Summer is almost over and it’s time to start thinking about getting ready for the change in seasons. My summer began with a search for a new home. I am happy to announce that my search was a success. Without too much difficulty I found exactly what I was looking for. We will be moving in over Labor Day weekend. Although I can’t tell you where the new house is, I can show you a picture of it from the back acreage. The building in the foreground is the four-stall horse barn which will be used for a chicken coop and goats. The house can be seen further up the hill. From where I was standing when I took this photo, the property extended about the same distance behind me as it does to the road about 200 feet on the other (front) side of the house. So imagine turning around from this perspective and seeing another two acres of fenced pastures that lead down to a fresh creek that flows from a spring less than a mile away.
Moving to my “secure location” will alter the focus of this blog slightly for the next year or so. Bear with me. I’d like to share my experiences as a hobby farming prepper with you so that you may benefit. This property already scores a 12 on the “SISS” index*. That’s a great start but I’d like to double that. In addition to farm animals and a huge garden, I plan to install a stand-by generator and a modest solar array in the first year. I also plan to replace the current asphalt shingle roof with a steel roof to allow water cachement. A new quality-grade privacy fence will keep the dogs in and prying eyes out of the backyard and swimming pool area. And some sort of barrier will have to go up around the planned garden behind the barn to keep out the estimated 20-30 deer that graze in the back pastures every night. I’d rather not feed them until they have to feed me.
Getting out of the cities and suburbs is always a smart thing to plan for. I was fortunate to be able to do it now instead of in five or ten years. I can’t call my new farm a “bug out” location because it’s still not remote enough. But it’s a massive improvement on the suburban house I am sitting in right now.
*Sustainability Index Scoring System
Off-grid sources of water (well, stream, pond, pool, etc) 1 pt ea.
Off-grid sources of energy (LP/LNG tank, woods, solar array, etc) 1 pt ea.
Off-grid sources of food (cattle, deer, chickens, garden, etc) 1 pt ea.
Off-grid sanitation system (septic, cesspool, outhouse) 1 pt
Elevation (per 500 ft above sea level) 1 pt
Distance from nearest major population center (per 20 miles) 1 pt
Distance from ocean (per 100 miles) 1 pt
Enhanced construction features (brick, underground, steel roof, etc) 1 pt ea.