If there ever was a year to inspire a change to your way of life, 2020 probably wins the prize.
Food shortages. Civil unrest. Political division. Lockdowns. Pandemic.
These things have created fear, uncertainty and concern over what the near future might look like and whether or not we’ll ever return to some sense of normalcy.
So have these things left you wondering if there’s a better way to live?
I think interest in homesteading will continue to grow as more people seek to detach from the chaos in our society and seek a more purposeful way of life.
And I think that’s an awesome thing!
As a matter of fact, it’s the reason that my wife and I decided to move our family from Oregon to rural Iowa several years ago.
Here are some thoughts on why now is the perfect time to begin homesteading.
Tough times are ahead
Homesteading starts with a desire to become more self sufficient.
If you’re clinging to hope that 2021 will get better, I understand. But what if it’s not?
I’m not trying to frighten anyone. But I think it’s time for us to be realistic. We have some tough times ahead as a country. It’s time for us to think about how we can become more self sufficient and less reliant on the system.
Because what happens when that system is disrupted, compromised or completely breaks down?
We have become complacent as a society. Everything is available at our fingertips. Our food. Our information. Our energy. We have automated so many things in our lives that most of us have forgotten how to do them at all, making us vulnerable if things change.
Vulnerability leads to dependency.
My grandparents knew how to save, repurpose and thrive during terrible times. They were able to make it through economic depressions, world wars and civil unrest because they knew how to care for themselves. They didn’t depend on the system or the government to handle their business.
Self sufficiency isn’t something that is learned over night. It’s something that is practiced daily.
You don’t have to move to begin homesteading
Homesteading begins right where you are.
That means whether you live in an apartment, a camper or on acreage. You don’t have to wait for the perfect piece of land or situation to start homesteading.
Before we were able to buy acreage, we had a garden and we canned a lot of the produce we grew. We cut our own wood to burn to stay warm in the winter. We composted to replenish our garden soil. And we dreamed.
Start small. But start today. Dream and make plans. But do something now.
That’s how you begin.
If you only have balcony space, buy some pots and start a few plants. If you can’t grow your own food, support a local farm by buying directly from them. If you have a backyard, buy a couple chickens. Check your local ordinances to see if they are allowed and dive in.
Start simple. But don’t wait for timing to be perfect because it never will be. Work with what you have and grow from there.
Leave debt behind
The last thing you want to carry into the uncertain future is debt. You don’t have to be debt free to begin homesteading, but one of your highest priorities should be to get completely out of debt.
Resist the urge to go into deeper debt. We learned this the hard way when we jumped in. Now one of our priorities is to be completely debt free in the next 3 years.
Being debt free will give you more flexibility and alleviate a lot of stress if the country has to go through another long duration of lockdowns in the future.
It’s a lifestyle not a fad
When you start to homestead, make it a lifelong mission.
I love Instagram and all the farm and homestead pictures found there. I’m inspired by many of them.
But let’s get real. Homesteading is a lifestyle, and when Instagram goes away my family will still be doing what we do everyday.
Why? Because its a richer experience. It’s a life filled with purpose. We grow through the challenges and gain more confidence in ourselves with every challenge we learn to overcome.
It’s hard. But that’s the point. We were never meant to be complacent, bored or slaves to an unsustainable system.
Self sufficiency is better for our society
We have been conditioned all our lives to be consumers. Buy this widget. Play this game. Spend your time on this social media platform. Use this service.
But what are we giving back to our community? What are our lives contributing to our society?
A nation filled with distracted and indulgent consumers isn’t progressing. When corporations and the government own all of the food, wholesale goods and services, not only does quality and innovation suffer but so does the soul of a nation.
Why? Because we essentially have become slaves to the wrong kind of mindset.
When homesteaders resist the consumer mindset and begin to produce for themselves, it makes the community stronger. We share our food. We build things with our hands and teach others.
Those who produce contribute to their community, and the community thrives together.
A producer mindset will sustain a nation much longer than a population of people who only know how to take, use and throw away
Are you ready to begin?
Start small – Take it one step at a time. Begin right where you are.
Make a plan – It’s important to write down why you want to homestead, so start there. Then write down some goals you want to reach and how you will accomplish them. Make it simple.
Start learning – Get connected with other homesteaders to see what they are doing. Read. Stay inspired, but stay grounded. We all started at the beginning.
Enjoy the journey!