If you’re here, then there’s a good chance that you’ve been thinking about homesteading for a while now or you’ve got your own budding homestead already. The benefits of homesteading are many, and it’s not hard to find a homesteading blog that will show you all the wonderful things about it, from cuddly-looking chicks to yummy homemade bread and sunny fields.
It’s easy to look at it and think that homesteading is the perfect life. But there’s way more to the story than you realize. In fact, homesteading simply isn’t for everyone. It’s a lot more work than you think and there are some not-so-awesome parts as well. If you’re going to really get into homesteading, it’s important to know both the good and the bad.
It improves health and well being
The old-fashioned life is one of the healthiest ways to live. From living around fewer chemicals to growing your own food and even engaging in a constant active lifestyle, there’s nothing that will whip you into shape faster than starting your own homestead!
It makes you learn new skills
Homesteading requires plenty of old-fashioned skills that your average person doesn’t do on a regular basis. Whether it be canning, gardening, fixing things, or butchering animals, homesteading will stretch your knowledge and force you to learn how to do new things.
It creates independence
Most of the time, homesteading requires being away from the city and away from everything, which means that you have to be independent. And while it sounds a little scary at first, being able to take care of things yourself is a great feeling and a great skill to have.
It builds appreciation of life
Most people are shockingly disconnected from where their food comes from. Homesteading, however, makes you take an active part in that and fosters an important appreciation of life as well as the earth.
It fosters good work ethic
On a homestead, there is never a shortage of things to do, and if you don’t do them, they won’t be done. It can be a lot of work, but it will build a strong work ethic, especially in children.
It can be lonely
If you’re used to having people around all the time, moving to your own homestead in the middle of nowhere can be quite a culture shock. The solitude, while nice, can also be a little difficult sometimes. The best thing to do is try and find other homesteaders to talk to and make sure you still get out occasionally.
It’s very dirty
You are going to spend a good deal of your time dealing with poop and other gross things. Not to mention mud every time it rains and plenty of other gross things. Animals sometimes get sick and things happen. If you’re finicky about cleanliness, then this will be a challenge for you.
It can be expensive
It’s tempting to think that you’ll save lots of money in growing your own food, but the truth of the matter is that sometimes you won’t be saving money. In fact, you’ll probably spend even more money getting set up than you would if you just bought groceries at the store. The long term benefits are worth it, but it can be disheartening sometimes.
It does not allow days off
When you have a full homestead with a garden and animals, taking time off is simply not going to be an option. The chickens don’t care that it’s Saturday—they still need to be fed. The same goes for vacations as well; unless you’re lucky and know someone who can sit your animals and keep an eye on the place, it’s likely going to be difficult to get away for more than a day.
It’s hard work
There’s a lot of work that goes into a homestead from fixing things around the home and taking care of animals to other projects like gardening and canning. There is always something to be done, and the neverending stream of necessary chores and activities can be difficult sometimes, especially when you don’t really get days off.
But don’t let all of that scare you. There are plenty of benefits of homesteading, and it can be incredibly rewarding. Just like anything else, there will be ups and downs, so be prepared!
Was there something that you wished you’d known before you started your homestead? What part of homesteading are you most excited about? Share with me in the comments below!