How NOT to Start Homesteading


Do NOT purchase only two acres. That’s 300 feet by 300 feet. You can do some things with that size acreage, but not much.

Do NOT purchase land in an HOA or community. Your neighbor’s house could potentially be within yards of your own.

Do NOT think you can move onto your land with no income, no savings, no money, and be successful.

Do NOT think you can homestead if you are physically unable to work.

Do NOT collect livestock willy-nilly. Each animal you add should have a purpose and a plan for its use.

Do NOT include animals on your homestead until you have feed, shelter, and water for them, as well as fencing.

Do NOT go overboard on the number of animals. Each animal needs to be fed and watered, twice a day, every day, no matter the season. They also need to be vetted and cared for.

Do NOT think that a small garden is enough to sustain you. Depending on how you plant, you might need up to an acre to feed your family.

Do NOT go crazy canning everything. Can enough to be used within the next year, until the next harvest, and can only things you actually like to eat. Plus a little more, just in case. Take the time to figure out how much you need.

Do NOT use scraps for all your building projects. Some things require sturdy foundations and walls and roofs.

Do NOT skimp on fencing materials. Perimeter, livestock, and garden all need good fencing. No, your squash won’t escape, but that’s only because, if you have no fence, the deer and rabbits will eat it all.

Do NOT think you’re going to get a vacation unless it’s in the dead of winter and you have someone reliable to take care of your animals.

Do NOT think you’ll have time to run to town every day. That’s probably at least an hour of driving time, plus wherever you think you need to go, and you can’t spare that every day.

Do NOT plan to sleep in, ever, unless you have a partner who’s willing to take up the slack. Do NOT expect to go out to dinner every weekend. Actually, we usually do lunch for special occasions, or just occasionally—it’s cheaper, and it doesn’t interfere with livestock feeding.

And finally, do NOT be discouraged when your Fitbit says you “only” took 7K steps today. You were likely working every one of those steps, and Fitbit doesn’t have a “homestead” category!

 

 

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