I am a snob. No, correction, I was a snob. For years, I had heard about the homesteading lifestyle but didn’t fully understand it. I’d heard of “preppers” and thought it was a bunch of crazy people with camo-painted faces, living in the woods eating twigs and berries over an open campfire and hiding from the world. I certainly wasn’t going to align myself to THAT. <gasp>
Well I was wrong. And I’m not afraid to admit I’m more than a little ashamed of myself for that small-minded thought process.
I became interested in the homesteading lifestyle when I was able to start gardening again after a very long hiatus. As I was re-familiarizing myself with the ins and outs of basic gardening, somewhere along the way I stumbled upon a site that had to do with herb gardening and the medicinal properties of flowering herbs (for years I just thought they were weeds) and from there the monster that is writing this post was created. A whole new world was opened up before me – all from a simple “how-to” article.
I won’t bore you with every tiny detail but I will tell you that from that initial reading I became obsessed with learning and applying everything I could about growing crops, food preservation, herbs for food and medicine, self-sufficiency – a.k.a “homesteading”. I suddenly became very aware of the years – yes years – of waste I contributed to, all because I was convinced that I was just “too good” to worry about saving food – after all that was for those “crazies” I mentioned earlier – not for me. I believed that the stores would always have what my family and I needed and I could carry on (in my best Scarlett O’Hara voice) “without a care in the world.” Well. I was wrong.
In the words of Bob Dylan, “times they are a-changing”. No more can we depend on the fact that we can run down to the local market, confident they will have plenty of what we need on the shelves. The time has come for us to develop a more self-sufficient, self-sustaining lifestyle and that’s what I have jumped into with both feet.
It is my hope that you will spend some time here. I will be sharing my experiences – good and bad – of getting started in this lifestyle along with tips, tricks, recipes and more. The information is meant to be helpful to those who have been on the fence but didn’t think they could do it because they didn’t have the space or the knowledge. Our grandparents survived the Great Depression because they could grow their own food and knew how to do things and I want to be able to share their ways, and the ways of those who came before them.
It would be unfair of me to say that homesteading may not be for everyone. While I agree that anyone can LEARN how to be a homesteader, it is not simple or always easy to do. It involves discipline, time-management and a lot of good, old-fashioned work. Success does not come overnight (much to the chagrin of my impatient self) but it DOES come.
I am looking forward to sharing this journey with you and would love to hear from you about where you are on your path.
Until we meet again – may your hands be in the dirt, may your head be in the sun and may your heart be one with nature…