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FSP -- General Discussion => Prospective Participants => Topic started by: Michelle Therese on June 20, 2013, 04:22:10 pm

Title: Hello from Scotland
Post by: Michelle Therese on June 20, 2013, 04:22:10 pm
Hello, Free State People!

My name is Michelle and I am an American married to Erlend, my Scottish farmer husband. We live on an organic sheep-and-cattle farm over here in Scotland with our 3 kids and an assortment of barn cats and one whippet named Millie.

We are going to sell our farm next fall and move to America so that we can get away from the implosion taking place politically and economically on this side of The Pond.

For several weeks now we have been researching heavily about "which state in America is free??" and to our surprise New Hampshire consistently popped up at the top of the best lists! That was totally unexpected... I grew up in Massachusetts and I figured there would be no Liberty hardly anywhere in the North East.

And the funny thing is, my dad lives in southern NH. I have spent a lot of time in NH but never really realized that the citizens of New Hampshire really do live by their State motto! Which is a motto that I just love ~ and that shocks and delights my raised-and-steeped-in-Socialism husband!

We are going to be joined by my aged Aunt and Uncle. They are not very keen on living up north but hopefully they will be convinced that NH is the best place for us to go. They are very experienced at living off of the fat of the land, good rugged Liberty-loving Americans! I spent a lot of time with them as a kid, I just love them to bits! Sadly they lost their 4 children in a house fire when I was 4 years old... but now they will be able to live out their golden years with us and our kids  ;D

We hope to purchase a decent sized house with acreage so that we can create an organic family self-sufficient farming homestead. At the moment we live on a big commercial farm which might sound romantic but is in fact overly mechanized and soul-draining. Not to mention a money devouring beast that costs far far more to run then it produces in profit!

Our "dream home" would actually be something rather rustic. We all desire wood stoves and this and that, nothing too modern, nothing smack in the middle of a town. We don't want a HUGE house, but something big enough to be healthy but modest sized enough to be easy to heat and maintain. I hope we can find something like this in NH! And we'll have a garden, some chickens, pigs, goats, sheep, cows. Not hundreds of head of livestock, but enough for self-sufficiency and enough to sell a bit of extra.

Myself and my Aunt and Uncle each have modest incomes so this is not a total pipe dream! We won't be rich, we'll be living off of Red Cross shops and Value Village but after 4 years in the Navy, 6 years living up in Alaska, and nearly a decade on an island in northern Scotland I am not exactly a lightweight hehehehe!

Have a lovely day! I will be trawling all over the forums so I can read and learn all about the FSP etc, etc. Pardon me if I don't speak up much at first, I don't really like blabbing if I don't know what I'm on about. Feel very free to offer your insights, guidance, advice etc. We plan to move for spring/early summer 2015 so we have time to research and be careful and do this correctly and intelligently! We will only be able to make an amazing move like this ONCE and then we'll be poor and living off the land haha!

   ~Michelle
Title: Re: Hello from Scotland
Post by: KBCraig on June 20, 2013, 04:53:37 pm
Welcome to the forum!

There are quite a few people making a living (or at least managing to get by) doing exactly what you propose. Local food is big in NH, and Scottish cattle (Highlands and Belted Galloways) are popular cold-hardy breeds.

Title: Re: Hello from Scotland
Post by: Sam Adams on June 20, 2013, 07:14:40 pm
    Michelle, do your research carefully. America is starting its implosion economically and politically. Ours will hit bottom harder and longer... A few of my friends just moved to farms in Germany and Chile. I,m all for FSP as far as living in America, but run with eyes Wide open.
Title: Re: Hello from Scotland
Post by: Michelle Therese on June 21, 2013, 01:47:24 am
Oh absolutely America is imploding as well. The economy is in tatters and that is not about to get better any time soon.

But living/working/farming overseas is still nothing like being home in America. We will be able to endure even extreme economic collapse with far more liberty and joy back home in America then anywhere over here, under the Constitution and near my family.

People are not "bad" here, in Europe and Britain, it's just not the same level of freedom and liberty and personal rugged independence  *or* the legal rights and capabilities of defending ourselves and getting politically active to the point of actually having a powerful impact on laws etc.

I never knew what we had in America until I left it behind and tried to live without it.

The "ills of America" are not going to be fixed by "the Government" ~ they can only be fixed by We The People. And yet We can only fix problems if We The People actually have the legally protected right to be politically active to the point of impacting State and National "policy" etc, etc. You just can't do that over here. Especially when you are foreign like I am. And the second me and my husband up sticks and move to any other country (except America) we *both* become foreign nationals.

I know this is not PC to say and might ruffle a few feathers but I speak from years of personal experience: America welcomes politically active immigrants far, FAR better then most other countries on this planet. So my husband will be a foreigner in America, yes, but he won't be silenced, ostracized,  outright bullied because he is a lowly outsider speaking up for Liberty...
Title: Re: Hello from Scotland
Post by: Michelle Therese on June 21, 2013, 01:55:56 am
Welcome to the forum!

There are quite a few people making a living (or at least managing to get by) doing exactly what you propose. Local food is big in NH, and Scottish cattle (Highlands and Belted Galloways) are popular cold-hardy breeds.

I am so happy to hear that local food is big in NH! We are so eager to live in a place where many in the community do not find "living off of the land" to be weird and radical and threatening. We don't want to be oddballs.

I know this sounds pie-in-the-sky and dreamy, but oftentimes goofy dreams can end up solid realities so I always allow myself to at least try and make things happen:

We would LOVE to share and not just hide away in the hills and horde the family farm all to ourselves. Sure, we'll technically own the place but it would be so amazing if we could find a way to let other folk be involved, to grow some of their own food, for all of us to teach-and-learn traditional crafts and skills, etc. Not in the sense that we are pretending to be Amish or hiding from "the real world" and rejecting technology (no way! haha!) but in the sense that we have a working knowledge of those skills and abilities that cause people to be more independent, self-sufficient, sustainable, and to build a strong sense of community... I'm not sure if I'm choosing the best words but hopefully my point gets across!  ;D

Title: Re: Hello from Scotland
Post by: FrugalFannie on June 21, 2013, 06:29:00 am
I love NH and plan to move to NH VERY soon. Our jobs keep us here in the northeast right now. And I grew up in Maine so I understand the attraction of NH. And not to dilute what is going on in NH but if I could move ANYWHERE I would seriously consider going south, especially as I am also aging (aren't we all?). I would suggest you check out the website www.walkingtofreedom.com before you make your decision. You may find some place better suited to everyone's needs and with better growing seasons.
Title: Re: Hello from Scotland
Post by: Michelle Therese on June 21, 2013, 06:51:58 am
Thank you for the link  :) I'll check it out.

One advantage I have is that my family all live in MA and NH.
Title: Re: Hello from Scotland
Post by: crossonscout on June 23, 2013, 03:49:18 pm
We love liberty lovers from all over the world - you're welcome in NH! :)
Title: Re: Hello from Scotland
Post by: Sam Adams on June 23, 2013, 08:40:41 pm
Actually saw last month, Raw milk, farmers cheese, raw yogurt, for sale in a community run village store. Friday nite at store was local brew sampling, and home grow cheese also. Only in NH.
Title: Re: Hello from Scotland
Post by: time4liberty on June 23, 2013, 08:45:36 pm
Looking forward to meeting you!

We have lots of awesome local food here in NH. I pass at least 6 local farmstands just on my way home from work, including raw milk, which we prefer.
Title: Re: Hello from Scotland
Post by: Michelle Therese on June 24, 2013, 01:15:33 am
My Scottish husband replies, in his cute accent, "Tremendous! This is what we want!"

Over here it is illegal to sell raw milk etc. We are very excited about the many "local food" things we are going to enjoy in NH, including making maple syrup and growing apples!
Title: Re: Hello from Scotland
Post by: MaineShark on June 24, 2013, 07:27:28 am
What's "raw milk?"  Don't you just mean, "milk?"  As opposed to that watered-down white paint that they currently sell and pretend is actual milk...

Milk comes in glass bottles, and you need to shake it before you pour. :)

My only caution is that it's extremely hard to turn any sort of profit on a small farm, unless you pick a niche product that has enough of a margin to make it work.  Most small farms are operating break-even or at a loss.  You also need to look at doing as many stages of the production on-site as you can.  If you build a vineyard and wholesale grapes to a winery, you won't make any money.  If you build a vineyard and also have your own winery on-site, you can make the profit from both stages, which is enough to keep the whole business profitable.
Title: Re: Hello from Scotland
Post by: greap on June 24, 2013, 08:33:27 am
My name is Michelle and I am an American married to Erlend, my Scottish farmer husband. We live on an organic sheep-and-cattle farm over here in Scotland with our 3 kids and an assortment of barn cats and one whippet named Millie.

We are going to sell our farm next fall and move to America so that we can get away from the implosion taking place politically and economically on this side of The Pond.

Welcome!

We hope to purchase a decent sized house with acreage so that we can create an organic family self-sufficient farming homestead. At the moment we live on a big commercial farm which might sound romantic but is in fact overly mechanized and soul-draining. Not to mention a money devouring beast that costs far far more to run then it produces in profit!

As others have mentioned agriculture in the US is in decline but there are niche markets you can exploit. If you set up one of these (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Community-supported_agriculture) near a big town you should do very well and with the explosion of farm to table restaurants in NH if you produce a high quality product there will be consumers.

If you produce real sausages and bacon then you already have two customers waiting, the only thing my wife and I really miss about the UK is the lack of back bacon and real sausages (rather then the abominations Americans consider them to be) here :)

Our "dream home" would actually be something rather rustic. We all desire wood stoves and this and that, nothing too modern, nothing smack in the middle of a town. We don't want a HUGE house, but something big enough to be healthy but modest sized enough to be easy to heat and maintain. I hope we can find something like this in NH! And we'll have a garden, some chickens, pigs, goats, sheep, cows. Not hundreds of head of livestock, but enough for self-sufficiency and enough to sell a bit of extra.

Drive 10 minutes out of any town in NH and you have that, the towns don't sprawl and the cities barely deserve the name.

Have a lovely day! I will be trawling all over the forums so I can read and learn all about the FSP etc, etc. Pardon me if I don't speak up much at first, I don't really like blabbing if I don't know what I'm on about. Feel very free to offer your insights, guidance, advice etc. We plan to move for spring/early summer 2015 so we have time to research and be careful and do this correctly and intelligently! We will only be able to make an amazing move like this ONCE and then we'll be poor and living off the land haha!

If you are up for a visit before then we have a couple of events throughout the year. Porcfest is our big summer festival where 1500+ libertarians come together in northern NH for a week of camping, discussions and agorism which just finished yesterday but will be back around the same time next year. Liberty Forum  (http://freestateproject.org/libertyforum) occurs in February in southern NH and is a little more formal but is still a great opportunity to meet free staters and also a chance to explore the state in the winter.
Title: Re: Hello from Scotland
Post by: MaineShark on June 24, 2013, 08:54:03 am
If you produce real sausages and bacon then you already have two customers waiting, the only thing my wife and I really miss about the UK is the lack of back bacon and real sausages (rather then the abominations Americans consider them to be) here :)

http://ncsmokehouse.com/

Among others.
Title: Re: Hello from Scotland
Post by: greap on June 24, 2013, 09:28:31 am
If you produce real sausages and bacon then you already have two customers waiting, the only thing my wife and I really miss about the UK is the lack of back bacon and real sausages (rather then the abominations Americans consider them to be) here :)

http://ncsmokehouse.com/

Among others.

Those are not "real" sausages in the same way flavored tea is not "real" tea :) Also they use lean meat which is part of the problem, you want a fat heavy meat to bring out flavor and so it doesn't dry out while cooking. I have to date found two butchers this side of the country which do real sausages but both are in NYC, i'm looking for the meat to have a fat content of around 25%.
Title: Re: Hello from Scotland
Post by: Michelle Therese on June 24, 2013, 09:59:50 am
How do you even *begin* to explain British sausage?!  ;D But you've given me a great idea: research exactly what it is that makes British sausage so... British. Then try and carry that with us across the pond!

Do you have PG Tips available in NH?
Title: Re: Hello from Scotland
Post by: greap on June 24, 2013, 10:33:12 am
How do you even *begin* to explain British sausage?! 

Incredibly delicious is how I do it :) I was half thinking about doing a bacon & sausage stand for next Porcfest with the obligatory brown sauce :)

Do you have PG Tips available in NH?

Yes, its available from "British stores" (http://www.britishaisles.com/ is the one in NH I use) as well as the "Irish" section in Market Basket which is one of the big NH supermarket chains. There are also tea stores selling good quality black & greens all over the place, cafes serving them (we just had one at PF too, it also was doing a low tea and scones too but didn't have time to sample beyond the tea) as well as some good tea rooms. http://www.thecozyteacart.com/ is the best tea room I have found so far and http://www.thebirchwoodinn.com/londontavern.html is a British restaurant run by a British couple which does good food (sausages are better then elsewhere but still not enough fat content).
Title: Re: Hello from Scotland
Post by: MaineShark on June 24, 2013, 02:29:01 pm
Those are not "real" sausages in the same way flavored tea is not "real" tea :) Also they use lean meat which is part of the problem, you want a fat heavy meat to bring out flavor and so it doesn't dry out while cooking. I have to date found two butchers this side of the country which do real sausages but both are in NYC, i'm looking for the meat to have a fat content of around 25%.

I was referring to them more for bacon than sausage.

And, as I said, "among others."  Small farms that do their own sausage can certainly make you whatever you're seeking.  They just don't typically have websites.  Go to a farmers' market, find someone selling sausage, and ask if they make their own or use a butcher.  If they do their own, they can probably do custom orders.
Title: Re: Hello from Scotland
Post by: time4liberty on June 25, 2013, 07:22:54 am
No offense to the British, but Swiss sausage is superior. Just sayin'  ;D
Title: Re: Hello from Scotland
Post by: Michelle Therese on June 25, 2013, 03:53:00 pm
All sausage "across the Pond" is awesome!!  ;D
Title: Re: Hello from Scotland
Post by: Ward Griffiths on June 27, 2013, 10:37:54 pm
Quote from: Terry Pratchett "The Fifth Elephant"

Vimes cut into a sausage and stared. "What is in these? All this... pink stuff?" he demanded.

"Er, that"s meat, your grace," said Inigo, on the other side of the table.

"Well, where"s the texture? Where"s the white bits and the yellow bits and those green bits you always hope are herbs?"

"To a connoisseur here, your grace, an Ankh-Morpork sausage would not be considered a sausage, mmph, mmhm."

"Oh, really? So what would he call it?"

"A loaf, your grace. Or possibly a log. Here, a butcher can be hanged if his sausages are not all meat, and at that it must be from a named domesticated animal, and I perhaps should add that by named I do not mean that it should have been called "Spot" or "Ginger", mmm mmhm. I"m sure that if your grace would prefer the more genuine Ankh-Morpork taste, Igor could make up some side dishes of stale bread and sawdust."


I've never visited Europe, never had what people use for food there.  In fact, all the reports I've had concerning cuisine in the British Isles have been "not interesting" to a man whose taste buds were forged near the barrios of Los Angeles.  Described as bland like the New England cuisine my grandmother in Laconia did spectacularly (but while she called the flavor "subtle", as a teen to me it was bland).  My last ancestors from Britain came over in the 1850s from Wales, the ones from Scotland had been here for two centuries by then.  I'd love to try real sausage from real Brit recipes from either side of Hadrian's Wall.  Since the chance of me visiting Britain while the TSA exists are rather slim.

My chili business starting next year when I move will involve a lot of beef (also pork, lamb or if I can get it mutton instead of lamb), and as much as I can I want to source locally.
Title: Re: Hello from Scotland
Post by: Michelle Therese on June 28, 2013, 02:05:38 am
Er... yeah. The food of the Isles. This has been an interesting experience for me, especially in Scotland where Oats reign supreme and tremendously-overcooked roasts drowned in the remaining grease (with a hint of cornflour to make it into "gravy" thrown in) is desired daily by the Scottish Side of this family tree. But after 8 years, and the loss of one gallbladder, and the gaining of enormous amounts of weight, I've FINALLY managed to convince my Better Half that white meat without thickened grease is actually quite tasty! One problem remains: the sausages are 50% grease (and still cooked in "gravy") and the roast chicken must be roasted while immersed in its own grease + the resulting "gravy" slathered on afterwards.

I'm thrilled to be returning to America with my Scottish husband. Not only will I shed a few pounds but my kids will stay healthy and none of us will drop from a grease-induced heart attack! I will miss a lot about Scotland but I am not going to miss the grease!!
Title: Re: Hello from Scotland
Post by: time4liberty on July 05, 2013, 07:40:50 am
All sausage "across the Pond" is awesome!!  ;D


True that.