Wednesday, October 6, 2010

So You Want to Live on a Farm? Do Your Homework First!

So how exactly does one "plan" for a potential farm and/or farm living? 

My first piece of advice is to read...and then read some more, and finally, read even more!  There is a lot of truth to that age old saying that "Knowledge is Power."   Start reading and gathering info and building your own library of information.

There are so many places and ways to get information.  First, of course there is always the internet, just go to Google (or your favorite search engine) and put your search term in the box and you'll get a zillion entries. Ok, maybe not a zillion but a whole heck of a lot.  More than you might have wanted find!  I know that sometimes it can seem like information overload when you are online doing research. 

Don't get me wrong, I've gotten a LOT of information off the 'net.  I always recommend printing the ones you really love or find valuable so you don't have to try to find them later.  I know you can bookmark them of course, but I've gone back a year later and often find the bookmark link has changed and I can't find the info I wanted.  So I print out the ones I want to keep and have at my fingertipes, and I have even been keeping them in binders, but more on that later.

So if it seems overwhelming, you can always do it the old fashioned way and read a book.  This may seem like a no brainer, but honestly, I rediscovered my local library about a year ago and I LOVE it!  Come on, admit it, how many of us haven't been in a library since we had to do that report on Abraham Lincoln back in 8th grade?  I'll admit I hadn't been in a library in years, decades perhaps.  Then, one fine day I found myself in one, while 2nd Man was there for a meeting, I looked for the gardening book section (which conveniently is almost always near the food and cooking section!) and I could almost see the light shining down and hear the chorus singing.  Row after row of free books!  For the taking!  (and of course returning in 2 weeks).  A great resource.  And it's also a great way to 'try out a book' and then if you like it, head off to your local bookstore or Amazon and get your own copy.

If, like me, you are lucky enough to live near a used book store, here in Houston we have a great one called Half Price Books , that is another great source of books.  Again, they usually have a gardening or lifestyle section (what is it about them always being near the cookbooks?) and you can usually get some great deals. 

Lastly there is always eBay or its sister company . 

My point is, there is a lot of information out there.  It can seem overwhelming but sometimes you just have to dive right in and enjoy.  A good thing about books is that you can get very specific and look for a bunch of info on one topic in one book, for example, raising chickens, or square foot gardening.  Just one book that extensively covers a topic can give you a wealth of valuable information. 

Once you start collecting information (I've been collecting books and papers and articles for years), set aside a small bookshelf so it's all in place.  Or course be prepared, it can fill up quick!  I know from firsthand experience!  In future posts, I will list some of my favorite books, the ones that have helped me with planning.

In my next post, I'll cover some of the magazines I subscribe to, and or read on a regular basis.

Now, go get that library card, fire up that computer, or drive to your local bookstore and start reading!!


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