Homesteading: Is It a Realistic Lifestyle?

There is a growing interest in the homestead life. We are finding more stories and coverage in mainstream news along with magazines and other publications lately.

In fact, during the covid pandemic, we were inundated with emails from people in a rush to leave cities and find a homestead. It was overwhelming for us. In fact, we stopped writing posts entirely for three years because it became too difficult to juggle it all. All I can say is that the worst time to dive into homesteading is in a panic. Instead, learn some ‘homesteading’ type skills now, from exactly where you are.

Our website provides a great channel for communication. We’ve had some interesting discussions recently where we’ve been asked to share more about why we homestead. One of the questions we were asked: “Is the homestead life a realistic lifestyle”?

There is a perception of what homesteading is really like, and I think this comes from seeing television shows set in Alaska. I think we can all agree that not every homestead is like this. There is an element of that ruggedness for us, but this is by choice. Some homesteaders live luxuriously and others live a really intense, extreme remote off grid life. Most homesteads fall somewhere in-between this.

When we first moved to this homestead we jumped into all kinds of things – immediately! We had spent so much time reading, researching and developing skills for homesteading that we wanted to hit the ground running. So we did.

Our time spent preparing was really important because we were able to develop skills before we moved to the homestead such as gardening and preserving food, but it established some pre-conceived notion’s in our minds about what a homestead was supposed to look like.

Less than a month into spring and we had pigs, chickens, quail, meat birds and a huge garden. We were putting up fencing, building outbuildings are moving full steam ahead. It was intense.

Then came the hard lessons. Not everything that we tried stuck. Some things we just hated doing. Some things we were terrible at doing. Some things broke our hearts. Then there were things that sparked something inside of us, things we were really good at doing and loved to do.

It turned out that raising animals isn’t something we are passionate about. We actually feel pretty terrible about it most of the time. We still keep hens for eggs but we’ve stopped raising quail and pigs. This might change but right now we’ve evolved into a homestead that grows a lot of organic food, focuses heavily on perennial edibles, foraging and wild crafting.

Eventually we’ve found our own groove and a lifestyle that nourishes us. We’ve grown a lot, learned a heck of a lot of new skills and wake up pretty exited to see what each new day will bring. We have no regrets. Sure, we wasted some time and even money on a few projects that didn’t pan out but we learned from these mistakes. Even the hard lessons taught us something valuable about this life and ourselves.

We also discovered that our old careers have a place in our new world. We built this website, a way to share our knowledge and inspire and support others. I also wrote an e-Book in response to the questions we were getting about raising chickens. We’ve also been providing personal mentor-ship and lessons. Another thing we focus on is building community and connections. All of these things are becoming an important part of our homestead vision.

When it comes to homesteading, there is ‘no one size fits all’ category. No book or documentary has all the answers, but you need to start somewhere.

What we’ve learned is that when it comes to homesteading, it’s the wild west. There really are no hard rules and there isn’t a user manual to follow. A homestead is a highly personal thing There are numerous factors that determine what your homestead will look like. Your skills & interests, financial situation, land type, resources, community just to name a few.

Inevitably, there will be some trial and error. There will be some hard lessons, and many beautiful ones as well. One thing we have not heard from a single homesteader is the word regret.

The hardest part is stepping off that beaten track and getting started.

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