, when they're littler, you're going to have a smaller area, obviously, because they're small. You do want to make sure though that they do have somewhere that they can get out and this can be established with, we have taken pallets actually and just used old wooden pallets and created a box so that they could go in and have shade in the summertime.
Melissa K Norris: They definitely need to have shade. But then secondly, when it still was colder, especially when they're little piglets, you want to make sure that they have a spot that they can go in. We would fill it up with straw so that they could even burrow under the straw and together when it's cold out, because they don't have a lot of fur. I mean they're not furry like a cow or a goat, but they do have hair on them. But when they're really little and tiny, they just don't generate as much body heat, so they need somewhere that they can go and make sure that they stay warm. They have a area that they can be dry, all of those things, but that can be provided with a relatively small, like I said, we just have used pallets and then put a piece of plywood on top and then covered that with canvas so that it didn't leak and get a lot of rain on it, it got a lot of rain, but not that got into the structure.
Melissa K Norris: But as they grow, you definitely are going to want to be able to either have a pen that you can move, so basically doing pasture rotation and so pigs are really good at respecting hot wire. Pigs are extremely smart, but you do want to see on the property that you do have somewhere where you have access to electricity and or if you've got like a solar panel that will operate a hot wire because they do root. And so they will dig under any type of fencing that you have and can get out. They're a little bit of Houdini's that way. But if you run a piece of hot wire, just down low at the ground level on the circumference of the area, then as they start to dig, they're going to hit their stout on it and they're going to get a little shock and they'll be like, oh, I don't want to dig here. And then they're very good at respecting that, but I would recommend that you have some capability to run a hot wire to help train them and keep them in.
Melissa K Norris: Otherwise, they will get out. And I have chased pigs in my day and it's quite entertaining if you're not the one chasing them, but they can be hard to wrangle back in and they are fast. Surprisingly for being chubby little short leg things, they can move. They're really fast and actually quite agile, so definitely want to make sure that you've got like I said, they do have solar, different solar things that you could look at battery powered that will run hot lines and fences if you don't have electricity out there. But that is something to keep in mind as some type of electrical that would be near enough to their pen, that you can run some hot wire. And then like I said, we like to try to move them around the pasture so that they are getting on some fresh ground.
Melissa K Norris: We're using them to root up and dig up. And also depending on the property that you buy, like if it's been used as a farm for a lot of years, and it's not been a place that's used pasture rotation much or has had large livestock on it and even like goats, like our pasture land has been pasture for cattle and horses for, oh gosh, my grandparents bought it, I think like back in the 1950s, so for like 70, 80 years, it's had large animals on it, which means that the pasture, the ground is actually quite compacted, it hasn't been worked. And so we also have a lot of moss here now that might not be something that you're dealing with in the Pacific Northwest, I feel like any wet fungal stuff we just tend to deal with, so some of our pasture has had a lot of moss that has come into it and then it's really compacted.
Melissa K Norris: And so the grass has a harder time growing through there. And the more compact it is, it's just harder on the root system. We even will move the pigs, not necessarily where we need brush clearing all the time, but if we have an area that we want to be rooted up so that we can reseed and we can get that moss out of there and more aeration in there, so it's not so compacted and it can drain better. Then that means we'll be able to keep the moss out and be able to grow some better crops and get that reseeded with some clover and different pasture mixtures and that type of thing, so we'll also use them for compacted, so if you do buy a piece of property that has had livestock on it and it's compacted, the pigs can also be great to help improve that. And usually, we just have to run the one strand of the hot wire just around the bottom, a couple inches from the ground.
Stephanie Hester-Rodriguiz: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Melissa K Norris: And then we'll just use the hog panel fencing with some T-posts. And you do have to pull the T-posts up and undo the fencing, but there's also even like electric netting, which makes it pretty easy to move them from area to area. The whole point I was trying to make with this big, long story is that the size can be a little bit relative. And so if you're moving them to fresh pasture or fresh ground, you don't have to have as large of a permanent pen because they're getting moved to fresh ground. If you don't ever plan on moving them, they're going to be staying in this same area the whole time then you would want it to be bigger because they are going to obviously poop and get it nastier a lot faster, so a little bit depending upon what type of management you plan on doing with the pigs does have some bearing on how big do I actually need to go?
Stephanie Hester-Rodriguiz: What would you say is the most important thing to do first?
Melissa K Norris: Oh gosh, that is a great question. And I know when I ask questions like this, I sometimes am like, that is not the answer I want, so don't throw tomatoes at me, but it really is going to be dependent on each person and what their ultimate goals are. And so if you're like, man, I want to have a goat dairy where we're making goat milks cheese, and we have a dairy issues where people in your family can't have cows milk. Then I would be like, okay, then you actually do want to start with goats. But if that's not the case, as we've been talking, then pigs are a great place, so some of it really does depend upon what your ultimate goals are. And what's like most important immediately for your family like if there are dietary restriction or different things like that.
Melissa K Norris: But really this is probably going to sound almost counterintuitive because I know as homesteaders, we are so excited to get started on things and we want all the things, we want to be as self-sufficient as possible. And that encompasses a lot of things, so it can be really hard to hold ourselves back. But really as if you can get the property and spend some time on it before making any major decisions or especially doing any major infrastructure, like building a barn or putting in permanent like wood fences. Like T-posts and wire, yes, it's labor intensive to remove them to a degree, but it could be done pretty easily. Whereas if you are doing wooden fences where you're having to dig holes, it's a lot harder to move those wooden fence posts and wooden fence line that it is to just pull up a T-post and wind up the wire, move it over wherever you need to put it and do it.
Melissa K Norris: You do have the labor cost, obviously, even if it's your own labor, there's that time involvement cost, but it's different than moving something like a building or fruit trees that you had planted in the wrong spot. And depending on how big their roots are, can you even dig them up without damaging them? Do you have to rent like a big piece of equipment because the trees have gotten so big when you need to move them, that type of thing. Really if you can stay on the property and live there for a while before doing anything permanent, like if you're growing in grow bags or large containers, or you can get away with maybe just one large raised bed, if raised beds or the option you're going, instead of putting them all in that first season, just to make sure like, yes, this is actually the ideal spot for the garden, and this is the ideal spot for that before you make it permanent or go bigger.
Melissa K Norris: But I know that is so hard to do when we're like so excited to do all the things and sometimes necessity, like, no, I really need to get these things in so that they can start providing for us. Like, I understand that too, but it's that whole thing, like is it an ounce of...
Stephanie Hester-Rodriguiz: A pound of prevention is worth an ounce of cure.
Melissa K Norris: Amen. That's what I was going for, yes. It's really kind of that type of thing. But I know that can be hard to do.
Stephanie Hester-Rodriguiz: Yeah.
Melissa K Norris: And really like reaching out once you find the property, is reaching out to other people in that area who are doing what you want to be doing. And that would also be where you would probably be able to find your local pigs, if you are going the pig route or the dairy goat route, but really being able to reach out to people who are in your local area and ask them, go and shadow their place for a day or two, that type of a thing. Because most of us homesteaders, and farmers, and that are more than happy like when we find someone who is wanting to learn about what it is we do, it's really exciting. And so most people are pretty open handed. Not all, but I found most people are pretty open handed. You could come, you can ask them questions, they're happy to help, and that type of a thing, so if you can find people in your area.
Melissa K Norris: One, to just get yourself entrenched into the community, because that's another big part of homesteading, especially when you're moving to an area that you don't know, but they'll be able to help you with things that are very specific to your area, and your climate and be able to guide you through some of that stuff too.
Stephanie Hester-Rodriguiz: Okay.
Melissa K Norris: Yeah. Well, Stephanie, thank you so much for coming on. We definitely appreciate you being an academy member and if you have more questions as things come up or as you find the property, obviously let us know, ask on the monthly Q&A as well as in the Circle Community, because we are going to be so excited to see the development of it and to help you along the way.
Stephanie Hester-Rodriguiz: I appreciate it. Thanks so much, Melissa.
Melissa K Norris: If you enjoyed this episode and would like to have step by step guidance and support for your homestead journey, not only from me but from this amazing community of members, make sure you go on over and get on that wait list at melissaknorris.com/PTA for when we open the doors. Now onto our verse of the week, I have actually been reading through Ezekiel that is, I don't always just pick a specific chapter of the Bible or I should say book, not a chapter.
Melissa K Norris: I don't always pick a specific well chapter or book of the Bible to read it all the way through, but I felt a nudge to go through the entire book of Ezekiel, so I am on Chapter 22 and specifically Verse 30. And this is the amplified translation of the Bible. "And I sought a man among them who should build up the wall and stand in the gap before Me for the land, that I should not destroy it, but I found none." And as I was reading that, it really struck me how we as Christians, if you are a Christian, if you are a believer in Jesus Christ as your savior, that we have a beautiful gift that we can stand in the gap for people who either aren't believers yet, or maybe they are believers and they are struggling with an issue. And so this is in our prayer life, especially if you ever... This has happened to me as a mom, but it's also happened to me with family members and even friends, very rarely leaders, as in like leaders of our country, though sometimes.
Melissa K Norris: But most of the time it's more of a very personal, it's people that I know personally. But if you have ever felt this overwhelming burden, that just comes to mind. Where you're thinking about this person and you feel like you need to pray for them. As my children have gotten older, I have felt this definitely for my children at different times. And most of the time it's when they are not at home or sometimes it's in the middle of the night when you wake up in the middle of the night and you just can't go back to sleep and somebody or a situation is really on your mind. Those are the times when I don't ignore them. And I immediately go to the Lord in prayer and stand in the gap between a calamity or something that feels like it's a problem for them.
Melissa K Norris: And that I am standing in the gap asking God for protection, deliverance, healing, whatever it may be. But that's kind of, if you're not really familiar with the term, like what do you mean by stand in the gap? That's what we mean by that, it's completely in prayer. And as I was reading that verse, there was nobody to stand in the gap before the Lord. Now this is of course talking about in the old Testament and the destruction of Jerusalem when they had done a lot of very grievous sins. And you've got, when the Babylonians came in and took so many of them out into captivity, there's a whole timeline and stuff there, but it also applies to us spiritually that there are times when we can stand in the gap for someone and our prayers definitely make a difference, a huge difference.
Melissa K Norris: I know when people have prayed for me and I didn't know about it until later, and it was in a situation that was ex extremely hard. And I know that their prayers made a difference. And even today, when people pray for me, I know that it makes a really big difference, so I just wanted to share that with you, because I know for myself that there are still times and situations that I should do more standing in the gap in prayer than I am doing, so I just wanted to share that with you, because it's really what I'm working my way through right now and thought if I am going through this, then I'm sure some of you are too and could use the reminder. Thank you so much for joining us this week. I will be back here with you next week. Until then blessings in Mason jars for now.
Sign up to receive email updates
Enter your name and email address below and I'll send you periodic updates about the podcast.
More Homesteading Articles
- How to Buy a Homestead – What to Look For
- How to Prepare Your Homestead for Selling
- What to do When Homesteading Gets Tough
- What To Do FIRST On Your Homestead (Or What To Do NEXT)
- Self Sufficient Homesteading Tips for the Long Haul
- What To Do When Your Family Isn’t Onboard with Homesteading (Or Something You’re Passionate About)
- Avoid Overwhelm – Choosing What’s Right for Your Homestead
- How to Earning a Living from Your Homestead
- Commonly Believed Homesteading Myths