What homesteading means to us
I used to hear these phrases come out of my mouth a lot; “When we have a homestead” or “When we can homestead”, I mean a lot, a whole lot, like many times a day. I’m a dreamer, I get these picture perfect images and ideas in my head.
I’m not sure at what point I came to the realization that homesteading is not as much about where you are and what you have but much more about what is in your heart. I’m just glad that I realized it and didn’t continue to just dream about “one day”.
I can look at other people and think “I wish I had what they have” but I know that I’m so very blessed where I am right now. There are probably people who look at me and wish they could have what I have. That’s a very humbling thought.
Homesteading means different things to different people. In my opinion, homesteading has so much more to do with your attitude towards life than your location at the moment. Sure, I still have huge dreams for a big farm but I have learned to be satisfied in the present and do what I can where I am now.
We started out with a garden in our backyard when we lived in Florida. That grew into a large garden once we moved back to Virginia. We soon added a flock of laying hens which quickly turned into three flocks of hens. We then raised two rounds of meat birds. We currently have two ponies (we’ve had one since I was 8 and the other for 8 years), two flocks of hens, three pigs, a large garden, and our milk cow will be here in a few weeks.
Had we have never quit looking at the when, we would still be sitting here waiting to start. Once we just started doing, everything else fell into place. It has been a slow process in some ways yet so fast in others. When I look back at where we were just a few years ago it blows my mind by how far we have come.
Homesteading is so much more than just having a farm or raising animals. For us, we want to raise as much of our food as we can. We want to be as self-sustaining as possible. We eat real foods and cook everything from scratch to ensure our bodies stay healthy.
Another very important thing is teaching our children the many things you learn through this life on a farm. They will grow up to know what hard work is, how and where their food is produced, how to take care of themselves and their families, how to care for animals, how to cook and make things from scratch, and they will understand the satisfaction that this life brings.
Most importantly they will learn to be grateful to God for all He has provided and to honor Him in all that they do. These lessons are invaluable and I cannot think of another lifestyle that would build such traits in my children.
This is what homesteading means to our family. I don’t know what it means to you, only you can decide that. If you are in the “waiting” phase of life I encourage you to do what you can now. You can start where you are; you can container garden, raised bed garden, have a small flock of chickens, can your home grown foods, can the foods you purchase, cook with real food, anything you can do right now is a huge step towards your future. I hope this encourages you to move forward or keep moving in your homestead journey.
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Donna Runion-Bruce says
Hey Jenna, I love your new website.
I have been doing the backyard farmyard thing for about 30 years. I did the best with what I had. The challenge was getting my favorite “city boy” Steve interested enough to join me. Now that he is finally on board, we have sold a rental property and are ready to re-invest in a small family “Homestead”. The new challenge? This is the Arizona desert.
We are currently “Farm Shopping” here in Arizona in order to stay near our adult children. We are blogging about it at http://sharinglifesabundance.wordpress.com/
I’m glad your “city boy” is on board with you! 🙂
Shirley Collum says
Just happened onto your web and glad I did. Great ideas and a wonderful dream.
Thank you! 🙂
Heidi @ Pint Size Farm says
We are in both – waiting to get a property where we can do more, but doing as much as we can right now!
Rhonda, FL says
I just love having fresh veggies and eggs without having to pay the organic prices. It really isn’t so hard and so much healthier for you and your family. My only regret is that we didn’t buy “more” land all those years ago so we could do a little more with it. It is truly amazing what a little plot of land can yield if given a chance. It wasn’t our “goal” back then to be homesteaders but the label has stuck and fits us quite well. We praise God for what we have been given and try to be the best stewards of it. It is a learning process but a fun one!
Isn’t it great? I love learning and we are always learning. 🙂
Tracy @ Our Simple Homestead says
I agree..homesteading is not about where you are it is all about a simple mindset! You can homestead anywhere as long as you are willing to learn to be more self sufficient, choose to live a healthier lifestyle and live as close to the land as possible. What a wonderful post!
Thank you! 🙂
Deana Slone says
Hi Jenna! Your post could not have come at a better time. We are currently renting a farmhouse on and cannot have any animals. I put in a vegetable and herb garden this year and planted a quick grow walnut tree but have been dreaming, dreaming, dreaming of the day that we buy our own land and can do this and that. Your post gave me a kick in the britches to focus on what I can do here and the things I can learn and master until that time. I still need to get better at gardening and do far more canning (I freeze a lot). Our definition of homesteading will be to finally own our own land and a small practical house with solar panels and a wind turbine, composting toilet, a couple of cows (1 being a dairy), chickens, a couple of pigs and some sheep. We hope to only have to work away from home enough to pay for insurance and the items we don’t produce or barter for. Thanks for your blog and sharing your knowledge – as a newbie to homesteading – I greatly appreciated it!
Thank you! I am so glad you found encouragement in my words. Another great thing to do is educate yourself as much as possible during this time. Maybe you could visit some local farms that have like-minded farming philosophies and learn from them. I really enjoy reading books and blogs about homesteading as well. 🙂 Keep us posted on your journey!
Jan Thomas says
I am a ‘country” girl living in a big city, and spent too many years waiting to get back. Now I am slowly getting back by gardening, canning, and I am dreaming of chickens! (But am wearing my husband down at the moment!) This post is perfect to share over at Country Fair Blog Hop which is a once a month party. I’d be thrilled to have you join us! Jan @ Tip Garden
Thanks you so much! I’m glad you are getting back to the “country” life even in the city. 🙂 I hope you get your chickens. I’ll be over to check out your hop. 🙂
Jan Thomas says
Oh my goodness, your the best! Thanks for being so supportive!
I love that you bring up the kids learning where there food comes from. Just yesterday, my 3rd grader came home from school saying some of his classmates were shocked to learn where meat comes from. Really? Thanks for linking up to the Country Fair Blog Party. I look forward to reading more of your posts and watching your homestead expand and change.
It’s amazing, isn’t it? People have become so far removed from where our food comes from. Thank you for stopping by and joining us on our journey! 🙂
Taylor-Made Ranch Homestead says
What a great post. You’re so right, if you spend your time dreaming about the life you want to live but are waiting until the conditions are perfect, you may very well never get to realize your dream. Jump in & start the baby steps NOW where you are. Thanks for sharing, I thoroughly enjoyed this post and I’m visiting from Simple Life Saturday hop. (congrats on the feature!)
Thanks so much! I’m glad you enjoyed it. 🙂
You are so right about the someday talk! I always said that someday when we live on our homestead… But, last year we ripped out our backyard lawn and planted a garden! I bought a new pressure canner and started canning again! I am learning how to make soap – from scratch! I even rendered my own tallow and lard!
Luckily, our someday is coming soon – hopefully this spring. For the past 8 years my husband and I have been working on 5 acres of land that, as soon as he retires, we will move up to and live out the rest of our lives! Now, instead of saying someday, now I say “I can’t wait!!!!”
That is so awesome! I’m excited for you! I want to learn to make soap, one of the items on my to do list. Keep us updated on your journey! 🙂
Angi @ SchneiderPeeps says
What a great post. We made the jump to homesteading while we were in a 4 year season of unemployement. It sounds crazy but we just got tired of feeling stuck. Not everything happened like we thought it would, but we love the life we are living. Thanks for sharing at Simple Lives Thursday; hope to see you again this week.
Great advice for starting homestead! This post really inspired me, I am on the way to becoming full-time homestead. Reading your informative post showed me I am on the right track, chickens are much easier to keep and require minimal time.
Amazing! I have really been enjoying your post. Having your homestead means having to control over your life, its all about doing what you can and knowing you have the skills to do more……
Just love your site, I refer to your site all the time! The basic skills that you mentioned here are of priority and must be learned at a very early stage of homesteading. I must advise people that live a life on their own terms where you can survive without paying for organic prices.