Friday, 15 July 2016

No Need To Move To The Country

Who can argue with roasted veggies?!



AD NAUSEUM across the 'interwebs' I see folks breaking their necks to move to the country and start a simple life on a rural property. Nice.....but unrealistic and a little naive unless you have previously lived in a rural environment.  Ask anyone successfully running a small rural holding about the work, time, commitment and money involved - you just might be surprised.

However, I am not wanting to be a complainy-pants about moving to a rural setting, it truly is a worthy goal and deeply rewarding.  I grew up in a couple of different rural settings on smaller holdings and although it was idyllic, in reflection my folks worked pretty hard at it too.


A winter show


But guess what? We can have our own rural setting right where we are.  We can utilise our current home to be as rural as we like, giving it that country feel, eating good quality country fare and all. Besides running large stock, we can pretty much do on a suburban setting what we can do in the country.  How so?  Well, let's see:


Keeping chickens - deeply satisfying


Convert Our Suburban Home Into A Farm House

  • Sprout our own lentils
  • Dehydrate surplus fruit
  • Stockpile
  • Make jams and marmelades
  • Brew Kombucha
  • Run a deep freezer
  • Make our kitchen the hub of the home
  • Bake - lots
  • Make our own bread
  • Make our own vinegar
  • Make our own yoghurt
  • Sew and mend
  • Make fermented foods
  • Do sourdough
  • Make our own soft furnishings
  • Leather work
  • Learn the harmonica (!)
  • Cook from scratch
  • Sit down for meals - extend meal times.
  • Can and bottle surplus garden produce and produce bought cheap at markets
  • Keep seeds
  • Have kero lamps on the ready for blackouts
  • Recycle
  • Learn furniture repair and restoration
  • Crotchet and knit
  • Make our own quilts
  • Make our own laundry liquids, soaps, polishes and cleaners
  • Make baskets out of vines from the yard
  • Sun dry our clothes
  • Upcycle
  • Brew our own beer
  • Have a craft corner (or room)
  • Make our own tinctures and ointments
  • Have rocking chairs on the porch or verandah ( Ha ha!)





Convert Our Yard Into A Mini Farm

  • Keep hens or ducks for eggs and manure*
  • Grow all our own vegetables 
  • Keep hens or ducks for meat*
  • Compost
  • Install a watertank and hook it up to the garden, loo or laundry*
  • Plant some fruit trees
  • Brew our own liquid fertiliser from weeds
  • Plant food vines
  • Have a worm farm or tunnel
  • Keep bees*
  • Raise meat rabbits* 
  • Go solar 
  • Make our own potting mix
  • Do no-dig gardening
  • Food scraps and paper products to the hens or the compost
  • Do self-watering container gardening
  • Grow all our own herbs
  • Grow all our own salad greens
  • Build and use a small greenhouse*
  • Raise our own seedlings
  • Make a food forest of any size
  • Service and repair our own tools and machinery
  • Do basic car servicing and repairs
  • Do basic repairs and maintenance to the house and out-buildings
  • Smoke our own meats and fish*
  • We will have excess produce, so swap, barter or gift it.
  • Learn and apply permaculture




Anything with a * next to it might be a tad difficult in a high-rise apartment and we would have to check our local council requirements no doubt....but all the rest is completely doable to any scale and in any type of dwelling.


An old clothes horse ready to
support the beans as they grow


If we can't move to the country, then let's move the country to us.  It is as simple as deciding it to be so and then doing it bit by bit.


Take care folks - stay nice.

Mr HM

A couple of friends in
the garden

15 comments:

  1. I agree, there is so much you can do on a large house block, living on acerage is a lot of work, but I couldn't go back to the city now. I think a large house block in a small town would be nice though :)

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    1. Well Liz - most hopeful folk do not possess your seemingly inexhaustible drive and passion! Your property is just wonderful and a credit to you. However I have to laugh at other blogs that pretend to be 'farming' but as you drill down it is all just a front to lure folks in to pyramid selling - pft.

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  2. So true Mr HM, we can be more productive whereever we live and we all have opportunities to improve our household economies.

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    1. The lure to the country is another of consumerism's wiles. Then you need a super career to pay for all the 'essential' farm stuff and farm toys. You are right of course, there is boundless opportunities to ramp up the production in our current homes.

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  3. We have 1/2 acre so have plenty of room for chooks, fruit trees, veggies etc....our little mini farm :-)

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    1. 1/2 acre is a wonderful size. Nanna Chel Actually, the old 1/4 acre was settled as a standard block size back in the day and deemed to be big enough for Australians to be able to grow all their own food, keep chooks and a few fruit trees too....and they did. 1/4 acre is unheard of in most new suburbs these days however.

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  4. We moved from a sizeable acreage, three years ago, to a 1/4 acre block in a town in a completely different climatic zone. We moved so that hubby could have a retirement. I worked in the corporate field 50km from home, and on arrival home worked on the property. Holidays? What are holidays when you own a working property? So the decision was made to move interstate and into a much smaller house on what seemed a tiny block.
    We grow a garden that keeps us in most of our fruit and veg. As the garden matures we will get more fruit for the house. As I get to understand the different climatic change for the garden I am getting better at keeping the veg up to the table.
    We don't have chooks as we go away in the caravan each winter chasing the warmth. Our neighbours do and they often pass some eggs over the fence to us. We get oranges and lemons off other neighbours. A friend has bees on their property and we get beautiful honey off them. Our excess is shared with friends and neighbours or made into jams and pickles.
    Living in town does not mean you cant have a small amount of self sufficiency taking place.
    Love this truthful and thought development post Mr Home Maker.

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    1. Thanks Jane - an interesting take on the theme indeed!. I wished more folk moving to the country for the first time had spent time learning skills before they moved to the country. There is nothing more annoying than idealistic city slickers annoying country folks with ceaseless incompetence.....I guess it is entertaining.

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  5. We are on a small acreage farm (40ac) ;D but I complete concur with your list. Its all about blooming where you're planted. Have a lovely weekend.

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    1. thanks Barb - your place is looking wonderful. That is the difference between folk who are realists and motivated compared to just dreamers :-)

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  6. If I was to downsize, I don't think I could go less than a half acre. But size can be relative too. Smaller house, more land.

    Even if someone was planning to move to the countryside, they would be better served to do what you suggest, where they are. I think when you're in close proximity to markets, you can have an easier time of sourcing ingredients and materials, to put in your suburban homestead.

    Then if you do happen to end up in the countryside, you've been housebroken. ;)

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    Replies
    1. Housebroken!! Ha ha...that is gold Chris.

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  7. We moved from a suburban block-good size, to 8 acres. We love it, but you are right, there's a lot of up keep. I'm a SAHM of two children, one is a baby and I spend most of my time in and around the house, so far, unable to do much on the property. Hubby works full time and spends weekends doing things around the property to clean it up - tidying the property for bushfire season, slashing etc. We've only been here a year and definitely plan on doing more with the property, when we have the time:-) but we do love not having neighbours a stones throw away.
    -Kelly B

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  8. All good points, Mr. Home Maker. My husband grew up on a farm and I grew up in a semi-rural area. Married, we lived on said parent's farm/ranch for 7 years, so I know of the work you speak of. We are 'in town'now and make full use of our (too) small yard. Would love to move to an acre to have more breathing room and get away from our law-less druggie neighbors. Perhaps soon... we're hoping and planning. Today I'll be putting up sweet corn, making zucchini bread, refrigerator pickles, and hanging the clothing out to dry. We do what we can where we are, and that is what all should do.

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  9. Absolutely agree! Bloom where you are planted! but I still like to dream in the meantime.

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