Beginning Your Homestead Today

Beginnings are often wrought with decisions and hesitations – what if I make the wrong first step? Beginning a homestead is one such decision, especially in a world where many people who are seeking to reclaim land, develop skillsets that have been largely discarded and identify a way of building a lifestyle where the pursuit of Heaven is woven into daily activities, is not necessarily common or simple. 

In prior blog posts, we discussed Where is a Homestead, which hopefully oriented a refreshing framework that homesteading is not only for those who own large amounts of land. 

The Beginning of a Homestead then, is the movement of your intentions to begin establishing a homestead wherever you reside. Homesteading often includes a degree of space that allows for activities that are employed to provide for an individual, family or societal need. For example – animal husbandry as a means of providing meat, gardening for herbs, produce and ornamentals, location to store tools or cooking machinery and more. 

Consider then a few thoughts for beginning a homestead and as always – feel free to Contact Us if you have questions or we can be of assistance.

Discernment and identifying a "Why"

Homesteading is not an easy lifestyle. The degree to which you move more to intentional behaviors and activities that produce resources for the homestead will often be a good indicator of the time and potential capital investment needed to build such a framework. It is reasonable, and should be expected, that at some point in the homesteading journey you may question or doubt your intentions. Why am I continuing to persevere in a lifestyle that much of the world has seemingly abandoned? Considering why you want to begin a homestead, and ensuring that the motivation for building a homestead is clear, will be critical in helping to maintain motivation during periods of difficulty, frustration and doubt. Yes, there will likely be such times as the homesteading lifestyle is not always glamorous or pleasant. 

 

Identify your wants and needs - before purchasing land.

If you intend to purchase land to begin a homestead, we recommend ensuring you have clearly listed what you intend to accomplish with your homestead. If you would like to provide yourself and family with fresh dairy products, you will need a certain amount of space to effectively provide for the specified animals. It will be important to distinguish between wanting to supplement your food sources versus providing for a majority of your food. This is also a good moment to clarify that the space needed to accomplish certain tasks can often be minimized with various techniques (e.g., vertical gardening versus in-ground gardening). Be clear and honest with yourself – what do you want to do and what do you believe you reasonably can accomplish on your homestead. 

Begin where you are.

The skills needed to thrive in a skill-driven and intentional lifestyle are often able to be developed well before you truly need to employ those skills. Consider a child who does not have the pressure of needing to produce what the father will provide, but can learn the skills the father is employing. Many people beginning to homestead are doing so as an adult who was not raised with examples or instruction of the skills necessary to be successful on a homestead. Is there someone you know who raises chickens? Ask if you can be present or participate in the next butchering. Do you know someone who avidly bakes bread? Ask if you can learn from them. Use technology and book resources wisely – what can you learn now that you can begin using when you are ready to begin the homestead. Begin now – right where you are. Do not feel compelled to wait – you have opportunity to learn now. 

Build strong foundations in faith and discipline.

The homesteading lifestyle places many natural demands on the individual and family. Developing discipline, especially in faith, before or early on in the homestead journey is a good way of ensuring a solid foundation is built. Consider the Angelus Prayer, the Rosary, Divine Office, daily reading of the Bible, structured time for contemplative prayer, observation of the Ember Days and additional opportunities as means of building out a structured and routine prayer life. There are many prayer-oriented activities that can be included and would do well to build a prayer life that permeates and correctly orients the homestead life. 

Finding Land (if desired).

There are many strategies to find land however many of them will move you from a consumer mindset (selecting what it readily advertised online) to needing to be creative and proactive in pursuit of land. We will be reviewing options for land identification in the near future (join the email list for updates) but for now, consider these recommendations: 

   – Use GIS Maps to identify plots of land that are likely not a primary residence (different mailing address compared to physical address)

   – Identify a geographic area of interest and contact local real estate agents you are interested in land in the region.

 – Become involved in groups where homesteading is of interest and ensure members are aware you are looking for land. 

There are many more strategies to consider – note these as a preview for more in depth information in the near future. 

Beginning your homesteading journey is a great step towards a lifestyle that might be beneficial in supporting you and your family in the pursuit of Heaven. If you want to learn more – connect with us!

And, if you’re interested in visiting Little Way Farm and Homestead, or following along with the Podcast, be sure to join the email list for updated information!

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