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How to convince your loved ones to love homesteading as much as you do?  RSS feed

 
                                    
Posts: 2
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Greetings

I\\\'ve been lurking on these forums for quite some time and thought I\\\'d break in by posing a question.

Perhaps some of you share my situation and I thought you might provide some advice/commentary/nonsense.

I\\\'ve long been an advocate of simple living and have slowly been attempting to disengage myself from the city. My wife however does not seem disturbed by the noise and brutality of the concrete jungle. We have had many lengthy discussions about our dreams and she has even feigned interest when talk rolls around to making a shift away from the city.

Just to fill you all in, we have a small acreage outside the city (really rather isolate though, about 400 miles away). Good soil, great view. We\\\'ve slowly been stewarding the land, have built a small cottage and done some good perennial planting wherever we could. Up to now it has been a vacation spot that we visit a couple times a year.

Lately I\\\'ve got the bug and have been talking about making the move to a more full-time sort of shift. But, it doesn\\\'t seem to be in the cards for her. She isn\\\'t done with the city, her career or friends. Now I\\\'m a pretty easy going guy and have actually been waiting for some time to see if she\\\'ll come around on her own but to no avail. The thing is as much as I want to get out and start working my land I really don\\\'t want to live that life alone.

So my question is what do I put in her tea to make her love the prospects of full-time homesteading as much as I do?

All joking and dark magic aside has anyone had any experiences with this sort of thing.

I\\\'m certainly not, as my name might imply, concerned about the state of our union so to speak. But one can imagine the pickle I\\\'m in. City = wife, country = life.

Any response is a good response. Hoping for a couple good anecdotes.

cheers all

 
                                
Posts: 49
Location: Elmira, ny
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Maybe it's the wrong land. Four hundred miles from the city for a city person is just too far. What about compromising and finding something that is right outside a city, like a 30 minute drive? That would allow her to continue what she does as long as she wants to do it, but you could also have your country life. Lots of smaller cities have countryside in a 30-minute drive. Another possibility is right outside of a college town. Lots of diversity and economic opportunities but still relatively small.

I don't have this problem with another person but with myself. I like the diversity of a city, but I don't like the noise or expense. I like the beauty and cheapness of the country, but I don't like the lawlessness and disregard for others. Living within a short drive of a city is my compromise. Now I am looking for the right city.
 
steward
Posts: 8019
Location: Currently in Lake Stevens, WA. Home in Spokane
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If your wife likes to read, get a copy of "Ten Acres Enough" for her.  It was written in the 1850's, but is still an inspiration to many homesteaders.  A revised edition (revised for clarity due to its archaic language) is available from:
http://www.nortoncreekpress.com/ten_acres_enough.html

Or, subscribe to a country living magazine such as "Mother Earth News".  They usually paint a very idylic picture of country living with many wonderful photos.  Leave the magazines around where she will find them and start browsing.

When the TV news is covering stories such as riots, crime scenes, etc, (without being obvious) turn up the volume so she can clearly hear the story line.  If you live in a big enough city, these stories are becoming more frequent.
 
Posts: 60
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I'm in a similar situation with my husband.
I want to move and he thinks that where we live is just fine.
So I ordered some floor plans for a house that's really great (and WAY less expensive) and showed them to him. He thought they were great, so today we're going to visit a homesteader that I've been talking to, who has some property for sale across the street. We're just looking, but if I can slowly show him that we can do it, and not overwhelm him in the process, I know he'll drink his tea and be on board with me.

Good luck with your wife!
 
Posts: 66
Location: Lacey, Wa
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I, too, am in a similar situation- right now we are looking at buying some land, only an hour away from the town we live in now, and 20 minutes from a smaller town (population about 20,000). He says he's up for trying to live out there, but I'm a little worried that he'll decide he needs to live in the city after a couple years.

On the other hand, with me he's finding he likes working- pushing wheelbarrows, digging, and when I showed him the scythe videos, he thought it looked fun. He hated gardening when he was a kid, and still doesn't like getting his hands dirty; but he is willing to do the hard physical labor with tools

We're younger than you guys I'm pretty sure, so we have more limited money- instead of house plans, we're talking about a trailer or building one of those tiny houses (a friend built theirs for under $2000). Again, he seems on board with that aspect. Really likes the idea of going of grid, rainwater catchment, composting toilet, etc.

I'm just not sure of the rest since he's lived 10 minutes away from city center his whole life.
 
steward
Posts: 2524
Location: FL
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My brother is a tough sell for anything new.
He looked at the 500 feet of coiled black tubing in the driveway and called it a stupid mess.  He said the chickens would stink up the place.  The greenhouse was a dumb idea, and everything in the garden was ruined by bugs.

When the hurricanes came through Florida a few years back, he was without electricity for a couple weeks.  Not only did I keep his freezer in the middle of my kitchen (I had power), he asked if that hose in the driveway really worked.  They showered at my place for the duration.

The chickens, it turns out, never did make a stink.  He comes over regularly because the eggs are so much better than that junk at the supermarket, and they don't cost nothing.  My sister in Mass just got some hens.  Lots of paperwork and a $100 permit are needed for the privelage.

As for the stuff in the garden, it turns out he'll not just eat it, he'll lick the plate when he's done.  Mind you, I've got a fair amount of experience in the kitchen, and I've found good food to be a fine sales pitch to just about anyone. 

Homesteading is a great deal of work.  Sweaty, dirty, heavy, and surely ENDLESS.  Anything worthwhile takes effort, and homesteading is no exception.  Look to the benefits of the lifestyle-fresh air, peace and quiet, and the best food in the world.  There is a satisfaction to be found in finishing a greenhouse, then enjoying the fresh air come rain or shine, or cutting down the heating bill from an attached greenhouse, or the sight and scent of fresh flowers and herbs.

Look to the opportunity that comes with the open space.  Room to build a small studio for hobbies/projects, call it a guest house if you like.  A small shed can be had for low monthly payments or constructed for a light investment.  Enough room for a mancave or a woman's retreat.

Sell the dream and the rewards.
 
pollinator
Posts: 4437
Location: North Central Michigan
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she probably will never change, most people don't, and you should have accepted that when you married her. If you can afford it..spend as much time as YOU can on the property, if she comes along, fine, if not, you'll have to commute or go it alone, you can't change her mind
 
pollinator
Posts: 10112
Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
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I agree with Brenda, people don't change, or if they do, they change VERY slowly.  I was fortunate my husband wanted to move out of the city, but he is not that interested in homesteading.  He enjoys a modern kind of life with plenty of electronics.  He is  gradually becoming interested in permaculture but mostly as a spectator.  He would be just as happy if we didn't have the sheep and poultry, and he's not interested in helping me garden (though he likes to look at the gardens and is very encouraging). He's somewhat interested in appropriate technology like solar cookers and photovoltaic. He likes to cut firewood, but that's about it as far as homesteading type work he likes to do.  He will help build things and sometimes helps a little with putting in fences and such.  But most of the outdoor stuff is up to me and that's not going to change as far as I can tell.


If you can encourage your wife enjoy the beautiful aspects of country life, that will probably be about as much as you can expect, in my opinion.  You can't expect her to help you with any projects if she's not interested.
 
pollinator
Posts: 1460
Location: Midlands, South Carolina Zone 7b/8a
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If it were a man you would be O.K. (sorry guys) but as long as my hubby has good food, a warm house and TV, he's fine with anything I want to do.

A 'typical' woman, on the other hand is a whole 'nother matter.  My hubby KNOWS never to bring me diamonds and I can't abide by baby showers, and 'girls-nights-out and a day at the spa.  But most women I know want that sort of thing and there will be no changing thier minds.

Good luck and I hope you can both find a way to be happy.
 
John Polk
steward
Posts: 8019
Location: Currently in Lake Stevens, WA. Home in Spokane
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And, never say "I need to get out of this city."  Say "We need to get out of this city."
 
Tyler Ludens
pollinator
Posts: 10112
Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
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South Carolina wrote:
baby showers, and 'girls-nights-out and a day at the spa.



Eww!

<<< a woman! 
 
pollinator
Posts: 933
Location: France
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H Ludi Tyler wrote:
I agree with Brenda, people don't change, or if they do, they change VERY slowly.  I was fortunate my husband wanted to move out of the city, but he is not that interested in homesteading.  He enjoys a modern kind of life with plenty of electronics.  He is  gradually becoming interested in permaculture but mostly as a spectator.  He would be just as happy if we didn't have the sheep and poultry, and he's not interested in helping me garden (though he likes to look at the gardens and is very encouraging). He's somewhat interested in appropriate technology like solar cookers and photovoltaic. He likes to cut firewood, but that's about it as far as homesteading type work he likes to do.  He will help build things and sometimes helps a little with putting in fences and such.  But most of the outdoor stuff is up to me and that's not going to change as far as I can tell.


If you can encourage your wife enjoy the beautiful aspects of country life, that will probably be about as much as you can expect, in my opinion.  You can't expect her to help you with any projects if she's not interested.



H Ludi Tyler, I was just feeling totally cheesed off this morning as I'm in the same situation as you as far as my hubby is concerned.  It was comforting to read your post 

'concerned' - because of this situation (that you may well find yourself in if your wife does come to the country) it can sometimes be VERY lonely when there's no kindred spirit to talk to about projects.  That's where permies comes in   

I agree too on the change thing but not that they'll never change - just very slowly.  I have changed dramatically since having children (used to be an awful 'consumer of all things consumer' and sometimes there's a life catalyst that leads to change.  Trouble is that you just don't know what that will be.

'Tricks' that I try are that if we go anywhere 'permacultury', afterwards I always ask what it was that he found most interesting/useful and then (if it fits with what my/our plan is for the place) I try to get him involved.  Amazingly when we went to a Permaculture Festival it was the composting loos that he was most impressed with!!!  He's been to loads of music festivals and said that the chemical loos are always somewhere to try to be avoided after day 1 (and that gets painful!).  He noted that the composting loos had no smells, no flies etc despite 4 days of 700 folk using them.  We now have a composting loo - admittedly outside but we're taking baby-steps here.
 
Posts: 63
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When I first met my husband, he was a total city boy.  He moved in to my house (which is in the city) and quickly adapted to feeding chickens and weeding in the garden - probably mostly at first to impress me.  After awhile, I became determined to move to the country and he put his foot down.  We didn't make the move and continued to homestead in the city while my family purchased a farm for cooperative agriculture (semi IC, more like benevolent dictatorship).  We began working on the farm A LOT.  He went from city boy, to trying to impress me, to actually ENJOYING the country life.  Sometimes it just takes doing it because people can't imagine what it's like.

It's too bad your land is so far out.  Our farm is only 40 miles away so we can pop over for a day.  He still doesn't want to live there full time (no cell phone service and spotty internet) but it's been a great compromise for us, especially since I'm still enjoying city life too!

Do you have any room to do things at your house in the city?  Have some chickens?  Bee hives?  Vegetables?  Just involving her in projects may open her eyes.  Also, find out WHY she doesn't want to move to the country.  Is she afraid of change?  Afraid there won't be a nail salon?  Will she miss her friends?  Once you know the real reasons, you may find some solutions.  Get to know the locals around your land - who knows, maybe she will bond with someone!
 
                                
Posts: 62
Location: Western Pennsylvania
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I too am in a similar situation.  However I had a husband that was in it with both feet.  And then I lost him.  Oh, I still have the same husband, but over the last 9 years the interest in self-sustainability has just slipped away. 

I have a hard time getting him away from his computer games to just do a few things like change the oil in the car or even make a shelf for the dining room.  These things are things he did regularly, and enjoyed, and he has a very large garage filled with an unbelievable collection of wood working tools, yet he doesn't set foot in it anymore.  He's very talented and has made some beautiful things.

What do I do, well, I do what I can and until he comes back around I'm not going to get that hand pump on my water well.  I'm not going to get the rain water storage system I designed for washing clothes, I'm not getting my greenhouse moved from our old residence(might be able to pay a local Amish man to do it), I'm not getting a new chicken fence (though I'm trying to do that myself), I'm not harvesting any more chickens (he lost his nerve/stomach for it).

My advice.  Do what you can do and accept that your partner isn't in the boat with you.  BUT, should sh*t hit the fan, and the world collapses around you, be prepared to teach, and teach fast.  Then she will be thankful that you have all this knowledge.  It will take up too much energy and end in bitterness and resentment if you fight a losing battle. 

Tami 
 
                      
Posts: 37
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Please believe me, I am not trying to be critical, but I think your biggest challenge may be your approach.

I don't believe you can "convince" (force) anyone to feel as you do. Trying to do so, I believe, is bound to fail.

What you can do is explain how you feel about this and why, ask them to try it and let them make up their own mind.

Oh, and be ready to compromise...
 
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