So, you say you’re still on the fence about homesteading?
I get it. I really do.
Attempting to make the switch from buying all your food at the grocery store without a second thought, to someone who suddenly has an insatiable desire to garden and milk goats is quite the transition… Ya know?
And then you have the whole “convincing the family/spouse” hurdle… Sometimes it’s easy to persuade them their future lies between rows of homegrown, GMO-free corn and beans, while in other cases, it can be a bit of a struggle to help them see the “vision”.
It’s easy to come up with reasons NOT to homestead in our day and age: (“It’s inconvenient”, “People will think you’re a hippie“, “Why grow food when you can buy it at the grocery store?”) but I’m here to tell you it’s worth it anyway. Really and truly.
If you’ve been hemming and hawing about the best time to start your new homesteading adventure, let me tell you a secret: The best time to start working towards your goals is always NOW. Even if it means taking the most minuscule of baby steps. Even if you face setbacks. Even if your goals will cause people to question your sanity. (And it WILL happen, especially when you bring home your first goat.)
So just in case you need a little extra push, allow me to present to you….
7 Reasons to Start Homesteading TODAY
1. It connects you with your food.
Our society is disturbingly unaware of how our food arrives on our table. Kids don’t have a clue their hamburger once had eyes and a nose, or that their french fries grew in the ground (in dirt? ewwwwww…) Homesteading breaks this cycle by getting our fingernails dirty and encouraging us to return to an intimate relationship with the cycles of nature and food production. I’m convinced this is a need every human carries, and returning to it satisfies something deep inside us.
2. It tastes good.
So I lied a little up there in point #1. The whole reconnecting with nature thing is only part of the reason we raise our own food. The other reason is because it just plain tastes good. Juicy red strawberries picked mere seconds before landing on your tastebuds, happy brown eggs with full-flavored yellow yolks, frothy fresh milk with a five-inch creamline to be turned into golden butter… How can you argue with that? Case closed.
3. It brings freedom.
We homesteaders tend to be an independent bunch, and our self-sufficient tendencies are usually the primary factors leading us down this unconventional path. Homesteading can provide freedom from a centralized food supply and even freedom from the power grid, if you choose that route. When people start complaining about the rising prices of dairy products? I simply grin and give our milk cow an extra flake of hay and a pat on the head. When the news starts chattering about how beef prices will skyrocket? I feel secure knowing we have two steers out in the pasture, and one in the freezer. And this increased measure of freedom from the price-hikes at the grocery store makes this wildly-independent homesteader girl’s heart happy.
4. It provides security during hard times.
Whether your concern is a small emergency (such as a job loss), or a big one (you know, the whole zombie thing…), homesteading provides a reassuring measure of security in both the areas of food and skills.
Most homesteaders keep an impressive supply of food on hand because: a) When you grow your own food, you almost always have a surplus to preserve. b) Most of us have a strange addiction to mason jars and canning (we can’t help it).
While our own personal preparedness measures still need a little polishing, we always have enough food to last for many months, tucked away in our pantry, basement, cupboards, and freezer. Plus, it’s reassuring to know many of the skills we possess (such as gardening, hunting/butchering, milking, food preservation) would help carry us through in an extreme survival scenario.
5. It’s hard.
Yes. I did mean to include this one on the list. Us modern-folk have it so easy… Too easy. I’m convinced humans need an element of struggle and challenge to stay satisfied. We need something to strive for. We need to see achievement.
“Western culture has things a little backwards right now. We think that if we had every comfort available to us, we’d be happy. We equate comfort with happiness. And now we’re so comfortable we’re miserable. There’s no struggle in our lives. No sense of adventure. We get in a car, we get in an elevator, it all comes easy. What I’ve found is that I’m never more alive than when I’m pushing and I’m in pain, and I’m struggling for high achievement, and in that struggle I think there’s a magic.”
Homesteading is a struggle. It’s messy. And sweaty. And hard. And gritty. Yet the satisfaction you gain when you push through the tough stuff is incomparable.
6. It’s one of the best ways to raise kids.
My kids think everyone has a milk cow. When you run out of milk, you go down to the barn and get more. Of course. Their eyes light up whenever they shove on their tiny mud boots and wander down to the coop to check for eggs (usually getting sidetracked with various other adventures in the process). My four year old understands the life cycle of plants, to stay away from snakes that rattle, and to brush most of the dirt off the carrots before you take a bite. Really, what else do you need to know about life? 😉
7. It’ll change your life forever.
Homesteading has transformed me as a person in so many ways. I’ll never look at soil, or milk, or eggs, or meat the same way again. So many aspects of life are more clear as I’ve become more aware of the cycles of nature. My palate has improved as I’ve learned how to grow, prepare, and enjoy food with deep flavors. My confidence has grown as I’ve done things which previously seemed unattainable. I am completely convinced pursuing a modern homesteading lifestyle, and becoming more intentional in how we live and eat, is one of the most satisfying and empowering things a person can do.
So are you ready to dive in? Ready to make some changes? Ready to make mistakes, and learn, and try again?
Here are a few of my favorite homesteading resources to get you rolling:
- The Homestead Toolbox Newsletter: My weekly collection of handpicked homestead tips (And it’s stuff you can really use, too. No fluff.)
- Your Custom Homestead: 21 days of actions steps to help you jump-start your homesteading journey, no matter where you live.
- Apartment Homesteading: Stuff you can do in a small space to satisfy those self-sufficent longings!
- Urban Homesteading: Turn your backyard into a mini-farm
- Feeling a little fuzzy on what modern homesteading even is? This page will help clear up any confusion.