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Post by Farmfresh on Sat Jun 08, 2013 10:09 pm

A friend Dizzy just told me about this site, so I thought I had better stop on by and check it out. Very Happy

My name is Farmfresh. Some of you will know me from other places, because I have been around for a while. I homestead right smack in the middle of a Big City (population 130,000). I have a tiny 120 X 40 foot lot and access to (currently) two 3x5 community garden beds.

I am here to tell you all that size and location really does not matter. Home is where the heart is and the homestead is just an extension of that heart. Many people tell me they don't even have any place for a garden, so how can they possibly homestead? Instead of seeing only your limitations all a person needs to do is to re-frame that thought process and start seeing the possibilities. I have a favorite saying. Stop Dreaming About the Good Life and Start Living IT! Remember also the promise of Mark 10:27 - Looking at them, Jesus said, "With people it is impossible, but not with God; for all things are possible with God." So with a prayer and this promise, I have been homesteading my city lot for the last 25 years and various apartments for yet another 7.

I have an agricultural background before beginning even my first homestead project as an adult. I raised chickens and other poultry as a kid and was even involved in the show world for a while. I also was very involved with horses and dogs. I have even worked as a professional riding instructor and horse trainer for many years. Professionally I spent many many years working in the school districts as a paraprofessional and teaching assistant. I always worked with children with behavior disorders or autism.

Within the last few years my life has significantly changed. I am now permanently disabled with an auto-immune form of arthritis. Even with this new hurdle I am still homesteading. After all "ALL things are possible with God". I do have a service dog Sage that I have trained myself to assist me on those bad days and I often recruit help from my hubby of 32 years or one of my kids, but I am still getting the job done - if sometime on a smaller scale. On our homestead we raise our own chickens for meat (at my D1's house) have backyard chickens for eggs and grow lots of fruit, veggies and herbs. I also can, dehydrate and do lots of homestead projects.

Nice to meet you all!
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Post by mountainmama on Sat Jun 08, 2013 11:28 pm

Welcome, Farmfresh! Glad to have you here!

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Post by 12acrehome on Sun Jun 09, 2013 1:00 am

Welcome, it is good to have all view points presented. I look forward to hearing how you do things in such a small space

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Proverbs 28:19  He who works his land will have abundant food...

Genesis 1:29  Then God said,"I give you every seed bearing plant on the face of the whole earth, and every tree that has fruit with seed in it..."

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Post by Rohn on Sun Jun 09, 2013 1:01 am

Welcome, glad to have you here. This is a great site with lots of nice people.
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Post by dizzy on Sun Jun 09, 2013 7:07 am

FF!!!!!!! I'm so glad to see you here! bounce

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Post by carla on Sun Jun 09, 2013 11:38 am

FF welcome! This is my first time gardening ever. My daughter and I are gardening in 4 & 5 gal. buckets. I'm so glad you are here, I'm sure You have much to teach me.

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Post by Sonshine on Sun Jun 09, 2013 12:44 pm

Hi Farmfresh and welcome to our little corner of the world. I'm glad that dizzy invited you to join. Homesteading in small places has always fascinated me, so I look forward to learning how you do it.

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He who cultivates his land will have plenty of food,
but from idle pursuits a man has his fill of poverty
Proverbs 28:19[b]
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Post by Farmfresh on Sun Jun 09, 2013 1:49 pm

Just a "little" at a time. Laughing
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Post by Farmfresh on Sun Jun 09, 2013 1:54 pm

carla wrote:FF welcome! This is my first time gardening ever. My daughter and I are gardening in 4 & 5 gal. buckets. I'm so glad you are here, I'm sure You have much to teach me.

If you ever have any questions then ask away! I have been doing this with some amount of success for a while now. My avatar is one of my garden containers a few years ago. It is full of lettuce in the pic and I am growing a tomato plant AND a sweet potato (one grows up and one grows down so they can share a space) in that same one this year.

I posted on the Do it Yourself corner on the self watering container thread exactly how I make my garden containers. You might want to take a look at that.
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Post by PATRICE IN IL on Mon Jun 10, 2013 11:19 am

Welcome Farmfresh, glad you joined us. I too am disabled with autoimmune disorders, psoriatic arthritis being the main one. We try to raise a good amount of fruits and veggies on our 60x167ft suburban lot. We also have a couple of hens for egg production. I hope you find this site a source of inspiration in your endeavors.
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Post by Farmfresh on Mon Jun 10, 2013 11:39 am

PATRICE IN IL wrote:Welcome Farmfresh, glad you joined us. I too am disabled with autoimmune disorders, psoriatic arthritis being the main one. We try to raise a good amount of fruits and veggies on our 60x167ft suburban lot. We also have a couple of hens for egg production. I hope you find this site a source of inspiration in your endeavors.

That is the one that got me too. The weird thing is I never really had bad psoriasis on my skin, just a patch or two here and there. When it goes after the joint capsules then you know it is rough.

Are you on any medications Patrice? I have tried several and had bad reactions to each one. The last one that I was on actually destroyed the nerves in my feet and now I have peripheral neuropathy on top of the arthritis. Now my mode of treatment has been all about building up my immune system as much as possible. I do green juicing, try to eat well and as organic and grass fed as possible and when I am behaving myself I swim. When I get it all working together I can feel pretty well on most days.

What fruits do you raise? I have peaches, cherries, plums, nectarines and grapes. I also have a couple of raspberry bushes - one black and one Latham.
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Post by PATRICE IN IL on Mon Jun 10, 2013 12:15 pm

I tried Humira and had an allergic reaction so now we manage my pain but not the active disease. I'm on Tramadol 3times a day and Limbrel 2 times a day along with Lidoderm patches as needed. The Limbrel is considered a medicinal food suppliment but you have to have a prescription to get it. I have many different auto immune disorders but Ankylosing Spondolitis and Psoriatic Arthritis are the main ones they treat me for. I also had kyphosis as a child that was surgically corrected but remains active and causing problems currently.

The type of psoriasis I have flairs up during the summer, usually May through October, covering about 80% of my body with cracked/bleeding lesions by August. I find the heat, humidity and the sun actually make mine worse.

I've been trying to eat more healthy as I'm also diabetic for the past 3 years. I've just recently switched to only coconut oil, olive oil, butter and lard as our fats. I try to avoid gmo's and highly processed foods.

I have 2 apple trees, a peach tree, strawberries, blueberries, blackberries and raspberries. I'd love to plant a plum and cherry tree but don't have the room currently. We have a 12x20 ft swimming pool which we are going to be taking down so I may be able to get a few more fruit trees/bushes soon.
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Post by Farmfresh on Tue Jun 11, 2013 7:03 am

I am 5'9" tall, so every doctor looks at me and thinks I can take a normal dose of a medicine. Unfortunately I am so reactive to medications that the one time I took a Midol it made me "speed" and a single Benadryl knocks me out overnight. I have a prescription for steroids that I am supposed to be taking daily, but even they cause severe leg cramps if I take them for several days in a row, so I only take them when I absolutely have to.

They tried methotrexate with me and my throat swelled up and I had vision changes. Then they tried Leflunomide. At first that seemed to be working fine, then my feet started going numb. The doctor did not do his job and ... long story short... the medication reacted with me and basically destroyed the coating on the nerves that are in my feet. That left me with peripheral neuropathy. Yea.

I have a hard time with pain meds as well. My body is so reactive it is just crazy. Plus I am allergic to codeine so that leaves out a whole lot of med possibilities. I have to pain manage with aspirin/tylenol wrapped on top of each other as well as ice and heat therapy. When the pain just gets too much I have to resort to a Vicodin, but that slams me in bed for the whole day.

I don’t think many people can understand how living in pain so changes everything. Even doing nothing else all day just the constant pain wears you out.

My mode of treatment these days is as much as possible organic and grassfed food. I nap as often as I can when I need it. I swim for exercise. I try to keep going as much as I possibly can when I can and when I have a flare up I completely shut down and take time to rest and heal.

On a happier subject ... fruit trees! I highly recommend the multi-grafted dwarf ones that are offered in the larger nursery catalogs now days. I have had a "Fruit Cocktail" tree in my front yard for a long time. Sadly this winter I finally lost a big chunk of it. The tree was multi-grafted and had branches that each bore a different kind of fruit all in the same family. My tree had peaches, nectarines, apricots and plums all on one 12 foot tree. It is an amazing space saver in a suburban or city garden.
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Post by PATRICE IN IL on Tue Jun 11, 2013 11:04 am

Farmfresh sounds like you and I have very similar issues with medication, I'm allergic to most antibiotics. I can no long take the Vicodin because it leaves me with a hangover headache worse than dealing with the original pain it was supposed to treat. I've done the methotrexate years ago as well as Plaquinil, Celebrex, and a host of others I can't even remember them.

I'm finding more comfort/relief in better eating and the prescription supplements. I too use heat/cold to treat flare ups as well as now using a chiropractor for some pain management. Rest and joint support are crucial to easing joint discomfort/swelling. I push myself until I can no longer move but I'm starting to learn to back off before I'm down for days trying to recover.

You are so right that most people don't understand pain. I have a very high pain threshold but it does start to wear on me and push me to new limits all the time. I push myself to do things even though I'm usually in a huge amount of pain. I do as much as I can, taking frequent breaks, learning to adapt new techniques for things I need to accomplish. What doesn't get done today will be there waiting for me tommorrow.
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Post by Farmfresh on Tue Jun 11, 2013 9:25 pm

It seems that the medical status quo when dealing with an autoimmune disorder has nothing to do with finding the cause. The only thing they ever do is to suppress what immune system we have left. Rolling Eyes

I too have a pretty hard head when it comes to taking it easy when I need to. It finally occurred to me that part of the problem with the psoriatic arthritis is the lesions that it causes it the joint capsule. It seems to me the more I move that inflamed joint the longer it takes for the inflammation to subside. It seems like IF I stop using that bad joint as soon as it starts to get "hot" then I usually have about a day or two that are real bad and then it starts to feel better. If I keep on doing what I do - then I end up full blown and may be down for several WEEKS.
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Post by carla on Wed Jun 12, 2013 6:36 am

I am added you two ladies to my prayer list!

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Post by Farmfresh on Wed Jun 12, 2013 6:38 am

Thanks Carla! All prayers are appreciated here.
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Post by PATRICE IN IL on Wed Jun 12, 2013 10:06 am

Thanks Carla, same goes for me as for the prayers.
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Post by Farmfresh on Sun Jan 12, 2014 9:50 am

I think we need to add a button to this forum. We need an "unread posts" button. Sometimes I want to read something and have to leave the computer for a while then when I come back I can't find it again without a lot of struggle.

We probably also need a forum suggestions thread started. I couldn't find a good spot to post this. Which is why it is posted here.
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