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What do you love about homesteading?

 
gardener
Posts: 1717
Location: Olympia, WA - Zone 8a/b
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What do You Love About Homesteading?

This thread is going out on Christmas Eve which means it is time for me to spend with family. So my thread this week is fairly simple and I thought I would focus a bit on why my family and I decided to be homesteaders in the first place. While I could go into a lot of detail about that subject I decided to keep things simple.

In my blog post 3 Things to Love About Homesteading I talk about the 3 things I love about homesteading.

3 Things to Love About Homesteading

- Connecting with nature through wild homesteading.
- Watching my little-one experience nature on our homestead.
- Exploring my homestead with my family.

For myself connecting with family, nature, and the land are core to my life as a homesteader. From observing my land, exploring it with my family, and watching the joy on my son's face as he explores our homestead I always find a reason to smile. This is what makes the challenges of homesteading worth it.

What about you? What do you love about homesteading?

I'm keeping this thread simple and I'm hoping to hear from you about what you love about homesteading.

Please leave a comment in this thread and don't forget to check out my blog post mentioned in this thread. If you are one of the first to leave a comment on here you might even get a surprise in the form of pie or apples

Thank you and merry Christmas!
 
Posts: 118
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The thing I love most about homesteading is living a more old fashioned, simpler lifestyle away from many of life's modern trappings and obligations that can easily distract from truly connecting to myself, others, nature and God. My fondest memories were as a youngster visiting my grandparents' farm in Virginia each Summer. It was such an unencumbered, basic lifestyle, and while there each Summer I felt as if my spirit was freed during those brief stays. Somehow, even as a young person, life made much so much more sense, and I was so much more at peace when on the farm. As I grew older, and got swept up in life, my spirit always longed for that simpler life, so 23 years ago, I left it behind, or as much as I could at that time, and moved to a rural setting and my 15 acres of heaven. Since then, my daily goal has been to keep my spirit free, and for me that is leading an ever-increasing simpler life as a homesteader.

Merry Christmas to you and everyone on Permies, and may you all find what you seek most.
Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined. ~Henry David Thoreau
 
pollinator
Posts: 458
Location: South West France
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Great answer Jim.

After growing up as a wild child in the Scottish countryside, then really growing up and having to be well groomed and constantly busy for my job, I especially love coming back to the countryside where I can be myself.

I wear old comfortable clothes, pile my hair into an uncombed bun and start the day deciding what I want to do. I feel that my interior self is more beautiful, rested and aware of the things around me as a result of shedding exterior trappings of success. I have more time to just enjoy what I need and want to do because I don't have to go anywhere, don't have to do so many of the things that I used to resent spending time on.

When people come here, if the house is a mess, the dogs fancy a new lap to sit on, or a cat's sick and I don't rush to clean it up, or kids see chickens copulating or any other things happen which might shock or upset some people, I don't worry, I watch and observe reactions. I see and admire good parenting, respect for animals, calm reactions, fun, humour, joy and at the same time, I see people I really want to be with.

Have a good 2019 everybody !
 
pollinator
Posts: 316
Location: Virginia
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I feel a sense of peace and relief every time I turn into our drive.  With the simple life we live, I dont come home to a mountain of debt worries when I see the house.  I feel happy that I dont have to worry about what is in my food when I eat a meal from my flock-meat or eggs- or chemicals from my garden. I love to see my nephews curiousity and fascination with how we live and that they are willing to try new things when they are here.

I feel better mentally, emotionally and physically when I am here. Not that we dont have a number of problems in our life, but I am happy.

This is where I am meant to be.
 
gardener
Posts: 2499
Location: Central Texas zone 8a
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I like stuff that is "from the homestead".

Sure, someone can go out and buy all the ingrediants to make soap (fat, lye). I want to make the stuff that makes the soap . These are the most rewarding things. It could be dinner. It could be wine. It could be a knife sheath. A Christmas ornament. A bucket. A spoon. A deer blind. A fence.

The list can go on and on.....



 
Posts: 47
Location: Southeast Brazil
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I really hate jobs, rat races, bla bla bla...  Homesteading allows me not to have one and feel self confident at the same time. I can provide for myself! Those things are sooo libertarian!
 
Posts: 499
Location: Rural Unincorporated Los Angeles County Zone 10b
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I noted in most all of your responses a common thread... freedom. Freedom from the ugliness of the urban life, freedom from the strictions of social convention, the freedom of self sufficiency, and the freedom of living in nature. My wife and I also enjoy another freedom as well.

Real estate in the bluest of blue elitist limousine liberal California is prohibitively expensive. It was impossible for us to purchase a house. So we took an outside the box approach and bought a small piece of land from the former owner who was an architect. He sold it really cheap because he was unable to build on it. After two and a half years and $30K worth of radical environazi bureaucratic paperwork, we finally obtained a building permit for an 1,100 square foot, one bedroom "tiny house".


Most of the materials came from Home Depot!  
We built really small and cheap so we could own a house with no mortgage and enjoy freedom from debt.










 
pollinator
Posts: 534
Location: Western Canadian mtn valley, zone 6b, 750mm (30") precip
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Things I love...  Living within nature: river nearby, surrounded by conifer & poplar trees.  General quiet, with birds flying about & singing.  Working with soil, raising food.  Having learned (and learning more) many useful skills, hence being pretty self-reliant.  Being friends with neighbors and other valley residents with similar lifestyles & interests.  Not dealing very often with congested streets & finding parking, nor breathing city air.  Gaining direct insights into how ecosystems function.
 
Daron Williams
gardener
Posts: 1717
Location: Olympia, WA - Zone 8a/b
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Thank you all for sharing! Really awesome to read all of your descriptions of why you love homesteading!
 
master steward
Posts: 9440
Location: Pacific Northwest
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There's just so many things I love about homesteading. I love knowing I have healthy food for me and my family. I love the peace I get from being in nature and away from society. I love sharing the wonder of nature with my kids. I love waling outside and just putzing around the garden and homestead. There's always so much to do, but I love all of it, and feel so rejuvenated after being outside. Being outside allowed me to keep at least some of my sanity when my kids were babies--it not only soothed them, it soothed me!
 
pollinator
Posts: 291
Location: Southern Finland zone 5
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We once had a reporter come to our farm to do a story about homesteading for the local newspaper. She asked me the same exact question. Without hesitation, I instantly replied "Itse tekeminen". The answer just came from somewhere deep in my soul, I hadn't consciously thought about it before. "Itse tekeminen" is Finnish and it has a double meaning. It means "Doing it yourself" but it can also mean "The doing in itself". And I meant both
 
master pollinator
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It is all I know. I would not know how to live/survive any other way.

Just as someone from an inner-city would be scared to spend a week in the rural confines of Maine, I would be scared to be in an Inner-city for a week.

I once helped my sister build a shed for her house (then) in Fairfax, VA and learned quickly about boundary line set-backs, people not knowing their neighbors, and code enforcement rules. I think it took me longer to drive to Home Depot to get stuff 2 miles away then it did for me to go to the Home Depot 40 miles away here with all that traffic.

I can't live like that.
 
              
Posts: 54
Location: Virginia
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Homesteading is the last true "profession" or "lifestyle" with a perceived no barrier to entry. All you have to have is a piece of land.

People are tired of the need to constantly advance, fight for stuff, compete, so on and so on. They want to have control of their lives back in their own hands. Literally.

To such people homesteading has the appeal that they can just go out and do their thing in a way that has not changed since two or three hundred years ago.

However, this perception is very misleading, unless you are set up properly (financially etc.). It ends up being quite the opposite for most people. Why? Well, many reasons. I wrote about them in my own blog post here. It is a long read but it goes into details of what to be careful of.
 
Posts: 21
Location: Southern Ontario
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This
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This
 
Jim Guinn
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That picture says it all, Peter!
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I am in the process of homesteading, but I am living here for the last 36 years, and I guest I am getting there more and more, I love permaculture, it takes time to strat it but it is so much lest work than the conventionnel gardening. I intend to build next summer my first rocket mass heater, and people around me are getting very interesting. I am using all your information to learn, everything I can, and it is very excinting. I am happy that I found you all even if you are very far. I am from Québec province and I enjoy looking at your video, specialy because you are ''une belle gang!'' If my english is not perfect, you know now that I am a French Quebecer.
 
gardener
Posts: 6066
Location: Vilonia, Arkansas - Zone 7B/8A stoney, sandy loam soil pH 6.5
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My primary reason for going homesteading was quiet and solitude from the madding crowds.
Later on I was told it was probably because I am antisocial, but I spend a lot of time around quite a few people so, perhaps it is more that I want the time alone instead of not wanting people around me all the time.
I like spending as much time as possible with my piece of the earth mother.
I like working to build my soil to be as it was a thousand years ago and finding out that I am succeeding at this goal.
I like growing our own food and eating it.
I like taking care of all our animals and using the things they give us.
I like sitting outside at night and watching the stars (we have nearly dark sky where we are and that was one of the must haves that lead to our purchasing this land).
I like building all the infrastructure that we need for living where we live.
 
Nina Jay
pollinator
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Location: Southern Finland zone 5
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I also have more "intellectual" reasons why I love homesteading.

On a homestead I can design my food systems so that they are as environmentally and ethically sound as possible. One day I can hopefully achieve a near perfect loop where the output of another system is the input of another and all it takes to run the system is sunlight - that's the vision I do intend to keep including my neighbours in the loop too, selling food to them and importing some nutrients to the farm, but the majority of material will circle around within the home stead.

Homesteading enables me to make choices that are in line with my values. If the chickens stop laying for a while, it's no problem, we can eat something else for a while. We can live without milk too, for periods of time. There's no need to constantly produce something when you're producing it for yourself. I can give the animals a break and I can get a break from daily milking too.

I also love the seasonality: busy times and low times. Times when I run around from dawn to dusk and times when I can spend hours reading or on online forums
 
Daron Williams
gardener
Posts: 1717
Location: Olympia, WA - Zone 8a/b
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So many awesome responses - thank you all! Really made me smile reading all the reasons why you all love homesteading
 
pollinator
Posts: 125
Location: White Mountains of New Hampshire zone 5
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What I love about homesteading? I love looking at our pantry full of home grown food that we have canned/dehydrated or frozen ourselves. There is just something  about opening a can of vegetables that you have picked and canned yourself in the middle of a New England blizzard. The grandkids picking "weeds" and bringing them in a grand bouquet to me! (yes I eat the weeds). The stars at night over the forest.
 
gardener
Posts: 713
Location: Galicia, Spain zone 9a
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Watching the wildlife instead of just glancing at it
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garden master
Posts: 867
Location: Zone 7b/8a Temperate Humid Subtropical, Eastern NC, US
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I love being outside, seeing and learning, watching how marvelously everything works together within an ecosystem and trying to copy it.

As was mentioned above, it's so satisfying eating something that you've grown yourself, knowing it was grown naturally, and is healthy for yourself, family, and friends!
 
pioneer
Posts: 112
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EVERYTHING!  and i honestly tried to be more specific...even the problems here...and there are plenty of those...are amazingly rich!!! i just love it all...from my first cup of coffee in the morning usually around 3 am...till my glass of wine in the evening...usually around 9 pm...every thing here is a wonder that will never be fully understood or comprehended this side of heaven, i think---and it doesn't need to be :) and that is what i love!
 
pollinator
Posts: 197
Location: Illinois USA - USDA Zone 5b
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I love homesteading. I have been at this since I was in my 20’s. My favorite? That’s hard to choose! There’s been the excitement of helping a young mother bring new life into the world, mixed with momentary panic when I couldn’t get the kids out quickly. The simple pleasure of having my hands in the dirt. Walking around the place to check on the many many many plantings. The satisfaction of a beautiful harvest. Being wowed by a stunning sunset as I make dinner from that harvest.


But if I have to pick one thing:

Sitting on the porch in the morning with my coffee, enjoying the flowers, birds, butterflies, and bees. There, I look out at the fruit trees, enjoy our huge maple that shades the porch. I listen to the sounds - insects and crowing, and inhale the scents of flowers. It is the most peaceful place on our homestead. It is my happy place. It is my church, my temple, the place where I can just sit in the moment and BE.
 
Posts: 119
Location: Zone 4b Ontario, Canada
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It is a joy to read this thread, of Homesteaders' love of the Land.

"Care for the Land, and the Land will care for you"; these have been the words, and work, of the Matriarchs in my family through the generations, and how true it is.  

What I love about Homesteading, is burgeoning life in all its forms:
From a tender sprout, to a new born kid, a newly hatched chick.  
The magnificence of wild and domestic systems when taken notice of and listened to.  
The waltz of life and being a part of it.

My favorite celebration is the Winter Solstice with friends, family, sharing the longest night and a Feast from the bounty provided by the Land Herself, Mother Earth.

What I love most is Spring, getting out there, hands in the dirt, immersed in the sights, sounds, the scent and breath of new life.  
The rhythm of the Waltz with the Land begins once more.

Cheers!  K
 
pollinator
Posts: 76
Location: Coastal British Columbia
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I love

- Being in total wilderness, no noises from neighbors or gas mowers running at all hours
- Wild animals boldly walking up to my home, looking as if they've never seen a human in their life!
- Sharing this experience with my kids and watching them enjoy the wilds of nature

And this

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This beauty
 
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