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Author Topic: Homesteading in NH  (Read 13332 times)

freedomroad

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Re: Homesteading in NH
« Reply #15 on: October 23, 2013, 11:03:16 pm »

I'll be honest with you. NH is a wet state. We have more than enough water. In fact, our water flows into MA and then CT and then the ocean. And that is just fine because we have so much. Some of the water bottle companies even get their water from NH ;)
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b2b_dna

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Re: Homesteading in NH
« Reply #16 on: October 26, 2013, 07:46:44 am »

I just finished a first year garden in NH.  I am very pleased.  A few things under-performed, but most exceeded my expectations.  A few thoughts on that.  1)  Exposure matters a lot in the northern clime.  You need to maximize your sunshine with south/western exposure.  2)  Having a bit of elevation helps--the valley bottoms will have earlier fall frosts and later spring thaws.  3)  We built our garden with stone terraces (unlimited stone is around) and the stone acted as a solar collector and thermal store.  Every vegetable grew biggest and ripened earliest on the leading edge of the terrace where the warm stones were.  4)  Put in your time on soil improvement--manure, compost, peat.  The existing soils are thin and geologically young (not too fertile).

From what I can gather, and I'm no expert, rainwater catchment is no problem.  Certainly you can collect your roof runoff.  Lots of homes have "fire ponds" that dam up a little draw, fill with water and have a fire hydrant installed to drain the pond in case of a house fire.  I believe these are supposed to be registered (I know the fire department comes and checks them).  The other problem is that after a few years, the cattails grow up and your fire pond becomes "wetland" with its own set of restrictions.  As a homesteader, look around for properties that have plenty of privacy.  (I've never heard of aerial zoning surveillance like in CA.)

My well supposedly produces 25 gpm of water that tests to be fantastic.  You can accomplish a lot with 25 gpm--more than adequate to water your garden and animals (but not irrigate crops--nobody irrigates crops in NH).

I haven't started raising animals yet, but have a chicken coop plan in the works.  From what I can gather, you just need to think a bit harder about winter weather protection--coop should be off the ground, insulate it, etc.  Some people add a little bit of extra heat (a couple light bulbs or an RV heater).

With the right exposure, solar is possible in NH.  NH is cold, but cold results from clear nights.  There are plenty of sunny days even in winter.  Solar isn't cheap.  Your dollars will be best spent on reducing your usage in other ways.  Wood or wood pellet heat is very viable in NH.  Depending on oil and wood price fluctuations, wood pellet heat is half the cost per BTU of oil (but the pellet furnaces are also not cheap).  Plenty of people have retrofitted standalone wood-fired boilers to their homes (you'll see little furnace shacks and huge firewood stacks next to the garage or house).

Many of the more rural areas of NH have simple permitting.  I've done some new construction lately--I had to obtain a zoning permit (not expensive) that simply said I was locating my structure far enough from the property line and for an approved use (like you can't build multiple occupied homes on one land parcel).  After that, I'm supposed to adhere to national building codes, but there are no building inspectors at every step of the way looking at foundation, plumbing, electric, etc.

Property taxes are high (that's the tradeoff for having no earned income or sales tax).  High property taxes are designed to snag guys with summer houses on the lakes--a lot of NH state's budget is paid by out-of-staters.  Some towns are very high (and have successful schools), but even  the expensive towns have cheaper parcels with smaller homes, etc.  If you care about the schools (and I know a lot on this forum prefer home schooling), it can be a very smart move to buy a cheaper house in a great town.  However, the property taxation of LAND is dirt cheap.  In NH, the undeveloped land can get assigned a tax rate known as "current use"--a bit like conservation land but without the easement.  If you buy a big parcel for homestead, you'll end up keeping most of it in current use and paying the high taxes on the home site itself.  If you develop a site and take land out of current use, there's a pretty hefty "back taxes" catch-up payment.  Learn how this works.  As a result, however, you can easily own a piece of raw land that you simply use for gardening, farming, etc. and pay only a couple hundred dollars per year in property taxes.  Also know that when you buy property in NH, there's a 2% transfer tax (1% seller, 1% buyer).
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John Edward Mercier

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Re: Homesteading in NH
« Reply #17 on: October 30, 2013, 10:28:44 am »

Portions of Meals & Rental, and State Gas taxes, are transferred locally to offset property taxes. And the property tax wasn't originally designed to 'snag' summer homes on the lake; at the time, no one really cared about owning property on the lake nor does every municipality have significant lake front within its jurisdiction.
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KBCraig

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Re: Homesteading in NH
« Reply #18 on: November 02, 2013, 04:55:11 am »

Property taxes are always of interest, especially for people moving from out of state.

Here are my personal figures, moving from Texas to NH:

Former town: northeast Texas (low cost of housing area), 3/2 ranch on 0.52 acre, assessed value of $99k, annual property taxes $2,373.

New town: far northern NH (Lancaster), 4/2.5 on 0.74 acre, assessed value of $110k, annual property taxes of $2,034.

Fuel, electricity, and groceries are a bit more expensive in NH, but in Texas we paid 8.25% sales tax on everything except groceries and prescribed drugs. Car insurance is much cheaper in NH.

Cost-wise, it's a push. Quality of life wise, we made out like bandits by moving to NH.
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shmalphy

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Re: Homesteading in NH
« Reply #19 on: November 28, 2013, 12:01:10 am »

NH is a big state. Even it's warmest parts get pretty cold, those would be Rye, Hampton Beach etc, and the coldest parts are amongst the coldest in the country. Look at Mt Washington for example.

http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2012-04-03/travel/sc-trav-0403-mount-washington-20120403_1_highest-temperature-worst-weather-three-major-storm

Have you ever prepared firewood? Get used to it. It will take up a considerable amount of your time and energy. You could always pay for heat, but that isn't exactly "homesteadng" by my definition, anyway. YMMV.

Your animals need water that isn't frozen. You need to collect eggs before they freeze. You need to shovel your way through snow (sometimes lots of it) to get at anything outside. You have to keep roofs clear of snow to prevent ice dams, or collapse from weight. You might want a heated greenhouse to extend your season, but it isn't necessary.

You will not be used to the cold for awhile, especially if your outside tending animals very early. To the poster than said people wear shorts year round and don't own a coat? I think that is a disingenuous answer at best.. Maybe in the mall, or people who don't leave home, but for anyone spending more than a minute outside during the months of November through March, as you will be doing while homesteading, you want to have plenty of clothes, think "layers".

You can grow lots of fruits and veggies, and other botanical items in New England. Look up Fedco seeds form Maine, if it grows in Maine, it will grow in NH.

They do have building codes in NH, something to be aware of, and know about before selecting a particular area.

That's all I can think of off the top of my head. Hope it helps.




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TJames

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Re: Homesteading in NH
« Reply #20 on: November 28, 2013, 07:59:33 am »

Does the FSP have a firewood guy yet?
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freedomroad

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Re: Homesteading in NH
« Reply #21 on: November 30, 2013, 03:26:53 pm »

NH is a big state. Even it's warmest parts get pretty cold, those would be Rye, Hampton Beach etc, and the coldest parts are amongst the coldest in the country. Look at Mt Washington for example.
The parts with the highest average winter highs are Salem, NH and the communities near it. That area of New Hampshire is warmer than much of CT, IN, IL, MA, NE, OH, IA and PA. http://nhfreedom.wordpress.com/2013/03/03/putting-new-hampshires-weather-into-perspective/

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Have you ever prepared firewood? Get used to it. It will take up a considerable amount of your time and energy. You could always pay for heat, but that isn't exactly "homesteadng" by my definition, anyway.
Maybe people will find ways to barter for wood or wood pellets? And besides, preparing firewood is like joining a gym where you do really cool exercises :)

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You need to shovel your way through snow (sometimes lots of it) to get at anything outside. You have to keep roofs clear of snow to prevent ice dams, or collapse from weight. You might want a heated greenhouse to extend your season, but it isn't necessary.
Not always and not even every year for very long. I remember a recent winter where there was more snow in parts of NYC than where I live.

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That's all I can think of off the top of my head. Hope it helps.
It seemed pretty helpful.
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DonVoices

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Re: Homesteading in NH
« Reply #22 on: December 01, 2013, 09:27:01 am »

Hello fellow FSP mover!
I am moving from NY and I really want to make sure I can learn to homestead when I get up there too.
I'd like to keep in touch with you on this subject.
I am opposed to renting an apartment for this reason, but I'm almost at my move-time and see little other choice.
I don't think one can raise bees, chickens and vegetables on rented land (especially an a apartment).
I'd love to be the cool roommate guy who hel,ps out with the rent in exchage for a basement and some homestead training!
If anyone is down, give me a holler!
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freedomroad

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Re: Homesteading in NH
« Reply #23 on: December 01, 2013, 12:32:10 pm »

Hello fellow FSP mover!
I am moving from NY and I really want to make sure I can learn to homestead when I get up there too.
I'd like to keep in touch with you on this subject.
I am opposed to renting an apartment for this reason, but I'm almost at my move-time and see little other choice.
I don't think one can raise bees, chickens and vegetables on rented land (especially an a apartment).
I'd love to be the cool roommate guy who hel,ps out with the rent in exchage for a basement and some homestead training!
If anyone is down, give me a holler!

Welcome! And posting about this here is a great first step.

You can learn general stuff from books and YouTube. Perhaps the best option for you right now, after a little reading, is WWOOF. World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms.  There are a ton of organic farms all over the world. Some people volunteer on an organic farm on spring or summer vacation. Some people get so good at it, they are able to travel around for months at a time, going from farm to farm. You learn skills and get fed and housed as you do it. There are 95 locations in NYS. You could likely volunteer at a farm or 2 for several weekends, not far from where you live :) ( http://www.wwoofusa.org/Farms?LOC=NY ). Don't worry, NH and the near-by states also have a bunch of locations ;)

For NH specific, some good options are things like attend Porcfest ( http://porcfest.com/ ) and while there, attend all of the homestead/skill classes. Ask around for people to talk to. Even better, attend Bardo Farm Fest ( http://bardoproject.com/events/bardo-fest/ ) and attend all of the homestead/skill classes. It happens on a working farm owned by free staters. There are also periodic training events at Bardo Farm ( http://bardofarm.com/ ) that are free, which is great if you live in the area. Like how to kill a pig, and you might even get to help. Or they need help with maple water gathering to make maple syrup. The best part, in past years, around the time of the Bardo Farm Fest, the Farm has offered a test drive NH program where you camp out, work on the farm a couple of hours a day, while using the Farm as your base as you check out New Hampshire.

The is a not-for-profit Permaculture Farm and Educational Homestead called D Acres in Dorchester, NH. It costs a little money to learn skills but if you learn best via hands on training and you don't want to do WWOOF, it's a good option. http://www.dacres.org/

You could always just follow the typical path of a single person moving to NH as part of the FSP without a great job lined up. That's rent a room for not very much in someone's place. Maybe get a regular job and in your spare time, volunteer at Bardo Farm or 1 of the other farms in the area. Talk to people at farm stands, farmer's markets, co-ops and agriculture extension training and check the WWOOF website about volunteering or working a farm.
« Last Edit: December 01, 2013, 04:19:35 pm by 1DayAtATime »
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DonVoices

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Re: Homesteading in NH
« Reply #24 on: December 01, 2013, 01:42:29 pm »

That was one of the best responses I ever got on the FSP fprums!  THANKS!
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John Edward Mercier

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Re: Homesteading in NH
« Reply #25 on: December 02, 2013, 06:27:40 pm »

Vegetables on rented land shouldn't be a problem; bees maybe... and chickens would need the support of the landlord.
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DonVoices

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Re: Homesteading in NH
« Reply #26 on: December 02, 2013, 09:09:15 pm »

That Bardo Farms looks like a real great place to meet people hip to the principals of this r3VOLution.
They are good contacts and trainers for what might come if the economy implodes.
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Sam Adams

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Re: Homesteading in NH
« Reply #27 on: December 02, 2013, 09:34:29 pm »

That Bardo Farms looks like a real great place to meet people hip to the principals of this r3VOLution.
They are good contacts and trainers for what might come if the economy implodes.

     Donvoices, get ready no matter what the economy does, Pay your bills and RENT bills. Folke don,t like to carry you for this long,  Save your money and pay Your way..
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DonVoices

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Re: Homesteading in NH
« Reply #28 on: December 02, 2013, 10:15:43 pm »

Of course I am getting ready.
What do you mean by "Bills and rent bills"?  I'm not sure whbat you are getting at.
"Folke dno,t like to carry you for this long"  What are you talking about?
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John Edward Mercier

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Re: Homesteading in NH
« Reply #29 on: December 03, 2013, 01:47:51 pm »

Economies don't implode; they simply change.
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