Our Mission

To live a self-sufficient and organic lifestyle for the next half century. With the Grace of God and the power of prayer, we will succeed. Nothing is impossible with His help. It wouldn't be us without laughter and joy at the Cockeyed Homestead.

Sunday, July 29, 2018

Fulfilling Your Homesteading Dream~ How to Get It

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I've been conversing via email with one of our YouTube subscribers and blog readers. She wants to live our lifestyle too. It has been a dream of hers for decades.

We actually get quite a few comments and emails along this line. "I wish I could do what you are doing." We are visible because of YouTube and this blog documenting our progress on our homesteading efforts. We are just one of hundreds of channels that are doing the same thing. We aren't experts by any stretch of the imagination. We are just like anyone out there viewing us.

Viewers and readers alike have different circumstances which keeps them from selling it all and moving to a piece of land to homestead. That's the only difference between us and them. For Mel, her husband and mother died freeing her from her urban lifestyle. For me, it was the death of my husband. All my children are grown up with children of their own. We were free to make choices on how we would like to live the remainder of our lives and had the nest eggs to do it with.

Many feel frustrated and trapped by their circumstances.  They feel their dream of homesteading slipping farther and farther away as time passes. It's almost like they are in jail unable to do anything about it. You feel there is no escape.

STOP THAT.

It's only a matter of perception and perspective. Your dream only dies if you kill it or replace it with another one. Until then you are in waiting mode. The Bible promises "to everything there is a season.'

Even if you grow a tomato plant in a sunny window, or your own herbs, or lettuces you are taking steps to fulfill your dream of homesteading. If you have a pet, you are learning and taking steps towards homesteading. By learning how to grow and care for anything, even houseplants, you are in the infancy of fulfilling your dream. When you get a pet, be it a dog, cats, rabbit, a snake (getting the willies with that one), you learn everything you can about the animal. It's a living thing you want to keep alive, healthy and happy, right? It's no different from our rabbits, chickens, and other livestock we have or will have on our property. Even a chicken can be a pet. They make chicken diapers and they can live in a cage.

Do you knit, crochet, weave, or spin fiber into yarn, or sew? Can you learn? That's all part of homesteading and self sufficiency also. Even if you have to purchase the products to work with. While Ma Ingall's, Little House on the Prairie, did all of that, she still went to the General Store to purchase cloth goods and thread.

Can you learn how to can? Sure you can, even a one-handed person like me can process and preserve food stuff. It's not rocket science although there is a little bit of science and math involved. Almost every county in the nation has some sort of farmers market or wholesale vegetable market even New York City. I know because I used to frequent it when I lived there. I was making my own pickles, jams and jellies, and tomato products way back then. How about a U-pick operation? Even when I lived in Norfolk, VA, they had this type of operation to get fresh produce to preserve. As you can see, I was practicing homesteading and self sufficiency principles from an positively city living environment.

Nobody goes into homesteading and a self sufficient lifestyle without practicing a bit first. At least not a smart person. Mel did it before I came along to help her. I was luckier than most, I had family in the bread basket area of the nation.  They lived on farms, lived through the Great Depression, war on their home soil, hard times and good times. I got their first hand knowledge of how to be self sufficient. If you aren't so lucky, you'll have to settle for books and talking to others who have these experiences. Volunteer at almost any old folks home and spend time listening to their stories and ask questions. They'll be glad to tell you all about it. Or, watch YouTube videos or join an online forum group.

Okay, you've mastered all of that and want to take a bigger step, but your circumstances are still the same that keep you from taking the big step of moving to a homestead of your own. Find a community garden project. Or even, start your own with like minded individuals. Have a friend that lives in the suburbs? Borrow a small corner of their yard. Guerilla garden it. Yes, it's not without its problems, but this is you trying to fulfill your dream of homesteading. Isn't it worth it? Maybe their subdivision bylaws will let you have a hen or two, or maybe a few rabbits. Their daily care is up to you not your friend's. Share your harvest with your friend as a thank you. It's only common courtesy.You are in practicing and preparing mode. Like starting your car in winter up north and letting it run a bit before you go anywhere. You are also using muscles that you haven't used before so having a really small area is a blessing. I started my subdivision homestead with three hens, a breeding trio of meat rabbits, and a 10'x 10' square garden. I'd recommend no bigger than 10'x 10' in the beginning. You'll harvest the bare minimum for fresh eating of a variety of vegetables, or plant one vegetable and preserve the surplus. The next year you can go bigger by 10'x10' if you want to and it's allowed. Even a 4'x8' raised bed garden is better than nothing. It's definitely bigger than your window sills.

Affording your dream is another sticking point for most folks. Take all the money you've saved by not having to purchase items from the grocery store for the down payment on your real homestead.  Wash even one load a week of laundry in the bathtub and line dry it wherever you can. Save those quarters you would have spent at the laundromat. Brown bag your lunch at work one week a month instead if getting that $5 or $10 lunch. It all adds up. When you have $100. Open a savings account at your local bank. Even at 1% interest it's 1% less you'll have to save of your money. It's also
unavailable when the spirit is weak. Every time you squeeze an extra $20 deposit it.  To make it more untouchable by US saving bonds with part of your savings. You're saving for your dream. Eventually,
you too can purchase a home with an acre or two of land. Then, you too can homestead like us sexagenarians. Maybe, if you're younger, even a ten or twenty-acre homestead is possible. All these small baby steps aren't a waste. You have to learn how to walk before you can run. It can happen.

By taking these baby steps to get there, you'll be all the more successful in fulfilling your dream completely.
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Y'all have a blessed day!
 


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