Finding Thrifty Homesteading Success through Creative Problem-Solving



I see a lot of posing on Instagram and other places on the web, which I think is indicative of our time. This is the era of crafting a lovely persona on the web, when in real life things are very different. I think that we all want to be perfect and look just right, that's understandable. But as a homesteader, I don't want to give others the impression that homesteading is easy, romantic, uncomplicated, or that anyone can just pick it up like a new hobby. It takes real work. I feel that it's my obligation to communicate the reality so that others contemplating this lifestyle can get a truthful picture.

Homesteading Challenges

Maybe it is just my personal experience and there are none others that have gone through this. Zach with An American Homestead on Youtube referred to the first 3 to 5 years as just Survival Mode, which really resonates with me. I think it depends on your personal situation, of course. I have twins that were babies when we moved to our land, and a 7 year old. We homeschool and cook from scratch, so all of those things factor into making things more challenging. You're just juggling a lot of balls with our situation. This past year in particular we made a lot of mistakes but we've learned a lot.

Many people have physical limitations, health issues, or tight finances which can make things just as hard as it has been for us (if not more so!).

Farm Equipment

We started off with no equipment (tractor, brush cutters, skidsteer, four-wheeler, etc). We just had a chainsaw and an electric hedge trimmer. It was very tough to get anything done, and we are remote, so we couldn't rent equipment.

We had to clear 12,000 feet of extremely thick brush (up over a person's head) to put up a new 9 wire electric fence to keep out bears, deer, wolves, and cougars. The largest Grizzly bears in the world and 500lb black bears regularly walk through our area. We started small and just put a fence around our house (using a tulip bulb auger for 2" posts!), then in year two we tackled the 12,000 feet. Overall we cleared around 100,000 fq ft of brush for the fence (we measured our property on Googlemaps). It was still hard, felt hopeless at times, and took a lot out of us. But we accomplished it, so the victory was pretty sweet. If we had chosen to hire someone, the cost would have been astronomical."

2/10/2021 8:24:26 AM

Yes an American homestead is very good source of information,great article.

2/9/2021 8:22:12 PM

Great advice! An American Homestead offers tons of advice as well!

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