When we first bought our property, and I brought up the idea of homesteading, my husband was hesitant. I’m not sure what he thought a homestead was, but his initial reaction was that we lived too close to town and didn’t have enough land. Yes, we live less than ten minutes from town, but I felt confident that 36 acres was more than enough land. The reality is in this day and age, you can homestead on a single acre or in an urban home. At its roots, homesteading is about self-sufficiency and sustainability no matter what scale you accomplish them on.
And I must say that by choosing to live the homesteading lifestyle, we have enriched our lives in many more ways than we could have imagined. Our family started homesteading in 2021, and we’ve never looked back.
I’m pretty sure that we had no idea what we were really getting into when we started, but it’s been an amazing journey filled with valuable lessons. It hasn’t always been easy, and somedays fun is nowhere on the description list, but through good days and bad, one thing is certain, it’s always been worth it.
Just as there are many different types of homesteads, there are also many reasons for homesteading. Perhaps it’s simply a desire to get back to nature. Perhaps it’s a response to the state of unrest in the world. For me, I grew up in a self-sufficient home. Our garden grew enough food to feed our family of seven. My grandfather and uncles hunted, and the whole family fished and foraged. I grew up being exposed to canning, preserving, baking, herbal healing, and sewing. We traded our bounty with ranchers in our extended family to get milk, eggs, and beef.
Then later, my uncle began raising the beef we ate. There were very few times as a child that I remember eating foods from a store. Our meat came from the freezer in the basement, and it was packed in tidy white wraps with my grandmother's scrawling writing on them. The eggs were brown with bright yellow yokes. The bread was baked fresh every week. Milk came in big glass jars, and I spent my days eating fruits and veggies directly from the ground.
After years of city living in Southern California, I’ve finally grown up enough to find a desire to return to my roots. It started by moving back to my hometown with my husband, Daniel. We came home to Colorado with a desire to get back to nature. The purchase of our dream property simply took that a step further. After all, what’s the point of so much land if it isn’t going to support us? I’ve never been one for material things, and I’ve long since learned the value of homemade and handmade goods.
Add that to the fact that our property came with a home, an off-grid cabin, a deep clean well, a terraced garden, established fruit trees, a root cellar, goat pens, and a chicken coop, and well, it just seems silly not to homestead when everything is already set up for it.
Why We Love Homesteading
There are so many things to love about living the homesteading life. Here are just a few of our favorites.
One of the main reasons we started homesteading was to provide our family with our own fresh food. Confusing packaging labels, mystery additives, and questionable produce were things we could no longer accept for our family. Now, we grow our produce and fruits, and we hunt and fish for most of our meat. We preserve everything we have an abundance of to carry us through the winter. Now, we no longer have to rely on the grocery store to provide our family's basic needs. When storms hit or the power goes out, it’s very comforting to know that we have the food, supplies, and skills needed to make it through without rushing to the store to stock up on supplies.
Knowing Where Our Food Comes From
Growing our own food has been a massive joy for us. It has allowed us to ensure our food is the cleanest, healthiest, and most nutrient-rich food. Our garden vegetables are grown in organic, nutrient-rich soil. We utilize regenerative farming methods and skip chemical fertilizers and pesticides.
We know exactly what our animals have been fed, and we know that they live happy, healthy lives in our care. Our chickens are like friends, and the eggs they provide for us are hard to match in quality.
Constant Skill Learning
The skill set you acquire as you make your way through homesteading, is priceless. It’s a thing that will continue to grow and benefit you for life. From animal husbandry, gardening, cutting firewood, building, cooking, preserving, butchering, and small engine mechanics, there is no end to the things you’ll learn. Five years ago, as I worked away in the fashion industry, if you had told me that one day I would build a goat barn all by myself, I would have told you you were crazy. Among other things, homesteading teaches you that you are stronger, more resilient, and more capable than you thought you were.
A Feeling of Contentedness
This is my favorite aspect of homesteading. The connection between me and my family, my friends, my animals, and our land are all things that I treasure. When our family works together to complete tasks, grow and harvest food, split firewood, and learn new skills side by side, we get much more than just the joy of a project completed. We get valuable time together that helps us to grow closer during the good times as well as the bad. At the end of the day, we are often sweaty, sore, and tired, but we also carry with us a feeling of contentedness that is like no other.
Homesteading is a Journey
There is nothing like embarking on a homesteading journey. I like to refer to it as our de-evolution. Through the course of becoming more self-sufficient, homesteading allows you to get back to your roots and re-learn the things your grandparents knew. From fishing and farming to herbal healing and food preservation, the journey takes you on a path the unlearning the “modern way” of life and learning how to do things the old-fashioned way.
On our homestead, we grow our own food, hunt our own meat, make our own herbal medicine, craft both household and personal care products, and have help to take control back of our lives, our food chain, and in the end, our health as well.
If you’re embarking on this crazy thing we call homesteading, drop a line or say hi in the comments below. We’d love to get to know you. Until next time,