On one hand where homesteading gives you immense rewarding experience, it demands a certain level of resilience and dedication.
Living a self-sufficient life, far from the concrete jungle is a dream for urban people. But, homesteading isn’t all a dream.
Not knowing about the hardships, dedication and failure, many new homesteaders struck by surprise when they are exposed to reality.
To keep it simple, if you’re dreaming or planning of starting a homestead, then learn about the harsh truths about homesteading.
This write-up isn’t to discourage you, but to discuss about the not so romanticized aspect of having your own homestead.
9 Harsh Truths about Homesteading – important to things to know before starting
You work hard to sow seeds, amend the soil, remove weeds and water regularly to see seedlings sprouting and growing bigger.
But, one morning when you visit your farm, you notice tomatoes are rotting and aphids attacked your crop.
All the time, effort and your expectations wasted.
But, when you’re aware about the hardships, you won’t let anything steal your profits, because you’re planned and prepared for it.
1. You’ll Have No Day-Off
Want to join your family party?
New homesteaders should forget about getting away from farm until you hire or have some substitute care taker.
And that person should be trustable enough to leave your little chickens or goats to take care.
Even if you find such person, you can’t stop thinking about those newly planted tomatoes or pregnant goat.
Remember this: Homesteading isn’t a job; it becomes a part of your life.
2. Be Prepare to Work Hard
Obviously, homesteading isn’t a 9 to 5 job. You need to get-up early and work late as long as farm needs.
Your schedule changes depending on the climate.
After a backbreaking work, at night you might have a sick goat which needs to be cared all night.
Next morning, you can’t take an off. (You’re luckily you’ve a fellow family members who support you.)
There are things that aren’t in your control. Raining, snow and winds, anything can assign you last minute task.
3. You need to have patience: Time Consuming Work
If you’re thinking to make money from homesteading, then be prepared to have patience.
Growing plants or raising animals are time consuming businesses.
Regularly inspect plants and animals to ensure they aren’t sick or attacked by infestation.
4. Homesteading isn’t for dummies
Embarking homesteading journey isn’t possible without prior knowledge.
As a beginner you need to have a learning curve on how to raise livestock, spoil composition and adapting to the new environment.
Every day need to start with a mindset of learning new skills to live a sustainable life.
5. You Need people to support, you can’t do everything on own
Idea of growing your own food and living a self-sustaining life is appealing, it comes with overwhelming workload.
Planting, regularly inspection of crops, raising animals, breeding and cleaning can’t be done by single person.
Either hire someone as an assistant or befriend like-minded person.
6. Death is a part of your journey
Loss of crop due to climate or death of your beloved animal, death is an inherent part of homesteading.
Be prepared emotionally and be resilient to continue the work.
7. You May Fail
First time homesteaders should be prepared for the failure. It is not a sign of weakness, but acknowledging the reality allows to adapt and improve.
8. Homesteading involves dealing with dirt
You’ve to deal with poop, maggots, mud and urine. Those perfect pictures on Pinterest are taken after cleaning.
When starting homestead you may hardly have such view of your coop.
Be prepared to get your hands on dirt and mud.
9. Need Money, but don’t expect fast money
Obviously, starting a homestead needs a farm land, which may take big chunk of investment from your pocket.
But, returns are gradual.
Homesteading is challenging yet a rewarding experience for those who start with open eyes towards reality and have resilient soul.
Having a self-sustaining life isn’t everyone’s cup of tea.
Determination and accepting the reality of homesteading allows you to be prepared and resilient.
Khaja Moinuddin, a computer science graduate, finds joy in gardening and homesteading. Join him on this blog as he shares his experiences in homesteading, gardening, and composting