Letter From Arkansas: Homesteading Tips

A reader from Arkansas writes in to offers some homesteading tips and cautions young people enthusiastic about going back-to-the-land not to go without resources or reject everything modern.

| September/October 1973

  • Arkansas - cartoon homestead - Fotolia
    Veteran homesteaders advise mixing the best of the past and present to achieve your dream of a bucolic, cozy homestead.

  • Arkansas - cartoon homestead - Fotolia


I must tear myself away from reading long enough to acknowledge receipt of the back issues. What wonderful material ... and to think that right away I see letters from neighbors: Eureka Springs, West Fork, Bentonville, even Fayetteville and several other Arkansas places I've visited. Howdy, y'all! (This is wonderful country. I've been from coast to coast and border to border and found but one place that I like as well.)

MOTHER EARTH NEWS has brought me so much enjoyment and recalled so many memories that I'd like to say a first-installment "thank you" by sharing an experience or so.

I've had more than a passing acquaintance with so many things in my lifetime that I might be able to help others in difficulties they may meet. I've been a city gal, schoolmarm (nationally honored), farmer's wife, farmer, mother, VISTA teacher. Now that I'm retired—again—I'm a garden and flower specialist with several sidelines belonging to my various careers.

It's because of my own experience that the temerity of so many—who seem to think they can go practically empty-handed and moneyless back to the land and live comfortably through hard work and their love of the countryside ("The pioneers did it, so can we!")—simply amazes me!

Believe me, I wouldn't for one minute want to lessen the enthusiasm or weaken the ambition of sincere young people ... but—if you're one of them—I'd like you to go into the great experiment with your eyes open, your head alert, and your feet planted solidly on the earth so that you won't become disappointed and heartbroken. There is another and better way, and if you're interested I'll provide some homesteading tips. In the meantime let your wanderings include a questioning walk through a pioneer cemetery. Look at the markers and ask yourself, "Why?"

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