Reflecting back I’ve come to realize that living the homestead life is a process of becoming self sufficient.
When I first started this journey, I had no idea goats had no upper teeth, how to make bread from scratch, whether you needed a rooster to get chicken eggs, how to incubate and raise baby chicks, or how to do so many things that I have learned over the last seven years.
My father in law bought me a copy of Carla Emery’s book, The Encyclopedia of Country Living years ago. At the back of the book is a test – a sort of living the homesteading life have you become self sufficient yet test. Looking at the test now, I know how to do everything she has listed, this wasn’t the case when I first got the book though.
Much like gardening, becoming self sufficient is a process of adding to the knowledge you are gleaning, making adaptations, talking to old timers and finding out what works for you.
There are many people who live in urban settings. Urban homesteads are becoming popular. Gone are the days when you needed acres of land to produce enough food for your family. Many are doing it with a normal quarter to third acre lot in the middle of big cities. Some even homestead on roof tops!
Once we retire, my husband and I will be homesteading from a 5th wheel. Think it can’t be done? There are so many ways to grow food and a couple chickens don’t take up that much space.
As with everything you do in life, you need to make the decision that homestead life is the lifestyle you wish to lead. Becoming more self sufficient will naturally move you towards a more natural way of life. One of the perks is that you will find you health improves as you eat more homegrown food.
One of the things I love the most about living the homestead life is that there is always something new to learn, explore, enjoy. There are stories that grow from the journey. It is a good life. So satisfying to know that should everything collapse tomorrow, you will be part of the solution not adding to the problem.
Along the way you meet other like minded individuals who share your passion for different aspects of the country life.
There are a ton of places to find specific information about living the homestead life. If you are just beginning your journey, even if you are living in the city, I highly recommend that you get a copy of The Encyclopedia of Country Living, a hard copy, so that you have a solid reference book should you be without power.
Pick one thing at a time to focus on. I started with chickens. They are easy to raise, don’t take much in terms of shelter and they produce eggs (and meat if you aren’t too squeamish). With all of the messing going on with the food supply, I feel much more comfortable “knowing” the meat I eat.
As you get comfortable with your first accomplishment, move on to another self sufficient living skill and conquer it. Before you know it, you will be living the homestead life too.
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