Growing up in southern WV the majority of us had some level of a self-sustainable homestead. I never knew there was a name for it, of course. Most everyone I knew had a garden, canned food and made quilts. They raised small animals and hunted for deer, squirrel, and turkey. It’s a beautiful way of life. It is simple and rewarding and should be honored.
You don’t have to have a true farmhouse to have a farm. You don’t have to have 100 acres, either. An acre used efficiently and smartly, can provide most of a families nutrition. A half an acre can help tremendously. It’s all how about how you use the land, and work it so that it works for you.
If your focus is on green living, then you need to consider manufactured homes. Since they are factory built, there is a reduction in materials and energy used. They are perfect choices for the environmentally conscious. Many popular online homesteaders rescue older mobile homes to use as their homestead base. A favorite is The Walden Effect blog.
A wonderful reader and previously featured homeowner here on MMHL, Noelle Moser, has a small homestead in the foothills of the Appalachian. Her family uses a double wide for their homestead home, it’s a happy, country charmer they lovingly call the Country Clunker. Along with a garden, they raise chickens and have lots of plans for a self-sufficient homestead.
Noella was kind enough to share some of her homesteading knowledge with us. She has a passion for a more natural way of life and it is catching on at an astounding rate. However, this lifestyle takes study and research. You have to have a working knowledge of several studies. Astronomy (Noelle’s BA). Here she answers some basic questions for us:
Give us some numbers, Noella.
When all is said and done and our plants and plans have come to fruition
we plan on harvesting 2,000 pounds of veggies, 60 pounds of fruit and berries, as well as
1,400 eggs. Also 100 pounds of honey per year from our 1-acre homestead. Of course, I will be canning a freezing a lot of the produce during the summer for use in the winter.
How did a manufactured home become the heart of your homestead?
We could not do all of this if we did not live in a manufactured home. Because our house is not sucking us dry for house payments we are able to put a lot of money into cultivating our land. The site built homes that we looked at before deciding on an MFH were old and needed a lot of work. The land that they sat on was poor and unconducive to growing even weeds in my opinion. We found this beautiful tract of land in the foothills of the Smoky Mountains and put an MFH home on it and have never looked back since.
Are you a city girl or a country girl?
As a background on my life with farming. I was raised on a 12-acre farm in northern Indiana, so farming and being around plants and farm animals is in my blood. From an early age, I was taught to work and take care of the animals and gardens. I have always been a
country girl. Now I am a country gal through and through and cannot live unless something green is growing around me. I am happiest when I am digging in the dirt.
Do you have to have chickens?
What about the soil if I have no chickens?
Flowers? I thought flowers were just for looks?
Ok, I wanna try homesteading, where do I start?
Irrigation? I thought that was for big farms?
Bees? Do I have to have bees?
The bees will be our last and final addition to our homestead. In our plan, we planned on adding them last. We may even wait a few years after adding our final crops before adding them. The honey bee, in general, is in danger due to all the chemicals that people are using around homes and gardens. By adding bees we not only will be able to harvest our own honey but will also be providing pollination to our crops. Bees will only go about 1 mile from their hive in search of nectar for the honey. Buy having our gardens nearby they will not have to go far to find food and we will have pollination which will increase the yield of our produce.
If you’re dreaming of homesteading with a manufactured home, no fear, there’s lot’s of online resources, Google to your heart’s content. There are varying degrees of homesteading. Some go for complete off-the-grid living with as much self-sufficiency as possible. While others are happy with just having a garden and a few chickens. Every bit of homesteading that you do is positive. Not only for our mother earth but for our very souls, too.
As always, thank you for reading Mobile Home Living!