There is something exciting and amazing about owning your own homestead. There’s a lot of freedom that comes from being able to grow your own food and have your own land and basically just do things your own way. Of course, there’s a lot of work too and a lot of things that can go wrong, especially if you don’t go about it the right way.
Homesteading is definitely a little trial and error, but the more you know to start, the better off you’ll be. So, before you start your own adventure into homesteading, here are some mistakes that I see people that I talk with and know commit over and over and over again.
1. Not doing your research
A lot of things about homesteading look really easy on the surface. You just buy chickens, put them in the coop, and collect eggs. You stick seeds in the ground and magically have food. And while some of it is easy, there’s a lot more to it than you might think. Make sure you do your research and talk to homesteaders before you start so you know exactly what you’re getting into.
2. Overestimating your skills
On the flip side of that, don’t overestimate and overextend yourself. It’s tempting to think that you know exactly what you’re getting into simply because you read an article or watched a tutorial video on YouTube. While all that reading is absolutely necessary, don’t fool yourself into thinking that you’re an expert and don’t need help on anything. Never be afraid to ask for help when you’re starting your homestead. Get a homesteading mentor and ask lots of questions. Trust me, you’ll save yourself a lot of grief that way.
3. Not having a plan
Whether you have a small yard or several acres to your name, it’s important to have a plan with how to properly utilize it. From gardening to animals and chores, there are a lot of pieces to a homestead and it helps to have an idea of how to make it all work. How many animals can you safely and humanely raise? How much will it cost? Which plants grow best in your area? When should you plant them? Who is going to take care of them when you’re away? There’s a lot to consider, and having a homesteading plan can help you get the most out of your homestead with the least amount of stress.
4. Trying to do everything
When you get your own homestead, it’s a dizzying and exciting moment. Finally! You can do all of those things you’ve always wanted to do! You can raise animals and have a garden and make your own clothes and cook everything from scratch and use all natural cleaners and forage for things and grow your own herbs and use natural medicines and start your survival prepping and try canning and… the list goes on and and on. While, yes, you can do many (or all) of those things, if you leap in headfirst and try and do it all at once, you are going to quickly become overwhelmed. Start off small with just a few things and build up to it. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and your homestead won’t be either.
5. Not budgeting appropriately
When most people think about having a homestead, it’s probably tempting to think that you’ll save a ton of money. And while, yes, you can save some money eventually, it won’t happen immediately. In fact, homesteads are expensive to set up and have quite a bit more upkeep than you might think. This is doubly true if you have animals or plan on having a large garden. Make sure that you’re accounting for everything in your budget, and talk to a fellow homesteader to make sure you haven’t forgotten anything.
Did you make any of these mistakes with your homestead? Share your stories below!