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We’ve been homesteading for about 6 years now and boy, there’s a lot of valuable lessons we have learned from homesteading. It is a continual process of learning through trial and error. You never stop learning or improving on what you’re doing. That’s part of the beauty of it all.
The homesteading lifestyle is easy to romanticize and in many ways, rightly so. It’s also hard work and a lot more involved in different ways than I first imagined. The knowledge and experience we have gained over the years is priceless.
Lessons Learned From Homesteading
Homesteading is a lot of hard work-
I think this one is a given but the hard work is often a lot harder than you thought it would be. After a full day of butchering and processing animals, working the garden, moving animals around, or perhaps building a homestead project, you reach a whole new level of exhaustion that you didn’t even know existed. It’s a beautiful type of tired but man oh man, are you TIRED.
Gardening is an art-
This. This is a huge thing. Sure, some plants are fairly easy to grow. Throw a seed in the ground, add a little water and “Badaboom!” you’ve got food. If only it were all that easy. We’ve had years of great garden success and years of great garden failure. There’s so much more to gardening successfully- You have to learn to build the soil, what works where you live, how much water each type of plant needs, amongst many other things. No matter, every single vegetable grown and harvested is a treasure.
The simple life isn’t simple at all-
The so called simple life can actually be quite complicated. There are animals to be fed and tended to, gardens to be planted, weeded, and harvested, food to be processed, frozen, or canned, wood to be cut and split, etc etc…… You get the point, there’s never a shortage of things on the to-do list. It definitely keeps life fun and interesting. It also takes skill and knowledge to accomplish these things.
Life isn’t actually slower on a farm-
See above. Although life isn’t slower, it is definitely much calmer, quieter (even with 8 farm kids and a pile of livestock running around), and SO SO much more peaceful on the farm. With that being said- slow? Not so much. I often think that whoever said “life is slower on the farm” obviously didn’t live on a farm. I bet this concept comes from the peaceful atmosphere you find in the country as opposed to the hustle and bustle of the city life.
Homesteading on one income is tough-
So tough. Even with reducing costs of living and being frugal, life is still expensive. It’s just the nature of the thing. Not only do we have 8 children to provide for and a home to pay for (along with the expenses involved in that), we also have a whole slew of animals to provide for. This makes you evaluate every choice before making a financial decision. We have gotten pretty good at cutting costs and making things work around here.
Raising children on a homestead is invaluable-
I can’t say this often enough. The valuable lessons my kids have learned from homesteading and continue to learn will benefit them for life. The experiences will last them a lifetime as well. The memories? Oh, the memories will be shared for many generations to come. They’ll have a legacy worth sharing with their children and grandchildren.
Here’s a great post from Jill at The Prairie Homestead on homestead kids.
Appreciation for all things in life is immense-
When your pour your heart into something, when you invest your blood, sweat, and tears into it, your gratitude is unmatched. When that silly little chick that you worked so hard to save makes it through and lays her first egg, when you raised an animal to harvest and your freezer is full, when you milk your cow or goats and have fresh dairy products, when your pantry shelves are full of homegrown goodies…… all of it overwhelms your heart with appreciation. It is an immense level of appreciation and satisfaction combined. There is nothing that we have found that rivals it.
God is amazing-
I saved this point for last because, it is first. That doesn’t make sense, or does it? Nothing, absolutely nothing we do would be possible without God. He provides our needs, He created these things for us to enjoy, He provides the knowledge for us to learn, and He provides the animals for us to raise. There’s a reason that He is called our All in All. Without Him, none of this would be possible. He’s given us the opportunity to raise our children to serve Him and others. This lifestyle is a tool that we can use to form them for His glory. This isn’t actually something that I’ve learned homesteading, I already knew it but homesteading just highlights it all the more.
I know there are many more things learned from homesteading, these are just few of them that mean the most to me. This life is a choice that we’ve made to live and I haven’t looked back since. Homesteading is so much a part of our family that I can’t imagine life any other way. Nor would I want to.
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