Last week I posted a video inspired by my good friend Patara of Appalachia Homestead about being DONE homesteading.
I have seen newcomers come and go. I have seen them struggle and make mistakes that often could have been avoided. I believe many people who are seeking this lifestyle are indeed coming from diverse backgrounds.
Backgrounds that-in some instances have not been exposed to the rural life, a homesteading life. Picking up and leaving the city is only half the battle. The rest begins on your homestead.
And its not just about the disconnecting from the power grid. Nor is it about just planting a garden and getting some chickens.
The KEY to a successful self sustainable walk starts with being acutely AWARE of what you are diving into. AND being prepared, and well versed. You will need to look at your homestead in a manner that asks yourself "WHAT do I need to live...what do I require to be less dependent on others, and more independent on myself??
So lets address what we have done here on our off grid homestead that has added to our personal success and may give you inspiration for your own walk down the self sustainable road!
Source Of Heat
This is where homesteaders can be caught with their pants down! Not having a practical plan in the beginning can lead to serious consequences.
Wood heat indeed is a freeing and self sustaining resource we think every homestead should invest in.
So have a plan! Before you start your homestead ensure you know
1) Where you can harvest firewood. Get the proper permits. Scout out how you will get there and how you will haul the wood home.
2) Figure out the time it will take to cut, split and stack your wood.
3) Estimate how much cord wood you will need for a winter or two.
4) Have a place close enough to the home to haul it in the dead of winter. Make sure you have the proper shelter for the wood also.
5) Ensure you know how to use all the equipment properly. Chainsaws, snatch blocks, cables. Know how to maintain and service these also
Poor planning can lead to unnecessarily finding yourself running out of wood in the midst of winter and now your scrambling to find it! And usually in the middle of winter the only option is to purchase expensive presto logs or local firewood if available. These types of unplanned purchases only add debt and can stress a already tight homesteaders budget!
Avoid rookie mistakes by being properly ready in the firewood arena!
Source Of Electricty
Off grid life can appear very inciting. But the reality of using a alternative source of electricity for your home is that sacrifices will have to be made.
Rethinking your energy consumption becomes essential and often getting back to the basics a requirement. However, will that fit with your family needs? Consider this list.
1) How much electricity are you currently using? You can find this out by looking at your own electric bill
2) Do you want to change the way you use electricity?
3) Is the whole family willing to consume electricity differently and have a more basic approach to their electrical needs
4) List the appliances you must have for your off grid homestead
5) Go online and use a solar calculator to size your array and give you an idea of how big or small you may need to go
Off grid living is very freeing but make sure you go in with eyes wide open. Talk to people who have alternative energy. discuss battery bank, panels, appliances, the use of generators.
Be practical in this department. There is nothing wrong with staying connected to the grid IF you have a prepared minded mentality. Have a back up generator, have a small array if needed. Dont go over board with to may electrical items that you will find you have to much reliance on. You can still be a homesteader and self sufficient connected to the grid. BUT preparation is the key!
A Source Of Food
rFrom gardening to farm animals to hunting fishing and foraging, all of these resources are options for the new homesteader. But how you utilize these opportunities will be of the utmost importance.
Many people fail in the homesteading world because they take on to much. They go too big to fast. They want it all. Small baby steps will ensure success. So think about this list
1) How many mouths will you be feeding?
2) How will you preserve the food (Canning Dehydrating? Freezing)
3) Consider the time and effort that may go into your garden
4) Consider things that can affect the garden, pests, drought, weeds is the method you chose able to handle all of these things
1) Consider time effort and cost.
2) Consider housing and if they need room to roam?
3) Do you want to be enslaved to your homestead with lots of animals or do you want to be free to leave for the weekend? Plan carefully
4) Are you able to care for a sick or injured animal?
Finding Time For God
For us we attribute everything to our Lord and Savior. There is no denying the power of His influence in our lives. We feel we cannot do anything without His guidance and blessings
Proverbs 16:3 tells us
Commit your work to the Lord, and your plans will be established.
I canot argue with the good advice God gives us as homesteaders. He is the voice of logic and reason. Thru Him all my strength comes
Psalm 46:1-3 God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging.
If we seek Him first in o ur homesteading endeavors anything can be possible!
But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.
Homesteading on or off grid is a wonderful lifestyle to embrace. But being ready and having a strategy will assist in ensuring your prosperity!
God Bless and Good Luck!