Why We Homestead and 10 Reasons We’re Sticking With It – Linda Wilson’s Story

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As long as I can remember, I’ve been a homesteader at heart. As a child, I was always the one that made sure we had a thriving garden full of fresh vegetables.

I longed for the farm life and I focused on how I could achieve that as I grew up. I worked in an orchard as a teen learning how to properly prune fruit trees and pick the fruit at the peak of freshness.

I spent many hours at my grandparents on their ranch learning how to garden, gathering the eggs, and all of the other tasks that are homestead related.

Little did I know that it would be a skillset that I would take with me into the rest of my life. I just thought all of the farm chores were fun. I had no idea I was working, in fact, I never realized that I was working at all. I’ve since learned that if you love your job, you never work a day in your life.

Homesteading is a way of life. It’s a self-sufficient lifestyle that focuses on living off the land and using what you have on hand to make life more bearable. With this as the main focus, less is quite often more and you learn to make do with exactly what you have.

It’s not a get rich lifestyle and it can certainly have its drawbacks including inclement weather and having to get the animals to shelter quickly not to mention there are rarely, if ever, days off (holiday’s may be at hand, but the animals still need fed and the cow will still need to be milked).

There is much self-sacrifice for homesteaders and it can be demanding at times and even downright tough. However, the end result is a lifestyle of simplicity and very rewarding.

I wouldn’t trade homesteading for anything and if you’re seeking a simpler lifestyle that allows you to enjoy your homestead and still make a living, I highly recommend it.

Here are the 10 reasons that we’ll be sticking with homesteading.

Reason #1: Freedom

There is so much freedom in homesteading that I’d be hard pressed to name them all. However, we’ve found financial freedom in that we don’t have the regular 9 to 5 grind that so many others have to adhere to. We can focus on what needs done in and around the homestead and make our homestead work for us.

We get to grow much of our own food and that gives us a freedom that not everyone has. We don’t have to go to the grocery store as often which saves us a lot of money.

We also know more of what is in our food than many people. We choose to use organic fertilizer and we butcher our own meats so we don’t have to worry about what meats and vegetables may be on sale during any given week.

We have more time than many others thanks to our homestead lifestyle. We can focus on what truly matters and by not having to punch a time clock we’re free to do things in our own sweet time.

That’s not to say we’re sleeping late daily, there’s no way we can do that with our beloved animals, however, we don’t have to be exactly on our time or worry about our pay being docked if we’re a few minutes late.

We use less energy than our 9 to 5 counterparts. We may be getting up early for work, but our work is outside and we’re far less likely to start the day with a hot shower (after all, we’re going to be tending to the animals first thing so why shower before you do that?).

We focus more on staying in motion so we’re less likely to feel the need to keep our houses at a higher temperature.

Freedom from the stress of the 9 to 5 lifestyle is one of my most favorite freedoms of all. My focus is far less stressful. I don’t have to drive in stressful traffic to arrive at work.

I simply get up, throw on sweats or jeans and my shoes, and head out the door to take care of my babies. They greet me with delight and we have a great time together.

Reason #2: More Family Time

My family is my life. I get to spend so much more time with my family by homesteading. Many of the 9 to 5ers in my world complain that they simply don’t get to spend enough time with their kids.

My kids and I get to work side by side outdoors with our favorite pets. We focus on how much joy our pets bring to us.

From the rabbits to the goats to the chickens, we spend an inordinate amount of time tending to our babies and we share in all of the work. Some of my kids were home schooled (by their choice) and loved spending more time with our beloved farm critters and I than commuting to and from school via a school bus.

We don’t have to plot out our day to enjoy an evening dinner together, it’s simply our way of life. We work on our homestead and our focus is spending as much time together as we possibly can.

We enjoy doing things together and feel that homesteading gives us even more opportunity to do things together.

Reason #3: It’s the Way We’re Meant To Live

I look back at the lives that my grandparents lived and I see that they lived a simple yet very rewarding lifestyle. They were farmers and they had crops in the ground, cattle to feed, chickens to feed and gather eggs from and they were focused on the simplicity of the farm life.

I can’t imagine any other lifestyle to be quite honest. Don’t get me wrong. I did work a 9 to 5 job for a time. I was up at 4:45 am every morning to commute to work.

I had to take the early shift otherwise traffic was a 2 hour commute to go a mere 35 miles to work. I much prefer my 2 minute commute right out of my front door.

Living life simply so that others may simply live life is my motto today. I love the simplicity of my homesteading lifestyle and am focused on living off of the land as much as possible.

My children are learning life skills and even if they choose a 9 to 5 lifestyle in the future, I know that they will take life learned skills with them into those lives.

Reason #4: The Homesteading Community is Amazing

I discovered in the 9 to 5 rat race that there is rarely a sense of community. My coworkers were out for themselves and only themselves. In the homesteading lifestyle that I’ve embraced, my neighbors and I have our own tight knit community and we work together for the good of the entire community.

I recently sat down with one such community member and she told me that she loves to go fishing but her sister loves hunting. They share the bounty and thus the community works well together to ensure that they have a great variety of food instead of just fish or whatever the days hunt brought in.

Another neighbor has berries while I have an orchard. We swap fruit all the time so that no one is stuck eating the same thing day in and day out. Homesteaders are an amazing breed of people and love to share and share a like.

They love helping one another and no one is clamoring to become the next CEO or something so there are rarely any cut throat tactics like I found in the 9 to 5 rat race.

Reason #5: Simplicity

As a kid I loved watching my grandmother use her wringer washer. I even had one of my own for a long time. Once I learned to tie my hair back so as to not catch it in the wringer (the neighbors that rescued me are probably still laughing), I was good to go.

Homesteading life is simplistic. There is no need to keep up with the neighbors. If you envision a lovely garden, you can make it happen, but you only need to impress yourself, you don’t have to keep up with anyone to have a great homestead.

Many people are so focused on having it all that they lose track of the real meaning of life. I love the simplicity of homesteading and making it myself.

There is no need in my life for all of the fancy gadgets that talk to me (newfangled washer, for instance, that talk me through loading my machine drive me crazy).

We’ve learned to make do with what we have and use up what we have. We don’t worry about having the latest and greatest equipment or technology. We’re content where we’re at.

Reason #6: Independence and Self-sufficiency

When working the 9 to 5 grind I often complained about being chained to my desk. Homesteading gives me an independence. I don’t have to be chained to that desk. I can work in the barn all morning, and then bake in the afternoon. Or I may reverse it and bake in the morning. It’s all up to me.

Self-sufficiency is a way of life and I love that I can bake a loaf of bread and make great homemade meals for my family all from the foods that I grow right here on my homestead.

My freezer is nearly always full and I have a bountiful garden. I keep fruit and vegetables in my root cellar and I don’t have to worry if there is a recall on foods because I grew my own.

Reason #7: Necessity

More than one single mom has lost sleep over how she is going to feed her children, how she is going to pay her bills. As a homesteader, I didn’t have to worry over such things. I knew that I had plenty of food for my children and a source of income that I could control.

While so many are stressing over a job or employment, my homestead provides me with an income and plenty of great food to eat.

My children have learned the value of hard work, where good food comes from and I’ve taught them that if we don’t have something that they feel they need, they can earn it either from selling fruits, vegetables, eggs, or some time of their own that they can help others.

Necessity is the mother of invention and I’ve learned many great tips and tricks to make things work for me and to upcycle things so that I have exactly what I need.

Reason #8: Fewer Chemicals

I was organic long before being organic was a thing. I have rarely used chemicals as I lean toward the all-natural side of life. My foods aren’t sprayed with toxins that must be washed off (and I don’t believe that you can ever get them all washed off).

My garden is hand weeded and I use compost in it to help my plants thrive, not harsh chemicals.

We don’t spray for bugs, we have critters (chickens) that eat many of them and bats that eat the mosquitoes. I have very sensitive skin and I know that many of the environmental factors affect it. The fewer chemicals we use, the better and healthier my skin is.

I have friends who are often at the allergist to find out why they have this rash or some other symptom. One friend asked me how I could be so lucky as to have no dermatology issues.

I smiled and told her that I eschew chemically laden products and maybe she should try that. I laughed when she told me that her dermatologist told her the same thing. She said she didn’t have time to read labels.

I have a son that had a serious issue with asthma when we lived in the city. On our homestead he is as healthy as a horse. He hasn’t had an asthma attack since we moved here.

No more hospital trips (we were in ER at least 3 times per week when we lived in the city). With fewer chemicals and fresher air, my son is doing great and I couldn’t have hoped for better

In the city, he was literally tethered to a nebulizer up to 4 times per day for medication. When he wasn’t on the nebulizer, he was having to use an inhaler that caused him some other serious health issues.

I believe that the smog, chemicals of the city, and the lifestyle were literally hazardous to his health. Nope, I’m not giving up homesteading, it’s keeping all of us healthier.

Reason #9: The Return

Homesteading offers many returns on your investment of time and money. The rewards of homesteading are many and the drawbacks are few. If you are willing to put the time into it, you’re going to get great returns.

You’ll be eating healthier both from your amazing garden, and from the animals that you choose to raise. Farm fresh eggs, milk, butter, and fresh garden produce are all excellent ways to improve your health. Many homesteaders also enjoy fresh meat from animals that they raise.

Your children will learn the value of growing their own food and how food is grown. It’s not as simple as it appears when you go to the grocery store.

That food has to be grown in the ground and goes through many hands before it reaches your local grocer. Farm fresh food goes through far fewer steps to make it to your table. It’s healthier and you know exactly how it was grown.

Reason #10: Quality Of Life

With fewer chemicals in our foods and on our homestead, we are healthier than we’ve ever been before. The hard work that we put into our homestead doubles as excellent exercise and we have fun together as a family. All of these things work to help improve the quality of life that we, as a family, enjoy.

Homesteading is a lifestyle that we’ve chosen to embrace. We have a great time working to be self-sufficient and we rely less on commercialized products.

We understand the value of hard work and the fact that our family is far more independent than others. We also enjoy a stronger sense of community amongst our neighbors.

Leading the simple life is far more rewarding than worrying about keeping up with the neighbors. We don’t stress over having the latest and greatest gadgets that will be outdated tomorrow.

We’ve found that we can save our money better than we ever imagined and when we really want something we can afford it without stressing over how we’re going to pay for it.

Homesteading has greatly improved our quality of life and we couldn’t be happier. Our children enjoy the lifestyle and several of them are home schooled by their choice.

Our children are still very involved with other kids and one is even in sports. Our children recognize that they’re not missing out on anything by being raised on a homestead, in fact, our children have gained a totally new perspective on what homesteading needs and offers.

My children and I are far healthier than we have ever been before and I attribute it all to homesteading and getting plenty of fresh air and fresh foods.

So, When People Ask Me Why We Homestead…

When people ask me why we homestead, I take them for a walk around our homestead. I show them our goats, chickens, rabbits, lambs, garden space, and our root cellar that is full of fresh fruit and vegetables.

I gently point out that we don’t have to go to the grocery store often and when we do, we only stock up on such things as sugar, flour, and coffee. Everything else we grow right on our homestead.

I share with them how we started out homestead as a dream to spend more time together as a family and how it not only thrived, but we also began to focus more on what truly matters, learning to be self-sufficient and spending more time together.

Sure there are times that I would rather be leading an easier life. A good example is when it’s time to milk the cow and I don’t want to go out to the barn.

However, it’s well worth the effort and the rewards that we, as a family, have gained as homesteaders have far surpassed the lives we were leading before we started our homestead.

Honestly, I wouldn’t have it any other way and I so appreciate leading the life of my dreams on a homestead.

As an added bonus as to why we homestead and why we’re sticking with it, whenever someone says “it can’t be done”, I find myself wanting to prove them otherwise.

Homesteading can be done regardless of your marital status, how old you are, and whether or not you have children. Don’t let anyone ever tell you otherwise.

Homesteading is a way of life, and I intend to continue homesteading and living the life of my dreams by being self-sufficient and focusing on what really matters in life, my family. Why do you homestead?

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6 thoughts on “Why We Homestead and 10 Reasons We’re Sticking With It – Linda Wilson’s Story”

  1. I’m curious as to why you’re using a picture of the Dervaes’ Urban Homestead in Pasadena on your page. Do you have their permission for this? They’re very, very proprietary about their intellectual property, and they don’t hesitate to sue people if they feel they’ve been wronged.

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      • Hi Dan, I hope you’re right about the permissions. It’s none of my business. But you might want to know that the Dervaes family has been very litigious in the past. They sued someone for using the term “urban homestead”, claiming they had a trademark on the term. You can google it.

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  2. Homesteading is making a comeback indeed me and my wife are in the process of leaving the rat race to begin our journey as well! Good luck and maybe we will cross paths in the future 🙂

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  3. Wonderful ideas and article! The idea of homesteading is coming back to lots of us older folks. Getting away from the city and the traffic is very appealing!

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  4. We like to garden and put up vegetables for winter eating. Yum. I love fresh vegetables any time of year. They are the best! Even home canned is better to me. We don’t have animals on our place, but we eat more veggies than meat. We only have an acre of land, so not a lot, but enough for us. I do make my own bread. And as much from scratch as possible.

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