Homesteading is a word that brings to mind many romantic notions of farming, gardening, canning and raising animals.
You dream of walking through your weedless garden, choosing some fresh veggies for your made from scratch dinner and throw some green carrot tops over to your free range chickens to eat for a treat.
You bring your garden bounty in to the house and make a fresh salad with homemade dressing.
You grab a grass fed steak from your refrigerator and cook it to perfection.
You eat your amazing meal (including homemade ice cream for dinner) outside while watching the sunset in the distance and listening to cows mooing.
Now, I’m not saying it is impossible. There are evenings on the homestead that feel that amazing! But not everyday. Not even close.
I think that sometimes people dream of homesteading but forget how much work is involved in building that dream. How many years it takes to get things moving like clockwork (if they ever do).
So I have developed a list of questions that I think can help you determine if homesteading is right for you. We will discuss the implications of each question, and then there is a interactive quiz at the bottom that may help you decide if you are ready to be a homesteader.
Do you worry about where your food comes from?
There are so many people talking about our food supply and what may be wrong with it. They throw around terms like Non-GMO, Grass Fed, Free Range and so much more. It can be very confusing at the grocery store to know what to buy. Homesteaders believe that if you grow your own food, you don’t have to worry about these labels.
Would you like to be more self-sufficient?
Being self-sufficient is defined as “needing no outside help in satisfying one’s basic needs, especially with regard to the production of food.” Now homesteaders take self-sufficiency to different levels depending on their abilities, but most homesteaders believe that self-sufficiency is important for survival.
Do you like to cook your own food or would you like to learn?
Cooking real food in your kitchen is a hallmark of a homesteader. Whether that food is from your garden, the farmers market or grocery store depends on your level of dedication to your homestead.
Would you like to learn “old-fashioned skills” such as sewing, carpentry, etc.?
Old-fashioned skills such as sewing, carpentry, canning, gardening, and butchering animals are becoming a lost art. Homesteaders believe that these skills are essential to learn on the homestead.
Would you like to learn skills to protect your family in an emergency?
Food storage, first aid, hunting, gun safety, etc are practiced by many homesteaders so that they can protect and provide for their family in an emergency.
Could you butcher your own animals for healthy, homegrown meat?
Butchering your own animals is common on the homestead because it allows you to have fresh, healthy meat for your family. Homesteaders believe this is resourcefulness not cruelty.
Does off-grid living appeal to you?
Not all homesteaders live off-grid (without modern conveniences such as running water, electricity, etc.) but many would like to. Off-grid homesteaders are very self-sufficient and believe that the less the government does for them, the better.
Do you like the idea of raising animals for food?
Farm animals have jobs on the homestead and that mostly involves food. They lay eggs, produce honey, supply fertilizer and provide meat. They can also be entertaining to watch.
Does gardening and canning seem like to much work for healthy food for your family?
Gardening and food preservation take up a lot of my time in the summer. I love it but I have had people ask me-why do you spend all of that time on growing food when you can just get it at the grocery store? Valid question. In my mind, the food from the garden is healthier and I think it is good for people to know where their food comes from.
Would you like to live without the grocery store?
I would love to produce everything at home and not have to go to the grocery store. Or I would like to find locally produced things at the farmers market instead of a big box store. That isn’t realistic for my family right now, but it is a dream for the future.
Now that we have discussed these topics, take our quiz below and see if you are ready to be a homesteader!
Homesteading is a passion of mine. I love growing, preserving and cooking food. I love raising animals and preparing for emergencies. But I know that it isn’t for everyone.
I don’t want anyone to think that I believe the romantic notions of homesteading. While it can be a beautiful way to live, it can also be dirty, smelly, sweaty and just plain hard. But it is worth it (in my opinion) and I hope you think so too!
Do you think homesteading is worth your time and trouble? Please let us know in the comments below. Thanks!