Homesteading has been a desire of my heart for quite some time. I’m going to share with you how homesteading has changed my life, and encourage you to try homesteading, too!
Do you have any “someday” dreams? Someday you want to do this, someday you will do that?
That was me. I dreamed of having wide open spaces where my kids could play. I dreamed of them spending days working hard along side us, building things and caring for animals. Then having the freedom to go build and create, run and explore.
And I, myself, wanted to be able to look out my window and see horses in the pasture.
I longed for a simple life. Which in these days really seems super complex.
Ironically, the chaos of 2020, really clarified where I am on my homestead journey. I’m excited to share with you how it all came together for me.
But first, I want to mention that this post today is in collaboration with 11 other wonderful ladies who are sharing about their own homestead journeys. Keep reading for links to their posts. I promise, they have lots of great things to share!
WHY WE HOMESTEAD
In early 2019 my husband and I found the property we live on today. We built our house and were working towards my dream of horses in our yard.
We have raised chickens for several years and knew we would get more chickens. My husband bought us some feeder pigs, we had a few small garden plans.
All in all, not obnoxious homesteading goals if I’m honest.
Then, about March of 2020, the world shifted. Y’all know what I mean. Everything was different. Store shelves were empty, meat was super expensive and hard to find, we were staying home for very long periods of time.
It really opened my eyes to how fragile our food systems were. And not only how fragile, but how backwards some of them seem. I started to see how much we could do for our selves when it came to raising animals, growing food, and sourcing well what we couldn’t grow or raise.
I found homesteading communities online, shopped at more farmer’s markets, networked with locals who also cared to source out sustainably raised foods. We had good conversations.
I met farmers and gardeners and learned about the soil around here. They taught me how to “pull the bitter out of a cucumber.”
We talked about how the cows lay down before the storms come.
I learned that there is a real community out there of people raising their own meats, growing fruits and vegetables, cooking from scratch, creating things. And even in a pandemic year, the community is there to help and teach.
LIFE ON THE HOMESTEAD
Homesteading means different things to everyone, but homesteading for me is all about the life on the homestead.
Raising my children on the homestead teaches them so much. The value of hard work, caring for helpless animals, and knowing where our food comes from.
Also, they know the pure bliss of being able to run free through pastures. They love to spend time loving on and teaching tricks to their animals, and reading in their hammocks.
We have several animals that are pets. I love spending time with them, caring for them, and honestly just watching them graze and be themselves.
We also have animals on the homestead that we raise to harvest and feed our family. This is something that is hard for some to understand how we can raise something we will eat. It is extremely important to us that these animals are raised in good conditions and cared for well, too.
I love that on the homestead I can look around and see life everywhere. This includes plants. Trees that provide shade and wind breaks for our animals. Grass that feeds our animals. Fruits and vegetables we grow in our garden. Wild flowers. Weeds. Onion grass. Ha! Plant life is everywhere out here.
I can’t write this post and not include that with homesteading, comes hard days. There will be mornings you realize a sick animal didn’t make it thought the night.
Where predators have made their way into your chicken coop.
There will be days when the wind blows an entire tray of tiny seedlings out across the yard.
Times where it rains for days on end. Days when attitudes are clashing or where energy is low.
There will be hard days, but for me, the good outweigh the bad a thousand times over.
HOMESTEADING WHERE YOU ARE
My biggest regret is that I didn’t do more in my earlier circumstances. I kept thinking that “someday” it would all come together for me.
In reality, I could have done so much more on our residential neighborhood property. We lived there 8 years. And although we had laying hens and a few small gardens, I missed so many potential homesteading opportunities because I thought my conditions weren’t right.
Even before that, for a few years we lived in a small apartment in a decent sized city. Those years, I could have cooked more from scratch, had an herb garden, sourced local and quality foods.
I want to encourage you that you CAN be a homesteader where ever you are. I used to think homesteading started in the kitchen, and while the kitchen is a great place to put homesteading skills to use, I know better now.
Homesteading starts in your heart.
As promised, here are the other amazing ladies sharing about their homesteads. Click their names to hop on over and check their posts out!