I suppose with a title like that you may be expecting an exhaustive list of must-have supplies and resources for your homestead. However, with every homestead and family completely unique, that would be impossible and impractical. Instead, I would like to give you the mindset of tools you will need on absolutely every homestead.
Willingness to Learn
Oh my goodness, you cannot skip this one! No one — I repeat no one — knows everything about homesteading. There is no one who cannot benefit from learning. That learning could come from books, videos, hands-on experience and experienced people. They all have their pluses and minuses. But if you find someone who says they are an absolute authority on something, beware! This is because there are tons of different ways to accomplish the same goals when it comes to homesteading. Read, listen and learn. Then take it all and apply it how best fits your situation.
A good case in point would be someone who has only hardened their entire life using chemical fertilizer and pesticides. They grow an excellent garden each year but adamantly tell you it can’t be done organically.
On the flip-side, you have an organic gardener who only uses organic gardening practices. If you ask both of them for advice you will get completely different answers. Who’s right? Well, it really depends on your perspective. In our garden we use a combination of practices. For example, we use no chemical pesticides but we do use regular fertilizer on some things. We do add organic material to our garden each year and are working on converting a large garden spot from my father-in-law to a naturally rich garden. However, that will take awhile and in the meantime, we figure our vegetables will still be far healthier than those from the grocery store.
This is a necessity! You are going against the culture when you build a homestead. Our world says the easier, the better and laughs at those who choose hardship over ease. When you willingly decide to be debt-free, people will scoff at you. When you choose to convert yards to gardens, your neighbors may look askance at you.
And there will be difficulties from the weather, land and finances. You must be determined that in the long run, you will succeed! Think of it as a marathon instead of a sprint. Also remember you may never arrive at the end destination but the journey is incredibly rewarding.
Plans, people, and circumstances change. You must be flexible or you will not succeed and instead will drive yourself crazy. Yes, you should plan but never think that everything will go according to schedule. Of course, some things do but many don’t. If you let that crush your spirit, you will never achieve your ultimate goals.
Life if full of twists and turns, and some goals take longer to reach than others. For example, I really wanted to get more chickens this year but we decided we were better off focusing on our vegetable and fruit production. Instead, we are getting fresh eggs from our neighbor. Yes, my end goal is flock of Rhode Island Reds, but that may not happen until next year or possibly the even after that. What matters to me though is we’re getting farm eggs and building bigger gardens.
You are striving to achieve an amazing goal when you build a homestead. It will not be easy and your friends may think you’re a bit crazy, but the end result will be so rewarding in more ways than can be counted. Keep up the hard work, be persistent, be patient, and congratulate yourself. You are attempting something that most of the world will never be able to.
Jenny Underwood is a homeschooling mom of four who lives on a fifth-generation homestead in the Missouri Ozarks, where she gardens, forages, hunts and preserves food for her family. Connect with Jenny at Our Inconvenient Family.
All GRIT community bloggers have agreed to follow our blogging guidelines, and they are responsible for the accuracy of their posts.