Jump to content
Search In
  • More options...
Find results that contain...
Find results in...
Sign in to follow this  
  • entries
    4
  • comments
    0
  • views
    461

Why I Love Homesteading

Jeffrey Dols

236 views

Why Homesteading?

The idea of homesteading has been one that I have entertained for many years. I have always loved the idea of living off the land, tending to a flock of chickens or a herd of cattle. My head was full with the romanticized notion of living off the land and producing everything I could ever need. My garden would never wither, I would never be plagued with pests, my goats would never think to kick and buck as I milked them...I had no idea of the rude awakening that was coming my way.

Don't get me wrong, the past five years have been wonderful, but it has been full of disappointments and hard work. These trials make even the smallest success that much sweeter. You reach a point at which every small victory is something you crave. Learning to put up a fence, watching that first tomato grow, learning to milk a goat, collecting that first fresh egg. All of these first moments that we work so hard to reach are truly wondrous. I truly believe that we are all meant to enjoy these moments. I believe that there is a part of us the needs to be in touch with the Earth. I don't mean in a hippie sort of way, but I think there is something in us that needs to work in the soil, to get our hands dirty, to accomplish things truly meaningful and valuable in our lives. Things that last.

So many of us work our lives away in cubicles and offices because we are taught that is what is expected of us, and that is what normal people do. How many of you have worked away the days in a windowless box not knowing if the sun is shining? How many of you have worked for years in a job that makes you successful by society's standards and yet you feel miserable? How many of you work hard, but you know that if you didn't come to work tomorrow it wouldn't make a bit of difference? I've been there too. Today we are told that happiness resides in the shiny and the new, in the expensive and the extravagant, in deeper and deeper debt. Yet deep down we know that we are not happy. We need something real, something meaningful, something that will still matter when we are gone. We won't be remembered for the car that we drove or the clothes that we wore.

My beginnings

The path to creating a homestead is not always easy, but once I began, I immediately knew that I was finally heading the right direction. My therapy became pounding in t-posts, rolling around rolls of fence, and raising barns. Once the infrastructure was complete, we brought out the four horses (2 miniature horses, 1 mule, and 1 quarter-horse) and our six potbelly pigs. Seeing them out in the pasture as I cam home every day gave me a profound sense of accomplishment, and I wanted more. Soon we added four goats in with our pigs, and three livestock-guardian dogs to look after them. I never knew that watching a goat browse could be exciting, but I was fascinated with trying to learn what they ate and what they didn't.

This lead me to try and identify the plants and trees on the property. I still don't know half of them out there, but I know more than I used to. I started a garden (it's pretty pitiful as you will soon see) to start producing some food on the farm. There are few things as rewarding as starting plants from seed and seeing them grow so quickly. I have even learned a few things about making my own jerky. There is a good redneck story behind that. One of my wife's coworkers saw a deer struck by a car, and she called my wife to tell her about. She called me to tell me all about it and I said, "Get that sucker!". So my wife ended up field dressing this dear with a scalpel (she's a vet) and taking it to the butcher shop. One hell of a woman, I know. Anyway, so we wound up with a freezer full of deer and I learned how to make jerky from ground venison. If you have never had it, it's amazing.

So this post is getting a little long. In the future I will address many of the skills and ideas that I have mentioned here in far greater detail. My hope is to show you how important homesteading has become in my life, and how fulfilling it can be. I had no idea what I was getting in to when I started, but I have acquired so many new skills, and I owe it all to the wonder of homesteading. Until next time, take care!



0 Comments


Recommended Comments

There are no comments to display.

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Our picks

    • I liked this one because the guy actually has a MAG and speaks from experience. For sure I'm one of the guys that pushes hard for a MAG. Probably because I've got a lot going and I'd rather have 500 perennials for five families than the 100 or so we have now. If your in central Canada and don't mind travelling once in a while check out my looking for a MAG post
        • Like
      • 6 replies
    • Today we are creating a two hour long video about how to build a Rocket Oven.  This design is for indoor use although we show versions that have been modified to be weather resistant.  A Rocket Oven will do all of your baking without the environmental disaster associated with natural gas or electric ovens.  For those of you living or considering off grid, this uses fuel that is plentiful and readily found - as opposed to off-grid's dirty little grid secret: "propane".  As an added bonus, the environmental impact is far smaller than any other type of oven.

      Rocket Ovens use the same "engine" as a rocket mass heater.  An  insulated j-tube that pushes the burn temp so high that the smoke and creosote from a fire is also used as fuel.  The exhaust is very clean and the heat is hyper focused on the task at hand.  The designs in this video are "white oven" designs - the exhaust does not mingle with the food.
      • 0 replies
    • That's my great grandfather's barn. Must be over 50yrs old and straight as when it was first built. He helped enough others and built enough community to get this feat done. His kids and even great-grandchildren see this barn and know anything is possible. If he could build this with horses. There are no excuses for any of us.

      That is one of the stories I'm going to outline below. I'm going...
      • 0 replies
    • STANDING RANGERS ORDERS, MAJOR ROBERT ROGERS, 1759
      1. Don't forget nothing.
      2. Have your musket clean as a whistle, hatchet scoured, sixty rounds powder and ball, and be ready to march at a minute's warning.
      3. When you're on the march, act the way you would if you was sneaking up on a deer. See the enemy first.
      4. Tell the truth about what you see and what you do. There is an army depending on us for correct information. You can lie all you please when you tell other folks about the Rangers, but don't never lie to a Ranger or officer.
      5. Don't never take a chance you don't have to.
      6. When we're on the march we march single file, far enough apart so one shot can't go through two men.
      7. If we strike swamps, or soft ground, we spread out abreast, so it's hard to track us.
      8. When we march, we keep moving till dark, so as to give the enemy the least possible chance at us.
      9. When we camp, half the party stays awake while the other half sleeps.
      10. If we take prisoners, we keep' em separate till we have had time to examine them, so they can't cook up a story between' em.
      11. Don't ever march home the same way. Take a different route so you won't be ambushed.
      12. No matter whether we travel in big parties or little ones, each party has to keep a scout 20 yards ahead, 20 yards on each flank, and 20 yards in the rear so the main body can't be surprised and wiped out.
      13. Every night you'll be told where to meet if surrounded by a superior force.
      14. Don't sit down to eat without posting sentries.
      15. Don't sleep beyond dawn. Dawn's when the French and Indians attack.
      16. Don't cross a river by a regular ford.
      17. If somebody's trailing you, make a circle, come back onto your own tracks, and ambush the folks that aim to ambush you.
      18. Don't stand up when the enemy's coming against you. Kneel down, lie down, hide behind a tree.
      19. Let the enemy come till he's almost close enough to touch, then let him have it and jump out and finish him up with your hatchet.
      • 0 replies
    • How to use Member Maps including adding yourself to the map and choosing which category you would like to drop a marker down on.
      • 0 replies
×