I can't believe I haven't blogged since Sunday! Gee wiz! Let's see. Monday, I don't remember. Oh, wait. Yes I do. Monday was the 4th and we were recovering from a long week-end and did stuff around here.
Tuesday, we made our land payment, drove around enjoying the day, running a few errands, and had training that night where I learned how to put on, breathe with, and change out a scott pack.
Wednesday, I did farmers' market, picked up my canner that a friend borrowed, spoke with the owner of the discount grocery store, and spoke with a guy who specializes in solar.
Today, we had an amazing day. We went to pick up a round bale of hay and I had the money in my hand. I'm trying to pay him and he just wants a couple of bars of soap. I have no soap on me and two bars is not an equal trade monetarily speaking. He didn't seem to care and said I could get the soap to him whenever. But that's not all.
He wants us to audit his home and his buildings for getting off grid. He also wants us to draw up plans for future buildings to keep them off grid and let him know how much this stuff will run, etc. He is willing to give us all the hay we need through winter and do excavating for us if we do this. Plus, he wants to buy a year's supply of soap. I just about cried. First of all, auditing someone's home is something we would do for free. "This is what you're using. This is where you would need to cut back on usage. This is what you would need to get to keep up with what you use. This is how you could do this and these are the people to talk to about getting good deals from honest people on this stuff."
We've done this with people. For free. And he is wanting to trade knowledge for hay. And detailed knowledge for work. He wants to help up get a well. We get the money together and buy the parts and he will work with someone to get the drilling done and do the excavating.
He asked me straight out what I wanted from him when we got there because we had talked in the past. He has 500 acres that he uses very well. We have 200 and we just moved here a little over a year ago. I want to use our land without stripping it. He has river bottom. So, it is naturally stripped. This means he didn't have to worry about clearing land. I'm trying to keep a balance between what we want and what we have. The wild (animals, plants, etc) is part of our food. I am not going to get rid of food to grow food. But I do need to grow food. More than the pots of vegetables that I have right now.
Baby steps, Kim. Baby steps. I need to continuously remind myself that it is going to take a few years and clicking my heels together while patting my head and rubbing my belly is not going to make things go faster. Talking with people like this gentleman who has an established farm and seeing how he does things with his diversity shows me what is possible with what I do have. We are going to have to thin, but we don't have to strip. We aren't growing grains.