Sweet Life Update #3

We are going on our sixth year living on the homestead, and I have been reflecting on our journey so far. I wanted to talk to you about some of our successes and some of our failures so that hopefully you can learn from both. So, grab a cup of hibiscus tea, and let’s talk about it.

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Successes on the Homestead

Getting into a rhythm: Nature has a rhythm or a schedule if you will that we did not pay attention to in the city. When we moved to the homestead it was a struggle to break old habits and form new ones that coordinated with nature. Learning when to plant seeds, transplant them into the garden, schedule butchering, harvesting and food preservation was not an easy task. I am finally beginning to feel like we are nailing down a rhythm on our homestead, and it feels great.

Mobile Chickens: My husband made a mobile coop and we learned how to rotate our layer flock to follow the cows on pasture. Not only were our eggs the best we have ever had (dark orange yolks and delicious flavor), but we noticed we had way less flies on our farm than previous years. We do park our chickens in a coop during the winter, but once spring comes, they are going right back out on pasture.

Learning new skills: Homesteading has opened up many opportunities for me to learn new skills. I never thought I would build a perimeter fence for our pasture, milk a cow, process chickens, make soap, sourdough bread, sew, make cheese, render lard and tallow, or build and own a website to share our homestead journey with you! It has been an amazing process, and I am eager to keep learning this coming year. I hope you will come along with me and build a community together so we can start a revolution of self-sufficiency and freedom!

Failures on the Homestead

Take Your Time: I think every homesteader you meet will tell you DON’T RUSH THINGS! Take your time, you cannot learn everything your first year on the farm. I rushed, and I am here to say I regret it more than anything else I have done. I wanted raise all of our meat, grow a huge garden, and preserve all the food. I did not know how to do any of that and did not realize that each category takes a lot of time and effort to accomplish. Needless to say, we were burnt out and not sure homesteading was even worth it.

An example of rushing is my garden. Looking back, I should have had a small garden and built up from there, but nope I chose to have a bigger garden than I could handle. I paid the price with tons of weeds and less produce. I could not keep up with the work, because I have an autistic son that needs my care, I homeschool our children, and I only have so much time to spend working on the garden. We are now putting in raised beds so I can better manage this space and I am super excited to see how it goes.

Money: Because we rushed, we were pushing really hard to do too many things at once and it was stretching our wallet to the max. Like I said earlier, we were wondering if homesteading was even worth it. This may not be the popular thing to say, but homesteading is not free. Yes, there are many ways you can save money, but building infrastructure cost money. That is why is it is so important to plan and be wise with your money.

Hope For the Future

I want to end this post on a positive note. Homesteading is relearning life skills that our modern society is leaving behind. Take your time, enjoy the journey, and soon you too will look back at all the amazing skills you have gained and the abundance that hard work and dedication brings.

Other Post You May Enjoy:

Why We Homestead

4 Ways to Be Content While Waiting for Your Homestead

Beginner’s Guide to Raising Chickens

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