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Email Monday:
3 Homesteading Lessons


This post goes out to all the self-sufficient, ready-for-anything, fearless, goat-owning, early-rising, guinea-fowl-keeping homesteaders out there. 

So far, I’m not totally one of you. Yet. But I’m working on it.
 

Here’s what I’ve realized since moving to a beautiful 15-acre homestead equipped with a barn, lots of wildlife and even an adorable tick-infested stray puppy.
 

First and foremost: there’s a REASON cavemen came in from the outdoors and started playing chess and watching reality TV. Because the Great Outdoors is HARD, y’all!

It’s one thing to visit a National Park now and then. It’s quite another to have a bucket full o’ wildlife descending upon your living quarters.

(You probably knew this already. You may have been yelling it to me through your computer screen. #duh)

But I'm so, so glad we did this. This is undoubtedly the coolest thing we’ve ever done. It’s also the biggest lesson in humility I’ve ever had.
 

Homesteading Lesson #1: 15 acres is a LOT. 


When we were first looking for a lil’ land of our own, I pressed for even MORE acreage. I thought 50, 80, even 100 acres would be fine - after all, if you’re going to have a few, why not have a LOT? It’s just land - it’s not like you’ve got to pay a babysitter to watch it. Amiright?
 

Even the local farmer in line behind us at Home Depot said “if you’re gonna do it, might as well get a few thousand acres and start raising cattle.” See? I said to Cave Husband.
 

Thankfully, my big “why not?” dreams were steered gently by the benevolent universe to a plot we could handle - with some growing pains, that is. 15 acres is more than just a big yard, y’all. It’s a big, ongoing PROJECT. It never stops growing. Branches never stop falling. Insects never stop buzzing. Arthropods never stop embedding. (FYI: you need this.)


And the awesome experiences never stop coming. Every minute brings an unexpected lesson and something new to be grateful for. 
 

Fortunately we left the cattle-raising to our neighbors, but our pooch can’t get enough of the view from our front yard.

Homesteading Lesson #2: You won’t go from zero to CSA just because you own a bunch o’ land and buy a bunch o' seeds.
 

I wanted a giant garden composed exclusively of heirloom vegetables. I would, of course, be canning these vegetables, storing some in my root cellar, and selling the rest at the local farm market. 
 

I bought *a few* seeds to plant. 


 

I have yet to start my garden and the seeds have taken up permanent residence in my refrigerator. (Next year. Is what I keep telling myself.)
 

Things get in the way out here. Things that eat up your time. It may be a downed tree, a SLIGHT fear of ticks, or laboring endlessly to get contractors to come all the way out to the country to haul away barn junk the previous owners left behind. (What do you need a giant helium tank for? wait...is there something I should know here?)
 

This makes me all the more impressed with people who grow their own food, and even MORE thankful for the folks who do it for the rest of us. Thanks to the growers of vegetables and the people behind our CSA. Without you, I’d be completely without spaghetti squash.
 

Homesteading Lesson #3: Homesteading is good for your marriage.

 

I’ve learned that my husband can pretty much do anything. He comes home from a highly technical job to build fences, haul downed branches, and use phrases like “brush-hogging.” 


It. is. awesome.  


That's it, folks! Got any advice for me? Leave it on the Facebook page or send me a tweet!


With lots of love and high hopes for homesteading wisdom,

Liz

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