Five Easy Steps Towards Your Homesteading Dreams, One Step at a Time
Wikipedia defines homesteading as a lifestyle of self sufficiency. If we are being honest none of us are completely self sufficient. We all depend on something whether it’s industry, community, or government. There are varying levels of that dependence and in turn varying levels of self sufficiency. Obviously, since I am homesteading I have the desire to do more on my own. I would like to buy less and make more. I am hoping this list will help those just beginning or those already established. We can all improve and make steps toward progress.
- Ask yourself: What is it that I really want to accomplish … Do I want to sew my own clothing, grow my own food, raise a source of protein, produce an income, improve my community, help the environment and/or etc.
- Make reasonable small goals. You know your life better than anyone. You know your strengths and weaknesses. There will always be obstacles and challenges along the way to achieving your goals. For example: If your goal is to produce enough eggs to no longer need to buy store bought eggs and you I don’t own any chickens at all that could seem like an impossible goal. Ask yourself what can I do this year to start raising chickens ? If I take myself for example … I knew I needed to work toward a shelter for the soon-to-be my goats and save up enough money to buy goats. I didn’t start out one day with a herd of goats and a whole goat cheese factory.
- Make a five year plan. Do you want a goat cheese factory? Do you want to be a stay-at-home, goat mom ? Now is the time to dream. You probably wouldn’t be a homesteader if you weren’t a dreamer.
- Make a plan … I would like to include “do your research.” We have an abundance of resources with the internet, books, blogs, and YouTube. Find someone already doing what you want to do and read what they wrote or watch their videos. There are probably local experts all around you too. I enjoy talking to my more experienced homesteading friends. We often share successes and areas that we could improve. Often my homesteading friends offer advice with practical things that worked for them. (You can’t always trust your Pinterest ideas. So, getting real-world advice is good.)
- Grow something or grow more of something: Now is the time to plan. When people talk to me about gardening they are often intimidated to try. As humans we often look at what we want things to look like instead of small steps that can get us to a long term goal. If you haven’t grown anything at all … take baby steps. Plan to grow something easy, a potted cherry tomato plant, basil in a pot, or marigolds. Maybe you have gardened but on a small scale and you would like to preserve some food. Plan to grow more, ask around and see how much space or plants you might need to make a larger harvest. Explore freezing, canning or both. (Honestly, sometimes I freeze to can later.) There are so many options.
In closing I would say offer yourself some grace. Sometimes, I give myself a hard time about what I have not done or what I did wrong. It took me three years to have a successful popcorn crop, which to some seems silly. In reality popcorn is very easy to grow; however, I had a learning curve with the process. Sometimes it is ok to move on and sometimes it just means you need to try again. Be kind to yourself and you are more likely to succeed.
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