HOMEGROWN Life: It’s Cold Out There for a Farmsteader

| 1/11/2013 11:28:20 AM

This post originally appeared on HOMEGROWN.org. 

gIf you’re one of those people who dreams of being a farmer, building your own house, living off the land, being the envy of free people the world over, feeding your community with wild edibles . . .

This post might be for you.

I am a farm kid who grew up and went off to college like the system says you should. I worked as an activist and writer for many years. I gardened a lot. I started my own business and worked on launching several others. All the while, I constantly dreamed of returning to the home place to build my own sustainable farmstead. I know many people have the same lunacy. After about one and a half years of trying to put this dream in action with a minimal budget, here are some things I’ve learned.

1.) Building a house takes more time than you think it would. We started construction around the first of July, six months ago. We’ve hired help for some things, done a lot of the work ourselves, and got a lot of help from friends and family. Still, we’re a long ways from having a finished house.


2.) Living in an unfinished cabin-type house is hard on families. We don’t have full electricity yet. We have unfinished walls. We have one water outlet. We heat the place (and our water) with a wood stove. We have a bucket with a toilet seat on top for a stool.

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