By Jennifer Woolwine

Is Homesteading Right For You?

Homesteading

baghdad to barnyard

November 16, 2022

Our homestead journey started in 2016. We wanted to escape city life’s constant hustle and bustle, get back to our roots and live a simpler life. While the journey has been anything BUT simple, it has been rewarding. I couldn’t imagine our lives NOT living on a homestead.


WHAT IS HOMESTEADING?

Homesteading is an old term used to describe different things throughout history. Today it refers to a lifestyle where families are seeking self-sufficiency. It has grown increasingly popular, and more families now than ever want to provide for themselves. Whether it’s growing their own food, raising livestock, making soap, repurposing and recycling, or wishing to minimize their carbon footprint- homesteading means different things to different people. There isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach to homesteading; it’s a lifestyle you can tailor to fit your family’s needs.


WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS TO HOMESTEADING?

You can start homesteading anywhere. It’s a common myth that you need acres and acres of land to homestead. You can do so much with the resources you have available to you today, right where you are. You don’t have to own any land to grow tomatoes on your balcony or herbs on your windowsill. Anyone can homestead, no matter where they live.

You’ll save money.  If you grow your own food, you don’t have to rely on grocery stores as much. Not to mention, your family will eat a lot healthier. Adding chickens to your homestead will provide fresh farm eggs daily, and you can also raise chickens for meat to feed your family. Making your own cleaning products is another way you can save money by homesteading.

You’ll learn new skills. One of the advantages of homesteading is learning new skills. There is something so empowering about learning how to do something new with your hands. I can’t help but smile when I reflect on what we’ve accomplished over the years on our homestead. We had no prior experience and had to figure out most of it independently, but the lessons have been invaluable.

Here are just a few skills you can learn through homesteading:

  • Grow your own food
  • Sew/mend clothes
  • Build animal shelters
  • Preserve food
  • Cook from scratch
  • Composting
  • Make your own cleaning products
  • Make your own medicine
  • Learn how to DIY
  • Raising animals
  • Hunting + Foraging
  • Carpentry  + Home improvement skills
  • Equipment and vehicle care


ARE THERE ANY DOWNSIDES TO HOMESTEADING?

While there are certainly benefits to homesteading, there are also some drawbacks. For example, homesteading requires much work. It can take up a significant portion of your day, leaving little time for other activities.


Adding animals to your homestead requires hard physical labor, even if you don’t like going outside. Whether it’s a hot summer day or during a blizzard, animals must be fed and watered every day. If you love to travel, you also have to find someone you trust to care for your animals (and has experience) while you are gone.

While homesteading can provide a sense of independence, it can also make you feel isolated. Recently we met our “neighbor,” and he mentioned he was struggling living so far away from town. Our nearest coffee shop or shopping center is 45 minutes away. Depending on your area, you may have to decide what is most important to you and your family, land or convenience.

Homesteading isn’t for everyone. If you’re looking for a hobby that doesn’t require much effort, homesteading may NOT be for you. However, if you want to get away from the hustle and bustle of city life and return to your roots, then homesteading could be an excellent choice for you and your family.

Homesteading isn’t cheap! Equipment is costly; animals need routine vet care, feed, and building materials are rising. Learning to be frugal and repurposing are crucial elements when running a homestead. You have to learn how to stretch a dollar and use the resources you have on hand.

Let’s go over some questions you can ask yourself to see if homesteading is right for you and your family:

  • Do I have the time to start a homestead?
  • Do I have the money to start a homestead?
  • Do I have the resources to start a homestead?
  • What are your family’s goals and aspirations?
  • Are you willing to make sacrifices and changes?
  • Can you work out in nature?
  • Are you willing to put in the work?
  • What are your homestead goals and dreams?
  • Why do you want to homestead?
  • Are all family members on board?

FINAL THOUGHTS

For us, homestead living has been an answer to our prayers. Spending time in my garden is where I can connect with nature and enjoy the beauty of growing things like vegetables, herbs, and flowers.  The best part about growing our own food is that it gives me a sense of accomplishment when I see my plants emerge and start thriving. Then when the plant produces, I get to harvest and share the fruits of my labor with my family and the animals.

Of course, not every day on the homestead is easy or full of positive things. Animals get sick, crops die, equipment breaks down, and then some… but the good days always outweigh the terrible days. So if you’re ready to kickstart your homestead journey, don’t forget to grab my free e-book: The Homestead Roadmap ” Learn how to homestead right where you are,” a simple, six-step guide to homesteading no matter where you live.

All the best in your homestead journey!

xo, Jen


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Jen Woolwine       Author

Jen is a veteran, wife, farm mama, homesteader, blogger,  and mental health advocate. You can follow her and daily homestead life on Instagram, FB, Pinterest & TikTok @baghdadtobarnyard

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