So You Call Yourself a Homesteader


Rachel“You've only been doing this for how long?”
“Oh, you live in town...”
“Seven chickens, three beehives and a garden and you're an expert huh?”

I've heard it all before. Sometimes I've even felt insecure about it. We are smaller than the tiniest homestead and we probably have no business assuming the grand title of “Homesteader”. I admit that I have even doubted myself, thinking they're right. Then I slap myself and shake off those homsteadier-than-thou haters and remind myself: Homesteading is in the eye of the beholder.

Oatmeal, Myself, & Little J, wrapping up evening chores

So are you a homesteader?

You bloom where you are planted:
Maybe you are like us and the right place hasn't come along. You are stuck in town or a city. But you till yourself a garden patch or your container garden anyway, and you do your best to keep your family full of freshly grown produce, and you preserve it for the winter months. What you can't grow, you buy from local farmers who can, and you stock your freezer and your pantry with locally grown meat, fruit, and veggies while they are all in season. Doing your best to avoid the store for most things. You might even make your own noodles! If your town allows you may have some of your own chickens for eggs and meat and you could have bees, too. You strive to be self-sufficient. Playing around with goats milk soap recipes and researching beehives gives you a thrill. You are content with where you are or you wait and you save until you can buy your real dream farm.

Our size doesn't dictate our knowledge:
Whether you have a barn full of cattle, hogs, fowl, goats, or sheep, it doesn't mean you know more than someone with one or two, and it certainly does not mean you know less. A lot of us have spent hours upon hours brushing up on health maladies and researching behaviors and methods. For example, someone can have an animal for a number of years without knowing or noticing certain health maladies exist while someone who only has a few can recognize an illness. While, sadly, others don't know and some don't care. We are dedicated to the health and well being of the animals we care for. Big or small, loss can be devastating and we all try to avoid it. Experience is worth its weight in gold, and us newbies can stand to learn a lot from all of you wise sages who have been at this business for years, but please remember, you were once a beginner too.

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