Best Laid Plans…


So, in my very first post, I laid out this plan to go back home and start living off the land, an endeavor I am anxious to begin. However, a teaching opportunity came along that I could not pass up. I have wanted to transition into teaching art since I began teaching a couple of years ago.

Unfortunately, the job is about an hour from the house and land that I was going to use as the homestead. At this time, I am planning on moving to the town where the job is located, saving me a lot of exhausting driving days.

This does not mean that this blog has come to an end before it has even started. I will continue writing, just from a different angle.

The main point of this blog is to share skills, and so I will continue to do that.

Now, I first said that the first task is to assess what skills are needed and what skills I have in order to make a go at this homesteading thing. But, after such a drastic change of plans, I think attention to goals, long-term and short-term should be addressed even before skill assessment in the homesteading plan.

When I say homesteading, I am not referring to the traditonal use of the word. In pioneer days, homesteading referred to government land give-aways where people claimed a plot of land and then farmed or sometimes ranched in order to get a new start in life. For many people it was an opportunity to own something of their own and become self-reliant.

While modern homesteading does require a least a small plot of land, sometimes as small as a backyard, and will resemble traditional homesteading depending on the needs and wants of the family, the technological revolution has made homesteading a much easier and convenient option for families today.

Just imagine for a moment the difficulty that our founding fathers went through just to begin from the beginning in a new place with literally nothing but a wagon full of supplies and team that they arrived with in their new land. The only things they would have had is what they could carry in their wagons.

Now homesteading today doesn’t have to be as frugal as all of that, even though there are those that prefer to simplify their lives and to completely forego modern conveniences so that their homesteading experience does resemble that of pioneers.

Of course, I would say the majority of people probably don’t want such an extreme change to their lives. It all depends on how much convenience you want to give up and really how much self-reliance you want to apply to your life. Even if a person doesn’t want to rough it like the pioneers, using the skills of the pioneers is achievable. The urban homesteader is the perfect example of how to do this.

Before we start talking about skills,  let’s ask ourselves some serious questions before starting the road to a self-sustaining lifestyle:

Do I want to keep working or plunge right on in without the benefit of supporting income?

Do I truly want to live off the land or offset living expenses by using traditional methods such as hunting, fishing, gardening, gathering?

Do I want to have a micro-farm business or use what I grow strictly for family use?

Do I want to grow a home business using traditional homesteading skills such as candle making, soap making, cheesemaking, etc?

So, homesteading comes down to what exactly the end goal will be once the decision is made to lead a more self-sustaining lifestyle. Do you want to be a homesteading purist, a modern homesteader or even somewhere in between? Maybe even an urban homesteader?

At this point, my goals have changed and that is okay. The journey to being self-reliant will be different for everyone. My goals now are to learn as much as I can, brush up on old skills and add new ones as well as getting the house and land ready to be homesteaded. While I won’t actually be living on the land that I initially thought of homesteading, I can work to get it ready to live on and learn new skills along the way.

So, think about it. What are your goals for living a self-reliant and self-sustaining lifestyle?

Down Home Honey




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