You Can Have More by Having Less

Reader Contribution by Chris Downs
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You can have more by having less when you understand the time and effort that comes with building your homestead or farm.

Getting Started: Our Goal

Our goal is to grow nutrient dense food to eat and sell. We have been “practicing” now for about three years. While we have sized our greenhouse to be manageable by just a few people once it is completed, we still want to grow at a rate that is sustainable for us.


What do I mean by practice:

  • Start small with the end goal of what you want to grow into.

  • Since our vision is to be debt free when the farm is completed, pay cash, or very few payments.

  • Take the time to test the systems you want to use on the smaller greenhouses.

  • Take note and record the weather and temperatures/humidity/winds and daylight at the greenhouse location.

  • What solar, wind and generator power systems will we use? Are they reliable?

  • How will the greenhouse be heated during the 40 to 50 below zero weather?

  • What automatic watering systems will we be using?

Test, test, test and evaluate.

Here is a photograph of our first small growing plot.

As you can see, our first garden paid for itself. We are still growing at 7,000 feet while we look for land in higher country in Colorado.

We Purchased Land!

So together with our partner in this business, we were able to purchase land and pay cash. Forty acres at 9,000 feet elevation. It comes with a water well already in place and produces 7 gallons per minute of clean water! 

  • We put a small 5th wheel trailer on the property.

  • Decide where to place the greenhouse.

  • Dig a water line to that site.

  • Start digging the greenhouse based upon the research we accomplished.


We install two smaller greenhouses for the first-year crop while we finish the larger greenhouse, using the Food4Wealth system of growing a garden.

We lease the empty house next door for the winter months and grow a “kitchen garden” in the old buffalo pen.


Now, we have the basic structure of the greenhouse completed as well as have one raised bed in place inside. There is room for many more plants, hanging, hydroponics and aquaponics systems to be installed also. We also have the following ready to be installed:

  • Solar panels with all of the equipment to run the greenhouse and a new home (to be built later).

  • Weather station and monitor station to help us automate ventilation/heat and watering.

  • Lots of organic compost and Llama manure.

  • Seed for planting for this year.  (About two weeks away for cold crops, 1 month for heating system to be functional).

  • Testing supplies for quality control.

Time to Upsize Our Growing Plan

Now that our smaller steps have been proven successful, everything is paid for. We have also joined the local garden club as well as talked to local restaurants, stores and community centers about our Nutrient Dense Food business.

We have people ready to purchase our products as soon as they are ready!  

To Sum Up How We Have More by Having Less:

  • We have no debt on the property or materials.

  • We have two years at higher altitudes to test our growing beds and mineral content for optimum growth and quality using a simple system.

  • We have older equipment that is paid for.

  • Customers are already to purchase what we are growing.

  • We are off the grid, so no electric or water bills to pay.

We still have to build a home on the property. We will continue to lease the land next door with a house to produce enough food for ourselves. This also offsets the cost of the lease.

Living in the house also gives us more time to design and plan the home we will eventually live in. We enjoy the journey, the challenges and the friendships and community we have become a part of while we build our sustainable homestead.

If you have any questions or would like to know more about living off the grid or growing a Food4Wealth garden, contact us!

Today is a good day.
Chris Downs

Need Help? Call 1-866-803-7096