Thursday, January 16, 2014

10 Reasons To Homestead

Everyone has their own reasons for following their passions and living the life they choose. For my hubby and I our passion led us out to a three acre plot of land in the country to start a small homestead for our family. Over the transition of moving from the city, to the suburbs and finally the country we spent many hours discussing the reasons why homesteading would be right for us and why we would like to homestead in the country.

We wanted to share our reasons with you. Whether if you are a person just playing with the idea to homestead, you are just curious or you are ready to pack your bags and get out of dodge there may be something on our list that will help you with your decisions. What is cool is that homesteading can be done anywhere,  for us that meant a few acres in the country. We could have found a larger plot of land and started bigger with more animals many acres of field to plant, but right now we wanted to start with a piece of land where we can have our chickens, a large garden and room for small quantities of larger animals. We have a space that isn't too large but has plenty of room for what we need and gives us  plenty of work.

We didn't have to go with as many acres as we did or even as far out as we did homesteading can be done wherever you call home. It can start with a small garden in a suburban backyard or a patio garden in the city on any scale that works for you.

This is why we wanted to change our lifestyle and become homesteaders....
  1. Homesteading can give you a simple life, do not confuse this with an easy life. Homesteading is a lot of work, but there is a quality of life that growing your own food and raising animals that is slower and rewarding. There is less of a hassle to survive the crowded store with coupons and kids, and I found now there is less of a need for things bought at the store. Before we moved and we were closer to the convenience of discount stores I found myself spending a lot of money on things I thought I needed. When the stores are not as convenient to get to it is interesting how much less I buy or feel I need.
  2. Homesteading lives a life closer to God and closer with our family. We are a Christian family, living a more simple life with less need for the store and more time in the dirt we are further away from the distractions of modern life. With those distractions removed there is more time to live with the earth and focus our thoughts on our creator and our  reason for living rather than what is on sale, the newest store or the latest trend. It is also great for our family's relationship that we are able to focus our time on projects and work as a group. This of course can come with it's own set of complications, there is plenty of room for whining from the kids and bickering between hubby and I, but overall our life is something we are all working together on. With how fast paced modern life is I think it is easy for families to work individually without God rather than as a group and get lost in the hustle of maintaining schedules. We each have our own path and our own direction but homesteading gives us time to be together while we are on our own way.
  3. We are learning self reliant skills that keeps us more reliant on each other than outside sources. This saves us money on our grocery bill and can also save money on home energy costs. We are also learning lessons that can save our life.
  4. We are more prepared for disaster and emergency. I'm sure nearly all of us have heard tales of a pending doomsday and the need to be prepared for the worst that is ahead, and who knows there could be truth to that. I do believe however, there is much truth in being prepared for things like natural disaster or the loss of work. Lets say you live in a cold climate and the power goes out for an extended time leaving you unable to get to the store or heat your home. Homesteading can help you. Having a back up of water, an alternate way to heat your home and having food stocked in your home will keep your family comfortable while waiting for the power to return. The same can help you if a spouse becomes ill or looses a job, in a stressful situation like that, knowing you have a back up plan will make things smoother.
  5. We are teaching our children valuable lessons that they can take with them as they venture out on their own. They will know where food really comes from, how to grow and raise their own and what to do with it. We are also teaching them respect for the land and for animals. Some people wince when we tell them we raise and butcher our own animals but we are teaching our kids that meat doesn't come in a package, it comes from a living breathing creature that needs to be respected and we need to be thankful for this. This will help remind all of us not to waste our food or take it for granted.
  6. Homesteading saves money and gives more freedom from outside work. After a homestead is established, a steady amount of food and energy are being produced and lessons in simple living have settled in there is less of a need for a large income. This will give you and your partner more freedom in how you make money outside of your home. Selling extra veggies and meat at markets may be all you need to pay outside bills now, if not, you may be able to keep one spouse at home tending to things or both work part time. Less time away from the home can help keep families working together as one unit.
  7. Homesteading can give a healthy life to you and your children. By raising your own fruit, veggies, and animals you are able to make the choice of keeping it all organic. We choose to raise only natural and organic food here because we rather have the occasional bug than chemical on our food. There are a lot of changes in children such as food allergies, and attention problems that in my opinion (and I could be wrong here) are related to the strange chemicals sprayed on food to preserve it and give it longer than a natural shelf life. Aside of what we are putting in our bodies that is keeping us healthier we are working harder physically now. We no longer need a gym membership when we work up a sweat outside. Our children help us too. By keeping them away from too many hours sitting in front of the TV or computer helps maintain healthy weights for all of us.
  8. We are building a community of like minded people. With many lifestyles a community of people grow and get together. For us that means a group of fellow homesteaders, farmers and gardeners to trade tips and recipes with. We have connected with new friends and reconnected with old ones because of a desire to homestead.
  9. Homesteading is environmentally friendly. We produce less waste by eating what we grow and make here more often than buying packaged food bought at a supermarket and use less gas doing it. We also do a small part by choosing not to use chemicals and buying used rather than new.
  10. Homesteading is fun,  at least we think so. This life is obviously not for everybody, which is fine, our differences help make the world an interesting place. But we enjoy the hard work and projects associated with managing our land, it keeps us active and keeps our family bonded. There is a lot of trial and error associated with what we do and for us that is part of the fun.
This is just our opinion, our reason for choosing the life we live. We would like to hear yours too, are you a homesteader or someone similar. Leave us a comment and tell us why. If you have a blog leave your link so we can help build our community.

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