When Country Girl first mentioned homesteading a few years ago I had visions (nightmares) of her dragging me off to live on a farm in a log cabin with no running water or electricity with animals of all sorts, an outhouse and bathing in a creek. (If she had her way that’s exactly what we would be doing!) Thankfully, she understands that taking away all of a city boys conveniences could possibly be detrimental. So, she only ask me to give up a few (for now).
First, Country Girl explained that homesteads come in all shapes and sizes and that people have different degrees of homesteading. What she was proposing was that we start with lifestyle changes such as; hanging our laundry to dry, install a wood stove, plant a small garden, learn to properly store food, try to reduce our footprint and become more self-reliant. Later we would add some chickens for meat (umm, kill a chicken?) and eggs (do they taste like store-bought?), rabbits for meat (not so sure about rabbit)…
So, because I love Country Girl (and I knew she’d win anyway), within one year she had convinced me to plant a peach tree, add blueberry bushes, build some raised planter boxes for our garden, and wear stiff line dried clothes everyday. We had about 30 chickens (I still haven’t killed one), 20 or so rabbits, quail and one day I came home and there was a pig. (When Country Girl gets an idea it’s “Go big or go home”!)
Now, it’s been a few years and we’ve learned a lot, such as; planning is essential, homesteading takes time, patience and determination to start, there will always be loss on a homestead (natural or predators), fresh eggs taste better than store-bought (and you don’t even need a rooster to get them, that was a shocker), rabbits are prolific reproducers (now I know where the term “breeding like rabbits” came from) and that sometimes you need to take a step back, reevaluate, regroup and come up with a new plan.
Follow myself and Country Girl as we build our new homestead and try to downsize and simplify our lives.