Dreaming of Homesteading
What brought on the pull to start a homestead?
I’ve been thinking quite a lot lately about what I want my future to look like. While most of my life I’ve always wanted the typical suburban home in a nice neighborhood while making a living working for someone else, as I see how dependent Punky is getting on everything being electronic and instant, I’ve been leaning hard toward homesteading. Now that I know what it’s like to be your own boss, I found that I like being able to set my own office hours. I like being able to go to work in my pajamas if I want to, and I like to be able to sit and listen to the silence of a peaceful home while everyone is out. I can’t do that in a noisy office environment!
My Self Sufficiency Skills
I grew up doing things for myself. My parents taught me how to do basic DIY, how to fix a car, how to check seals and valves on our old hot water heater, and even basic demolition. I’ve cleared brush, scraped and painted wood siding on the house, started campfires, fished, and even went hunting a few times. I’ve made quilts, learned how to make jam, how to bake (I’m a whiz in the kitchen), and even learned needlepoint. I taught myself how to crochet and knit. When the taps in our bathroom sink broke, I was the one to install new ones instead of calling a plumber. I enjoy being self sufficient.
I believe the skills I learned growing up have turned me into the person I am today. I’ve never shied away from hard work, and I’m always there to lend a hand when needed. I’m quite happy to learn new skills like carpentry, tiling, and how to chop down a tree without it falling on my home. I’m willing and able to work as hard as necessary until a task is complete.
Those are the types of things I want Punky to learn. I’ve tried teaching him where food comes from, basic life skills that everyone should know how to do like laundry, preparing a meal, and tidying up after yourself. I started learning these things at a very young age, and I started teaching Punky these things early too. I just want him to experience the “tougher” side of life.
Currently The Husband and I practically do everything for him except the basics that we require of him. We require that he do his homework every night without fail, clean his room, tidy his own things, and help with laundry on the weekends. We require great manners, for him to treat everyone with respect, and help make dinner when it’s not too difficult of a task. He routinely helps me peel potatoes, tear lettuce, and chop veg (with intense supervision). He has it easy.
Self Sufficiency Goals
I want him to know how to be fairly self sufficient growing his own food, knowing that there are other ways to get meat and produce that doesn’t just come from the grocery store. Punky needs to learn the value of hard work, sacrifice (to a point), and how to work as a team. I want him to know that it’s ok to get dirty, to chase animals across the farm until he tires himself out. He needs to realize that life is more than sitting in front of the tv screen.
We live in an apartment surrounded by neighbors. We currently have a small container garden out on our balcony, where we are growing tomatoes and zucchini. The peppers didn’t survive the neighborhood cats digging in the pots, unfortunately. There’s no space here to grow more than a few things at a time. I yearn for the space to do what I want, when I want, without bothering anyone while I do it.
At the moment my dream is fairly simple. We do not want to be off the grid. I need my home to have running water, electricity, a sewer system instead of a septic tank, and gas heating. We require modern conveniences like cell phones and broadband internet. Punky needs to be in an awesome school system. I want to be a modern homesteader. I don’t want much, do I? Hahahahaha
I dream of my home on a 3-5 acre plot, complete with raised garden beds, a small orchard of fruit trees, a pond to stock with fish, and a big barn to hold family gatherings and special events. My dreams consist of wildflowers and maple trees. I dream of raising chickens, rabbits for meat and fiber, a few goats, and maybe a pig or two. We dream of backyard barbecues and bonfires, sledding and snowball fights without all the dirty, polluted slush that we currently have every winter.
It all sounds idyllic, doesn’t it?
Right now I’m trying to sell The Husband on the idea of moving back to America. That’s the first step of the dream, which is a long, expensive, and frustrating process. I’m trying to build up our finances enough to pay for his visa, renovations to the apartment we’re in right now, save for moving expenses, as well as staying on top of all of my everyday mom tasks such as running the household. The reason that I shoulder the majority of the work is because The Husband works such odd hours, and my work isn’t as steady as I’d like it to be right now.
- Quality life spent doing the things we love
- Space to do anything we want, whenever we want
- Not hearing neighbors shouting at 3 am while breaking glass bottles on the pavement in front of our apartment would be a godsend!
- Not having to play the “Watch your step” game to avoid stepping in dog poo due to lazy dog owners every.single.day.
- I can grow sustainable, organic produce seasonally
- We can raise our own meat and know that it’s had a good life
- I enjoy canning, preserving, cooking, and baking. We have very little storage space so I cannot do those things here
- I can sit outside and read a book without people staring at me
- We are a family of introverts and need our own space.
- It can get extremely expensive, extremely quickly
- Being on a farm can lonely no matter how many animals you have around to talk to
- The work required to keep the homestead running can be backbreaking at times
It looks like the pros list outweighs the cons list by quite a lot! Maybe this next venture would be a great thing for us! Now to convince The Husband that I need a herd of fainting goats…