Lessons Learned from 23 Years of Mountain Homesteading


Deer photographed by the author's wildlife camera

It was 23 years ago that we took an early retirement to move full time to our mountain homestead. Anniversaries are times to reflect and we now have 23 years to reflect upon.That time has really gone much faster than I expected. A lot has occurred during that time frame and my first question to myself is, Would I do it all over again? A lot of experience has accrued over those years and some experiences I have been fortunate to share on MOTHER EARTH NEWS.

Best Homestead Equipment for Senior Homesteaders

Tractor: The essential tool. Many of our decisions have been wise choices and some not so wise. Perhaps one of the wisest choices came as a suggestion from Carol when she told me we needed a tractor. What a labor saving piece of equipment that turned out to be! Without the tractor, I seriously doubt we could have lasted here as long as we have.

Carefully choose a style of cabin. One of the less positive choices was our selection of our A-frame cabin. We failed to consider that our later years would make going up a spiral stairway to the sleeping loft stressful on aging joints. A single-story cabin would have been much easier on both of us after we have become older. Like it or not as we age, we accumulate more aches and pains and we failed to plan ahead for that reality.

Heating with a wood stove. It was a wise choice to decide to heat our cabin with a wood stove. There is no substitute for warm radiant heat. As we got older, it did become a chore to wake up in the morning and have to immediately clean out and feed firewood into the stove. Also getting up during the night to feed the stove became more difficult as we aged on very cold nights

8/14/2020 2:16:43 AM

Great story, Bruce. It certainly sounds as if you've made the most of the choice you and Carol made 23 years ago. We've also recently taken an early retirement and bought a place 'in the country' here in Australia. Every day is different, as you can attest - limited planning, just picking a task that needs doing and jumping in. Live the lifestyle you obviously enjoy for as long as you can -- we have completed and documented a 'Plan Next' which allows us to focus solely on 'Plan Now'.

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