So you want to homestead? Welcome to the exciting, crazy, productive, and exhausting world of homesteading! There is so much to think about and plan, it is hard to know where to start. People approach me on a regular basis asking for advice on starting a homestead. So here it is.
When is the best time to start a homestead?
Yesterday is the best time to start a homestead.
If you are too late to do that, then today is the best time. I have heard countless reasons to put it off. “We want to have everything planned out first.” “We are waiting until we are more financially stable.” “We are waiting until we can tell it is just the right time.” “We are waiting until after we have our children.” “We are waiting until we are done travelling.” Those are obviously all important reasons, and for some people, starting now isn’t an option. But for many people, these reasons are partly procrastination and partly sheer intimidation.
Because homesteading IS intimidating. It is expensive to buy property. It is constant daily work. It’s a huge challenge to homestead with small children. Travel is vitually non existant, at least not without extensive and sometimes expensive planning. But it is also extremely rewarding. It is highly educational, and it is, after all, how you want your children to be raised. So what is holding you up?
5 Good Reasons to Start Homesteading Now!
1. Start homesteading before your children are too OLD to value it.
We started homesteading about 5 years ago, when my youngest was one year old. We started slowly with just 5 chickens, and gradually increased our workload as we were capable. My youngest child has known no other life and so the daily chores are a part of life. Growing food is a part of life. Milking goats is a part of life. Life and death are a part of life. And she wants it all! My eldest child is much less interested in the daily activities and had a harder time adjusting to the switch from commercial to homemade food. My middle child is somewhere in between.
2. Enjoy the fruits of your labour as soon as possible.
Why wait until everything is ideal? There may be no ideal time. If you start now you and your family can start benefitting from your efforts and from chemical-free, healthy, GMO-FREE food that much sooner. The SECOND you purchase your own property plant your fruit trees. Make your orchard the first priority. It takes years to grow a fruitful orchard but only months to set up laying hens or fencing for goats. Plan that orchard now before you even think about your garden, or chickens, goats or rabbits.
3. Learn to value your food.
Homesteading teaches you how to grow and raise food, where food comes from, how hard it actually is to work for your food, and what sacrifice is involved in gathering and processing your food.
4. Learn to be more self-sufficient.
Ever wondered what would happen if for some reason you couldn’t access a grocery store for a while? You wouldn’t even flinch if you had food stored away, a garden to eat from, and fresh eggs and milk at your fingertips.
5. Step out of your comfort zone and gain real-life skills.
Our bodies and brains are meant to be worked, and homesteading is a constant treasure trove of new learning experiences, both physical and mental. You know all those things you never thought you would do? Do them! Learn how to process chickens. Help birth a difficult goat labour. Build a chicken coop from scratch out of reclaimed wood. Plant your garlic in the icy cold rain of late fall. Open up a beehive and meet a colony of 30000 honeybees. Stepping out of your comfort zone allows you to conquer fear and uncertainty leaving you empowered and rich.
Now that you have some good reasons to get started, check out the following resources to help you get the ball rolling!