Homesteading as you age? What are the hacks?

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Alaskajohn

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I grew cucumbers over the winter in the basement and got a few, but the plants grew well in small (3 gallon) buckets. So I planted 4 hanging flower containers with Cucumbers, they are hanging above my tomatoes and are loaded with tiny fruit. I also grew some tomatoes in the house and we got a about a dozen, I think I chose the wrong tomato. I will try again with starting indoor tomatoes and cucumbers between now and August.
What kind of light did you use? How would you think cucumbers would do in a room about 52-54 degrees? A lamp might raise the temps a few degrees. With my expansion project, this idea has potential. I could potentially start them in the basement about the first of May and then move tomatoes and cucumbers to an outdoor greenhouse in early June after the last freeze. Then they would have 18 plus hours a day of sunlight, and in a greenhouse, the temps should be above 80 most days.
 

angie_nrs

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The golf cart and 4 wheeler have made it much easier to haul wood, brush, tools, etc. from one place to the other. We use them ALL the time. Hubs has also accumulated a lot of 'man' toys along the way. I joke with him that his mom clearly took away his tonka toys too early in his life, which explains his need to get them all back. He loves his toys and uses them often to do many projects around the property.

We are relatively young so we are hitting projects hard this year to try and get a bunch of stuff done before our economy takes a dump. It actually helps with the topic at hand. If we can get things done while we are still heatlhy, we can do a bit more coasting as we age. Hubs put in a raised garden this year and we have plans to put in more. The next project is adding more power options to some buildings on the property.

I think this topic is the reason that there used to be very large families back in the day when everyone was a homesteader. The extra hands were needed to keep things ticking along. We use the kids when we have to, but thus far we've actually depeneded more on friends and neighbors, whom we then help in return. We know a lot of people who specialize in lots of different things. So, hubs can help a guy dig a trench and that guy can come over and help wire up our shed. It's a win-win.

At this point we are purchasing things that aren't as heavy and tend to be more maintenance free. We are looking at things we may struggle with now and are trying to figure out a way around those things. For example, hubs just bought a flo fast system to help him move fuel via a cart and pump it into equipment as opposed to lifting a 5 gallon container high off the ground to fill a piece of equipment. It was pricey, but we feel that it will pay for itself as we get older and potentially prevent a back injury before it happens. He's a bull and pushes himself too hard sometimes. One of these days his body is going to fight back. So, I'm all for anything that can cut down on strenuous or dangerous activities.

We also use a hand truck to move our generator around. Once that genie gets too old to be dependable, we will be buying the smaller units and using them in parallel so that we can move them more easily.

On this flip side of it all, I think the chores have kept us young. We don't sit and watch the 'screen' often, which means we don't graze in the kitchen all day either. It's a balance.....just like everything else in life.
 

UrbanHunter

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What kind of light did you use? How would you think cucumbers would do in a room about 52-54 degrees? A lamp might raise the temps a few degrees. With my expansion project, this idea has potential. I could potentially start them in the basement about the first of May and then move tomatoes and cucumbers to an outdoor greenhouse in early June after the last freeze. Then they would have 18 plus hours a day of sunlight, and in a greenhouse, the temps should be above 80 most days.
Our basement is about 5 degrees cooler than the main floor and the wife needs it at about 69 in winter and 73 in summer, so I would guess my tomatoes were growing at 64F. I grew most of my plants using LED grow light bars (white light), I moved my Cucumbers to where they had a 18"X3' window above them + a line of grow lights and they grew to the lights. I think the bigger issue growing indoors is pollination, tomatoes are self pollinating and a rotating fan worked well, cucumbers need the help of a pollinator (imagine walking from flower to flower with a paint brush saying Buzz Buzz).
 

joel

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I use Hydraulics to dig holes & dig stumps, move dirt.
I drink a lot of water, even when I do not feel that I need to, it flushes the pipes & keeps me hydrated.
I get eight hours of sleep & take breaks when it is hot out, work early & late in the day, in shade sitting down when I can.
 

viking

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Working at the times the temperature suits my body. If I try and work at times when it's to hot or cold the cost in added pain is just to high. Sometimes I work an hour and rest an hour sometimes it's 5 minutes and rest, occasionally I have a day or two where everything hits just right and I might manage 4-5 hours in a stretch. I have to listen to my body last year taught me to listen and not push to hard.
I don't have any bad pains but I don't like being too hot or too cold, trouble we're having is unseasonable cold weather presently, so I spend time either with a heating pad on my back or leaning against the side of our wood stove, if it gets too warm out, I wait until just before the sun goes down, thankfully at 78+, I have very little pain problems
 

LadyLocust

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@Alaskajohn I was thinking more on this and thought of another "answer." It's not a hack, but a thought really. As you move through your days and weeks and seasons, try thinking (or if you're me, write it down so you don't forget) about what tasks need doing. Then in the evenings and/or down time, reflect and see what really needs doing, what you are doing just because, what you should do and if there is a way to either not do a thing or do it an easier or more efficient way. Really think about what you will want as you age and prioritize then figure out how to make it work.
The "hacks" are great, but I think we each have our own priorities and lifestyles that makes it difficult to say do this don't do that - if that makes sense.
 

Alaskajohn

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@Alaskajohn I was thinking more on this and thought of another "answer." It's not a hack, but a thought really. As you move through your days and weeks and seasons, try thinking (or if you're me, write it down so you don't forget) about what tasks need doing. Then in the evenings and/or down time, reflect and see what really needs doing, what you are doing just because, what you should do and if there is a way to either not do a thing or do it an easier or more efficient way. Really think about what you will want as you age and prioritize then figure out how to make it work.
The "hacks" are great, but I think we each have our own priorities and lifestyles that makes it difficult to say do this don't do that - if that makes sense.
That makes perfect sense. I have always believed that truly being able to critically think and establish well thought out priorities is what makes the difference in life.
 

Terri9630

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Greenhouses are all the rage up here as it allows you to grow tomatoes, cucumbers, etc very well by extending the season. It’s rare to be above 80 on the hottest of days, and the temperature this time of year still will dip into the mid 30s at night. The low for the past four nights has been 37 degrees.

They wife is trying to grow cucumbers this year for the first time since moving to Alaska over a decade ago.
It was 35° yesterday morning. 37°this morning. Without the high tunnels my plants wouldn't be doing well.
 
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