Kai: What is it like to homestead? Well, here’s the truth: Homesteading is admittedly not for the faint of heart – not to say that we aren’t in certain areas of this lifestyle, but I think it’s important to come clean about it. It can be a lot of work, requiring spur of the moment changes, working in the bad weather, learning basic survival skills and much more.
Captive animals rely on you for everything.
Food, water, shelter, mental stimulation, and aid when sick or injured. And of course, protection from extreme elements.
Gardeners face destruction from weather and wild creatures – from insects to rodents, and animals as large as deer and bears. You must also have patience with getting conditions right for growth.
Both plants and animals will die, which never gets easier, and animals can go in many expected, and unexpected ways.
It is also necessary to address that animals eat other animals. Not just in the example of a hawk taking your chickens, but also you, as the caretaker, needing to fulfill your carnivorous pet’s true needs. Cats are not vegetarians, folks. That is just the way it is.
While one continues to face much of the grit it takes to live as a homesteader, we feel it definitely grows you as a person too.
When you work with your own hands, head and heart, you grow your stamina, intuition, and skillset. You learn from tangible, realistic, experience – as well as a computer screen, books, classes, lectures.
This is of course not about becoming steel either, because one must love something about what they do, treat it with respect, and do the best they can with what they have to work with.
The worst part about saying all of this – is that we’ve barely gotten started!
There is of course good that comes from it, but maybe it’s best to put it poetically: It’s a dance between being rugged, practical, passionate, hard-working, but also empathic and tender. You hone your critical thinking, and creativity in unison. And life makes sure you are never bored.
The adventure and comedy takes care of itself.