On this episode of Homesteady, we meet Elaine Vandiver of Old Homestead Alpacas. Elaine's journey to her purpose began on 9/11. A college student at the time, She felt the right thing for her to do was the join the army and serve her country.

Now, she's an alpaca farmer.

Wait, what? Let's back up.

We met Elaine in the Homesteady Launchpad business course hosted by Aust and Accountant Mike. Elaine is currently finding success in agrotourism- giving tourists an "on-farm" experience that is projected to net $11,000 this year.

Elaine isn't from Walla Walla Washington. Originally from Indiana, Elaine completed a successful military career and followed her then boyfriend (now husband) to Washington State. Falling in love with the beautiful landscape, they put down their roots. Elaine credits her time in the military for giving her invaluable perspective, and assisting her success in homesteading.

Elaine felt that the time she spent as a solider helped her become a stronger person and put hardship in perspective.

It was after her military experience however, that Elaine met what was to be a true test of her strength: her desire to have a family and her journey through infertility. After seven years of exhaustive medical intervention and ongoing mental stress and disappointment, Elaine and her husband found themselves choosing the end their journey to become pregnant and take a different path. This led them to selling their family-ready home and moving to the country.

"Undervalued" was the word Elaine and her husband had in mind when searching for their property- looking for a "country fabulous" property they could bring to its full potential.

They found their "gem" of a fixer upper, and the work the property needed was the perfect project to distract the Vandivers from their previous seven years of heartbreak. The property also came with a few surprises- in-tact perimeter fencing, a history of a previous homestead,  3 pastures- and two llamas, Leroy and Loretta.

If Elaine was going to have her country home, she was going to have to take in the llamas.

Googling the care of llamas, Elaine took her new (pets? livestock?) day by day. In her research, she came upon alpacas. They were softer! Cuter! Nicer! When spring came, Elaine purchased a couple to take care of the pastures full of grass on her property. When a connection with a local alpaca farmer was made, the alpacas increased from 2 to 41. In exchange for taking care of the alpaca heard she had acquired, she could keep their product. Through happenstance, Elaine became an alpaca farmer, and began her unplanned, unexpected journey to being a homestead business owner.

Things began to fall together so nicely; Elaine wasn't going to stand in the way. Cementing her path was a manila envelope with the original paperwork detailing her property's history as a parcel from the Homestead Act of 1862.

Deciding to go all-in, Elaine went step by step to become a legitimate business, following the appropriate protocol to ensure the growth and success of her alpaca farm. It is important to note, however, that the alpaca farm is Elaine's side hustle- she is a "cubicle dwelling bureaucrat" by day. She credits her job with working one side of her brain, and her farm working the entire other side- creativity, problem solving, and passion.

However -what about the alpaca fiber- is this really a valuable product? How do we make it that way?

Turns out, it is a "diamond in the rough" type product, requiring many steps to become useful and beautiful. Two years, actually, from start to finish. Elaine realized that with such a long turn around time, she needed to re-think how to utilize the value in her property.

Turns out, the BEAUTY of the farm could be capitalized on. Check out Elaine on Instagram to see the gorgeous vistas of her farm. If you find a photo of Elaine and an alpaca on the back of a Volkswagon bus, follow her feed, leave a comment identifying yourself as a Homesteady listener, and Aust will give you a FREE month of a Homesteady Pioneer Membership!

Elaine started giving tours and opened a little gift shop. More on-farm events have followed: alpaca yoga, a farm to needle workshop series on alpaca fiber, (check out the upcoming sunset yoga and wine tasting!) and then: Airbnb. For her Airbnb, the guest received a port-a-potty and land to put up a tent or camper. For $50 per night, Elaine's farm was extremely popular.

Would Elaine's business come out as profitable according to Accountant Mike's standards? No, not yet. But in terms of the added value of happiness- Elaine puts it best:

There is a difference between making money, and making a life. Is the juice worth the squeeze? Hells yeah, because I had a BLAST doing it.

We have a new partner! Aust is so pleased to partner with Wildcat Outdoor Gear as they premier their collection of tents designed by and for "Outdoorsy Dads." Watch a great video of Aust, Kendra and the kids enjoying their tent here. Enter coupon code Homesteady at check-out for a discount!

Join our email list, and don't miss any of the exciting updates we have coming up in 2018!

We have a new addition to the Pioneer Program: A PIONEER ONLY FORUM! Learn from one another and get to talk with Accountant Mike, The Foraging Beard, Dave from Northeast Edible, Alexia The Suburban Escapee, and Allyson, our producer. Our podcast guests will also be in the forums! Ask Elaine any questions you may have in our forum. Not a Pioneer? Join today!

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The wait will be shorter than ever for the next episode, as Aust is now creating Homesteady Content FULL TIME. What does that mean? A daily YouTube Video and a NEW podcast every two weeks. We will also

Subscribe now to make sure you don't miss part three of our Homestead Business Series, as we once again tackle...GOATS.
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00:00:00science lab it's the thing I hated most in high school
00:00:08and that includes you really hempel's getting dumped by girlfriends you know the whole High School experience science lab was the worst once a month you would have science lab it was a two-hour-long science lesson usually had to do experiments which sounds like fun but they never really work and there was a ton of paperwork and homework associated with science lab not to mention I wasn't a big fan of my lab partner
00:00:37during science lab there was a five minute intermission this was my Saving Grace
00:00:47during that 5 minutes I would Sprint down as fast as I could to the cafeteria as soon as the register opened up I was ready sugar cookies please hand over my money and then I would run as fast as I could across the entire school so I wouldn't be late for the second half of science lab
00:01:06I drive to the door pocket full of cookies from kind of falling out of my mouth cuz of course I had to eat one on the way and then me and my 7 cookies would make it through the second half of science lab Ida Pace myself you can do the math 7 cookies that's roughly a cookie and a nibble every 10 minutes to get you through the second half of the worst part of high school during one of these friends back from the cafeteria pocket full of cookies that I first heard that a plane had flown into the World Trade Center
00:01:45actually laughed that was my first reaction to be fair I'm one of those people who laughs when I'm nervous I'm the guy who laughs at a funeral
00:01:56it's got me in trouble before but when my friend Brendan told me when it happened it seems surreal and in that moment I laughed about it
00:02:07I didn't understand the implication of what had happened and our teacher kind of kept it that way she made an announcement as we shuffled back in for the second half of science lab plane has hit one of the World Trade Center towers
00:02:23many people have died
00:02:25deep breath and she said open your textbooks to page 53
00:02:39do you remember what you were doing on September 11th 2001
00:02:43if you're older than 20 years old then you probably do a lane was sitting in her college dorm on the couch brother was doing the same and sell a house by country I need some purpose Direction and motivation
00:03:14that event would change the rest of her life and leave her to where she is today
00:03:20is an alpaca farmer how did she go from college to the Middle East to farming alpacas where to find out in her story
00:03:29today's episode of home study it's time for another episode of home study
00:03:38the world that we live in is a crazy place for you and me we can each make it a little better we can live a more sustainable life become more self-sufficient
00:03:49and get more connected with the planet around us so we can do all of this together so everybody cozy up time for another episode of homesteading
00:04:02I'm I think you're here
00:04:07how are you this is Elaine from Old Homestead alpacas in Walla Walla Washington she's an old friend of Home studies a couple years back I counted Mike and I hosted a homesteading business class where we took aspiring Homestead entrepreneurs and kind of Coach them through the early days of getting their business off the ground Elaine was one of the first to sign up for the course Elaine is the no-nonsense woman after she signed up for the course a day or two and five I didn't hear anything for me and she emailed me she said I have not received any information on this meeting I'm starting to doubt the validity of this class is this even happening why haven't I heard anything I knew right away we were going to be friends
00:04:53it's been two years since we did that homesteading business class and since then Elaine has been killing it on her Homestead in Walla Walla Washington in addition to fiber products from her alpacas she's making a lot of money giving people that on Farm experience agro-tourism this year she's shooting to make 10 maybe $11,000 from her Homestead would you like to make $11,000 from your homestead I would flame had a class I'd be signing up to find out how she did it but fortunately she's going to share that with us today
00:05:33Elaine did not grow up in Walla Walla Washington she actually grew up in the midwest the reason she's out there now well her boyfriend was to blame Mike and I were a relatively young couple at that point just boyfriend and girlfriend you ever been into the Seattle-Tacoma area especially is coming coming from the Midwest where it's all flat and then you get to wake up everyday and see a volcano you very soon decide that you are not going to leave are you laying actually met Mike before she was in the Army he even played a part in getting her to join I was kind of going through a whole lot of things my senior year my mother has been diagnosed with cancer I had a just a ton of student loans and I was considering joining the service
00:06:33and then I watched 911 happen from comfort and security of my story house and that had an impact on me when I was in my life you know I was kind of in a major crossroads in that was just kind of I need to join the Army I need to serve my country I need some purpose for action and motivation but definitely seeing it happen and then being connected to somebody who was in the service definitely that was a
00:07:05that was a defining moment in my life that's for sure
00:07:12did I do this and this all happened at the same time your your mom is battling cancer
00:07:18yes we found out my mom had it my junior year so she had had it probably 6 months or so
00:07:27we found out she had cancer and it was kind of like a whole mad and that it was a okay we can get through this you know and then it was stage four and there's only four stages
00:07:46I went off to Fort Lee Virginia in about Midway through Port leash the train at Fort Lee I got a red cross message and said I needed to come home because my mother was hurt passing with Eminem So I helped my dad brother kind of do the things you do after that happens and then I went back to Fort Lee for a little bit more training to finish my requirements there and then I left Fort Lee Virginia and went to Fort Lewis Tacoma just a couple
00:08:49so wasn't even a full year from the passing that I was deployed so it was that was part 2 army boot camp to losing my mother to moving across the country and then having a little John overseas is one way to put it
00:09:21my unit I was looking at 64th engineer combat heavy Battalion so bulldozers and graders and scrapers and the day that the US invaded my unit actually pushed what was their border which was a big heap of dirt a verb with the dozers they pushed
00:09:45oh no I wish I could Supply specialist so I handled all the rations the beans in the Boise
00:10:11I'd like to say that it gave me quite a bit of perspective I was born and raised in Indiana and you know outside of Chicago it was definitely suburban and somewhat Urban I thought I had a lot of Street smarts and so forth but it's a whole different world out there and so being there as a little kid I've been through quite a bit it was just it put a lot of my own you know what weighs me into perspective
00:10:48I've been through some stuff but man some some of the situations I saw myself in and some of the people I saw it
00:10:56it was like wow they would probably relish to have some of what I consider troubles you know just a really kind of opened your eyes to the fragility of life and how extreme environments people can now is survive in them but they can fry them even within all the the craziness in the scary one opportunity and there's a lot of growth that you can have if you're open and receptive to it so it shaped my perspective it is God awful hot and I'm frustrated and things aren't working and then I remember how I could be in long pants and long sleeves with 35 45 pounds of gear on and not necessarily safe and unending 120 degrees in hot water
00:11:54I have moments now where I reflect often on those experiences that I like to think has made me a stronger person I'm working passionate person and a more conscientious person very much
00:12:30Elaine thinks that the time she spent as a soldier made her a stronger person one who could put hardship in perspective it would be important for Elaine as she left the service and went on to start a family
00:12:47and then faced one of the biggest challenges of her life
00:12:53yeah I remember growing up I always thought I was going to have like a bundle the kids but you know I think that was probably one of the first things I thought about after I got back from being deployed we got married again I decided we were going to stay and Washington it was very clear to me like I'm like okay
00:13:19trying for seven years we went through pretty much every treatment option available in those seven years
00:13:32it was one of those dreams that you know when you kind of just feel in your gut you're willing to do whatever it took you know I don't I didn't want to get too I don't want to walk away and then for five years later what if I what if I would have done that you know so it was just a deep-seated dream that I wasn't willing to let go those two first two years were just so you know
00:13:56try it was near 347 that were like intensive medical intervention and so it was a lot of okay we're going to try this little procedure and then this and then it was like okay we're going to do the full meal deal and we did that for a two-year that you or at least I did and so did Mike you know that we turned over everything because I didn't want to get down the road and go to try this after a certain point you know
00:14:32you can't try anymore so
00:14:56we were in a four-bedroom two-and-a-half-bath nearly 3000 square foot home of space for kids to run around and without kids there it just felt empty and depression at the end their ability to kind of move through that physical situation that was my identity you know was like so okay now that we're not going to do that what are we going to do and it's like well I need to I need to move from the situation physically because it's it's just reminding me of everything I don't have and won't ever have in that regard and so it was definitely a it had to be a kind of a clean break
00:15:52Mike and Elaine needed a clean break from Suburbia they decided it was time to find a house in the country maybe a fixer-upper something that would keep them busy I project and they found it when we come back from this quick break we're going to learn how a Lanes project house turned into an alpaca Farm one that she's now making $10,000 a year Trump
00:16:18hey guys just a quick break from the show next time you're going to go shopping on Amazon before you go to Amazon go to Ann's that I am like Amazon and steady like home instantly be forwarded to Amazon's website but in that millisecond that your forwarded their Amazon will lock the fact that we sent you there and we will receive an affiliate bonus should you buy something on Amazon it cost you nothing extra not a penny but a small amount of what you spend will be given to us so we can continue to produce the show that you love at no extra cost to you just head on over to amsted by whatever you were planning on buying anyway and we will make a little bit of money which helps us keep the show going every little Penny helps so next time you go shopping on Amazon remember an
00:17:18like Amazon steady like home
00:17:25when Elaine thinks of the one word to describe the homestead that she and Mike found when searching for their country home the word she picks is undervalued the people selling the property even other people looking to buy this didn't see the potential that Mike and Elaine could so clearly see I thought just for the land alone and for The Barn at the big beautiful Barn which I fell in love with it was completely undervalued but thing was it was country fabulous
00:18:06it's an old farmhouse your quintessential two-story white just with it you know I have wrap around porch just I mean it it's very stately it just kind of jumps out at you beautiful curb appeal but when you walk through the doors let's just say it's scared people away get dropped off of carpet in every flat linear surface had some real old really unattractive wallpaper on
00:18:44you know we were looking for something to do is change and the we could see it's just my walking in the door what a what a gem it is if you're willing to do the work because we needed something to do so we could we could tell those drop ceilings they can come down cuz they were like drop ceiling
00:19:13Mike and Elaine had no intention of starting a farm or Homestead but the property did already have some infrastructure on it in equine business going here so it has complete perimeter fencing and maybe a little surprise part of the deal when we bought the place the gal told as to specific things she said Homestead and I don't think I knew what the time really what that meant
00:20:02Leroy and Loretta she needed to take in the llamas contracts and they had nothing to do with Mama in it but I will take
00:20:22not sure what to do next Elaine heads to Google
00:20:28what are llama what are they do and go from there and stuff in the mail was like uber friendly and he would come right up yet in your face and want to know what you're doing in the female sheep in her ears back and if I choose her Aloha a real sticky loogie at you and so it was kind of like a you know what's going on Titan what are llama and as I was typing that the number one suggestion for what people are asking is what are llamas used for Elaine's question was not alone in the universe
00:21:17she was just one of the many people on Google at any given moment trying to figure out what the heck do I do with these llama in doing this research she stumbled across which soccer smaller and way cuter
00:21:35I don't know I'm I'm just kind of a molded like that I couldn't Luna spring came around in the grass started growing
00:21:42and all of our money is into Renovations and we don't have a tractor I think you have about 80 acres or so and Pastor I'm like that's going to get out of hand we said well get a couple to help keep the pastor down so we went and got a couple alpaca just cute little lawn mowers
00:22:03and I mean it just kind of went downhill from there it was like a really fun and I like being around there very peaceful and so we started with 3 to blame for that her neighbor approached her someone who also had an alpaca farm he was getting more alpacas growing her own heard but you couldn't fit them all on her property and so she said her dad were merging and I can't fit all of those animals on my property and I have 41 in return for housing the alpacas
00:22:55she could keep their product the fiber
00:22:59Linda need fiber she wasn't planning on starting a farm business she wasn't even planning on being a homesteader she had been chasing dreams for so long once it hadn't worked out
00:23:13but now thanks for just starting to fall together so nicely
00:23:18Elaine wasn't going to stand in the way
00:23:29the second thing that the seller told us when she closes and gave us the keys was that this place was an Old Homestead and so at the time we took possession she also gave us a manila envelope full of some information
00:23:53do you remember when we used to use actual manila folders to sort are documents are real like paper documents he's so pre-internet the owner at the time had done some correspondence research through the Bureau of Reclamation and a couple other agencies detracted down the old fashion way before Google before that the original Homesteader back in 1870 had gone through full of more than just paperwork it was full of a story someone story of struggle and success
00:24:45the Homestead Act was not a handout homesteaders had to pay a fee to file an application just to get the chance at making it all work they then were given a claim that they had to travel out to and survive on 5 years they actually had to survive off the land for 5 years before they would be given that land as their own and a lot of homesteaders failed and had to come home if they made it home at all
00:25:18but the original Homesteader he had made it a success he had beaten the odds and spent 5 years documenting the process proving he done it
00:25:33Virginia Golson was born in 1840 who was the second of seven children he worked as a farmer alongside his dad and older brother Daniel the very year the Homestead Act of 1862 is past Daniel the oldest brother heads off in the Kennedy Wagon Train of 1862 they take to get this the Oregon Trail the actually travel the Oregon Trail the Kennedy Wagon Train stardew with just 12 wagons but eventually There Was 80 of them with some 200 Pioneers aboard Daniel one of them he was the family Scout
00:26:14like so many people Daniel must have fallen in love with Walla Walla Washington because just a few years later we find his younger brother Nathaniel joined him and now there's a wedding Nathaniel and Louisa Morgan are wed November 17th 1866
00:26:40this next part amazes me I've been doing the show for 4 years I've been interviewing what motivated so many different individuals to start homesteading and over and over again I hear they get married they start a family and they think about where their food comes from and providing for their loved ones and it drives them to be a homesteader today
00:27:02it was no different 200 years ago because just a few years after he gets married we find Nathaniel filling out the necessary documents to begin the homesteading process you would have paid an application fee about $16 which back then could have taken him weeks maybe even months to save up
00:27:27have you ever tried to grow vegetables yourself maybe raise a few chickens if you have you know how hard it can be just to provide your family with a couple meals imagine moving on to a new property totally bear having to build a home cultivate the land raise livestock grow plants
00:27:51this was an incredible undertaking
00:27:55after 5 years Nathaniel had done it he was able to go and prove it you would have brought two witnesses with him with signed affidavits that a tested his Homestead efforts he pay the rest of the fee $6 and now he was the proud owner of 164 acres in Walla Walla
00:28:24June 1875 Nathaniel received his Homestead certificate
00:28:32the entire transaction is later recorded at the u.s. general land office it references the application and certificate and it's signed by President Ulysses S Grant
00:28:53Nathaniel story some powerful one and one not lost on the lane
00:28:59my mother was a historian what she did and she was very much in the local history so when this got handed to me you know I live on the heels of trying to be a mother just like her and that didn't work out getting this beautiful property that has a lot of potential that had a lot of history it was kind of like you know I felt like a little bit of a sign and you know
00:29:24wow this place this place has Heritage and history and you know is incredibly fascinating and so we kind of just scored over these documents in the copies of the documents and will post them in the blog post right up of this episode if you'd like to see this piece of History just head to our website this is home you'll be able to take a look at them she wrote in her email these documents are a true treasure we have them enlarged and on display for Farm visitors with each passing season my appreciation for the golson's courage deepens
00:30:03these documents represent a man who sold all his possessions left his family and everything he knew travel across the country and into the unknown to stake a claim at the American dream building a house and a life for his young family with his own hands it's a legacy we are grateful to keep and share
00:30:27Blaine says as I look across the remaining 10 acres that we own with the original Barn in The Farmhouse I am humbled even with so many modern conveniences the golson's never saw in their lifetime like a tractor and well pump for starters it takes everything we have to make 10 acres thrive
00:30:50he did so much more with so much less
00:31:04kind of knowing that you know and then finding a personal connection in it with my mom because she would have absolutely loved it and she did a lot of research like that I remember her drink a lot of research on the internet in a riding to various libraries and going to libraries to get the kind of information that I had just been handed like nonchalantly I really grasp onto that going man this is so cool this place is the Homestead you know so I just kind of file that away going I'm going to have to do something with that but when we got the first couple out and really liked up and then you know I've been kind of a crappy person I did some sewing I taught myself how to crochet back when we were trying to have a baby and you know there were something I could figure that out and you know
00:31:57there might be something here kind of thing and so when we purchase our first 3 they were they were like I said like lawn mowers just kind of you know part of the the country scene if you will
00:32:11we really became friends with the people that sold them to us and they were doing an alpaca Farm as a business as a you know they were selling Animals full time and I am still like my little loud and they're doing this cuz she has a product and she's living on this Homestead one that has been a successful Homestead since it's very beginning
00:32:44she felt like she had to give it a shot I really have any grandiose plans I'm going to become the Amazon or the Google of Alpaca farms but it was it just kind of thing it just kind of happened so it's like I'm going to have all this produce I need to do something with it if I'm going to do something with it in a Cell it you know you can't just go selling stuff without reporting it
00:33:20but it wasn't a very well-thought-out like I'm going to be an alpaca farmer it just happened it sounded good and it was enjoyable series focuses on businesses that are being run as side hustles and Elaine's is a classic side Hustle by day she's not a farmer that's the one you describe yourself I'm a cubicle bureaucrat Mia what how does it play in with your day job
00:33:52it's a it's a complete contrast cuz if anybody out there has worked in a cubicle for any length of time it can be very monotonous and mundane and very first world I guess you could say I don't want to sound ungrateful there's not a whole lot of flexibility or creativity so especially in my world of contracts its you know it's black and white you can't be wrong you can't make mistakes because if you make mistakes that cost the government money and then he got to answer to why you screwed it doesn't really Light My Fire
00:34:37you know but it's a good gig and we can always get it works one side of my brain being on the farm works the entire other side so it's a it's a nice seeing and kind of thing
00:34:57the reality for most of us homesteaders isn't this we love homesteading but we can't make much money from it and so we have to have a career a job some business that supports our homesteading habit for a lot of us that some sort of desk job and those jobs do pay well but they don't fulfill that greater need the need to be outside and work with our hands be creative that's where homesteading comes in but just because we can't make a living homesteading doesn't mean we can't make something and that's why so many of us are attracted to this idea of the homestead side hustle Elaine started thinking about creative ways that she could make some money from the homestead she enjoyed so much worse something but I wasn't a fiber artist at the time to know what was the worst was no because
00:35:55I still here to this day when I when I have to or gas come over all their fleas is so valuable and I always smile because I learned into actually getting the value from it it's not it's not a cut it and sell it for you know all this money you can do that but that is rare think about alpaca fiber as a diamond in the rough
00:36:32never heard of the diamond in the rough
00:36:37a diamond in the rough is worth way less money than an actual Diamond that can be placed onto a ring and that's because when you find a diamond in the rough a lot of work still has to go into it to turn it into that beautiful little sparkling gem
00:36:54Diamond has to be cut
00:36:59then it has to be polished
00:37:02by the time it's all said and done the diamond is much smaller but it is much more valuable
00:37:08alpaca fiber well it's kind of the same thing you can't just hand a big pile of alpaca here to somebody and expect to get a lot of money for it a lot of work needs to go into it has to be processed in the middle you know about 90 miles away 6 to 8 months depending on there be ready to wait in the market is your two years
00:37:46you might say alpaca fiber is a diamond in the fluff see what I did there what have you started to do to speed up income while you're still waiting on like that 2 year old piece of yarn to hit the market
00:38:03Diversified it was very clear when you realize 2 years time-to-market that's a long time to wait
00:38:15this is a common problem among homesteading side businesses everything we do by its nature is slow that's why they call it the slow food movement
00:38:32it takes a long time to raise a beef it takes a long time to grow a pumpkin and it takes a long time to get some yarn from your alpacas so take your time wow away
00:38:47Prodigy from France to Elaine needed to figure out what she could do that would make money quicker we started bringing people out here and just you you have to think beyond beyond the actual produce to go okay what else is a value I started to post a lot of pictures and I get people that are like oh my God this is so gorgeous alpacas Elaine's Instagram feed is a beautiful one I want you to look for a specific photo there's a picture with Elaine and an alpaca in the back of a Volkswagen bus leave a comment say hi from home study listener or hi Lane we're home study whatever just stay home study and I'm going to randomly pick one of those comments will give you a free month of Homestead
00:39:47Pioneer membership so go and say hi to Elaine just search Old Homestead alpacas and you're really going to enjoy following her on Instagram
00:40:05people really like this just as much as I do why don't we start doing chores chores started to do well to the farm to see the animals and of course she had a little gift shop that people can go in and get something from and that did great but it didn't solve all our problems I did more on Farm events we did an alpaca yoga
00:40:41alpaca yoga breathe in the fresh country air stretch out on our Lush pasture grass and greet the summer season with restorative yoga session please bring your own mat a water bottle and your sense of adventure
00:41:00that was huge and so that was great Fire series which has been since it was just it's just been really well received and I really enjoy the heck out of it I want to remind you Elaine has a full-time bureaucratic desk job she's doing all of this on the side and having a blast and say Airbnb pops up let's get Battle Run B&B I'm sure you've heard of it
00:41:413 years ago Jennifer and her husband again listing their two-bedroom Brooklyn apartment on what was then an up-and-coming website Airbnb
00:41:53my husband travels a lot for work we also have family all the rooms in their houses to total strangers were looking for a place to stay maybe the idea creeps you out
00:42:09please have been cool to what is normally a quiet street the hospital is too May Wong should rent it out their property to an Airbnb user the next morning may return home to find her house it's been turned upside down finally answered their home after renting it out for the weekend they were shocked at what they say for the weekend left much damage by what police called a drug-induced for cheese balls everywhere and chicken meat in my shoes in
00:42:44you think I don't want to let somebody I don't know into my house use it like a hotel that's okay Elaine didn't want to do that either but you found a creative way to still make money from it without letting weirdos into her house I'm personally not comfortable having you know folks I don't know personally in my home to stay the night and I know for sure my homeowner's insurance is not Kosher with that so I wasn't willing to take that risk so you know we did it as a DIY we didn't offer a room in our home it was a hey look at my Great Farm do you want to bring your car and pitch a tent or sleeping the back your truck or do you have a pop-up trailer or and I was just like it I can put it out there they don't charge listing they charge you when you make the book it right so I'm like I'm just going to throw it out there seeing what sticks you can sleep in my barn
00:43:42you can sleep in the pasture on the couch on the ground in a tent in a trailer and the camper and then RV you can sleep in my Volkswagen bus note to the listener if a stranger ever invite you to sleep in their Volkswagen bus don't do it but if the lane does well the coast is clear cuz we have the space for DIY she means it it was set up your own camping site she provided a porta-john but that was it Windows who's willing to do it you know because not everybody wants to go somewhere where they can get a shower and a proper bathroom and so how much money do you think you could ask someone to come to your farm set up their own tent
00:44:34poop in a bucket what would you pay for that experience Elaine was shocked I thought maybe I went up to 50 on the dry camping the Volkswagen I have never done dry camping for $50 a night and I was really impressed with the amount of people that will like hell yeah I will totally do that
00:45:10okay I'm going to be straight with you I love camping I totally would love to camp on a farm it would be a fun experience but I couldn't imagine there was that many other people who would pay $50 a night just to Camp no showers in a porta-john but then I remembered Elaine's on the west coast we've all seen those commercials are celebrities on the yoga
00:45:36we're skateboard last name in this crazy West Coast hippies and loved it
00:45:46you're on the west coast is like I don't know if we could get this I don't know. Can we do this in Connecticut is there like way more hippies out
00:45:57that I am added an advantage because I am in Wine Country we have over a hundred wineries in Walla Walla alone 100 we have people that come from the Seattle area and all over California I need you to come out here because Walla Walla Wine has has made it nationally and internationally so we're in a like a little honey hole here because we've got tourism kind of cornered I mean we've already got the draw so we can kind of come in those prices just because other folks have done the hard work and making this place as popular as it is one of the people listening to this like where we are there's a lot of Tourism and I across the street that buy alpaca neighbors they rented out of TP alpaca people how many
00:46:57different things coochie rent out because she was getting booked solid I was getting requests for bookings
00:47:06for pretty much the majority of Saul summer weekends and I had some just about every weekend somebody was requesting to come and I took I took a Navy officer just because it's hard I was overwhelming was overwhelming amount of people that wanted to do it let's think about this Elaine was charging $50 for someone to come and set up their own tent that means all she needed to do was have a porta-john on the property in a location Far Enough away from her house for people could enjoy camping and the surroundings
00:47:50that is incredibly low input $50 per site if you had a farm big enough where you can host two sites and you only did the weekends like a lame two nights Friday night and Saturday night you be making $800 a month now that's not entirely profit you would lose a little bit of money to sharing with Airbnb or whatever listing service is used in Theodore rent a porta John but still that's a lot of money you could put back into your homestead every year I raise feeder pigs I have to fence them I have to feed them and water the deliveries come by 9 I have to move a ton of feedback to get these giant pigs loaded up into the trailer and bring them to the butcher to take frozen meat bring it back to my place Bill freezer stack freezers then organize it and get it out to customers the hours involved are frightening to think about and I have each Pig 6 months of work usually around $200
00:48:50do this in a weekend and all you have to do is make a listing on Airbnb and have a spot for people to enjoy the beauty on your property
00:49:01I think this is a really fantastic way for a lot of you out there to make your homesteads more profitable when I heard how good it was for a lane I couldn't wait to share it we're going to learn how much money Elaine made last year from all the things on her Farm yoga air being the workshops we're going to find out whether or not actually profitable after a quick break instead of our regular ads about this week I actually have something a project that I'm partnered on that I want to tell you about because it just fits so perfectly with this episode back in the summer I was on a fishing Expedition with my brother-in-law we hired a guide to help us out on a new body of water catching stripers this guy and his name is Bernie he's a real Outdoors one of his biggest passions is camping him and his good friend Toby started a company producing amazing quality large family tents these tents are on
00:50:01many times I've ever stayed in first and foremost they're built with beer trusses that means there's no tent poles that confusing hour-long process of trying to put up your tent is gone you take a regular hand pump one of those air pumps that you would inflate like a basketball with and in 3 minutes you can inflate this entire large family tent this thing is a large it can fit my family of 6 no problem there's different rooms there's like a bedroom area and then like a living room there's even a little space for a port-a-john or changing room they're beautiful they're incredibly rainproof I spent a night where it was pouring with my family in this tent we woke up completely dry they're comfortable there an amazing tent and if your family loves to Camp I can't recommend them enough because we spend a week in one of them and it was it was wonderful
00:50:54but I was thinking man so many of us with homesteads were looking for ways to make the more profitable could purchase one of these tents set him up in the springtime and rented out for the entire spring and summer they're not cheap tents their premium product but if we rented these out on her homesteads we can make our investment back really quickly and then we have an awesome time to take our family camping in when we go camping for a very low investment you could turn a profit on your homestead like I landed in no time if you want to learn more about Wildcat outdoor tents head over to Wildcat oh gee that's for outdoor gear. Com Wildcat you can learn all about the tents I partnered with these guys I help them create their video I help them create their website I help them create their shop the good guys who stand behind an amazing product and I'm excited to be working with them if you're interested I have a really exciting discount for you if you put in coupon code Homestead
00:51:54check out if you want to learn more about Wildcat outdoor tents head over to Wildcat
00:52:05so how much money did Al Ain make from renting out campsites on her property doing workshops alpaca yoga everything combined then right now and I'm hoping we might actually surpass it this year strict accountant Mike thumbs up thumbs down and puts money invested into it versus output money you put back in your wallet counted Mike you know not lifestyle not how you feel just hard numbers is your homestead business profitable
00:52:43not yet we've done we've done stuff we've done some major Capital Investments we did a huge electrical upgrade fencing the whole 9 so schedule and they were big numbers to start with do all the math which I'm not very good at we are not in the black yet so far to episodes of the series where we interviewed people and ask him that question who had the same answer nope not profitable when you look at the expense in all the infrastructure overtime but now let's back away and look at the big picture
00:53:20kik account at Mike out of the room now it's me sitting there what you put into it including money but including effort and time and all that versus what you get out of it lifestyle wise everything you profit money but also your life together what you're doing how you feel is it a profitable experience
00:53:44oh for sure I mean can you really put a price on happiness I would absolutely say yes because business or not I would be doing a lot of the things I'm already doing now do you see yourself jumping eventually out of the cubicle to being a full-time Homestead business
00:54:12I think about that every single day I am actually quite hopeful that maybe within the next two years I'll be able to go part-time at the chemical and have more time here
00:54:29but for sure yeah we're headed in that direction we have so much potential that that I need the time during the day to kind of developed the potential but yeah for sure blame leave a higher-paying job at the cubicle to do what she loves For Less on her Homestead might not be the same decision accounted Mike would make but that's okay Elaine has a different perspective I think folks just have to remember that there's a difference between making money and making a life and there are times when I'm like wow I'm selling this hat for $40 and I've put in you know 20 hours is the juice worth the squeeze I'm like hell yeah it is because I've had a blast doing it I raise this fiber I know the small business that meant this half for me I grew the flowers that I'm using to dye it it's absolutely worth it
00:55:34you know I think farming gives you perspective every day and it's a different type of perspective from day-to-day sometimes it's so great and other days it's at I can't even get the hose to turn on I think yeah I definitely think you know by now I'm not talking about like what I'm going to do it even though I'm not making my mortgage you know I got called the intrinsic value for things and knowing what you know your time is worth and and how you look back on your life and God hey man that was totally worth it you know
00:56:21this is an important lesson for all you budding Homestead entrepreneurs
00:56:28you going to go at your homestead business all excited you going to put everything you have into it and at the end of the year you're not going to be profitable maybe at least not at the beginning
00:56:40after all that hard work maybe you'll feel like giving up
00:56:44remember what Elaine talked about back in the beginning the time she spent as a soldier overseas
00:56:51it taught her to look at Hard Times differently perspective
00:56:57just it really kind of opens your eyes to the fragility of life and
00:57:04and if there's opportunity even was in all the the craziness in the scary but there's a lot of opportunity and there's a lot of growth that you can have if you're open and receptive to it so it kind of just it shaped
00:57:19my perspective on a lot of things I guess that's the best way I can put it some folks don't look at things that way that's okay but a lot of at least they see the value in their efforts not just what they did at the end of the day and they're in their pocket the fulfillments that you get from having done that there's a value there that you can't usually put a number on there's there's there's definitely a difference between making money and make a noise
00:57:58the time that Elaine spent overseas give her a different perspective things that maybe she would have found a really hard but they don't seem so hard she learn how a fragile life can be how important it is to take advantage of every day that we have maybe we are not soldiers but that's okay because it doesn't take fighting in a war to get a different perspective the time we spend on our Homestead working hard to feed our families we can make us happier people
00:58:34I think you know when you have a good day or even like a moderately okay you'll be surprised at what becomes a good day got out today that we got to spend on twice what's difficult was easy I think farming and homesteading definitely gives you that perspective some days you only gets bit on twice
00:59:10I haven't got the mail yet today so great day
00:59:28Elaine has a very exciting year plan for 2018 on Homestead she's going to start growing cut flowers selling bouquets at a local farmer's market she names this new Enterprise golson's Gardens after Nathaniel Golson you can follow Elaine's new Endeavor if you search golson's Gardens in Instagram and like I mentioned before if you want to follow Old Homestead alpacas in Instagram you won't be disappointed to see some beautiful pictures of alpacas which if you remember when compared to llamas are we want to thank you for taking the time to tell her story share her journey with us and we wish her the best in her new Endeavors on her Old Homestead if you want to see Nathaniel golson's Homestead documents head on over to this is home
01:00:20you can see the blog post right up for this episode take a look at the pictures and enjoy reading Alexia's right up with every episode Alexia the Suburban escapee covers the story she was all the links that we talked about and gives her own tag and what she's learned from that story I'm City Pioneers we have something special for you we're going to start asking our guests from the podcast to spend a week in the Forum answering your questions and so Elaine will be in the home City Pioneer form for the next week answering any questions you have on Airbnb and farming on alpacas on why you shouldn't have llamas instead should get alpacas whatever questions you might have for a lane you can pick her brain go to this is home and click on Pioneers forum and if you're not a Pioneer yet but you'd like to join us in the Forum it's 5 bucks a month and with that you get all our bonus content discounts for lots of gear you might be using already on the homestead
01:01:17an access to the Pioneers only Forum which is filled with other Pioneers lots of knowledge and now we'll have our guests in their answering questions we're going to start putting versions are podcast on YouTube with some visuals added so if you're not following us and YouTube head on over to YouTube and search homesteading Allison Holly's going to be helping us upgrade are podcasts with some visuals so if you want to listen to a podcast awesome pictures of what we talking about you'll enjoy that and our YouTube channel is produced by my wife K and myself I'm awesome and I'm home today if you are to let us know hashtag all your social media posts I am home today and until next time remember the road is Rocky make homesteady
01:02:04this was part 3 of a 10 part series on homesteading business in an upcoming episode in this series you're going to hear and I hate to say this how you can be profitable with the help of goats this year alone I'm so right at $3,000 worth of goats it's true goats can make you money they're making our guest lots of money but as I always do and every gold episode I'm going to be sharing a warning as to why even despite how much money you can make with them you should never bring them to your home
01:02:42did you come mischevious enjoy that in an upcoming episode of Homestead e

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