I’ve been thinking a lot about how great this lifestyle is for me. I’ve also been thinking how not-so-great this lifestyle would be for some people. Throughout The Green Acre Homestead blog, I try to be consistent and honest with my experiences and opinions – especially since I’m relatively new to the lifestyle myself (2.5 years in and loving it!). With saying that, I thought I’d touch on a few different things you should think about before diving head first into starting your homestead.
DO YOU REALLY HATE A DAILY ROUTINE?
Honestly, if you really hate doing the same thing every day, that’s fine, but homesteading might not be for you. Why?:
Every morning I wake up and feed my two pups (Hank and Loretta) and our cat Pete. I look for duck eggs in the yard, feed the ducks, go to the “slop shed” where I grow my fodder and ferment my chicken feed and fill a bucket of both; give that feed to the chickens and walk back to the shed. Then I drain my fodder seed I soaked overnight, add it to a new tray, mist the other trays, prepare a new batch of fodder seed to soak, back slop the fermented feed and close the shed. I feed and water the rabbits and then water and weed all 17 gardens.
Every single evening as the sun begins to fall I feed Hank, Loretta, and Pete dinner. I swing by the slop shed again for an evening treat of mixed seed for the chooks and quackers, head to the hen house to feed said seed to my feathered friends and pick up the chicken eggs. I then return the mixed seed scoop back to the shed and mist the barley fodder and stir the fermented feed.
This routine takes around an hour and a half every day and I really enjoy it, but this is every single day and night. Nothing changes. Now, you could get around this if you have a spouse or partner (or older children) that would switch off with you. That way you could have your cake and eat it too! I suppose you could rotate which animals you feed first but my chickens would be absolutely horrified if they saw me feeding the rabbits before them. They’d make a big deal of it and I’d just feel horrible!
CAN YOU SIMPLY CAN NOT STAY PUT?
If you’re constantly leaving on a jet plane, homesteading might not really be for you. Now, I did explain how vacationing can be done in my post “Homesteader’s “How-To” Guide on Vacationing” but that’s on an every now and then basis. If you’re wanting to take off multiple times a month I’d say the only way you could make that work is if you have very willing family/neighbors, funds to pay a sitter, or maybe you co-own a homestead. Co-owning a homestead could also fix your routine-phobia and it isn’t a horrible setup if you have a good partner in mind. I recently heard a homestead podcaster’s featured guest talk about how she wanted a cow but didn’t want to be so tied down; a neighbor of hers shared the cost and work of the cow and split the benefits.
DO YOU LOVE EATING OUT?
Maybe this is personal opinion but I just don’t see the point in homesteading if you’re choosing to eat out most nights of the week. Homesteading is mostly all about getting back to a more simple way of living and becoming self-sufficient. The actual definition of self-sufficient is “needing no outside help in satisfying one’s basic needs, especially with regard to the production of food“. I’m not saying that if you’re growing and raising your own food you should deprive yourself of a good night out, but maybe cut down if it’s a regular occurrence.
A way to have another piece of the cake and eat it too might be to raise your crop and meat with the goal to profit from local farm-to-table restaurants, friends, family, and neighbors. That way you could get your farming and gardening fix during the day and relax at your favor eatery in the evening. This could also be paired with co-homesteading! Win, win, win!
JUST DO IT!
I’ve said it before, but I really think this lifestyle is in the top 3 lifestyles to live. There are so many simple ways to homestead without land or homestead with land with help from others. You don’t have to do it alone if you want to do it! But also, if this lifestyle really isn’t for you, that’s okay. Simply supporting your local farmers, growers, homesteaders is enough to be a part of this beautiful ride.