This lifestyle isn’t for everyone, but everyone can do it. I have found that out quickly. I feel like I am really just getting started after making several feeble attempts. I have to constantly remind myself that raising my own food is the best thing for myself and for myself. I have to remind myself to jump into it slowly so I don’t overwhelm myself.
So I am giving you some tips on getting starting into the “From Scratch, Living Off The Land” lifestyle to help you. I know I needed a lot of help (and some days, still do) and I want to help you too.
1. Remember why you are doing this. For me, I want to raise my own food. I want to know where my food is coming from. I want to avoid processed foods and make my own food. I want to live off the land. I want to be self-sufficient. I want to be able to support my family and myself in the best possible way. I want my kids to know where their food is coming from.
2. Jump into this lifestyle slowly. Some people can jump in with both feet and do a lot and be fine. I know I am not one of those people. I am starting small. I have been gardening and canning in some way for a few years. I have started planting more perennial edible plants and fruits. I added laying chickens this year. Next year, I know I want to add meat chickens and possibly turkeys. I also want to start some bee hives for honey. In the future, I would like to raise my own pork and beef. But I can’t do that all at once so I start small and work my way up to bigger things.
3. Do a lot of research. I have been studying how to raise chickens for over a year. I constantly read, research, and study about a variety of homesteading ideas. I like to know what I am getting into before I get started.
4. Take advantage of others’ knowledge. I constantly ask questions of those who know more than I do. I read blogs of those who went before me and learn from their advice. Get some how-to books to research the problems you might have.
5. Expect a lot of hard work. Homesteading and self-sufficiency require hard work. I go to bed most nights exhausted, but happy to see my dream slowly coming true. Some days require a lot of self-motivation to get things done, but I feel great when they are done. This isn’t for the lazy or selfish. You have to do the work or it will not get done.
6. Enlist help if you have it. My kids will do almost anything I ask them to and will help me in ways I never would have dreamed. Rob is a huge help when it comes to construction and making things. I use my bread maker to make bread on the days I am too busy to make it. I choose simple things to make for snacks. My girls are a huge help to make supper and snacks too. I use my slow cooker all the time to make supper when we are in a hurry.
7. Be creative. I am doing this homesteading lifestyle knowing that I don’t have a lot of money to put into it. I use what I can find and what is given to me to help make many of my projects. I have used items in ways I never have imagined. Learn to use what you have. I sometimes have to spend money to get things the way they need to be, but I try to keep the spending to the minimum.
8. Expect to not get it all done in one day. This is a hard lesson for me to learn, but a good one. I concentrate on getting chores done and getting a meal on the table at night. The rest falls into place. Projects get done in the order of immediacy.
I hope this helps you get started. The reality is that this is not easy, but the rewards are wonderful. I love watching my garden grow and produce. I love canning what I helped to create. I love watching the chicks and love knowing we will be getting eggs from them soon. I can’t wait to see what we will tackle next!
Thanks for reading!