“If people let government decide what foods they eat and what medicines they take, their bodies will soon be in as sorry a state as are the souls of those who live under tyranny.” Thomas Jefferson
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
There seems to be a large move toward homesteading and self sufficiency. Much of this move is made because people are preparing themselves and their families for economic crisis and depression in this country. If I had one piece of advice to new homesteaders, it would be this: Homesteading is hard. You can read all you want, but it does not prepare you for the actual work. Many people have visions of a lovely garden, chickens running around the yard, fresh milk in the refrigerator, and clean sheets blowing in the breeze. What they don't envision is what happens to all new homesteaders, failure. Failure happens to all of us at some point, just like it has happened to all homesteaders for thousands of years. Homesteading is a skill. It is a skill that takes practice, just like any other skill. Even after acquiring the skill, failure still happens. I had a garden failure this year. I planted a beautiful garden and it was growing well. Until an old pine tree crashed down in the middle of it, crushing many just maturing plants. Then my daughter left the gate open twice; and the pony ate the cantaloupe, squash, and zucchini plants. The garden was hit hard this year. It went from being a garden to provide all veggie needs, to providing veggies through the growing season. So my advice to all new homesteaders is to practice after you have read. If a person has never been able to grow a houseplant, they cannot possibly imagine the nurturing that a garden requires. Farming is learned often from trial and error. Waiting to do the learning when you most need it could be a fatal mistake if your family depends on your skill for their survival. Homesteading is hard. Homesteading is also very rewarding. My advice to those thinking about homesteading-get to practicing. Learn and practice what skills you need now, before you depend on it for your livelihood.