Updated: Aug 30, 2019
I typically get two responses when we tell people that we have started Homesteading.
Either “Why” or “Wow”.
This is typically followed by a lot of questions depending on the first response.
“Why” will sometimes turn into “Wow” after we explain our life-style and reasons. For the purpose of this blog, I want to talk about the “Wow”.
Several people have expressed that they are jealous and envy our decision – but let me clarify a few things for those of you that are jealous. If you have never done it, researched it, are prepared for it… you may be misinformed.
Firstly, everyone defines homesteading differently. Sort of like politics: Primarily, there are Conservatives and Liberals. Then there are Conservative Liberals and Liberal Conservatives. Okay, so that might not be the best analogy, but it’s the closest thing that comes to my mind at the moment.
In homesteading, there are several variations. For us, we did not ditch the cell phones or computers (obviously), but we do grow our own food. We do not hand wash all our dishes, but we do make our own dish washing soap. We absolutely go to the store for groceries… because becoming fully self-sustainable takes time. There are homesteaders out there that are very similar to the complete electronically disconnected and prairie-like living reminiscent of the early 1800’s. The differences range from that all the way up to the urban homesteader in a city that can only grow a roof-top garden.
Homesteading is more of a state-of-mind than anything (every homesteader just rolled their eyes and hates me now).
Now, let my talk to those envious ones. IT IS HARD! I believe I have mentioned this before, but it is in no means an easy life. We still work our jobs, we just decided to pile on a whole lot of extra work by making this decision.
Don’t get me wrong, I am not trying to discourage anyone… if anything, I think everyone should move towards a more self-sustainable existence – even if it’s just a roof-top garden in the city. I am simply trying to make sure everyone has a realistic idea of moving towards this life. It takes a lot of time, patience, hard-work, and yes – money.
Our day starts with an early morning goat milking, feeding rabbits, feeding goats, hauling hay to the animals (itchy) and walking the dogs (see, we are still slightly normal), giving water to everything from animals to plants. We then go to work to earn the money we are trying to save to grow our homestead. When we get home, we repeat the morning process. Now, this is just the daily routine – and we only have a small place with only goats and rabbits; We haven’t even gotten our pigs, bees, quail, and chickens yet (GOALS!). We also have to deal with the not-so-routine items. Shoveling hay and “goat berries” out of the pens. Cleaning out the goat houses (whew!), gathering rabbit “berries” for fertilizer, and even though we process our own meat from these rabbits, there are times where a homesteader has to deal with unexpected animal death (the worst part).
I have to deal with an ornery buck that apparently only likes my husband. We do maintenance on the solar panels and batteries, constant checking on the electric fence, hoof trimming, medical care for the animals… the list goes ON and ON.
Now that I have made everyone that was jealous swear they never want to do this – think again. It’s the best decision we have ever made. Yes, we are bruised, tired, and have no hopes for a normal vacation – but for us, every time we eat a fresh tomato, see a baby goat born, or relax after planting a row of loofah plants… this is our ultimate vacation.
What do I really want to say to those of you that are jealous, YOU ABSOLUTELY SHOULD BE, but you don’t have to stay envious, you can do this too. Just don't jump in - take your time and the rewards are completely worth it.