Tuesday, December 1, 2015

10 Signs You Might Be a Homesteader!

1. You Love Animals and Nature
Your whole life you’ve been drawn to animals. You love your pets like family, admire wildlife with awe, and if you had the means would certainly have more animals in your life. In fact, if you won the lottery tomorrow that money wouldn't go towards a premium 50-inch flatscreen; it would go to a new barn! You would like more land and the free time to raise livestock, learn to ride a horse, or raise up your dream hunting pup. Part of you will always feel like Heidi’s Grandfather and you love that about yourself.

2. You Love Food
You love food, but not just eating it - all aspects of food. You love gardening and farming, but also hunting and foraging. Hard-earned meals you know intimately are celebrations and you study recipes like an Oxford Scholar. You find more satisfaction in a venison steak covered in morel sauce you got from the forest than any 4-star restaurant fare. You’re not scared of raw milk, farm fresh eggs, home brewed booze, or fish from the river. You’re probably not a vegetarian. (And if you are, you won’t be for long given the chance to raise and hunt for your own protein!)

3. Accomplishments and Goals Are Your Favorite Drugs
You are a list maker and checker-offer. You find that finishing something you started is one of the best feelings in the world. A lot of people like making goals set for them by teachers and bosses, but you find that work compared to the true satisfaction of accomplishing your self-assigned tasks. This translates from morning chores to creativity. You are a maker, be it knitted sweaters or carpentry projects - setting to a task and finishing it is a huge part of who you are and what you love.

4. You’re Fiercely Independent
You are your own person. You are drawn to other strong minded people, and get uneasy around hive minds and group think. Politics frustrate you, as do people who cling to one side or another of a political debate. You find comfort in being set apart from the crowd and would rather own your own diner than be the manager of a team of twenty people in an office for four times the income.

5. You’re Nervous About the State Of The World
You may or may not follow the news but it doesn’t take a foreign correspondent to see the unsettled state of the world. Be it climate changes and weather patterns or war zones; you know that our comfort and safety is not certain. Something as fragile as society has and could fall apart again. You’re not wearing a tin foil hat or digging a bunker in the backyard but you see a lot of sense in storing a few weeks of food in your home, having heat and water not dependent on the public grid. I bet you own copies of your favorite books in print even if you already have them in ebook format. Just in case!

6. You Don’t Consider Money Wealth
You know money is a reality with being part of the modern Over Culture, but money itself means little to you. It’s a rate of exchange used to acquire things of actual value - things like dairy goats, laying hens, good lumber, land, and warm clothes. Real value is learning skills, not buying toys. You’d honestly rather make a 1/4 of your current salary while living in a small cabin you already paid off on land you own than rent a loft apartment in the city with a six-figure paycheck. You’d sleep better, too.

7. You Hate Working For Other People And Do it Poorly
Enough said. I feel you.

8. You’re Okay With Being Different
People think you are crazy for spending your vacation interning at a local farm, and think raising a pig in your garage-turned-pen is borderline crazy. (You know they have no idea how good that bacon is..,) You aren’t really interested in other people’s ideas on fashion and fun - you are your own person and rock that homemade dress and handknit scarf, goodwill jeans, and new tractor with the same gusto as anyone in the glossy ads in Vogue. Work it, girl.

9. You’re More Stubborn Than Logical
You’ve been called stubborn a lot, and don’t care if your dreams are “unrealistic”.  You know that given enough determination you can get to your own little plot of land. It's a possible dream and many people get there every single day. (I get emails about it. Trust me it is happening.) Never let anyone tell you that stubbornness is a bad trait, ever. It's the most important quality a self-employed homesteader can have.

10. You Can’t Stop Dreaming About It
Trust your dreams. It took me half a decade of being farm-curious to have the guts to leave my day job and take on the scrappy life I have maintained on my homestead for nearly four years now. I went from security and soul-sucking boredom to the excitement of constant resourcefulness. It meant making a lot of changes and a lot of mistakes but I have zero regrets. It got me home. So if you can't stop reading backyard chicken forums at your office, or have a stack of home dairy books by your bedside table in your one-bedroom apartment - good. Keep planning, dreaming, hoping, being unreasonable, unrealistic, stubborn and nuts. Those are the only people who wake up to woodsmoke, horse hair, fiddle strings and sheepdogs.


Blogger fitgardenerkristine said...

Thanks for writing about me! Thus is exactly how I feel except number 9. I am logical. Can't help it.

December 1, 2015 at 8:35 PM  
Blogger daisy g said...

OMGosh. I really AM a homesteader! ;0D

December 2, 2015 at 5:57 AM  
Blogger Robin Follette said...

All but one, #9 for me too. That's new though. I had to train myself to stop being stubborn and choose logic.

December 2, 2015 at 8:00 AM  
Blogger Lukaduke said...

So true... just getting our homestead underway after purchasing it last February and the to do list and books just keep piling up. I do have a day job as a produce manager and wine buyer for a small independent natural grocer but hope someday my wife will be the only one punching a time clock :) Keep inspiring us and we will try to do the same.

December 2, 2015 at 1:10 PM  
Blogger holmgrrl said...

I'm really curious about whether you've checked out any writing by Novella Carpenter. She's been farming in West Oakland for over a decade, first as a squatter on an abandoned lot, now as the lot's owner. Her memoir "Farm City" covers her experiences in raising laying hens, meat birds and rabbits, and finally pigs, all within her very urban neighborhood. It's a great pairing with "Made From Scratch" for people interested in homesteading memoirs/narratives. You both display the same tenacity and resourcefulness in your homesteading, but your homesteads look very different.

December 2, 2015 at 1:34 PM  
Blogger Canadian Farm Living said...

Hi Jenna

I was thinking you are so gifted and can utilize these gifts. I think teaching weekly music lessons on the fiddle and other instruments, creating a website for your honey, beeswax candles, soap etc, writing a farm recipe book. All of the above would let you work from home to do your daily chores. My husbands grandmother taught music lessons from home and this was her main income. Just some ideas for extra income. You are a very confident, strong and creative person and please keep up your great work!

December 2, 2015 at 8:38 PM  
Blogger Jacquie said...

I'm a number seven. There I said it. Wish I had the courage to t-shirt it. Maybe when I retire.

December 2, 2015 at 10:08 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

This was so fun to read! I hope one day I can travel back east and visit your place!

December 3, 2015 at 1:25 AM  
Blogger meigancam01 said...

Interesting article.
I am delighted to read this article..thank you for giving us this useful information.
Great walk-through. I value this post.

December 3, 2015 at 11:33 AM  
Blogger Robin Redbreast said...

This whole list applies to me. Especially number 5 and 7. The place im at now is 15 min from the shooting in San Bernardino, the city I just moved from(Carlsbad, CA) is on ISIS hit list. Talk about SHTF! Countdown 14 days till im on the farm.

December 4, 2015 at 10:39 PM  
Blogger Kyler and Sylvia said...

Great post. Be cool to see more like this.
Lists are everywhere on the internet, and they're popular too.

December 5, 2015 at 12:16 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

You have been such an inspiration to me. I wanted to let you know that we saddled Charle and I rode him for about ten minutes. He is not back to full strength but he is getting there. I think he is older that pen we though. You have taught me so much and wait for your next video. You are so talented and gifted. I just wish I could shadow you for a week to see how you manage it all. Also we did breed two of the rabbit this weeken and the 5 runner ducks are growing strong and if it had not been for your words of wisdom I don't think I would have had the courage.
Jada Scott
Shamrock Acres

December 8, 2015 at 10:02 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

My husband and I are really enjoying your videos! We are in the process of looking to buy our own homestead. You are funny, and a joy to listen to.

December 13, 2015 at 6:34 PM  

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