I have been homesteading for 12 years now and I have heard all of the homesteading myths by now. Some of them make me angrier than others, but I thought I would make a list of ones that just need to stop.
It’s funny how most of these myths are told by people that have never tried homesteading. How can you intelligently speak about something that you have no experience in? I’ll give you a hint, you can’t! It probably shouldn’t make me as angry as it does to hear these, but I hate to see people avoid getting started just because someone told them a lie and they didn’t know better!
Homesteading has been a great thing for me and my family, and can be for yours too. Whatever reason you have for being interested in homesteading should be good enough to keep you going through the hard times. Trust me, the benefits and good times strongly outweigh the bad!
When we started homesteading, we were doing everything wrong according to this theory. Yet, we are still going strong 12 years later.
Don’t wait until everything is just right. It will never be perfect!
If you don’t start something until everything is perfect, or you have mastered the “right” way to do it, it will never get done. I am not saying that you shouldn’t do your research but don’t let it paralyze you.
The chickens don’t care if you have mastered the art of cleaning the coop. As long as it is clean at the end, they will be happy! You will get better each time and eventually you will really know the “right way” to do it, but there was never a wrong way.
Again, these people have clearly never really run a homestead before. Social media can make it look like it’s all rainbows and butterflies, but that is a snapshot of the good things people want you to see. They don’t show a picture of the devastation a coyote can cause, for example.
I am always pushing people to take the leap into homesteading on this blog, but I won’t tell you that it’s not hard. You need to be willing to wake up early and go to bed late while working the entire time in between. Most of the enjoyment is seeing all your hard work pay off when you are done.
There are times where you will want to quit, trust me. The key is to keep going until you get to the other side of the hill and it will be worth it. Helpful Hint: Your husband doesn’t agree that cramps are a valid reason to skip chores for a day!
Homesteading is hard work, don’t ever forget that. If you are looking for a stay-at-home job that is easy and fun, this is not it.
Homesteaders harvest their own produce, dairy, and meat for free so they are just being cheap, right? No one ever factors in the fact that we had to spend money to get to the point where we could harvest the food. They don’t understand the real reasons why people homestead and never will. Again, you will never hear someone who has ever homesteaded say these words!
If you take a good meat cow for example, you will find that the meat harvested is far from free. Your average steer will produce 569 lbs of usable meat. According to these stats, it costs $1845 to raise a cow until harvest, but the same amount of meat would have cost $2081 at the grocery store.
For me, as long as it isn’t more expensive than the grocery store, it is worth it. The piece of mind that I know the cow was not injected with growth hormones and genetically modified foods is well worth it for me. I am not homestead to be cheap. I am being protective of my family’s health.
This is one of my favorite homesteading myths! Some homesteaders are hippies, I will give you that, but most modern homesteaders are not.
Modern homesteading is more about doing what you can with what you have. It is less about saving the world and being one with the dirt. We use modern technology and tools where we can and a real hippie would be offended to be compared to my family.
When my kids get on the school bus and get to school, no one would have any clue they came from a homestead without being told. They are sitting in the back of the class on their Iphone’s pretending to pay attention just like yours!
If you think homesteading is a fad that is going to pass, you haven’t paid much attention to the world. Homesteading has always been around, and always will be. If you wanted to argue that it will become less popular, you might have a slightly better argument and I would listen.
The way the economy is going right now, homesteading is not going anywhere soon. People are losing more faith in the ability of the government to protect us every day. Homesteading give me the ability to protect my own family without the government if I should need to. That fad will not pass anytime in the near future.
Are you kidding me? If you stop by my homestead, you might find my kids running around the barn screaming “zombie”, but I promise you that none of us believe they are coming. While we are naturally more prepared for a natural disaster than your average household, zombies are on the bottom of our list of concerns!
If you believe that you need to live off the grid in order to be a homesteader, you can close my blog now. I do not live off the grid and am more of a homesteader than anyone that ever spoke of that homesteading myth!
Homesteading is all about living off your land with what you have. We homestead because we want to live a healthier life and help others. We don’t do it just to make out lives more difficult! I will be the first to admit that I use a modern dishwasher every night.
We could live without them if we needed to, but we don’t need to just to prove a point! You don’t need to live off the grid to start your own homestead!
There are two parts of this myth that can be argued and I will argue them both. The first is that you need to own land in order to homestead. As I have said three times now, homesteading is all about doing what you can with what you have. If you have a backyard in a house that you rent, you can no longer use this excuse,
The second part of this myth is that you need cast acreage. We started homesteading with less than an acre of land and moved up from there. You have more options with more land, but even growing your own beans is better than not doing anything at all. You can start homesteading today with very little land.
I live in Plymouth, Ma, home of the pilgrims and 40 minutes outside of Boston. When you pull out of my driveway, you will quickly notice that we do not live in the country and are far from it. Our homestead is a small piece of country living in a suburban area.