How many Homesteaders / Farmers / Self Sustainers here??

Radical Brad

Garage Hacker!
Staff member
Joined
Mar 13, 1999
Messages
5,956
Location
Kakabeka Falls, Ontario, Canada
Just curious since this year the most popular plans is this one...



An in the other top 5 along with Warrior is this one...




I knew the Farm DIY would be experimental here, but I had no idea it would become the most popular of the plans.
The PortaPen beats out the Warrior by 2:1 since I put it online, and for video views, it kills it 1000:1 everywhere.
One of the early vids hit 1 million+ views in a month, while the Warrior hit only 200k after 10 years!

Brad
 
Joined
Oct 19, 2012
Messages
867
Location
Wakefield, UK
Perhaps you should start a new site called homesteadingzombie or similar alongside this one to promote them further. A site with a more indicative name may help generate more interest again. Also how about a smaller, simpler cheaper dumper for those not needing such size, complexity or expense, perhaps a front tipper? No expensive electrics and just VERY low gearing to move it. People interested in one design may buy both before deciding which to build. Or what about one based on a petrol scooter or Honda C90. An old moped may be cheaper than electrics. Or what bout a dumping trailer pullable by whatever you have already. Is it feasible to mount a power take off on the dumper? Just like the old Land Rovers that could power many things.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Aug 15, 2010
Messages
278
Location
Hutt Valley, New Zealand
We're out in the tall timber ... one acre 15km from town.

I bought the Yard Mule plans as a future investment but haven't started parts-collecting or building yet. We won't get the use from it that you obviously do, but it will still be handy especially if petrol becomes more of an issue in future.

Neville's handy hint for agrarian types: look out for cheap second hand glass shower doors. Ideal size for making a glasshouse etc and much cheaper than buying the glass new - also it's safety glass.
 

Radical Brad

Garage Hacker!
Staff member
Joined
Mar 13, 1999
Messages
5,956
Location
Kakabeka Falls, Ontario, Canada
I just had to revive this thread now that it is more relevant than ever!

When I originally posted this question, the pandemic was not even in the news around here, so I had no idea of what was coming.
Now that we have seen how fragile our "outsourced life" can really be, there has been a MASSIVE shift in those who are registering for this site, and in plan sales.

90% of all plans sales are now the Poultry Pen, Yard Mule, and the newly launched Greenhouse.
Warrior (which was always popular) is a very distant 4th runner.
This is so unexpected!

This was just unreal to see...

4891

I have never seen a million views on any of my videos, and the PortaPen outdoes the Warrior 40 times over!
The funny part... I really pushed the Warrior vid hard in ads, social media, seo, etc but did nothing for the PortaPen at all!

This trend is also showing in the YardMule and now the newest Greenhouse plan.
Just about every message I get via email or on the contact page has to do with self sustenance now.

This is interesting considering most of the discussions here are still bike and trike related.
I wonder, is this site about to see a shift into self sustenance now that it is becoming more of a needed skill rather than a pass time?
We have always known the world was on edge, and have been preparing for the last 15 years, so its nice to have these skills to share.
I still believe we are just seeing the tip of a very large ice-burg about to crash into the planet, but hey... that's just me.

As many of you know, I have not even considered building a bike or trike since 2010, mainly due to being so busy out here on our homestead. Anything I build has to be part of our self-sustaining lifestyle, and I do have a lot of new projects in the works. I actually did not even intend to put the yard Mule or the PortaPen here as a DIY, but seeing as how those plans are now paying the AZ bills, I am sure glad I did.

So, how many of you are looking into the future and considering self sustenance?

Living in the city or an apartment certainly makes it more difficult, but I don't think it is impossible.
If you have a window, you can grow! If you work together, you can start a community garden.

I was thinking about a DIY Plan that details the creation of an apartment sized growing station, complete with verma-composting, controlled grow lighting, and automatic hydration.
Just yapping out loud here! trying to figure out what direction AZ should take now that I am finally seeing some signs of life again.

Any thought would be welcomed!

I would love nothing more than to see this site actually come back to the point where I could dedicate at least half my week to it.
The golden days for AZ were between 2005 and 2008 for some reason, and 2019 was the slowest year since launch in 1999!
The last month though, has shown some real sparks!

Strange, these trends are!

Cheers!
Brad
 
Last edited:
Joined
Aug 15, 2010
Messages
278
Location
Hutt Valley, New Zealand
Self-sustenance was a major reason for us moving rural (plus in town we were less than a metre above sea level and 400 metres from the coast).

Great that your self-sustenance plans are taking off and supporting the AZ site. To me it's significant that they aren't just plans you have dreamed up to sell - instead they are things you built because you need them ... so we can be sure that they actually work as intended.

For many builders the bikes are probably toys or fitness machines, which become luxuries in a time of impending hardship. The exceptions would be freight bikes; the current oil glut won't last forever and a LodeRunner or a Dutchman or a Transporter will be very useful in future.

I think the apartment growing station would be a great plan - a starter-plan for non-gardeners and likely adaptable to larger scale. Also useful in snow country even for people who do have land, when access out of the house is limited.

Yesterday we had our septic tank pumped out - a dependency that may be difficult in future. If there is ever an AZ plan for a composting toilet system then I will purchase immediately.
 
Joined
Feb 20, 2013
Messages
722
Location
Axedale, Victoria, Australia
Website
axerail.coffeecup.com
You have to go in the direction you have to go, Brad.

We all have our pet interest, hobbies, etc., that we would like to keep but the march of time continues. The writing is on the wall for some things as that iceberg you see drifts closer. It will be hard to let go of some things. Land-line phones, black and white TV, steam trains, Commodore computers?, etc., are all disappearing as a result of evolution.

Funny though, one of the things we need to do is to reverse the headlong rush into non-nsustanability by reverting to what we used to do. The masses will follow because they have to - or become part of the past themselves. Go for it.
 
Joined
Sep 12, 2012
Messages
2,839
Location
Apple Valley, California, USA
As always I have admired (and envied) your many talents. You demonstrate the true meaning of DIY.
I also thought of the gardening aspect of your talents, and luscious-looking garden and thought it should have its own moniker... GIY... Grow It Yourself. Royalty-free of course.
 
Joined
Jul 25, 2016
Messages
2
Location
Kailua
I’m not even sure when I bought a set up bike plans, but I think it was around 6 years ago. I started gathering parts back then and intended to post my adventure. Throw in 2 moves with several military deployments and the trike isn’t really started. Hasn’t stopped me from checking the site most days. I enjoy watching other people sort through things and have picked up lots of tips and tricks. I’m still hoping that I will start a trike build in earnest soon.
The Mule is certainly not something I need in my smallish yard, but I still found it interesting to watch it be created.
I say, keep making the sustainability and gardening plans if that is what you are interested in.
 

Radical Brad

Garage Hacker!
Staff member
Joined
Mar 13, 1999
Messages
5,956
Location
Kakabeka Falls, Ontario, Canada
Thanks for the comments everyone!
For me, it is more about necessity with our new lifestyle.
Of course, there will be more bikes and other wheeled creations to come too some day.

Looking at another smallish electrci minibike to get around the yard and pick berries.
but for this year at least, it's going to be all about growing.
or as Ed put it.... GIY!

Brad
 
Joined
Oct 19, 2012
Messages
867
Location
Wakefield, UK
Just a thought Brad but given the sales dominance of the homesteader plans where are the buyers on this forum? Is the lack of homesteader posts indicative of the self-reliance these people generally have. Is it they feel reluctant to intrude on what is largely a cycling forum (at the moment anyway). Are the plans so easy to follow that discussion isn't needed (the yardmule doesn't look particularly easy). Something-else?
 
Joined
Sep 12, 2012
Messages
2,839
Location
Apple Valley, California, USA
Is the U of V shirt for real?

Then we have a connection...of sorts.
No, I didn't attend the UofV but I'm a born Vermont farm boy from New Haven.

Nostalgia has set in, so bear with me.

The Tourterelle Restaurant & Inn now occupies my childhood home. Formally it was called the 1776 House.
My grandmother ran a summer B&B while my grandfather and dad ran the dairy farm.
https://www.google.com/maps/place/Tourterelle+Restaurant+&+Inn/@44.0988155,-73.1734864,3a,75y,90t/data=!3m8!1e2!3m6!1sAF1QipN4OmlUOw1fIcyRJuzYCEKIdllxdV2CW-b-17xB!2e10!3e12!6shttps://lh5.googleusercontent.com/p/AF1QipN4OmlUOw1fIcyRJuzYCEKIdllxdV2CW-b-17xB=w203-h152-k-no!7i3264!8i2448!4m16!1m7!3m6!1s0x4cb5614d81643efd:0x4eeadcea87df86!2sNew+Haven,+VT!3b1!8m2!3d44.1243277!4d-73.1535713!3m7!1s0x4cb566cb9f5bbfc7:0xebf15e6a6f26dfbf!5m2!4m1!1i2!8m2!3d44.0988159!4d-73.1734863?hl=en

Many a memory comes flooding back, just looking at the various pictures.
Like the corner dining table next to the fireplace, where we had our first TV, and where we put up the Christmas tree.
My dad and I visited our old home and had a meal, sitting at that very same corner table.
I'm positive that the fish plate is the same one I had.
I remember my dad saying, "I'm not eating anything that is looking up at me".

The picture looking back at the rear (red building) is where the garden was. As I recall it took up virtually all of that lawn area.
But then again I was little, and the garden looked sooooooo big.

Ok, that's enough. I now return you to the present day and all that comes with it.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Sep 12, 2012
Messages
2,839
Location
Apple Valley, California, USA
Living in the city or an apartment certainly makes it more difficult, but I don't think it is impossible.
If you have a window, you can grow! If you work together, you can start a community garden.

I was thinking about a DIY Plan that details the creation of an apartment sized growing station, complete with verma-composting, controlled grow lighting, and automatic hydration.

Cheers!
Brad
I'm visualizing your "growing station", (good name) as a roll around. One that can be moved in and out, if there should be a balcony, or to take advantage of incoming light. Or using it outdoors when it's suitable and bringing it in when the temperature turns cold. Also making it like a chain/belt-driven vertical rotisserie with multiple swing shelves with holes for pots of plants/vegetables...etc. etc. etc. It can rotate under one light. Maybe a mister like the produce section at the market. On a timer and triggered for each shelf. Completely portable, with electric and water hook up.

If it works out to be something, I like raw baby carrots...🥕:)

P.S. Just had another thought...hydroponics. I know you dabble in that from past posts.
 
Last edited:

SirJoey

Super Moderator
Joined
Feb 8, 2008
Messages
4,728
Location
My cozy little nook in the corner!
I'm thrilled that you're Porta-Pen took off like it did, Brad!
Watching youtube vids on my Roku box the other day,
I was astonished it's had over a MILLION views already!!! 😲
***
 
Top