If you’re reading this you probably have the homesteading dream in some form: acreage (the amount varies), country-side, fields full of edible gardens, an orchard, a variety of farm animals, fresh bread, amazing healthy food, happy rosy-cheeked children, self-sufficiency, and . . . . . . freedom.
This has been a big dream of mine for a long time, but I got tired of dreaming something that seemed so far away from being attainable in my life. While I still dream of acres and a wooded area, I figured out that I could get what I was really after—right here. right now. right where I am.
First, let’s take a quick peak at some of the potential draw-backs to our beloved dream.
Problems with the Homesteading Dream
The good part about having the homesteading dream: it keeps us hopeful about life and it forces us to think outside the box and to plan. The bad part about dreaming: our dreams rarely live up to our reality. A few realities about moving out to the middle of nowhere to begin your dream:
- Isolation—Many of us underestimate how lonely life can be out in the middle of nowhere. It puts a lot of pressure on a spouse or partner to be each other’s only companion for days and weeks at a time. And make no mistake, introverts need other people too! (Trust me on this one—I am very introverted!) Who will you turn to for help or information when you run into a problem you can’t solve on your own? The internet is an amazing tool, but it can’t do the heavy lifting!
- Exhaustion—Clearing land, growing your own food, building and maintaining fences and structures can be exhausting—and the animals still need to be fed and watered! And, . . . no matter how tired you are, you have to get up and do it all again tomorrow, . . . and the next day!
- Taking on too much all at once—When you’re starting out there is a tendency to try and get all your systems up and running immediately. We make mistakes when we get in a rush and often make things harder (and more costly) than they need to be.
- Money—While you certainly can begin (and maintain) a homestead on a shoestring budget, doing it that way takes time and ingenuity. If you’re new at this type of lifestyle, you’ll probably need more money than you think. If you need to have an ‘off the farm’ job until you get more self-sufficient, how long is the commute? Will you still have time and energy to maintain the farm too?
- Proximity to resources—Even the most self-sufficient among us can’t grow and produce everything we need. You will need to make runs to civilization from time to time to stock up on necessities. If civilization is too far away—will you have to rush to make it back in time to milk the goats?
You get the picture! I’m really not trying to talk you out of the dream—far from it! I believe whole-heartedly in this dream! I believe that we can all have a piece of the life we’re dreaming of, without all the pitfalls!
Why do so many of us have this dream? And what are we actually after? I believe we are actually after feelings: the feeling of freedom, the pride we feel when we are self-sufficient, the sheer joy we feel watching something grow, and enough free time on our hands to spend with family and friends and doing some of the things we love to do!
Homesteading: Right Now, Where I Live
If you truly want to live out your homesteading dream you don’t have to wait! Examples abound of folks living the homestead life on tiny lots in the middle of cities. You can start right now; even if you live in an apartment in a bustling city. There are skills to be learned, techniques to be tried, information to share, and communities to build.
Grab a hot cup of coffee or tea and let’s make our dream happen!