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    • By 1Timothy115 in Devotionals
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      Psalms 119:1-8                                         Sep. 5 - Oct. 2, 2019
      1 ALEPH. Blessed are the undefiled in the way, who walk in the law of the LORD.
      2 Blessed are they that keep his testimonies, and that seek him with the whole heart.
      3 They also do no iniquity: they walk in his ways.
      4 Thou hast commanded us to keep thy precepts diligently.
      5 O that my ways were directed to keep thy statutes!
      6 Then shall I not be ashamed, when I have respect unto all thy commandments.
      7 I will praise thee with uprightness of heart, when I shall have learned thy righteous judgments.
      8 I will keep thy statutes: O forsake me not utterly.
      The following verse stood out to me...
      5 O that my ways were directed to keep thy statutes!
      At first glance it seemed to me this person’s soul is poured out with intense desire to have God’s direction in keeping His Word.
      I made a small wood fire in our backyard for my granddaughter, Julia, since she would be staying overnight with us. My wife and Julia stayed outside at the fire for about half an hour. Then, I found myself alone to watch the fire die out on a particularly lovely evening. So I took my verse from above and began to repeat it for memorization. As I repeated the verse, I tried to contemplate the words and apply them to what I was seeing around me. 
      The moon and stars were out now peering through the scattered clouds above.
      [Genesis 1:16 And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars also. Genesis 1:17 And God set them in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth, Genesis 1:18 And to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness: and God saw that it was good.]
      Thought 1         
      The moon has stayed his course since the day God created him, also the stars, obeying the statutes directed by God from the first day they were created. Can you imagine God’s direction to the Moon and stars, “moon you will have a path through the sky above the earth, stars you will occupy the firmament above the moon and be clearly visible in the cloudless night sky.”
      Then, the trees, grass, even the air we breathe obey the statues God gave them from the beginning. None of these creations have souls, none have hearts, none have intelligence, but they all observe God’s statutes, His instructions for their limited time on earth.
      Thought 2
      What if we were like the moon, stars, trees, grass, or the other creations which have no soul? We would be directed to keep God’s statutes without choosing to keep them. This is not the image of God, there would be no dominion over other creatures, or over the earth. We would not be capable of experiencing the joy and peace of learning the love of God
      Genesis 1:26 And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.
      Philippians 4:7 And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
      Thought 3 (October 2, 2019)
      Is the psalmist pleading God to force God’s statutes to become the man’s ways? No, he is speaking of his own failure in keeping God’s statutes and his desire to keep them, very much like Paul in Romans 7:14-25.
      God doesn’t work through force to turn men from their ways that they would desire His statutes or desire God Himself. Men must reject (repent) put aside his own ways and voluntarily seek God and His statutes.

farm animal information needed


Rebecca
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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

If we wanted to begin the homestead life with 16 acres part wooded, part field, and a small pond and a house with no fence except around the property, what should we do first? What are the best farm animals (mention your preferred breed of animal, not just species) for beginners and why? What kind of containment and housing would each of these animals need? (location: Missouri)

 

Random trespassing neighbors cow...fences may need repair, also shutting the gate might help. What kind of cow is this, maybe a Jersey or mix?

IMG_1488.thumb.JPG.bfd9ab31dc1c00fb74b42c5e7ac999de.JPG

 

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It's been almost 40 years since I worked on the dairy and veal farms, so I couldn't tell you what kind of cow it is. Most of my work on farms and small homesteads with friends has been very limited. I know that FB has a site called "The Reformed Homestead" that has a lot of good information. We signed up because we had considered starting a small homestead ourselves....doesnt look like that's going to happen, though.

 

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4 hours ago, Rebecca said:

If we wanted to begin the homestead life with 16 acres part wooded, part field, and a small pond and a house with no fence except around the property, what should we do first? What are the best farm animals (mention your preferred breed of animal, not just species) for beginners and why? What kind of containment and housing would each of these animals need? (location: Missouri)

 

Random trespassing neighbors cow...fences may need repair, also shutting the gate might help. What kind of cow is this, maybe a Jersey or mix?

IMG_1488.thumb.JPG.bfd9ab31dc1c00fb74b42c5e7ac999de.JPG

 

I'm not a farmer but I do have the internet and I think that's called a "Red Poll". It's raised mainly for it's meat or for "conservation grazing". It's the oldest registered breed in the USA.

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Rebecca,

my wife knows quite a bit about homesteading. It is not something that interests me, so I asked her for her input into what you asked. She does not post on the forum and I wanted to reply to you with any help I could give, but unfortunately, I don’t have information of this sort except in a very limited sense.

It seems like the answers to your questions are very complicated. This is due, in part, to you not knowing just what to ask and her not knowing all the details of your specific situation.

Her first reaction to your questions was that without knowing your situation, plans, goals and ability, it would be hard to impossible to reply in any kind of helpful manner, simply because as people we are all different. This is not a “one size fits all” situation.

First, I will start off with probably the best piece of information she told me about, that she thinks would help you the most. She suggested that you go to YouTube and put in the word “homesteading” or “homestead” and she said it will bring up a host of articles from homesteaders, in video form that can help you a lot.

I’ll try to remember the things she talked about in regard to your questions, but I may miss a few just because my memory is not all that great. Her first reaction was one of uncertainty because there are as many different goals in homesteading as there are people. Any helpful answers will depend on you and your situation. Here are a few questions that need answers before anyone can help you:

1. Do you intend homesteading to be full time, permanent?

2. How will you finance this endeavor?

3. Do you work at a job?

4. Do you intend homesteading to produce income?

5. Have you considered doing only certain aspects of homesteading? Or incorporating parts of that lifestyle into your present lifestyle.

6. Do you have land already, or will it be purchased? Will it be just land, or land and house?

7. Are you married or do you intend to marry? (Important because it adds another person)

8. Do you have any experience with animals, or farming/gardening?

9. Do you have any building or other trade type skills?

10. Have you ever hunted or fished? Are you familiar with firearms?

11. Are you familiar with properly cleaning and taking care of meat, fish and vegetables?

12. Do you have any mechanical skills?

13. Do you have finances sufficient to hold you through building a lifestyle from the ground up, one project at a time?

14. How and where will you live until you can live at your homestead?

15. Have you thought to ask yourself why you want to do this?

16. Do you intend to heat with wood and have you ever used a chain saw, bow saw or ax, or cut and split wood?

17. Are you able to do hard, physical work?

18. Are you comfortable with living alone and not near other people?

19. How will you handle safety and personal protection issues?

20. Do you intend to be “off grid” and are you comfortable with the aspects of having no electricity, or alternate sources?

21. How will water requirements be addressed if you are off grid?

22. Are you familiar with alternate means of suppling water for your needs?

The subject of homesteading is highly personal and unique to each person. It is about more than just “what animals are best to start with”. That question is totally dependent on your preferences and choices. What I might consider for animals may not interest you, or be something that you would even consider, want or need.

Animals are only one small part of homesteading, if they are even considered or wanted at all. But if you do choose to have animals you have a lot to consider; not the least of which is what you want animals for. Before you can choose or even consider animals you should understand that you need a goal for even wanting them. For instance, do you want an animal for meat, milk, packing, as in carrying loads, protection, breeding to sell the young.

 Even then there is a lot to be considered, such as, initial cost, cost for feed, medicine, upkeep, housing, fencing, visits to the vet, the list goes on and on and none of it is cheap. My wife raised Nigerian Dwarf Goats, she had them for milk. One visit to the vet for a sick goat was $450, with nothing special done like surgery.

Not knowing exactly what you want to do can be very costly in both time and money. You can spend a lot of both only to discover that either it didn’t work or it was the wrong thing, or you don’t want or need whatever it is.

I think you need to do a lot of research and study before trying to make any kind of firm plans. As you can see from what I wrote, there is a lot to consider. I lived in Alaska for forty years and once considered homesteading, actually that was what I went there for. But for me it never happened for various reasons. I found that in Alaska many homesteaded with no intention to keep animals or gardens. They intended to live off of the land; a hard thing to do. I threw this in to show that there are many different types of homesteading, it just depends on the person and what thy want for their lives and their means.

I hope this gives you something, or a lot to think about, because it can be a big undertaking.

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Thanks for the in depth reply, Jim, it's very helpful to have things to consider that I may not have thought of! I'll try to answer the questions best I can. For some background, the property I'm talking about belonged to my parents, once my dad passed away, my younger sister quit her job and moved back to Missouri help care for our mom, who has recently decided to move into town. My sister and I decided we would continue to care for the property rather than sell it off, with my sister being the one in charge since I will mainly be in Taiwan and only be able to physically help when I am back in the States. 

40 minutes ago, Jim_Alaska said:

1. Do you intend homesteading to be full time, permanent?

Currently, it would just be a side endeavor, maybe some day in the future it would be a permanent thing, but not now.

2. How will you finance this endeavor?

My sister just got a job and once finances settle she will be able to fund things a little at a time. We're not jumping into it full throttle, it will be a slow process.

3. Do you work at a job?

My sister now has a good job. I'm a missionary, so not exactly conducive to homesteading!

4. Do you intend homesteading to produce income?

Not for a long time. Once we know what we're doing and know what we can do and cannot do, that will change.

5. Have you considered doing only certain aspects of homesteading? Or incorporating parts of that lifestyle into your present lifestyle.

Yes, we just have to figure out what works best for us.

6. Do you have land already, or will it be purchased? Will it be just land, or land and house?

Yes, the land has been in the family for 20 years. There is a house, garage, and a few sheds.

7. Are you married or do you intend to marry? (Important because it adds another person)

Neither of us intend to marry anytime soon, but who knows what the future may bring.

8. Do you have any experience with animals, or farming/gardening?

No experience with livestock or proper gardening. We have only had experience with raising pets.

9. Do you have any building or other trade type skills?

No

10. Have you ever hunted or fished? Are you familiar with firearms?

Never hunted. My sister may eventually get a gun and learn to use it properly since there are coyotes in the area, but as long as I am traveling between the States and Taiwan I personally will not own a firearm. I have done some fishing, not a fan, don't enjoy eating fish, so no reason to go fishing.

11. Are you familiar with properly cleaning and taking care of meat, fish and vegetables?

Yes, but only in limited amounts. I've never had to clean or store bulk amounts of meat or vegetables. 

12. Do you have any mechanical skills?

No. I can and have driven a tractor to bush hog, but couldn't fix one without someone to show me what to do. Fortunately I have a great brother-in-law who has been a help with the tractor, lawn mowers, weed eaters, chain saws, etc. So if something breaks down we have help.

13. Do you have finances sufficient to hold you through building a lifestyle from the ground up, one project at a time?

Soon, but not yet.

14. How and where will you live until you can live at your homestead?

My sister will live at the house on the land. When I'm in the States I will stay in the house as well.

15. Have you thought to ask yourself why you want to do this?

Life long dream.

16. Do you intend to heat with wood and have you ever used a chain saw, bow saw or ax, or cut and split wood?

The house has central heating and a/c, but because of last winter being so bad, my sister is looking at alternative heating, wood being one of the things she's thinking about. We've used a regular saw, I'd rather get a log splitter than use an ax.

17. Are you able to do hard, physical work?

To an extent. Willing to do the hard physical work, but not used to it, so it will take some getting used to.

18. Are you comfortable with living alone and not near other people?

Absolutely.

19. How will you handle safety and personal protection issues?

Baseball bat. Guard dogs (already have two). Pepper spray. A very strong blinding flashlight that can double as a bludgeoning tool. 

20. Do you intend to be “off grid” and are you comfortable with the aspects of having no electricity, or alternate sources?

Zero plans to go off grid. But have thought of solar panels anyway, just as another level of preparedness.

21. How will water requirements be addressed if you are off grid?

We have a well.

22. Are you familiar with alternate means of suppling water for your needs?

If the well ever dries up, we're in trouble! The pond may be useful, but it's a dirty mess. 

 

Personally, I want nothing to do with milking cows or goats. My sister thinks differently on that one. The goal I would have for livestock is for meat. Although I do want a pet Highland cow (it's not practical, I know). For growing vegetables, I was thinking of doing raised beds. We have fruit trees, but they're struggling so in the future we may not get anymore. Our dad raised bees a very long time ago and we've thought about getting back into that.

I do follow some homesteaders on youtube, but the ones I like to watch already have established hobby farms. I've learned a lot, but really it's not helpful for beginners. There are some that claim to help beginners, but they're either not likable and boring to watch or they're condescending or they don't explain things well. 

We're still in the research phase of this. It's going to be difficult especially since I will not actually be there to help most of the time, but it's been something both of us have wanted since we were children but never had the opportunity. 

 

Here are two of the dogs playing in the pond.

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I understand a lot better now Rebecca. Given you not being there most of the time does not sound practical for you. I forgot probably the most important thing if you plan to have animals.

Animals are a tremendous responsibility. I say that mainly because if you have farm animals you are tied to the farm. This might not sound like much on the surface, but it has implications far beyond what most people think of. You are literally married to it because of your responsibility to your animals. No vacations, or even going away for a few days. Those animals depend on you for food, water, shelter, protection. So you have to be there for them each and every day.

This is just one of the reasons that  don't like this sort of thing. Even when my wife had her goats it affected me. We always had to plan everything around the goats and their care. Even if you were just going to town to do shopping you had to consider feeding and milking times, no exceptions.

There is a bright side to what you explained. You already have the land, and house, that is a big plus. After that it all depends on how much you are willing to commit to the project. It sounds like your sister will be the one to do most of it since you will be away. She will have to be sure she is up to it and really wants to do this.

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