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So how do you plan your rural life? Pretty much the same way you plan any other life. There are just a few different things to consider. Your day to day life will be varied and very different from urban living.
Yet work, food, sleep, and relaxation time are all still a part of day to day living. The way you do each of these things may be different and the amount of time you allocate each will also differ. So to will your priorities be different to urban and city living?
So let’s explore some helpful ideas on how to plan your rural life.
- Small detail big picture
- Research more
- Plan again
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Small detail big picture
Grocery shopping in a city or urban area is a relatively easy task. Other than planning what you want to buy, you don’t have to put much thought into it. It is a simple task, drive to the store, pick the items you want, pay for them, and drive home.
In a rural area this can be a far more lengthy process not just in terms of travel and distance. The simple task of shopping in a few stores can become days worth of journey. When you look at how to plan your rural life, you have to look at the big picture and the small details.
Growing your own
Planning a vegetable garden is perhaps one of the first things people who are looking towards self-sufficiency tackle. This planning encompasses a lot of small detail big picture elements. The distance you plant seeds apart is a small detail, that in the big picture ensures the vegetables have enough room to grow.
The small details of planting certain crops together lead to the big picture of maximizing harvest while minimizing space used. This also leads to the big picture of creating less work over time for yourself, in the form of less weeding or other benefits.
How does now impact later
Many tasks in a rural life, have an urgency to them. Not doing a certain task at a certain time can create serious problems. When you plan your rural life you have to consider not only the importance of each task but how it will affect things later.
An example could be relaxing on a nice sunny day instead of digging out a drainage ditch. Three days later heavy rain arrives and your field is flooded. Every task has an impact on something around it so you have to think about this and plan accordingly.
Important things first
Plan your rural lifestyle around needs. In an urban setting these needs may simply be work, food, relax. You go to work, you come home, you cook and eat, you have some leisure time.
In a rural lifestyle work, food and leisure can intermingle and blur between each other in a far more fluid way. You may have had to spend the morning with a sick animal instead of working on a fence, so your leisure time is taken up with the fence repair.
You have to constantly assess what is important, what your needs are, and prioritize those tasks first.
You should never stop learning. Research is a key component of this. In a rural setting research before planning is even more important. Time becomes critical so knowing how to do something effectively is as important as when you do it.
Off-grid power systems, drainage for fields, crop layout in your garden, and animal care all require a great deal of research before you plan them out.
Double-check everything before you start a task, this can be as simple as making sure you have enough nails to complete a wire fence, to ensure you have clearance before felling a tree.
Accidents happen, in a rural setting this can be a serious situation if medical help is some distance away. Check you are certain what you are doing, check you are safe to do it, check others are safe while you do it. If in doubt, reassess, research more, and plan again.
Part of how to plan your rural life is commitment. You have to commit to a plan. Time, money, and a rural location present a host of problems.
It can be costly to have timber delivered to a rural location and takes time to unload it. Making sure you have the right timber and are not going to change your mind halfway through is why you need to plan, research, and commit to a decision.
You cant keep chickens in a beehive
Not unless it is a large beehive, or very small chickens. When you research, make sure you are researching the right thing. Don’t spend hours researching how to be a beekeeper, only to find a local law means you can’t keep bees.
Make certain that the first things you research are the legal and regulatory requirements for what you plan. Then look at if what you plan is suitable for the area. Plants for example may struggle with your soil type, so research alternate plants that like your soil type. Or research how to provide the right soil for the plants you want to grow.
Focus on one thing at a time, to ensure you gain a clear picture.
Not just your land, but the local area as well. How many ways can you take to get to the local town? Is there another medical service equal or closer distance in another direction.
One of the keys on how to plan your rural life is adaptability. If your usual way into town is over a bridge, what happens if that bridge is gone? Do you know which detour will be quickest? What if it is a medical emergency?
By exploring the local area you can build up a knowledge that helps you plan more effectively
Know your land
It doesn’t matter if your land is many acres or a small garden. Getting to know it is invaluable in planning how to benefit from it. If it is a large area of land break it down into smaller sections.
Questions to ask are: What is the soil like? Is it Acidic? Does it drain well? Where gets the most sun? Which areas have the most varied topography? Understanding the ‘lay of the land’ allows you to optimize your planning to ensure the best use of that land.
Know your area
No matter what size your land is knowing the area around it is as important as knowing your land itself. Start with a small radius of maybe half a mile out from the edge of your land. Get to know what is there. Then expand it slightly.
Using a map will allow you to get a good overview, but where you can physically exploring is best. A map may tell you there is a river a mile away and it is uphill from your land.
A physical exploration may show you that this river has shallow banks that have obviously burst many times in the past. This then allows you to plan accordingly when you know wet weather is approaching.
Know your neighbours
As mentioned in this article neighbors can be a valuable resource of local area knowledge. They may know that the river mentioned above bursts its banks once a month. They may also know that the drainage by the river is so good that it has never reached your land in their lifetime.
Exploring your neighbors is as important as exploring the land. Getting to know their skills, likes, knowledge and personalities can help you plan for emergencies and support when you need it.
Plan everything twice, then plan it once more. No matter how much planning and research you undertake, you will always miss something. Re-read your plans, re-evaluate them as you gain more skills and knowledge.
If you read or watch information from the prepper community, they carry out numerous dry runs on their plans. You don’t have to go that far as you plan your rural life.
However, testing out plans for emergency situations to evaluate them should be considered essential.
Water, food and shelter are essential needs, you may also include power. If you live in a remote rural area having at least three alternate plans for these essentials is ideal. For example if your water comes from a stream you could have, your main filtration system, a portable sterilization unit, and boiling it as your three plans to make it drinkable.
Concentrate your initial planning and revision on your essential needs first, and work outwards from there
Sometimes crops fail. Drought, storms, disease, and animal/insect invasions can all wipe crops out. Planning for what to do in these situations is important. As would be having enough food in reserve and alternate provision if you rely on them for feeding your family.
Keeping seeds in reserve is a good way to plan ahead. Root cellars and methods of preserving/storing food long term can also be a sensible planning idea.
Animals get spooked. Storms, predators and other aspects out of your control, can all lead to spooked animals. Having plans in place for how to deal with these situations can make a huge difference.
This is also where double and triple planning can help. You plan to keep your goats in shed A during a storm. However shed A has had the roof damaged by the storm so now you need to keep them in the tool shed.
Plan ahead, make a plan A then make a plan B and C for if plan A goes wrong.
As just discussed make multiple plans. Always ensure you have a contingency plan, as a final its all gone wrong plan. A rural life if you plan it correctly, can be ideal. But just like with any life, things can go horribly wrong.
Unpredictable weather is more common now that 20 years ago. Storms and floods devastate areas and what appears to be more frequent rates. You have to plan a final contingency plan to ensure that in the worst-case scenario you can get your family to safety.
The Prepper community is excellent in providing information and resources on how to bug out. You may see the reasons that the plan for this as extreme. However, the principals are similar regardless of if it is a storm or social collapse that makes you decide it’s time to go.
A simple bug out bag is designed to carry enough basic supplies to get you from point A to Point B. For a rural resident escaping a devastating storm this may simply need to be a change of clothes, some bottles of water, a small amount of cash, and some snacks. Something more advanced may be similar to this article from theprepared.com
One of your contingency plans may be to hunker down in place. Depending on the situation this may be the best option. Again the prepper community has a wealth of knowledge and information on this as a research point.
From a basic perspective plan from the essentials outwards. As outlined above water, food and shelter have to be prioritized, above other needs. Your contingency may involve a combination of the two, you may bug out from your main house to a cabin in a less at-risk area.
You can rebuild, as long as you are alive. Your final contingency plan should always include the option to walk away. It is devastating to have a storm destroy your home, crops, livestock, and years of hard work. However as long as you have survived you can start again.
Knowing when to throw the towel in against nature is crucial in a rural environment. Being brave enough is the hardest part. Ultimately you have to place you and your family first and this is how you must plan your rural life.
This article has provided a lot of things to consider when you plan your rural life. Country living is better than urban living for many reasons as this article outlined. There are hazards and difficulties in both. For any lifestyle, city or countryside you have to plan.
The best way to plan is to research, then plan. By exploring the area and people in it you gain an understanding of the resources available that help you plan further. In any life you have to also prepare for the worst, this could mean walking away so you have the chance to start again.
We hope you find the content of this article helpful and informative. Please comment below with your thoughts and ideas on the subject.
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