Homesteading! Anything I Can Do…You Can Do
Originally posted on APN
I want to write a post on who can homestead. We live in times where even using the word homestead sounds old fashioned or confusing. Perhaps many reflect upon the Little House on the Prairie notion, and shake their heads saying no way. Others may wonder how homesteading can benefit one who is a prepper.
Before getting to into my thoughts, I better introduce myself. In blog world I am known as Humble Wife, and to be honest with you, that is how I see myself. When I looked up the word humble on line the definition is this :
1.not proud or haughty : not arrogant or assertive
2 : reflecting, expressing, or offered in a spirit of deference or submission humble apology>
3 a : ranking low in a hierarchy or scale : insignificant, unpretentious b : not costly or luxurious.
The definition is a great way to describe me, in addition to being a wife. You see, without being a wife, I would never have ended up on the homesteading journey. I see being humble as the way I have slowly journeyed into a life so foreign to me, that I may as well have moved to the moon. Here is a post as to why I am a homesteader, which will give you a bit more of a window as to who I am.
Now back to homesteading. First and foremost, you must remove all the stereotypes that you may have on homesteading. It is the 21st century, which means you have technology on your side! My homestead began by looking at our finances(cry) then we made a plan. We knew we needed to provide more for the family via gardening, animals and the preservation of both, so we looked to a rural spot. The remoteness was a bonus, as we live a good deal from a city. Minding the fact that we had little to work with, we started below the barrel when we checked out places to purchase. I would like to believe that if we had not bought the property that we did, that it would never have been purchased. Yes, it was that run down, that old, and definitely a winner of the most decrepit place in New Mexico. For me, I took one look out the front door, and told the agent that this indeedwas the place we wanted.
This is the view from my front door. So humble digs do have bonuses! Before we moved to the homestead, we decided that we better name the place, as we felt that it would make it ours- we thought of the Double Nickel. It sounds authentic and that was what we were attempting to be-authentic. It sounds like a western brand…the Ladder 5 and the Double Nickel…but what is in this name? Just exactly how did we select this as the name?
Well we laughed as we sunk pretty much everything that we had into this humble farm, leaving us not even 2 nickels to rub together! My advice to those who are planning on homesteading- name your place, it does make all the difference.
Now what? We had no idea what to do next. We knew we wanted to raise chickens and perhaps goats for milk, but were not sure what the next step would be. Well we had plenty to do, while figuring out how one gets animals, what do they eat, and how to build a pen. Oh I forgot to mention something else, we knew we were going to homestead with the motto- Low cost no cost- meaning that all the repairs, all the upkeep, all the pens, all the maintenance, would be done without rushing out to buy new. Why? Well first off, we have very limited income, and second off- there are lots of used items out there that are waiting for you and me to give it a new home.(Craigslist- Freecycle-and yard sales)
We went to the public library, and I read everything about chickens, home repairs, pen building and the likes, and then 90 days after we bought our farm we completed a refashioned chicken coop. The coop may not make it into Martha Stewart’s magazine, but it costs us very little and is still in use today. We bought some chicks and bam it all seemed to be worth it. We also began drifting and finding people in the county that were knowledgeable on raising animals etc to glean as much information as we could from people actually living the way we were headed.
As much as I could go on and on, I wish to slow down and come to a close for today. Homesteading is possible, and one need not break the bank to have a simple place that provides much of ones needs. Just a few years ago, my family was a typical all American family, with gym memberships, lots of luxuries, and so much more. I thought I was a good cook before. Now on the farm, I bake everything from scratch. Homesteading has become a challenge as much as a lifestyle. It has become a place to learn how to make things, as well as the benefits of doing so. I know that the economy has caused so many to jump on the bandwagon of prepping for more than a natural disaster, but for me it has just reinforced a good decision on moving to the sticks and becoming as self sufficient as possible.
On the farm, we have chickens, ducks, geese, turkeys, goats, sheep, and a cow that should be butchered(just fattening her up)…I have learned how to make cheese, butter, ice cream, sherbet, most of the linens, skirts, aprons…I have learned how to make soap, and herbal shampoos, and facial treatments. I have learned how to can, dry foods, and bake many types of bread from scratch. Now one more thing- if I can learn how to do all this, so can you!
To learn more about my farm life and the journey and experiences we have, feel free to swing by my farm blog- Double Nickel Farm. To read some of my prepping tips feel free to visit New Mexico Preppers.