Learn how to be successful in your business, career, or trade by listening to people who have been there and done that. Learn how good work ethic has helped them in their lives. Find out how frugality, proper planning, and considering the “What if’s” has helped them survive and stay out of debt. Discover how budgeting and filling market needs can help you be successful in your own business.
The following is a text transcript of the audio. Due to the verbatim speech and nuances it may be difficult to read. However, it is being provided as a courtesy to the hearing impaired as well as for those who wish to move quickly on to the pertinent parts of the podcast. Transcript is at least 80% accurate.
So that’s what we are going to be discussing tonight and as I said if you want to call in the number is 1.347.202.0228 and then dial 1 to connect with the producer and then he’ll bring you on the air.
So our first guest that I’m bringing on is Charles and Charles is going to talk with us about what his success was in getting out of debt and among other things that he has done. Thank you for coming on the air Charles.
Charles: Yes I am here. Can you hear me?
Tom: Yes I hear you very clear.
Charles: Coming in good. Yes. So it started a long ways back, I’m a senior now it was back, I was about 30 years old and had come back from overseas and realized that the money was starting to get in trouble. This was back in the day of Nixon when he closed the Gold window and said gold was not going to be a backing for our money anymore. A lot of things going on, of course we didn’t understand them. Nobody got any education in money and we were just out running around. I was about 30 at the time and just happened to get a job with a bank. Wells Fargo Bank in California and got into their library and taught myself about money and what it was all about. So I would suggest first of all, yeah, get an idea of the money system and how it works and what’s happened to it, especially recently. There is quite a bit of trouble out there, the interest rates of course are very high. Security is probably your first concern to take care of yourself. Security and medical and get those things taken care of first.
I got into the homesteading then just sort of an extension of that. I got to reading the old books. There was one called, “Farmers of Forty Centuries about Chinese and Japanese agriculture and how they had sustained the same land for 4000 years. Farming over and over using compost. I thought how bizarre compared to our new fertilizers and all of our chemical agriculture. So of course I got to thinking all these directions and it directly lead to mother earth news and homesteading and planning. Getting started, figuring out how to get sort of self-sufficient. How to take care of myself. It just looked like the world was heading that it continued in as we see today. It looks chaotic to me, I don’t know how it appears to everyone else but –
Tom: Yeah it is a very chaotic now. What are some of the homesteading books that you’ve read that you think our listeners should read. Especially considering that we have all the fertilizers and the GMO seeds and things like that. I know a lot of people are interested in growing organic food and raising their farm animals organically. So what are some of the books you’ve read that stand out as being some of the best books that our listeners should read.
Charles: Oh I read a lot of the classics. I read the, gosh my memory, I know my memory is going to jump around on me. As soon as I think of a name I lose it. I read the classics. There was a fella over in India an English agriculturalist. Sir Albert Howard was his name and he was completely organic farming and doing work like that. Just whatever I could find I would read. Jay Rodale was the fella that wrote the Original Organic Gardening text that was such a popular book back then. That was the bible. The true bible. I guess and Mother Earth News took up as a monthly supplement so we just made plans and decided how to get off the, you know get out of the cities mostly. That was the main thing to get where I am at now. I can tell you know sitting here with 5 acres with a spring and all the fire wood I want. Trees and the quite, no traffic anywhere around. Of course I’m retired and older but it’s quite a, quite satisfying to get out here in the country. It really is.
The gardening sort of comes naturally. You get to look around out in the country and you see the gardens. You see the people that are doing the gardening right. You can, you know you just have to follow the rules; you keep up with it and you do it right.
Charles: Succeed. Put it away- –
Tom: Yeah gardening too. That’s you know, getting back to successes and always about money. Success can be just about having a successful garden and I think that is, a lot of people think it’s just real easy. You can just put some seeds in the earth and just put water on it and it’s gonna grow, but there is quite a bit more to gardening than just that. Depending on where you live it can be quite a challenge.
Charles: Yeah. Most of its habit. You develop habits. You continually do things and you learn as you go. It’s so hard in the city. City living and living out in the country is so different. There are so few distractions in the county. Of course you do put up what you grow out there. My gosh I’ve got potatoes out there now, and picking corn and had a good raspberry crop this year. Any extras you give away or take up to the corner and sell. You try to figure out some way to get some kind of cash income. You’ve got to get that cash income of some kind.
Tom: So as far as gardening goes, I don’t know what part of the country you’re in but what types of food crops work best where you’re at.
Charles: Well I’m in East Tennessee. I’m right outside of Knoxville. About an hour outside of Knoxville outside of Lansing. Morgan county Tennessee where it’s about zone 6. We don’t get a steady rain. In this case you have to pay attention to irrigation and the soil is a little bit to sandy. I’m on an area that drains a little bit to fats and you sort of learn that as you go along. It takes not that much time. You get a routine and do a little bit in the morning and a little bit in the evening. Enjoy I, it’s just so much fun anyway doing it. I did flower gardening too as a kind of side income and grew perennial plants. Sold them in a little nursery I started and sold vegetables. Ran a little farmers market. That was good. It’s pretty relaxed. It’s a great way of life and I just can’t stress now it’s just time to do it because the world seems so chaotic out there economically and oil. I don’t know if we’re gonna run out of oil or not. It doesn’t look good. What do I do with that oil? Do I buy me a mule? Do I get me a pony?
Tom: So as far as your homesteading goes and gardening, one of the biggest challenges that I hear most people have is being able to produce enough of their own food that they don’t have to rely on the grocery store. So my question would be what percentage of your food are you able to produce on your own? And what percentage do you have to get from the grocery store? Or are you completely self- sufficient as far as food goes?
Charles: I, well I’m sort of out of that loop right now because I’m single and living by myself and the things I buy from the store are the things that I just can’t produce. I’ve got a cellar down in the basement and my particular favorites are the big squash. The Hubbard squash. In fact I got a couple of blue ribbons at the fair last year. The Morgan County fair for my Hubbard quash that I grew. Their huge and their keepers. You can have squash all winter. Potatoes are easy to keep and grow and keep. You can produce those staples; of course mess around with greens all year round. Early greens, late greens, broccoli, cauliflowers, just sort of work em end whenever you can and play with green houses. However you want to do it. You can produce whatever percentage you want. Or that you can afford or however you want to do it. You trade with people. Folks down the road they can all kinds of stuff. The can their potatoes and things. They do as much as they can but I don’t, I just put up potatoes with some lime on them. Yeah it’s – –
Tom: So I’m wondering for somebody that doesn’t have, maybe somebody that’s really good at gardening but they don’t have quite the time or the equipment to do the canning. I wonder if it’s good for those kinds of people to trade the food that they grow with someone that does have the canning equipment and the time to do that. If that bartering like that can help people in that situation that want to store up for the winter time.
Charles. Yeah. Yeah. I think that’s what I do with the neighbors down there because I can’t get out there like I use to and garden. It’s getting pretty tricky. It’s getting hard to walk, my hips are bad. So I’m sort of slowing down on that respect. They’re going at it completely, she works in raised beds and yeah it depends a lot of what you like to eat. You can put up a lot of cauliflower. You can put up a lot of cabbage. You can put up enough sauerkraut. More than you could ever eat.
Tom: Yeah I – – go ahead
Charles: Oh I was just gonna say that’s part of it yeah but the other parts like fire wood and stuff like that. That takes a portion of time. You sort of divide your time everywhere. You start getting your firewood up. I’ve got wood heat, I’ve got a little bit, and I’ve got all kinds of heat. I had a gas line put in here recently. I’m at the end of a gas line and so I thought I’m so dog gone old I can’t hardly carry that firewood anymore but I cut and burned my wood the last ten years and it’s got to be one of the most enjoyable things you’ll ever do. Nothing quite like a wood fire.
Tom: What about live stock? Do you do much livestock? If so what kind of animals do you like to raise?
Charles: Well I don’t know. I’ve got cats and dogs of course. I used to raise rabbits. I’m quite partial to rabbits. Rabbits supply some of the best eating. Gosh they were delicious. Quite easy to keep, I had cages; I built my own cages and put them up off the ground. The neighbor, people all around me have animals. Just about everything you can imagine. Chickens and genies, and the rabbits and the – – I think if I were to go back if things get tough like they may and I consider they could I would maybe go to some birds. Squab sort of things. Pigeons. Something I might deal with.
Tom: So have you done pigeons before?
Charles: No I haven’t. I’ve seen some videos though. I’ve seen people with them. I think I could do it. I think they might be alright. I remember my mother eating squab in fine restaurants during the war. We would go to downtown Columbus Ohio to a restaurant during World War II and shed order squab. Of course I never ate it. Over the years. That was the – –
Tom: I’ve never heard of that before.
Charles: Yeah I think about that often now during the war we ate a lot of strange things. All kinds of meat and things that aren’t eaten now. I guess it’ll go back to that, I don’t know. I’m quite fearful at the economic situation. I just don’t know if you folks interested in that or not. The situations the country is so far in debt and the banks; I fell they are completely corrupt.
Tom: Yeah let’s talk about that a bit. I know debt; it was a big trouble for me. I am happy to say that I am completely out of debt with the exception of a little bit of back taxes that are almost paid off finally and then my mortgage on my house. Other than that I had, at one time, I had 30,000 dollars in credit card bills and a pick up payment and all kinds of credit lines and I’d say not counting the pickup I was about 60,000 dollars in debt. Just drowning in it and I finally clawed my way out of it. I decided that’s the end of it and I’m gonna get to work and start paying this down. I’ve never filed for bankruptcy, I’ve never had repossession. I’ve never had a foreclosure. I had two house payments. I still have two house payments because one of em is my house and the other ones my mom’s place. I took that house over for her and we have that house up for sale. One time it was pretty tough for myself and I decided I’m not gonna be like these, the people that you hear about that just walk away from their house. I didn’t want the headache that comes with that and that haunts you the rest of your life too. So I decided I’m just gonna keep making the house payments and get that caught up and pay off the other bills and work harder and I finally did it. I’m curious about you and what your situation was and how you were able – -I don’t know if you were already in debt or if you got into debt or if you were just able to not get into debt. I didn’t know your story on that but I’m kind of curious so that our listeners can know what tips they can do to either stay out of debt or get out of debt if they are already in debt.
Charles: Yeah. Getting out of debt and staying out of debt is very important. Very important cause it’s just such a difficult thing to do and you know that, you’ve been through it you just think, “OH my Gosh.” Yeah I spent years and years in fact it held me back on the homesteading. It completely held me back from moving out in the country. There are so many things I couldn’t do. A lot of it was of course the kids. I had two children and my son is deaf and had some other problems and it just turned out I was working other jobs and keeping it paid. Keeping things paid up and trying to stay out of debt. I finally got out of debt to retire. I said I wouldn’t retire until I got out of debt. Once I got out of debt I came up here. I bought this place up here. I still owe on this property, 5 acres and an older house. The payments are so minimal out in the country to on an older property. Yeah the debt is a frightening thing. One thing they don’t teach in school as we grow up is economics and what debt is about. It seems to be a concerted effort to get us in debt as much as possible, to get more toys. If you succumb to that you get in a trap and you just can’t get out of it. Getting out in the country- – you don’t get in the country until you retire. I wish I had been able to come out with my family. We did get out in the country briefly in the nursery business for a while which happened in 1982 when that economic crisis finally occurred. It blew up with the 18% interest rate. I was actually paying 24% a year interest rates. I was trying to start a business. The business I kept it going about 5 or 6 years, the nursery business. I finally gave that up and went back to a I got into the reverse osmosis water treatment business and did that for about 20 years before retiring. But had I not been in debt and had I managed my finances better I would have had a better chance of getting out. Getting more secure quicker for sure.
Tom: So what are some of the best tips that you can give our audience about getting out of debt? Any tricks or techniques that they can follow to help them achieve that goal?
Charles: Oh it’s tricky. It’s just yeah it’s hard. Maintaining your vehicle. It used to be we could maintain our vehicles. These are subtleties that I’ve noticed over the years. You know I used to be able to work on my own car and neighbors and we’d work on cars and share parts and all kind of things, but now you can’t work on a car yourself. Things you can’t do. So I don’t know.
Tom: Yeah unless you buy an older vehicle.
Charles: Perhaps buying an older vehicle is not as expensive to maintain.
Tom: Yeah I’ve got that’s what a lot of people in my family does. My brother he’s got an old pickup that he’s changing the transmission himself and the engine their changing out my mom’s pickup truck. You can do that with an older vehicle. The newer vehicles, not unless you’re a, ya know technician. It’s about impossible for the common person to do. I had a 69’ Nova that I had when I was in high school and I was able to work on that thing, do everything on that car by myself.
Charles: Yeah. You know that religiously if you maintain all the fluids and watch the thing and avoid some of those costs. Avoid those break downs, that’s a definite thing you gotta do.
Tom: I don’t know if you’re familiar with Uber but I’ve been writing Uber a lot to get around instead of, I talked about this in another show, instead of paying for a Taxi cause it’s a lot cheaper and a lot more efficient if you’re needing a ride in the city. I mentioned this as a solution for people that might have a car payment. A really big car payment that they can’t deal with and they realize it was a mistake. Well rather than just letting that car and destroying you’re credit I brought up the solution about being a driver for Uber and putting that car to work. Cause now your car payment becomes a tax write off and you actually get the income. Start turning that vehicle into an income producing machine rather than just a depreciable asset. So that’s a solution that I’ve come up with for people that have new cars. Personally I wouldn’t buy a new car. I probably will never buy a brand new car, if I do buy a new car, and I don’t even own a car. I just have my truck for work and that’s it. But if I were to ever buy a car it would probably be an older vehicle if I have time to work on it. Or it would be a newer used car that would be paid off. I’d have it paid off; I’m never going have car payments. I am either going to buy an old car I can pay cash for right now or I’m gonna save up and buy a nicer car and pay cash for it. But I’ll never take a loan out on a car. I did that before, I made that mistake and I’ll never do that again.
Charles: Yeah. I’m sort of coming to the end of a I’m pushing 200,000 miles on this old van I got that I’ve been nursing along. It’s worked out well. I highly recommend a van for being out in the country. It’s just so handy and so yeah I’ve gotten older van that it’s still expensive to have repairs. The thing about I, if you can find some way to make some income. However it would be. Find one particular way. Whether it would be buy the internet or making something. Making canes or wind chimes or something you could sell somewhere somehow. Plants that have a particular incredible bloom on it. You bring those into bloom and sell those right at the time they flower. You can pick up money here and there, there’s ways to make money but if you have to pay that debt and you have expenses.
Tom: Speaking of that, we live in North Idaho and every summer they have a big book up there with picking Huckleberries. Think those things go for like 30 bucks a gallon. So if you’re really good at that you can make 20 or 30 bucks in an hour if you a good patch to pick those berries. There’s buyers up there so. Depending on where you’re at.
Charles: Yeah there’s something everywhere. It can be moon shine, it can be anything. AS long as people are around you find what their interested in and like working on small engines is a tremendous one right now. Everybody’s got, how many small engines people have. My neighbor, he’s sort of a jack of all trades. He grew up in West Virginia, out in the country. He works on engines and does all kinds of car repairs. You know you’ll look out in the country and you’ll see all these old cars in somebodies property or something and think their all junk cars but that’s their part supply. That’s the local parts department.
Tom: Yeah. Well anyway we’re- – we do have a break to go to and then after the break I’ve got a few question in the chat room that people want to know due to your financial background they were curious about. So we’re gonna go to a break and then I’ll ask those questions to you after the break and then I have another guest coming on shortly after you. So we’ll cut to a break real quick.
Charles: Oh ok. I’ll be right here.
Tom: Welcome back everyone this is Tom with Galtstrike and we are speaking with Charles about his success and achieving retirement and getting out of debt and living on his homestead. I also want to remind anyone that if you’re listening in on the radio or if you are called in the number to call in is 1.347.202.0228 and don’t forget to also press one so the producer will know you want to be on the air. That way we can get you connected. So anyways, we are talking to Charles and we have questions from the chat room. One of our guest wanted to know with your knowledge of financial matters, how would you get ready, if you were to get ready to drive after a major economic disaster? What would your recommendations be?
Charles: I guess I’m pretty much a hard metal man. I keep silver and gold and I get away from paper money and paper debt as much as possible. Of course at my age I can bury some out back and watch it increase in value. I say increase in value it’s perhaps not a real increase in value. Anyway, gold and silver I would recommend for financial security. Silver dollars.
Tom: Yeah I guess that kind of answered the other question that the guest asks. Where would you spend your available income to get ready? So that’s kind of answers that question. Getting those precious metals. I do that myself. I’ve been investing in mostly silver because I can’t really afford much gold. Definitely silver for me. Also, I was curious to know, you know some of the tips that you might have that lead you to retirement besides getting out of debt. What are some other tips that you have for our listeners that are looking to be independent and retire?
Charles: Well, the first one that immediately comes to mind is your health. Don’t be an over doer. All my life I’ve been over doing and I’ve worn my back out. I’ve got back and joint problems. Try to be gentle with yourself and just not overdo it. Just remember you’re going to use that body as long as you can. You can see a lot of old people that don’t have the problems but once those joints, like sciatica, I’ve got a sciatica condition. Another one on habits too. I’ll mention habits. I use to be an alcohol drinker. I used to drink beer until I got neuropathy. I’ve still got the neuropathy. I quit the beer long, long, long time ago but still got neuropathy. So you gotta watch you don’t do yourself in having fun.
Tom: That’s a recommendation I have myself. In another podcast that we did we were talking about becoming successful in your career but I think this also applies in retirement is considering all of the different records that you have in life. For example, your credit record. You’ve got to have a good, clean, credit record to get a good job. A lot of employers look at your credit history. But that also applies to being retired. You want to get out of debt; you don’t want to have those debt payments when you’re retired. You know and then your health. I mentioned maintain a good medial history because certain careers you gotta pass those physicals. Well same thing when you’re retired. You want to take care of yourself when you’re young so you’re not paying the price when you’re older.
Charles: Yeah. Yeah. On and off I’ve been vegetarian. I’ve been through spells where I’ve more or less been complete vegetarian and then other times lately I’ve let up on it a bit. I’ve kept my weight down that way. Extra weight is extra baggage and it cost more. It’s just another one of those things. Exercise and that’s one of the good things about gardening. Work around a place like this. Everything I do, whether it’s hauling in firewood or cutting firewood and stacking it, whatever I do out there helps keep my weight down and my health up.
Tom: Yeah I wanted to add to, I’ve got family members that have had run ins with the law in the past and that’s also something that can haunt you the rest of your life and that can be a big problem even when you’re getting retired. You know there is some people out there that are prone to getting speeding tickets and all sorts of fines for all sorts of things. If you’re young you don’t really think about it but when it gets retirement age not only those things come to haunt you but if you’re in that habit of getting speeding tickets and like that and you’re on a fixed budget and you pull out and run a red light or whatever. That two or three hundred dollar ticket or however much it is, that’s totally unexpected. It’s about avoiding the unexpected expenses.
Charles: You’re right yeah. I remember the $40.00 ticket I got cruising through a stop sign one time that was my last ticket. I said no more. You just have to make decisions like that. You can’t get tickets and drink and drive and stuff like that. Not if you’re going to live to be 60 or 70 or want to do anything with your life. You’re better off just sort of getting some habits. It is a lot about habits I think in the end. Oh I wanted to mention a name that this fellow; Chris Hedges has a couple of videos on now. He is the most interesting person today as far as what is going on in the world today. If your readers and listeners there would remember that name. Chris Hedges. He’s got some very interesting documentary videos on the internet and he’s at the fore front of what I think is going to occur eventually. There will be a confrontation between the corrupt economic establishment and the people because we are all gonna be broke. There’s no jobs left.
Tom: Yep. Yep. Well anyway, I am gonna bring on our other guest here. You are welcome to continue listening in.
Charles: Yes. I will. I appreciate it.
Tom: So we’re going to bring on G-Man. G-Man wanted to talk a little bit about his successes and what he’s got going on now. Are you there G-Man?
Well. I don’t know if he dropped out.
G-Man: I’m sorry Tom. Did you- – can you hear me ok?
Tom: Yeah I hear ya.
G-Man: I was answering the other line and came in at the moment there. I assume you were inviting me on huh?
Tom: Yes. You said you had some things you wanted to talk about.
G-Man: Well, yeah I kind of wanted to talk a little bit about, you know I notice some of the people in the chat room. Of course with prepper broadcasting I think the average age is somewhere in the 50’s probably. I’m 57 myself and I look in the chat room and what people are talking about and going along with your topic tonight, ethics and work and you know making some extra income and what have you. I just wanted to point out a couple of things I’ve learned in my life. One, I think one is you’ve got to enjoy what you do. I mean a big amount of money if you’re not having a good time making it. Especially if you spend 20-25 years and you’re just not having a good time. These last 5 or 6 years I think I’ve worked harder, longer hours, for less money than I ever have in my life but I’ve never enjoyed myself so much. That is a very big thing for me and I think it’s important for anybody. No matter what you’re making, if you’re surviving, be happy with what you’re doing. Enjoy your life, enjoy what you’re doing. So that’s kind of one of the things, one of the points that I think is important for anybody.
Another comment I wanted to make in regards to what Charlie mentioned as far as making a little extra money. You know these little things that maybe could make you a little extra money. If you enjoy it enough, if you love doing it enough and work at it it may be something you could make a lot of extra money. If you apply, if you make that a goal in whatever hobby or craft or that back yard gardening and turning it into a Saturday market. Being the best at the Saturday market or whatever it may be. Like I said this that I’ve been doing for the last 5 years has been blood, sweat but not tears. It’s been smiles and now some big things are opening up because those around me are seeing what it means to me and how much I enjoy what I do so the opportunities seem to open up. You live your life to your fullest. You be happy with what you do or you find something else to do and be happy with that. Those around you are going to see it and things tend to happen. Maybe it won’t happen tomorrow or next year or maybe in 5 years but it’ll happen and if it doesn’t happen you’ll damn sure be happy with yourself.
Tom: One of the things I’ve always been bringing up is that you’re among the first people to really blaze the trail of internet radio. You got into doing that when internet radio and pod-casting was still pretty new to the web. So you’ve come a long way to building it up to what it originally was. What I’ve always been saying is it won’t be long in terrestrial radio that FM and AM stations are going to be gone. I can’t remember the last time; it’s been so long since I’ve listened to FM radio. Right now I have the XM satellite radio. That’s what I listen to in the truck. I don’t listen to FM radio because I keep losing the station all the time. The XM radio has proven to be a lot better and what I keep telling people because I’m watching the trends and I see how things are going. It’s going to go to internet radio and downloads because people don’t like the, even with satellite you get dead spots and you lose the signal. Then there’s a monthly fee and all that. I think people are going to be going to Wi-fi in internet radio. Especially with data plans. I know if you’re living at home or at work and you’ve got unlimited data plan you can listen to internet radio all day long. For people that are traveling you know, of course you have the data plans on the cell provider have a limit. But it’s not going to be long and that is going to eventually have unlimited plans, even for the cellular plans.
G-Man Not only that Peaches Ozzy in the chat room mentioned HAM radio and that is something that we are looking at in the near future too. Is broadcasting, we are about to start broadcasting via satellite. Ham radio that’s down the road. It’s very expensive to get started so it may be down the road a little ways but HAM radio is definitely an avenue that we are looking for. Again because what Charlie had mentioned earlier, who knows where we are heading or what’s going to happen but not just politically or some new war or anything like that. Any kind of disaster that takes out the power grid or whatever else you know. A HAM radio could be a very big thing you know with very big potential. So and there is a hobby that can also be turned into a few extra dollars one way or another. I don’t want to take up any more time because I know you have another caller in the Que Tom. So thanks for letting me come on for a moment.
Tom: Oh we do have another caller in the Que?
G-Man: You have Bill in the Que.
Tom: I don’t see, maybe I need to refresh the screen but I don’t see it yet. Go ahead and bring Bill on.
Charles: Am I still on here Tom?
G-Man: You’re on there Charlie and Bill if you’re still with us you’re on live right now also.
Charles: He did bring to mind a couple of things. I raised cooking herbs for a while and sold them to restaurants. That was an interesting one. Get yourself a big plastic bag full of basil leaves. Take em down and sell them for fifteen or sixteen bucks a pound at the time. Of course that was 30 years ago. That off grid power technology and stuff. Boy that’d be a place to learn and earn.
Tom: Do we still have Bill on the air?
Bill: Yeah I’m here.
Tom: Alright Charles I really appreciate it. Some really great ideas. You can keep listening if you want. We got about 8 minutes left or so and I want to get Bills thoughts on the air. Are you there Bill?
Bill: Yeah, I’m right here.
Bill: I forgot to add my Aladdin heater that I have. I used it for nine days during an ice storm. To use it for heat the house and also to cook on. Cooked everything in the fridge that we could and we gave the rest of it away to people that had power. But we lost power and water for…we lost water for three days but anyways, I grew up on a farm part time in south Mississippi at my grandparents far, I stayed there summers. I learned how to hunt and how to work on a far, It was subsistence type farm. A lot of farm animals, cattle, horses, mules, chickens and what not. I was just a farm kid during the summers then came back to school each year and then went back every summer. Also Christmas and other vacations. I spent two years in the Army and went to Korea for ten months. I came home and went to graduate school and I worked through the employment service and the community college for 21 years and then retired. Disabled when I was 47. I had a neurological disease and some others that have completely disabled me now. The VA is taking care of me but I learned to subsist. I learned how to camp in the boy scouts. Even after the boy scouts we camped on the river on the sand bars at night. In tents we had our fires and we cooked out there as well. I camped out in Wyoming back in the 70’s for about 3 years and lately this year 2016 I’ve been out there maybe 3 times because I’ve had trouble driving and walking up and down hills in Wyoming. I got to the point I couldn’t do that at all so I’m home-bound now but I’ve got everything here in my house and shopping garage to take care of me for a long time. Plus what I put down on the chat board. I am consistently looking for something else I need to learn how to do. My wife is disabled and I’ve got a disabled daughter living with us but we are in the delta here where there is plenty of food grown. So I don’t see a problem with that if we had a complete breakdown of financial and political situation. So I’m not worried about. I don’t worry about anything anymore, nothing bothers me and that may be a fault. I keep looking for anything else I need to do. I know how to fly an airplane but I’m not qualified anymore because I failed my physical. I drive with hand controls. I used to know how to work on cars and tune em up but I can’t do that anymore. I have a tiller for my garden but it finally quit. Someone gave it to me. I had to rebuild the carbonator and other parts to get it running. I gave it away to somebody that knew how to fix it good. We use a shovel, hoes, had two parts of my backyard to keep my dogs out of the garden. We still have a small plot for gardening. My wife does all that. I can’t do it anymore but I know what to do. I can get out there but I still have to use a walker but it still hurts me to walk like that. I don’t know what else to tell ya. Just tell people to learn how to do things. How to do without. How to store anything useful whether it be scrap wood or a copper wire. Anything that can be used as tools. Rope, string, anything you look around. Sharp knives and any kind of hand tools you need. I got a pellet rifle which I haven’t fired yet. I’ve got 11 boxes ammo boxes full of ammo. I won’t tell ya how many guns I have because I buy and sell em and I divide those up and down. Our shooting range is our extra income which is not very much compared to how much time we put into it. My partner and I been operating that since 2001. 142 acres, most of it in woods for any kind of wood we might need. Fire wood, cooking, building. We got 10 acres for the firing range and ten acres of soy beans. We are doing that too. But I can’t do much anymore.
Tom: I was going to ask with your experience with farming and raising animals for somebody just starting out with their own homestead that want to get into raising livestock, what would be the best animals for them to start with and some tips you might have for them to get started and learn how to do it?
Bill: A good start for a family of say five would be about 20 acres maybe about 25. You need a pond that will hold water. The animal’s chickens are ok if you let them roam. They’ll find bugs or whatever to eat but you have to feed em. That means growing corn, ground up corn for em. You have to know how to raise chickens. They can get sick with cholera and all die. You got to know how to treat that. As far as bigger livestock; a few cows for maybe milk. Milk cows. Anything for meat, maybe goats maybe e some steers. I don’t know what else. You might want a draft horse a mule in case you wanted to plow the ground, bigger area. All of that 20 or 25 acres needs to be in operation to growing food, growing trees. You have to be self-sufficient and it has to be fenced to keep animals out and keep your animals in. You have to have good neighbors too. Someone you can trust. It would be good to have at least a crystal radio operating if you can’t, or don’t have something else. They’re ways to make if you just look at the simple directions. I made em since I was a kid. You can make em for A.M. radio, even F.M. CB and short wave if you’ve got a long enough antenna and its high enough. I’ve done that too. I have been involved in short wave radio for a very, very long time. HAM radios have just been the last five years or so when I had plenty of time to do that. I’ve got a VOM meter I can test circuits and batteries, resistance. I’ve got a small electric solar cell.
Tom: I hate to cut you off there Bill. We just hit a hard break there at the end of the show.
Tom: So I want to thank you guys for coming on. I want to thank you everyone for listening in, it was a great show. I appreciate your opinions.
Guest: Thank you Tom yeah. Appreciate it.
Guest: I appreciate it too.
Tom: Thank you.