So I have only been homesteading for a little over a year. I have come across some things in my time that requires mentioning.
I grew up on a bunch of land that my family rented, but when my granny passed away we lost access to it. That is for another post. We were a family that lived a simple life. I grew up without the internet and computers or phones, all that jazz. I literally had to entertain myself so the country life taught me a lot of things. Homesteading has been a way of life for many people.
For one, the circle of life. I learned about life and death. Animals having babies, those babies dying.
Chickens required us feeding them and having to cull them. Learning that there are predators that eat our food sources so we had to learn safety and how to react to those predators. Learning how to set aside emotions when properly ending the life of the meat we eat. We did this as humane as possible, but it still is something you do not get used to. In my opinion that’s a good thing.
Homesteading is a choice and definitely a lifestyle not for everyone but if you are here reading this then I am assuming it is something you are either looking into, or are already doing. So here we go.
First thing you should do when thinking of homesteading is figure out just what all you want to take on. Do you want to heat with wood? You must have a source of wood coming in. Purchase from someone. It can get expensive. Or you should have enough land to cut your own trees, splitting them, and storing the wood in a dry place so that you will have dry wood by the following winter.
This also is where the amount of land comes in. You do not have to have 20 acres to homestead as I am homesteading on 1 acre currently. I have 12 chickens and 2 outdoor dogs. I can suggest which dogs are the best for homesteading in another post later.
Land is a requirement when wanting to upgrade your homestead, so we are looking at more land to do so. Which animals are you wanting on your homestead? You want your own milk? Do you want sausage? What about making your own wool clothing and blankets? What will you be putting into your garden? Will it be the normal corn, potatoes, green beans, cucumbers,ect… or will you be adding completely organic? You want to add season items such as elderberry bushes? Do you have maple trees to make your own maple syrup? Homesteading with beekeeping will bring in money if you are not allergic or scared of honey bees.
These are the things you need to have in mind when you begin homesteading because it matters when you decide if it is just for your family or will you be selling items to the public. Wool, Wool made items, chicken eggs, milk, honey, elderberry syrup,ect.. All of these things determine just how much land you would need or want.
I am homesteading on just an acre of land. I have 12 chickens that provide eggs for us and to sell and meat when necessary. We have a woodshed and a wood splitter so that brings us enough wood for ourselves but once we have enough land, we will probably use the trees on it for our own heating benefit and maybe sell a few cords to help keep our homesteading lifestyle going. I have outdoor dogs that help keep the chickens safe at night. I will be having a greenhouse by next winter season so I can protect the things that need to be kept out of the winter elements.
My next homesteading journey will be gardening and canning vegetables for the following years and putting them in a homemade root cellar or in the crawlspace under my house. I am not sure as of yet just which I am going to do but I have a good idea of the places I could. I remember growing up and going to a friends house who canned tomatoes and her entire basement smelled like tomatoes. That is why I plan to have it outside of my house.
I do not use the entirety of our land for homesteading at this time. We have a few sectioned areas laid out for the kids to play. The dogs are penned, and chickens to be put up when the dogs are out. There is the garden to be tended to nearby. It all has to go together so that I can keep my eyes on the smaller ones while we are gardening, tending to the animals, and working on our wood for the following season.
When you have homesteading in mind you have to be mindful of all that goes into it. It is pretty time consuming so you will need to think about where your kids will be during the times of work. Will you have tv/tablet time for the ones who are not old enough to put in the work? Will your kids have to put in the work with you?
Are you looking to start homesteading in the next 6 months? Leave a comment below and let me know where you are in the world and your plans, I’d love to hear them.