As I wait for the time I can get on a big piece of land and grow our own food and fully realize my dreams, meanwhile living halfway there in the country with chickens and a garden and maple trees, I find my goals changing. I no longer want to go agricultural really. Now I want to get to our land we will stay forever so I can plant/encourage/maintain a food forest and go with a hunter-gatherer subsistence lifestyle. My husband works so there's still money as a backup, mind you. But we try and eat paleo anyway, so meat, nuts fruit and veggies, mushrooms, maybe a bit of syrup and honey and a storebought case of coconut milk and olive oil here and there would mostly cover our food needs. Maybe a cow for raw milk products but we can take it or leave it. Lately I learned that pre-ag cultures didn't just go out and gather, they propagated and cared for wild useful plants with minimal impact, and they only had half a day's work much of the time. I learned what weeds to eat, I've gathered pounds and pounds of berries, I'm starting to learn to hunt. Why battle lambsquarters and yarrow and dandelions when you can use them? Traditional crops get killed off by bugs and blight while the weeds thrive. My gardens have often been wasted effort, especially fruiting veggies. I'm starting to realize if I work with nature I don't have to work so hard in the long term, or pay so much for equipment. As my kids get older I'll have more time to work outside and more useful hands to do things, but I don't want to get burned out either.
Of course my house plans keep shifting too, every couple months I have a new and better layout in mind. I wish my husband would get on board with the smaller home plus outbuildings for gatherings and rooms for guests or teenaged kids concept that I want, it would make initial building cheaper and easier. He loves comfort and a touch of luxury and our current house really spoils him at 2000sqft.
Anybody else waiting to reach their country/off grid dreams and find their goals changing?
Same here - we've been living in apartments for years, with buying a home not realistically on the radar just yet. In the last few years, I've really tried to embrace the idea that homesteading is a lifestyle, and not a place.
We're going to get two plots at the community garden instead of just one this year, and will be starting all of our own seeds instead of buying starts. I can and preserve as much as possible, and try to make or re-purpose as much for the home as possible.
I used to want the 5 acre dream, but these days I'm not so sure that we'll be able to practically obtain that. So I think a nice house that we can afford in a small town or the suburbs will be just fine. Not much more than 1000 square feet, with room for a decent-sized garden, and maybe a beehive and a few chickens or pheasant.
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- my blog on small town homesteading.
Totally there. With revising, making things work in the "now". I always wanted to live a more self sustaining lifestyle, and at one point I was a single mom with two young kids trying to make a go of it alone, but many factors worked against me (I was depressed, I was a student and had to drive into town every day, I did not have 4WD so we would get snowed in or our often in the winter depending on where we were when it dumped snow lol... And really, I needed help. I had a roomate (there were 2 separate living quarters) and they were all into the idea of homesteading but then did NOT follow through at all. I was in wayyy over my head. I gave that up to move in with my now husband, which was a healthy choice for me at the time. Less driving, easier school access, taking care of my health & wellbeing.
But now, years later, I feel like I want to start over again, but am coming to terms with some adjustments to my dream. As much as I would love to live on some land, away from the city a bit, The reality is I am not prepared to HS all our children (especially DSS, who I can't because his mother has say over his education), My oldest DS has autism and has developmental therapy, speech, OT, etc he goes to; I have split custody of my two oldest, DH works full time and isn't as interested in homesteading as I am. We also are no where near ready to owning a house, which bums me out constantly- we would pay so much less in house payments for a larger house/more land than we are now for rent on a smaller house in the burbs. Often houses where I live that are rentals that come with mor eland const much much more than where we live now. Being a rental, I have three small garden beds but am pretty sure I could not get away with doing much more although our yard is pretty big.
I have more or less settle don the idea of urban homesteading because not only is it more financially realistic for us right now, but there are thing's like my son with ASD's therapy and school needs and the fact that 3 of our 4 kids have shared custody with their other parents that make our choices complicated. I am also in training for a flexible job that would be a lot harder to do if I was out of town, especially in the winter here! SO I have decided to just do what I can in the here & now and see what the future holds. I am going to grow mainly medicinal herbs and the primary veggies I use the most, add a lot of containers and possibly another bed, buy more in bulk, then acquire other fruits & veggies from farmer's market & local farms. Preserve more, make a lot of our own household, health & self care products. I would also settle for this home or another small-ish home if I could have out building(s) like a greenhouse and a yurt to use for various things! :)
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