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Have you ever found yourself in a homesteading slump? Maybe it seems as though everything you go to do is an epic fail, maybe you’ve lost your favorite animal, maybe you’re frustrated with your current situation or location, maybe life has kicked your tail and you just can’t find any motivation, maybe you are dreaming of homesteading but just can’t find a way to start.
Sometimes, the slump comes from outside issues that have nothing to do with homesteading but life just gets you down. All of this (as well as many other things) can push you right into a homesteading slump. I know, I’ve totally been there. It’s not a fun place to be and it’s definitely not any easy thing to get out of.
Getting Out of a Homesteading Slump
So, what did I do to get out of the homesteading slump, you ask? Well, I wish there was a simple answer and a quick fix but there’s just not. It takes a lot of mental work, attitude adjustment and a large dose of prayer. Don’t be discouraged, take that as a challenge.
If I know one thing about homesteaders, it’s that we have a whole lot of faith, grit, determination, and heart. That is the plain truth and that’s how we can get out of a low spot in life.
When we moved, it seemed as if anything could go wrong, it did go wrong. I shared about some of our struggles in our Recent Life Update post. We had BIG plans (shared in our Starting Over From Scratch post) for buying fencing, getting animals, starting our garden, and all the homesteading things we love to do. We also had a business plan built for pastured poultry. There were plans to buy a plucker and everything. Life was going to be great. Or so we thought.
My dad got sick and we had to spend a lot of time (and money) traveling and our truck kept breaking down (had to have the whole engine replaced by Farmer Derek), this was expensive and left the truck out of commission for months on end.
We were out of money and time for farming. Without his truck, Farmer Derek couldn’t work side jobs to bring in the extra income we need for farming (and life in general), He was able to use one of my parent’s vehicles for getting to and fro from his regular job.
Once he fixed his truck was fixed, we had a lot of catching up to do and not a lot of extra time. Just keeping’ it real here. Without the extra income from working on the side combined with the expenses of the truck fix, we couldn’t buy our fencing materials and much less get any animals.
That was tough. We were all very unhappy about the situation. I mean, how could we even call ourselves homesteaders if we weren’t really homesteading?
I stopped writing. What could I write about when I didn’t have a single animal or a growing garden? Mostly, I couldn’t seem to find any motivation to write.
Well, he fixed the truck and things started to look a little better. We were finally able to get the fence materials and put it up. We used the same fencing method as we did in Va because we were once again on a tight budget. Yay! Now things would move forward. We were starting to feel a little better.
Well, they did move forward, just not exactly successfully. First, we got pigs. 3 pigs to be exact, 2 young ones to raise for a while and one that was a little older so we could have meat in just a couple of months. The 2 younger pigs thrived. The older one, well, she didn’t seem to be growing much. One day, we went out to find, much to our surprise and disappointment, that she had birthed 3 stillborn premature piglets. Yeah, this was a huge letdown. She was way too young to have been bred. It explained the issue of not growing well.
In his defense, the man who sold her to us had no idea she was bred. It was a complete accident and he was very apologetic and kind. In the end, Ol’ Rose grew out for a while and we butchered her. Poor pig didn’t even taste good. That was a rough situation for sure.
We ordered chicks from a hatchery and all but 3 died. The farm kids had even picked their favorites and named them all. It was a sad situation to face. This breaks a mama’s heart. We did buy more chicks locally and they survived. Yay!
Our garden, if that’s what you want to call it, was an epic failure. Not for lack of hard work and trying on our part. We started a ton of seeds and planted all kinds of stuff. After all, we had a 50’x80′ area to work in. We were elated, we would have plenty of fresh veggies and even more to can. Except, we didn’t.
Most of our plants withered up and died before they set fruit due to the heat. What didn’t die, we had to battle fire ants for. Don’t even get me started on fire ants! And the seeds we planted in the ground were eaten by bugs before they even had a chance to sprout.
As you can see, life had pretty much stunk for the majority of a year. Sigh. This just wasn’t going to fly anymore.
What We Did to Change Things
It was time to put on our big girl pants, suck it up and dig ourselves out of the homesteading slump that we’d been shoved into.
We prayed a lot, a whole whole lot. We put on a new level of determination and moved forward. It took a step of faith to just start doing and not waiting for circumstances to catch up with us. We’d probably still be waiting if that were the case.
We set a plan up for the future. Not just the near future but for the long term. Homesteading is what we love and its who we are as a family.
By changing our mind set, channeling our determination, and realizing that we were going to make this thing work here no matter what, we got out of the homesteading slump. It was months coming and it wasn’t easy but we did it.
My word of advice if you find yourself in this place- Don’t lose heart, don’t lose yourself. Put your grit and determination to work in your favor. Make a plan that is feasible and that you can get excited about. And no matter what, don’t stop. Do something, no matter how small it seems, to keep your homesteading fire burning.
We are finding ourselves excited for the future. We have a plan to make our garden work next year, We got chicks that lived, we’ve been able to raise a steer for beef, butcher a pig to fill our freezer, we were able to get goats for fresh milk, and we have big plans for next year’s homestead.
Things still don’t always go as planned and we’ve had some more rough patches but our outlook is much more positive now. After a very long stint in a homesteading slump, we are finally feeling alive in this thing again. For that, I’m very grateful.
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