Tuesday, March 1, 2011

One Reason We Homestead

In light of a short conversation I had and one overheard today, I felt compelled to share just one of the reasons we homestead. The conversations had to do with our government and food, specifically food prices. (Let's not even go there on recent GMO approvals!!) The talk got me thinking, one of the main reasons that we homestead is independence. Now I know that may sound cliche. We are living here in America right? The land that was founded on independence! The land where you could escape from the religious and lifestyle laws that we imposed onto you? For freedom! And yet all I really see is America becoming more and more dependent on it's government. Democracy? Pssh. Freedom? Ha. Why don't you ask the farmer in Wisconsin who's farm has been raided by the government time and time again about how free he feels. Raided by the government. Shut down. And for what? Because they're selling a wholesome, nutritionally sound product?
As far as I'm concerned (and you can call me crazy if you want) I'd love to take my family off to a place where the government no longer knows we exist! I'd be glad to hand in my social security number for someone else to use. Really, by the time Gavin is old enough to even draw social security it will be gone anyway.
Our current home is still run heavily on the help of the government. We have power and a phone, health insurance and vehicles. We have a mortgage! But we are working towards moving as far away from the support as possible. Doing what you can- at your home, with what you have available to you, is the first step in the right direction. So we have a garden, which I want to expand this year. We raise chickens, turkeys and hogs. We make our own soap and detergents. I sew some of our clothes (although I'd like to do more.) We're self employed.
Small steps in the right direction. On my to do list: get a milk cow, raise honey bees, raise lambs, raise beef, move off grid, grow a HUGE garden, and have a HUGE orchard. Some issues we just won't be able to get around, like having vehicles. My husband needs his work truck for...work. I don't know how many trees he'd be able to trim with a horse and buggy. We can't grow our own grains at this point so we have to buy grains to mill into flour and for our animals. Building supplies for the house. We can mill our own wood but, nails, screws? I guess it all just depends on how independent from the world you want to be. There are luxuries that I do appreciate- like gas stations and my dishwasher. But the further removed we can be from it, the better off we're going to be in the future.
*I am now stepping down from my soap box. Thanks for listening!*


goatldi said...

Bravo! We are like minded and after 40 years of marriage we continue the journey. Baby steps as with so many things in life.

For 25 years we have raised our own goats for our own dairy products including cheese, butter, fluid milk, ice cream, sour cream you get the idea. We have on occasion raised our own pork and have had chickens for eggs continually.

My husband has a lovely organic garden and I began our adventure into bee keeping this Fall.

Next on our list (when we get the final homestead) is off the grid, a larger garden to enable year round production. Fruit and citrus trees also.

Press on you will do well!

Unknown said...

Well said...you stay right up on that soap box my friend!!! Love it! It's a journey, and one well worth the effort. Praying for you and your family...and mine...as we work towards this goal. :) We can do much on our places to gain as much independence as humanly possible.

Unknown said...

I'm with you. I agree with everything you wrote. America is not the land of freedom anymore and to 'be safe' you really have to fly under the radar. We're working on that too. I say you jump back on your soap box cause you were doing a great job.

teekaroo said...

Hear, hear! Independence is what motivates me too. Although without the lovely internet, I would think I was the only person in the world with these thoughts. Great post!

Farmhouse Blessings said...

I sure did enjoy reading your perspective on homesteading. It is so encouraging to know that other families share our vision for independence and self-sufficiency and choice. You're a blessing!

Kim said...

I agree 100%~sometimes it's easier said than done for me (I really like the dishwasher too!), but we're continually working towards being more self-sufficient. Next up is the milk cow and soap-making~and of course, a bigger garden! :)

Very well said Heather!

Mary Grace McNamara said...

You're absolutely right, my dear! If more people were willing to work hard for what they have instead of expecting the government to provide it for them, this country wouldn't be in the shape it's in.

Never apologize for using your (homemade) soap box! :)


Unknown said...

I'm feeling increasingly burdened by our dependence on outside sources. I know there's only so much I can do "on just a couple acres" ;D but, by George, I'm making forward progress to do what I can. Right now I feel the biggest pinch to free myself from being "servant to the lender" and we're planning on living off my husband's meager salary and devoting almost all of his commission to be debt & mortgage free by my 35th birthday. That's the plan at least. We'll see if the Lord has a different one!

Great post :)

Truly Blessed! said...

Amen! and Amen! We have our mtg payment, electric and cell phones. We are working towards off grid.

Unknown said...

I'm getting up on my soap box now...

Ditto to all that you said. However just to encourage you, the things like nails, screws, and grains (I can't grow those here either) are things we can someday barter for IF... people will start to take up specific trades and become proficient in them, farm some portion of their land with the intent to trade, and purchase the little bit that is left over as necessary. I really think it would be great if we would start teaching our sons skills that could be used to help a community, such as blacksmith skills, solar/wind technology, woodworking, etc. My husband grew up learning the woodworking trade and it has served us and others well during specific periods of our married life, although he is a pastor first and foremost.

Second thought, we need to instill this mindset in our children before sending them out into the world. Our oldest has reached college age and we have sat down and discussed her options thoroughly. In fact, we had her take a year off of school, just so we could plan how this was going to pan out and so that she could finish honing some homemaking skills (although she was very proficient already), work outside the home and gain experience from others, and volunteer in the community. (All this was an education that isn't acquired from books!). In the end, we made the decision that she would not take out a GOVERNMENT LOAN of any kind even if it meant that she didn't go to college - and this is a child who REALLY loves to learn. As it turns out, she will either have a 4 year full ride from a University or she will do an on-line college that we can pay cash for.

I bring this up because we must set them on the right path from the beginning or they are doomed to repeat much of what we see in the world today. Entitlement, dependency, indenturedment (is that a word?), and apathy. (Stepping off the soap box now :-)

Tonya Gunn said...

I just love this post. We are working toward the same goals.
Thank you for sharing.
Warm wishes,

Renata said...

Loved this post! Even though I live in Australia, I also think we would be better off without the government interfering at times. We have very similar dreams too. How I would love to be completely self-sufficient!

CathyD. said...

Good post, like your ideas, but what really frustrates me is the huge hold the big corporations have over all of us. It's impossible to get away from them.
Look at Monsanto and "Roundup" and Roundup Ready Alfalfa; and I can't even get started about the gas industry and fracking. How do you plan to protect your water sources? It's impossible. Sorry to be so depressing.

Mountain Home Quilts said...

Where we currently live, and where we'll be moving, we're on well water. Thankfully we're somewhat in the middle of no-where so there aren't a lot of crops being raised or chemicals tainting our water supply.
And you're not being depressing- you're be ing real! These are things that we all have to look at and consider if we're going to try and live a healthy, free life!

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