By definition, homesteading is a culture of rule breakers.
That’s part of the reason I love it.
Yet even the most contrarian clubs tend to develop rules of sorts.
It’s funny how that works.
As I’ve watch the online homestead culture explode over the years (the topic of my podcast this week), I’ve realized that I’m not great at coloring within the lines— even in the world of homesteading.
Here are a few of the “homestead rules” I love to break:
1. I hate wearing aprons.
I think they’re functional and cute on other people. I just don’t like them for myself.
2. I wear jeans and t-shirts, not prairie dresses.
Flowy fabric of any sort isn’t functional with our 60 mph winds… Plus, my tomboy-ish self just doesn’t love frilly things.
3. I use soap on cast iron.
This may be the most controversial thing I’ve ever said online. 😉 I don’t do it all the time, but I’m not afraid to use a bit of dish soap on the worst messes. (And if a pan is well-seasoned, a little soap won’t harm it.)
4. We eat potato chips sometimes. GASP. It’s true. We eat very clean most days, but I’m not above occasional junk food when the situation arises. The food we eat on a regular basis is my biggest focus— if we grab a fast food cheeseburger while we’re in town, I don’t sweat it.
5. I don’t milk every day.
When our cow is in milk, I calf share a lot. This means I usually milk a couple days per week and leave the calf on the rest of the time. To me, it’s the best of both worlds.
6. I don’t like goats.
I’ve tried to like goats for over a decade. We’ve milked them, we’ve bred them, and we’ve kidded them. I think they’re a good option for many folks, but I’ll take a cow over a goat any day of the week.
7. We use antibiotics on our animals if needed.
We do not feed medicated feed or maintenance antibiotics, but if one of our animals is suffering and a dose of penicillin will solve it, I won’t withhold that. (However, if we do have to give medicine to one of our Genuine Beef animals, we pull them from the beef program entirely and do not sell that meat.)
I hope some of my rule-breaking ways made you feel a bit better about your own journey. ?
Remember: There is no homestead governing authority (thank goodness!). You get to pick the parts of this lifestyle that work for you, and leave the rest.
So now that you have all my deep, dark confessions— what are the homestead “rules” YOU like to break??