Monday, February 12, 2007

Homesteading Babes-in-the-hay

We're definately babes-in-the-hay...

No, not blonde bombshells on a photoshoot, but rather two fully grown adults who don't know radishes from rutabagas or an oak from an elm, but who want to homestead and do any number of the following out of the city limits, debt-free, and as self-sufficiently as possible:

1. Have a bountiful organic garden that supplies most, if not all, of our meal and pantry needs
2. Utilize the benefits of permaculture in planning and operation of the homestead
3. Enjoy life. Listen to the wind and water and animal sounds. Listen to each other more.
4. Participate in enjoying God's creation through both work and recreation.
5. Keep animals that are beneficial to the homestead and for pleasure
6. Establish a mineral-rich soil as the basis of excellent plant and animal care
7. Barter for some of our needs rather than always deal in currency
8. Provide free access to quality herbs, minerals, and water for family and animals
9. Small and efficient house and storage structures that are aesthetically charming and blend well with the natural surroundings
10. Have a place for family and friends to visit and stay
11. Have a smart and friendly family dog
12. Have barn cats
13. Have pastured or free-range chickens and poultry
14. Do as much of our own slaughtering as possible, conforming as closely to kosher slaughter as possible
15. Can and preserve our harvests.
16. Grow unaltered heirloom varieties of plants and flowers
17. Renew waste areas of land with native grasses, plants, herbs, and flowers
18. Include a proliferation of honeybee-friendly plants, flowers, and trees
19. Utilize solar power, wind power, and try to be powered off the grid
20. Learn skills that complement a self-sufficient lifestyle...learn to can, spin, crochet, garden, grind, manage, and repair.
21. Have a wood lot and heat in winter with wood
22. Be less dependent upon modern "necessities" and content with a more independent lifestyle
23. Keep on learning...always...innovate using solid good sense rather than fads
24. Keeping God at the center of every part of it all...this is the first and the last rule to live by!

I'm going to chronicle our process. So far, we've identified wanting the same goals. Due to the fact we're beginning at this age, there are some choices we simply won't make at this stage. We won't take big risks, go into debt, or opt for methods that are so labor-intensive that we'd risk a serious injury. We're short on manpower in strength and numbers, but we have a LOT despite that. So if we can do this, anyone can!!

Our first step is to

We're DOING that :) It's taking time. This is THE first step in our beginning our homestead. In the meantime, we can be learning, planning, and gathering expertise from others who are already living a self-sufficient or homesteading life.

There are many changes that can be made now, such as a change of mental orientation. The lifestyle we envision is one that is healthful and optimal for our NEEDS, not our WANTS. We've narrowed our wants down to a shorter list, though we are going to include them in the overall goals. We're not chasing after a monastic or ascetic lifestyle. But we are attempting to rid ourselves in stages of "the system"...the trappings of the so-called successful lifestyle that bind and gag. We want fewer gadgets and toys, less dependency on convenience services/products/foods, and a more proactive role in creating and sustaining a healthful environment.

We want to back away from processed foods and substances, entertainment industry's constant bombardment, and a societal culture of advancing moral decay. We want to be less reliant on money as a source of "security" and rather have security of mind that comes from a lifestyle of simplicity.

We may not embrace the same changes other homesteaders do. We'd love to have more children. We're not sure we can. We'd love to get back into top physical condition. We're not sure we can. We'd love to make everything from scratch. We're not sure that's going to happen. We ARE going to learn and make a LOT of mistakes, and hopefully have a lot of laughter in the process. We ARE going to be the richer for simplifying and concentrating on what God has us here for. We ARE going to be concentrating on our family's needs rather than on a career track or "achievements." We're going to learn to say NO more, even if some people don't understand. We're going to stay home more, deliberately, and explore FROM there rather than be ships passing in the night. We're going to give each person a special space and the tasks and tools to enable them to experiment at what they're best at doing and enjoy most. And we'll do the not-so-fun things together, too, only on OUR time schedule rather than a corporate office's.

We won't have to send memos, and if our lunch break goes past an hour, yippeee!! We'll have more muscles aches than carpal tunnel, more sunburns than typos, and more hours in the barn and kitchen than a daily commute.

We're starting now...small. Where God will take us, who knows?? Let's see what's ahead! This is a chronicle of the steps along the way. Two old farts living the dream...or at least trying to get closer to it!

And here we gooooooooo...................!!!!! :)


J said...

I can't promise to post an engaging retort; more along the lines of "what she said".

Just found your blog while on a 25-minute internet rabbit trail from who-knows-where and just wanted to say, too...40-something homestead wannabe's. I've got to "steal" your list, we haven't put our list on paper, just keep talking about it. Writing it somewhere might make it feel more permanent.

Thanks for the inspiration - I'll try to catch up to some of your more recent posts now. : )
J in Canada

Robbyn said...

Welcome, J! Some months I'm able to write more than during others. We're still plugging away trying to FIND some land we can afford in this area, so we can go ahead with some of these plans knocking around in our heads...oh for the day THAT FINALLY will be a big event! It's been a while since I looked at this list, and I may tweak some of the details on it, but most of the goals are still the same. In a sense, we've fine-tuned a few rather than abandoning them. Can't wait to see yours...I just took a look at your blog and can see that you're doing a great job in chronicling your own journey :)

Anonymous said...

How fun to find your blog! We are a mid-50s couple just starting on a similar venture. We have lots of the same values and goals as well as questions about what we can still do ourselves. You are not alone!