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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