Author Topic: Homesteading in Ukraine  (Read 11830 times)

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Offline kyivkpic

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Homesteading in Ukraine
« on: 16:22 10-May-2012 »
I decided to put this this thread in hobbies. I didn't know what would be the most appropriate.

There are more than a couple of us building homes and I thought it would be cool to share experiences and trade advice. Ukraine is known for being one of the most fertile places on earth and having a homestead here seems to me to be one of the truest forms of wealth to have with crazy global economic and environmental problems.

Unfortunately, Ukraine is also lacking in aesthetics so each new homestead increases wealth and value and beauty(or at least order depending on taste).




« Last Edit: 17:44 10-May-2012 by kyivkpic »

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Offline kyivkpic

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Re: Homesteading in Ukraine
« Reply #1 on: 16:59 10-May-2012 »
I grew up in a historically agrarian culture after living the 12 year of my adult life in high-tech, overstimulating consumerism I'm eager to return to living on the land and for my children to do the same. I want to be more of a producer than a consumer.

There is a part in Faust where the devil says that immortality can be achieved by growing your food in your own manure. I'm not sure about that but producing as much of our own food as possible is a priority for my family and our homestead is planned to be a green, environmentally friendly, ecological project.

We have 11 sotka. We've cleared the brush out and planted a garden already.

I dug up the sod, shook the soil loose from the roots and threw them into a pile which I going to use to compost. I will build a bin this weekend with some of the old lumber I piled up. We plan to have a chicken coup and collect their manure but for now the neighbors have 4 geese which s%&t on property which we can add for nitrogen and bacteria. We're also collecting our potato peels and other scraps to add as well. The soil is a bit sandy but seems rich enough. I didn't find many earthworms but I did find a colorado bug :( I burned a pile of brush and sticks and incorporated the ash into the soil before we planted.

We have 5 apple trees on the property but I am going to remove 4 of them. They're old and we don't need that many apples. We have a large patch of strawberries that the previous owner planted and some blackberry and raspberry bushes. We planted more of each as well as some flowers.

In the garden we put in onions, carrots, beets, green peas, sorrel, zucchini and radish. Later will dig more and put in cucumbers, tomatoes, pumpkins, beans, chili peppers, cauliflowers and brussel sprouts as well as some pestril, dill, rucola and basil. I'd also like to find some rhubarb to plant.

We have additional plot of land in the field behind the house but we will need a tractor to till. I can dig but I don't have enough time.
« Last Edit: 20:48 10-May-2012 by kyivkpic »
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Offline kyivkpic

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Re: Homesteading in Ukraine
« Reply #2 on: 17:19 10-May-2012 »
We picked the weeds from most of the property. It was full of stinging nettles. We plan to use a lot stone in the landscaping. I think cutting grass is a pain and not worthwhile.

A fence is a one of the first priorities. They're not common where I'm from but there homes are more spaced out. Robert Frost says that good fences make good neighbors. We do have neighbors on one side of the property. The other side is an wooded lot which we plan to buy if possible. Our neighbor seem rather poor. There are four children which look healthy and clean but their property is in shambles. They usually just stare at us. My wife is trying to make friends with them. We discussed perhaps having them do some chores like bringing water from the well and to pay them something to help them.

We have a nice root cellar. It's dry and large. I plan to put a new door on and cover the cement with moss.

There is a very old barn that eventually I will tear down. It has about a rik of chopped wood inside and after I cut down the apple trees I will stack in there. There is also a small workshop that will be good during construction of the house we are using for planting seedlings and keeping gardening tools.

The house is not much to look at. We will destroy it eventually but it is is good enough condition to house the men while constructing the house. We're going to build it behind the old house in the last picture.
« Last Edit: 10:03 11-May-2012 by kyivkpic »
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Offline kyivkpic

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Re: Homesteading in Ukraine
« Reply #3 on: 17:21 10-May-2012 »
the workshop.

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Carlusha

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Re: Homesteading in Ukraine
« Reply #4 on: 18:20 10-May-2012 »
God, I cannot think of a better way to end up with blisters all over your fingers than one of those Ukrainian spades/shovels!



It will be easier on your hands if you obtain a proper spade! Failing that, screw a bit of wood (edges rounded off) on to the end of the staff!


Offline kyivkpic

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Re: Homesteading in Ukraine
« Reply #5 on: 18:27 10-May-2012 »
It is a cheap tool but we don't have much cash left after buying the property. It worked well enough and no blisters. I bought good gloves. It has a round edge and cut easily enough through the sod. I'd then just lever it up with the shovel and pick up the square and shake the soil out.
« Last Edit: 08:03 07-Jun-2012 by kyivkpic »
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Offline Claus

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Re: Homesteading in Ukraine
« Reply #6 on: 18:36 10-May-2012 »
Well, I do not know much about homesteading - but good luck with it!  :)
In principle I'm against chopping fruit-trees, but when you chop the apples, use it for firewood, the scent is adorable!
j'y suis, j'y reste!

Carlusha

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Re: Homesteading in Ukraine
« Reply #7 on: 18:41 10-May-2012 »
It is a cheap tool but we don't have much cash left after buying the property. It worked well enough and no blisters. I bought good gloves. It has a round edge and cut easy enough through the sod. I'd then just lever it up with the shovel and pick up the square and shake the soil out.

That I illustrated is a top of the range Spear and Jackson from UK, retailing at less than $20. However, there are lots of round edged spades for less.

Those below are Korean - a country known for the finest steel products!  ??? ;) Anyway, wearing gloves was a good move. Silly me never thought of something so complicated as that!

Back to topic!

Offline Ted

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Re: Homesteading in Ukraine
« Reply #8 on: 19:13 10-May-2012 »
Great series!

Offline kyivkpic

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Re: Homesteading in Ukraine
« Reply #9 on: 19:33 10-May-2012 »
We will invest in some better garden tools when our cash reserves are built back up. I"m renting a chainsaw next week. I think the next tool investment will be a good axe for chopping the pieces for firewood. I don't want an axe head to come off and fly at my head.  :D I don't really like to cut down apple trees either but they are very old and need to go sooner or later. We're going to keep one and plant new trees in more strategic places.
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Offline Claus

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Re: Homesteading in Ukraine
« Reply #10 on: 19:45 10-May-2012 »
By all means do buy a good (safe) axe!  ;D
But - with respect to apple trees, are you aware how long time it takes to grow them? You do not just chop the grandparents and harvest the kids the next year. I'd say, make some new ones grow before you kill the old ones.
Well, I just have a thing with fruit-trees and whales  :)
j'y suis, j'y reste!

Offline kyivkpic

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Re: Homesteading in Ukraine
« Reply #11 on: 20:03 10-May-2012 »
By all means do buy a good (safe) axe!  ;D
But - with respect to apple trees, are you aware how long time it takes to grow them? You do not just chop the grandparents and harvest the kids the next year. I'd say, make some new ones grow before you kill the old ones.
Well, I just have a thing with fruit-trees and whales  :)

Like I said, I don't enjoy cutting a good fruit tree but three are where we plan to build and one will make the fence impossible. I was wrong. There are 6 apple trees so two will stay. We will plant a pear tree and I would like to have an apricot tree if they can grow up. It seems they do better in Crimea, though. Maybe a cherry tree.

I'd also like to put in some grapes this year and have leaves for dolma. Babuschka also makes homemade wine.
« Last Edit: 21:04 10-May-2012 by kyivkpic »
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Carlusha

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Re: Homesteading in Ukraine
« Reply #12 on: 20:10 10-May-2012 »
Claus is quite correct. Why not simply cut the mature trees back, keeping the more reachable branches. That would help a better yield anyway. As Claus said it can take years depending upon the variety you plant. I would say on average at least 7 to 10 years. When the younger trees start to bear a decent amount of fruit, then you can decide whether to do away with the old trees.

My ex and I used to own a pub in UK that had a huge plot of land attached that was rented by a local farmer. We used to talk a lot about the various apple and pear trees on that plot over apple or pear home-made cider that he used to share with us. However, Ukrainian weather is possibly better for the apples than what the UK has to offer.


Modified by Carl : Sorry - I was warned someone had posted but went ahead anyway.

Offline kyivkpic

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Re: Homesteading in Ukraine
« Reply #13 on: 20:44 10-May-2012 »
Well, the problem is that two of them are where we are going to put the foundation this year and two others are on the fence line. If you look at the pic of my work shop you can see them and there is one in the middle of the pic that is behind the workshop. It's young and it will stay. The large apple tree next to the barn will also stay. The wooded lot next to us that we want to buy has apple trees on it so we could collect them as well if we want unless the poor neighbor kids want them.
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Offline Ted

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Re: Homesteading in Ukraine
« Reply #14 on: 21:35 10-May-2012 »
By all means do buy a good (safe) axe!  ;D
But - with respect to apple trees, are you aware how long time it takes to grow them? You do not just chop the grandparents and harvest the kids the next year. I'd say, make some new ones grow before you kill the old ones.
Well, I just have a thing with fruit-trees and whales  :)

I hate it when I see a bus load of wales getting off near my local market. Those bastards roll down to the orchards, Harvest for less than illegal Moldavians and drink all night at the bars, steal the local chicks, and leave an empty city like a plague of locusts.
« Last Edit: 06:43 11-May-2012 by Fraucha »