What Life on a homestead is Really Like

in #homesteading6 years ago (edited)

It is pretty difficult to generalize what life is like on a homestead, as every homestead is different.

All of us pursuing this lifestyle have our own way of doing it. For some, this means modern technology, solar power and e-business. For others, it’s more old school: pumped water, hand tools, and maybe even working animals. Although no two are alike, certain factors tend to be consistent across homesteads. That’s what this article touches on.

Distance from Society

We spend very little time in town, or socializing with people who are not our neighbors. As such, we are very much removed from things like the latest movies, fashion trends, and pretty much everything else going on in modern society. For us, this works great, as we both feel modern society has turned into a big pile of garbage. That said, some people are going to have difficulty with this. If you are the type that needs your Starbucks coffee, or fancy Friday night date night, you might find it challenging.

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Consternation of friends, family

Depending on the people around you, you may find that many of them disapprove of the homesteading lifestyle. They’ll tell you you’re crazy, and wonder why you’re pursuing such a difficult life. What about money, they’ll say? What about keeping up with the Jones’? Don’t expect a whole bunch of support, at least initially. Once you get a homestead established and can demonstrate the little paradise you’ve created, perhaps this will change. But don’t count on it! Be ready to go it alone, emotionally, and you won’t be disappointed.

Significant time spent with family, partner

Whoever you decide to homestead with, you’d better get along! Homesteaders tend to spend a lot more time together: both at work and at play. For some, this will verge on 24/7/365! Additionally, homesteaders must achieve entire projects together, from visualization to implementation. If you do not work well with your fellow homesteaders this is going to prove extremely challenging, mostly when project go awry. There is nothing worse than spending a day or two on a project that utterly and completely flops. If you are the type to point fingers and lay blame, you’re going to find homesteading challenging, as it is full of challenges that don’t always go the right way.

Seasonal Tasks

With few exceptions, the modern world blazes forward, largely uncaring as to the season. The average person goes through basically the same routine, whether it is sunny or snowing. This cannot be said on a homestead: there are many tasks are largely dictated by the season. You’ve heard the saying “there is a season for all things?” Well, odds are it was a homesteader (or farmer) who said it first.

The spring is planting time. Summer is for growing. The fall is harvest time. And the winter is for projects, and getting ready for the next season. Amidst all of this are the regular tasks as well such as jobs, housekeeping and everything else that a normal household deals with.

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Obsession with the weather

When you homestead, you have to be on top of the weather, as it will often dictate what can be done, and when. This is particularly true during planting and harvest time, when rainy weather will make impossible to plant or collect certain vegetables/fruits. Of course, if there is no rain during the summer months, it means you’ll have to water your garden. The weather plays a big role in homesteading, and after doing it for a short time, you’ll understand where the saying “Farmers are always complaining about the weather” comes from!

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Earning Money

Quitting and your day job to earn an income from your homestead is no easy task. It’s not at all like a job, where you work X amount of hours and get paid for those hours. On a homestead, you may work for weeks and get paid nothing! Unless you devote serious time and energy towards developing income streams, you will find that your homestead consumes cash, rather than produce it.

There are, of course, plenty of options for generating cash. You can work remotely, part time, for someone else: that is probably the easiest, especially getting started. You can produce a cash crop. You could raise honey bees, and sell the excess honey. If you have skills, like carpentry, you could do work for your neighbors, or start a small business. There is lots you can do, but keep in mind that every moment you’re spending on these sorts of things is a moment you’re not able to improve your homestead. The ideal revenue generator, for a homestead, will be in-line with the homestead itself: a food product, a farming service, or the like. Multiple small income streams are often preferable to one single stream of revenue, as it protects you against failure. If all your eggs are in one basket, you’d better not drop it!

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For most, living on a homestead is a different experience, quite unlike city life. It is not for everyone, and a good number of wannabe homesteaders disappear back to the city, after only a year or two. That said, for the right person, it is the only lifestyle that makes sense. Once you get used to having some property, to having peace and quiet, and to rising when you’re ready (as opposed to some beeping alarm clock), you’ll be hard pressed to contemplate going back to the old way. Homesteading is a blessed life, in many respects, if you’ve got the character for it!


[@xwalkran ]
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No truer words have been written.

My m-i-l constantly said, but it's sooo much work... She could not see the worth of good food, even when it meant she'd end up in a nursing home due to poor diet....

We've owned the homestead since 1983 and built 2 houses. Plans in the works for an addition, for our "old age"....We've survived all the building, projects are a piece of cake! LOL

And the weather, don't get me started on the weather.... LOL

I distanced myself from society back in 1983...no TV, newspapers, radio. Too much stress...too demeaning...

Excellent post!

It is very hard/impossible to make people see when they are not ready. Although, I guess it takes all sorts in this world, so having some that close their eyes and ignore reality is to be expected.

Blows my mind though.. Many cures make us sick, the food is poison, the environment gets worse .. and yet, that is good enough for most people, because it's good enough for everyone else! Herd safety, I guess. Crazytown.

Starbucks? Never had one, don't care to. I prefer my own brewed at home as I stare out the back window into the woods.

Family & friends who don't understand? Yup on both accounts. They will ask.. why do you bother with all that gardening and then canning it... etc
They just DON'T understand.

Obsession with weather? I thought I had inherited this from my dad... guess it's more than that.

Certain people just need to march to their own drummer, I guess. Homesteaders certainly fall into that category.

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