Sane and Sustainable Homesteading, Part 1



Many people in the world long for a life in the country, lived on their own terms, close to nature, honest and hands-on. A few of these people take this feeling far enough to make the leap, leaving the city, buying land and striving to live the homestead dream. That was me in 1985. But too many of these people find that homesteading is harder, less fulfilling and more painful than they imagined. Too many end up abandoning the dream, feeling guilty, discouraged and inadequate. It’s a shame, a waste of life and it’s often unnecessary.

Homesteading is Easier Than Ever, But . . .


The fact is, now is the best time in history to live the homesteading life. That’s what I’ve found over the last 30 years of living at the end of a little cart track called Bailey Line Road. Technologies exist that empower the individual like never before. Cities are becoming less livable, rural areas have room for more hard-working residents, and the opportunity to make the economics of homesteading succeed have never been rosier. So why is it so simple to find people who’ve tried homesteading and given up? It usually comes down to failures of philosophy.

Google “Why I Quit Homesteading” and you’ll find lots of would-be homesteaders who aren’t nearly as happy as they used to be. Some are back in the city, some end up tied to a job they hate in town, others are living some watered down, emaciated version of the liberating dream that led them out of the city in the first place. Over the years I’ve seen many homesteaders come and go, and there’s a pattern to what I see.

The Homesteading Dilemma


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