Bill Wittman

Bill Wittman

Slow Learner

By Bill Wittman

In his blog, Bill plans to focus on his “journey toward independence” as he breaks away from the consumer world. Living in Edgewood, Maryland, with his son, Layden, Bill wants to write about “mini-farming, self-sufficiency, financial independence, living on less, and moving to a farm of my own.”

“The peace I feel being close to nature” is what prompted Bill’s move toward the country. “Still working on getting more into the country!”

He views a homesteader as “independent, problem solver, resourceful, tough, hard worker, at peace, planner, inventor. A homesteader is one who lives in harmony with the land, taking care of it so, in turn, it will care for them.”

Bill’s current focus is on setting up a straw bale garden. His place has poor soil, and he’s only just started to compost. “I need some way to produce most of my food for the year on the quarter acre I own,” he says. “I want to try and do this using as little pre-purchased equipment as possible. I also plan on using rain-water that I collect from my buildings.”

Future projects include a rocket mass heater, learning to blacksmith, increasing his chicken flock and getting a beehive going, and eliminating debt so he can purchase acreage to farm.

His gardening efforts began as a result of dissatisfaction of the food purchased. “None of the food I was buying had any of the flavor I remember as a kid. Our little garden supplied us with almost everything.” This year he is going to plant multiple varieties of tomatoes, peppers – hot and sweet – beans (again multiple varieties), cucumbers, summer and winter squash, sweet potatoes, potatoes, onions, leeks, leaf lettuce, spinach, herbs, beets, carrots, strawberries, melons, broccoli, cauliflower, kale and peas. He’s already planted the garlic.

Bill and Layden share their little piece of earth with six Chinchilla rabbits – one named Ariel and the buck is Nutjob (he says it’s a long store). “Please buy at least one from me!” Bill says. He also owns 11 Black Australorp chickens andone Heinz-57/golden retriever mix name Miguel.

Country skills for Bill include, “canning, cooking, gardening, handyman, carpenter, problem solving, thinking on the fly.”

And his philosophy on country life is short and sweet. “Take care of the land and it will take care of you.”