My personal goal for 50 years has been to evolve to be happy, and sufficient on just five acres.
As a late teenager I was much influenced by M.G. Kains, “Five Acres and Independence”
Well Life and self-delusion interfered a lot with this goal.
Now with the Wife’s last properties divestments we are finally there.
M.G. had a lot of 1880 thru 1940 experiences with re-vitalizing old broken down small farms across the USofA.
He did insist on these five acres cores having a 2 acre woodlot for woodfuels, fencing and building materials. And for seasonal windward blocking.
Wood heating and cooking of course.
And his life had spanned the change over from horse/mule/stationary and big-wheeled steam power for farms; to small IC engine power. Only that change allowed going down to just five acres.
He actually loved electricity for finally safe lighting and wells pumping and refrigeration’s.
His money flow was to have 1-2 acres of intensive money cropping like fruit trees or truck-gardening. That means specific specialized intensive cropping, like cabbages, lettuces, pumpkins and such to be “trucked” into the cities green grocery markets or directly to the hotel Chefs.
In my county now quite a few doing this on small acreages with honey; farmers-market vegi’s; hoop-gardening; and even a few trying small animals meats: chicken, goat, pig, rabbits. Ha! Then the events wine-tasters operations. And acre of vine rows. A building. And then they license themselves as a winery.
So even today this can, and is being done.
Just outline it out. Learn and do one step at a time. Commit to that learned step and then move onto the next step
And getting on-the-land soonest will get you there fastest. Ha! You have no choice.
Shun the distractions.
Woodgas “perfection” itself; can actually be a distraction for evolving forwards.
Become then just one more way to distract yourself from clear pathways to keep moving forward.
22F yesterday morning. 24F this morning.
Here is my house woodstove chimney heating at 10 pound an hour. ~50,000 BTU’s an hour. No smoke. And I can do this from 2 pounds (~11,000 BTU’s) an hour to 11 pound (55,000 BTU’s) an hour.
Another view of my house.
A nearly perfect solar angled roof top for active water heating or PV solar for my latitude.
Why not? A $$$$/project time distraction in my 250+ days a year cloudy climate.
Much better just growing, harvesting more trees.
Others have tried wind energy harvesting. Now after two-three systems flattened by storms just also grow more trees. Letting the winds/ice storms harvest for them.
Trees. Bushy brushes are the very best way to small acreages solar energy.