2022 Homesteading Journey.
Are you trying to decide if homesteading is for you and your family? I share our experience of how we started a homestead and are no longer doing it.
Wonderful year it has been. 2022 has been a journey for us.
We moved from the city, completely off grid in our 1972 remodeled streamline trailer
thinking that we will love to keep animals and we got the right piece of property.
Right away we got a dog, goats, kittens, guinea fowls, rabbits, and chickens. We were homesteading! We started to grow a small garden as well. After the first season we understood that our property does not fit perfectly to keep the animals.
Well… the goats ended up eating everything that I was growing that was a huge fencing problem. I’m talking from tomatoes to my flowers to the trees that we have planted.
Soon after the guineas ran off because we bought them one year old. (Buy them as babies not grown)
After all that our dog killed one of our bunnies.
Fast forward to October. We have no more animals. We gave away the rest of the bunnies and goats and sold the dog because she also killed one of the cats (that was the last drop). This was a hard decision for us only because you get so attached to your animals.
We decided homesteading wasn’t for us at this moment.
- Picking the right piece of property is critical.
- Fencing or a small barn is a must. (don’t think you can do it any other way)
- Don’t just get all kinds of animals, you have to think what you are going to do with them. They need daily care and a lot of attention. Will they be a good source of food? Will you spend more money on hay and grains, or would it be efficient in the end (money wise)?
- Start small. Very important to understand what is your niche and then go on the big scale. Learn with one animal at a time. Once you learned the cycle of growing and harvesting you can weigh your decisions. If you follow your emotions it might be a painful experience after all.
- Of course after the first season you will understand if you want to keep animals. Realizing that there’s other ways of supporting yourself without being tied down to one place is important. Some other sources can be hunting, fishing, growing, pickling, canning, preserving, smoking.
Let’s say you buy goats, they get sick, you buy meds, you buy hay, you buy grains. You just spent about $2000 on goats so far. Whereas if you didn’t buy goats you save $2000, you can go deer hunting and have meat for the rest of the year. Or you can buy a full cow for that $, put in your freezer and be prepared for the rest of the year.
Some debate about this is if you’re off grid and you don’t have a big freezer or if you do, what if it breaks. That’s like taking a risk of a goat getting sick and dying. 50/50 chance.
Additionally we felt tied down with all the animals. Our family have always been spontaneous and on the go. We haven’t build our home yet, but we got animals. Animals are a huge responsibility you can’t just leave them and go. They need daily care. After getting rid of them we felt free as birds. This is only our opinion and experience. Try it out for yourself.
If we ever decide to homestead it’s probably best to start small. One animal at a time. Starting with only 4 chickens or turkeys. You can keep chickens all summer, eat fresh eggs, and harvest them for winter.
Anyways, our minds have made a turn from this experience though. In order to homestead you need a good piece of property meaning pastures, lots of sun, flat lands preferably, and fences.
We live on a mountain with 4-5 months of sun, harsh winters, and not growing our own hay.
Goal for 2023.
For 2023 our plan is to live simple. Spend more time traveling. Smile more and be content. Go fishing more.
*Two of our favorite homesteading books we always recommend.
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