Hey y’all! How’s life? Life is busy at Mama Jess’s. It’s just another winter day in my neck of the woods…. The weather is bipolar, it cannot decide if it wants to be warmer than usual or be a normal winter. So, depending on the day we can be in the low 50’s or have snow. Today is in-between, as we have several stormy days headed our way. We shall see what comes out of it. We’re in need of water, snow will be welcomed. Besides, it’s the poor man’s fertilizer in homesteading.
Speaking of homesteading, let’s talk some on that subject….. Many, I suspect, who’ll be reading my blog, will most likely be seasoned vets on this. However, whether you’re seasoned vet or a dreamer still, there is a place to start homesteading. At the beginning. Lol, sounds simple and almost redundant, but true. I found many have asked me over the years how to get started. Many want to plunk some money down, buy land… if you’re lucky maybe even a cute farm house. Many want some animals as well. Until, that is, they start asking a friend, neighbor, or even complete strangers what it takes. They’ll often get a sad look in their eyes and feel as if it’s all too overwhelming to do. Or, they’ll jump in head first and get in over their head. Ever happen to you or someone you know?
So, let’s start at the beginning. I don’t know about y’all, but I find it helpful to start at the dreaming and planning stage. You see, I have a confession to make…. I’m not a huge planner….more of an outliner. Whether you’re an outliner or an A to Z planner, you’ll still need a solid idea to start on.
Dreams are a great place to start…. Strange right? Maybe…. But I find if you cannot dream past a short term cute little farm house with a picket fence then you may not be ready for a whole hog situation. I suggest starting by dreaming in terms of what does a homestead mean to you? What are you looking to get out of it? A slower life? Self sufficiency? A new lease? Cleaner air and knowing your food source? Are you good at making something out of nothing? Are you practical and creative? Can you dream, plan, and know it’ll be a waiting game at the same time? Do you have basic knowledge of some skills, or are you a total green horn? These are just some of the questions as you dream you might want to consider before making the leap.
If you can answer yes to any of these questions homesteading is for you! Next in the dreaming and planning is to find out what kind of homestead is for you. Type? Really? You mean there are different types? Yes! That’s what makes homesteading so versatile and awesome! You can even begin homesteading as an apartment dweller. Lol, bet your chuckling now thinking I’ve lost a few screws there, and you just might be right….. but that’s another story for another day.
So, apartment dwellers, urban dwellers, tiny land owners rejoice! Yes, we too can join in the ranks of the steading community with those that own 5+ acres. You see, the trick is to start small…. Sounds counterproductive, but I promise it’s not. This is a hard lesson to learn. I know, I was there too at one point. I confess it was the hardest time for me, the waiting…. Waiting to accomplish my dreams… seemed to just go on forever. Until the day I realized I can homestead anywhere. I’ll let y’all in on the secret….Homesteading is a state of mind and a lifestyle choice not necessarily the land and/or animals you own. Don’t get me wrong; that’s very much a part of it all. So…..this is where the type of stead comes in. We have urban/suburban steading (with in the cities and suburbs), tiny steading (.25 to 2ish acres), and full out steading (3ish acres to 10ish+ acres).
With those types comes the farmer, rancher, or combination of the two. If you’re going to have animals; are they there for the food they produce (eggs, milk, etc.)? Or, are they the food? In your garden; is it strictly for seasonal food? Or do you plan on preserving some of it for later in the year(s)? Do you plan on purchasing some of your food at a grocery store still or be 100% self-sufficient? What about non-food supplies? Are you going to produce some or all of them, or need to be near a town to purchase? I bet many of you didn’t realize there were so many questions, huh? That’s ok…. At one point (even with being submerged in country life most of my life) neither did I. Make an outline of your dreams/goals. Get a solid idea of where you want to begin and work towards it, starting where you are now. Don’t wait. Here’s another secret…. There is no perfect time or place. There will be failures…..lots of them, guaranteed. Homesteading is a lot like raising kids…. A long line of mistakes with some being happier than others J It’s never too early to begin learning and mastering skills needed where ever you are; whatever situation you’re in. Let’s grab some coffee and talk next time on Stage 2, Learning and Practicing.
Blessings from My Stead to Yours,