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Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot,

Nothing is going to get better. It's not. ~ Dr. Seuss, from The Lorax

Today's Low Impact Week subject is. . . gasoline usage.

Here is were I admit my sins, and fall flat on my face.

It is difficult to live were I live and run the homestead without the use of gasoline, at least at this time. The Homestead is not yet self supportive, hence my husband working in the city. He rides in on the motorcycle when feasible, or takes our small car. I however own and drive a very large pick-up. I have attempted to transport animals in the back of cars, as well as feed. I don't advise it.

Saturday's are go-into-town days for us. The day starts by loading up several ice chests and heading into the city where the closest farmers market is. I buy my weeks worth of groceries and head to the feed store in another small town. I also pick up items needed for the homestead. Next it is back to the small town I live close to, where I hit up the grocery store for the items not acquired at the farmers market. Now depending on if there are other things needed, typically there isn't, I come full circle home. And hope that I have bought everything needed. Some time's I do blow it and have to head into town during the week, like today. I try to make a comprehensive list, even on these, I forgot to get this/ran out of that because a boy dumped it days.

With the lack of more grazing animals, it is necessary to use a small tractor, without a work horse, or, um, a donkey {not the sheep} we work the land with a gas powered tiller. We have a small ATV and a couple of go-carts. My husband and I also go on long distance motorcycle rides.

We also heat our water, our home and stove with propane.

Our goals are as follows;

Donkey to work land with
work horse to pull cart
cattle and sheep to replace tractor
fire place/solar power

Of course these are long term goals, though the animals will be coming sooner then the house changes.

Unfortunately, I do not live close enough to bike like some of you are doing, this would be a 2 day trek just to do some grocery shopping, and I am still trying to figure out how on earth I would get a weeks worth of groceries home if I did that.

There you have it, the sins of our homestead. Without gasoline and propane we wouldn't be able to attempt a self-sufficient life. Unless someone out there has a few extra dollars they want to send our way to complete our homesteading desires, it will continue to be this way for the foreseeable future.


Jeff Roberts said...

Hmm, two cars that get ~24mpg and ~29mpg each, a truck (~17mpg) I only drive when I need to haul something (OK, and to go refill the gas cans so I don't have to put them in the trunk of the car).

Also a motorcycle (~40mpg) that I have great intentions of riding except I find lots of reasons not to: need to stop at cleaners, might rain this afternoon and I don't want to miss church tonight, etc.

Then the gas cans are there to feed a big riding mower, a mower I tow with it, a weed-eater, a chainsaw and a tiller (the last two used only rarely).

Goats sound good, but then I'd need a lot of fence to keep them in, and food to get them through the winter.

Anonymous said...

The point is you are making an effort and planning for the future. All of the trip planning really does make a big difference.

Crunchy Chicken said...

I agree with Lynn. The fact that you put thought into planning your trips to town (whether it be merely for cost consideration or not) shows that you are at least thinking about it and trying to change the way you do things.

Which is a heck of a lot more than most people in the U.S. who couldn't care less about making that extra trip out to pick up something.

P~ said...

I've told you before I think on my blog, when I aired my "dirty laundry" that I too occasionally drive a Large truck. Unlike you I don't have a remote homestead, but rather a suburban home. The truck does allow me to recycle a lot of things like the concrete landscaping I did earlier this year, and is rarely driven. I agree with Crunchy, forethought, planning and preparation are the biggest things that make the most difference.

Unknown said...

I'm lucky ~ I don't drive & couldn't afford a car, even if I did, so I have to work around this ~ get feed delivered when the mills have enough to deliver in my area, use the weekly community bus into town. Though this day I did beg a ride in the Lads' taxi so I could go to the hospital to get my arm checked over & dressing changed, but there were 4 of us sharing the taxi in & out. (Rody, who sold this place to me, took me to A & E Monday evening to get my arm sewn up ~ I met him feeding his cattle when I was going looking for a lift in my bloody, arm gaping open state.)

Billy said...

Looks like there will be a Wal-mart going up close by. I would hate that, but it might make it a little more convenient.

Anonymous said...

I'm in the same boat you are, everything requires travel not feasable on a bike. My husband was able to acquire an old unused farm tank last week. He has to install a new pump, and then we're hoping to get biodeisel from a local co-op. Because I too drive a truck. Like you I plan my trips and don't really leave the homestead that often. Although we do try to go camping in the summer months. My husband drives a Geo and gets 30 something MPG. That's the best we can do for the time being.

Phelan said...

Jeff, get on the bike! We have grocery shopped and the like on ours. Saddle bags are wonderful. I am not sure of the mileage I get in the truck. It isn't awful.

Lynn, I guess you are right.

CC, guess you are right as well. Thank you.

P~ What did you do with the concrete? I am posting a white trash entry tomorrow.

Killi, ok I missed that entry. Hope you are ok. Will have to go and read what happened to you.

abba, is going in over on Meridan and 53rd. Give me a break! That makes it about 5 minutes closer then the one on Maize road, for us. I don't do Wal-Mart. Not because of the reasons other people don't do them, they actually have done a lot of great things for our community, but they are pro-NAIS.

Farm mom, righton. Though I have been having second thoughts on the whole corn used as fuel thing. We using cooking oil I am still fine with. But the more I learn about Biofuel made with corn, the more concerned I get. We will lose a lot of our farms to growing corn because the money is better than growing crops for human consumption.

P~ said...

"White Trash"??? I don't know anyone who got rich spending money on things they could get for free.

My wife and I used old concrete sidwalk that we got for free to break up and build garden borders and a paver style patio under the gazebo that I built last year.
links here and here. We are very happy with it, and have had lots of neighbors comment on it. Of course they may think we're the "White Trash" neighbors and just be being nice, but I didn't have to take out a second to put in a front yard to compete with the Jones' either. (And by the way my neighbors really are the Jones'.LOL)
Hope you like.

Unknown said...

fell in yard onto glass drinker for chickens. cut arm open, into muscle, had to get muscle sewn back together before flesh could be stitched up ~ good arm, not the paralysed one! (btw village is 2 miles downhill, nenagh, the nearest town is 14 miles up and down).

have you thought about harnessing your goats to a travois for fetching and carrying around the farm? i seem to have got myself involved in harness goats in ireland and i'm the only one with no harness goats, but i'm the 1 whose email is being distributed to interested people. it was my idea because i'm going to need help and advice, so i told the british hgs to pass my email on to anyone interested.

s, my ex, used to do all his shopping on a bike, with a suitcase strapped to the back; sidecar would give more storage space.

arm aching and it's taken me 1/2 hour to type this so far, sorry about punctuation,grammar etc.

Anonymous said...

Killi, I guess I could harness my goats, but they are very small. Half fainting half miniture. I hope your are heals up nicely.

Anonymous said...

Around here most of the biofuel is made with soybean oil. But it's all monoculture big-Ag destroying small farms. My husband wants to make his own biofuel using restaurant fry oils. So we'll be running our own B100 and smelling like fried chicken!! :)

Amy E said...

very interesting posts....I like your site. Came over from Bob's at Walked with Angels.

At our homestead, we have a 1964 pickup, 1996 pickup, 2005 PT Cruiser and a motorcycle. The 1964 is parked and being renovated, the 1996 is driven only 4 miles a day to my husband's work in our small town. I only go into town one day a week in the PT Crusier. I am so happy to be able to cut my gas consumption way down. I used I to work 30 miles away, and now I stay home, and garden for most of our produce needs. We have 3 chickens for eggs, and I plan to get baby chicks in the spring to butcher. Thanks for the ideas ya'll!

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