Tuesday, January 28, 2014

From Where I Am

Once you begin homesteading, it's easy to get so caught up in the day-to-day minutiae of your tasks that you forget just how cool it is to be doing what you're doing.  This morning I was down the hill pulling up some old onions to add to a stew I am making for tonight's dinner, and I realized just how far this life is from the one I lived in my 20's and 30's. 

So I'll say this to you.  If you're homesteading in any way whatsoever -- canning, growing, off-the-grid, or just the regular customer of a good farmer's market -- take a moment today and look back on how far you've come since you began doing whatever it is you are doing now, homestead-wise.  And do something nice for yourself. You deserve it.

That's right, because in case you've forgotten amidst the busyness of your day-to-day life, homesteading is one of the nicest things you can do for the planet.  When what you eat, wear, or burn for fuel has to travel less miles to reach you, you're making a huge difference in the health of Planet Earth.  When you're conscious of what goes into your soil, your animals and your water, you are not only helping your community stay healthy, you are also helping yourselves.

Appreciate yourself, because so often with humans, what was once the thrill of a new lifestyle grows routine, often to a point where we don't fully appreciate how much we've changed from who we were before.  People who are new to an activity often approach it with an almost religious fervor.  They do things consciously, reverently.  But then the routine and inevitable boredom sets in, and they move on to the next shiny, trendy thing.  Their gardens grow fallow, their animals become barnyard pets instead of useful manure-makers (for the defunct garden), and when the next flight of fancy calls, these people go following after it, never to be seen again.

It's sad that if we just stay committed to something -- a garden, a skill, even a marriage -- long enough to become competent, far too often we simply begin to take it for granted.  Of course the morning begins with letting the chickens out to range and waking our husband up so he can get to the ranch on time.  Of course we're going to go down to the lower pasture to harvest some stray onions for our stew. Yawn. No biggie.

But no -- it really is a big thing. So just for today, pat yourself on the back for whatever it is you're doing.  Because, most assuredly, if you've stayed the course, it's a far cry from whatever you were doing ___ years ago, when you lived largely ignorant of this way of life.

Just for today, celebrate those chickens, that herb garden, your friends at the farmer's market or those onions down in the field.  They are proof that you're the real deal.  You're in it for the long haul, and your skill set is increasing, as is your knowledge and your commitment.

As the Aussies say, good on ya, mate.


  1. Love this! Although I never need encouragement to treat myself to something nice! Haha...I'm sure you've noticed I'm good at that! But I definitely see and appreciate your larger point here. If the goal is to lighten the load on the planet, so to speak, any move in the right direction is valuable. I envy the vision of walking out and getting onions! I am living in the land of permafrost it seems. I'm aching to garden!

    1. I think too often we focus on what we're NOT doing, and beat ourselves up for it, so focusing on what we are doing gives us a chance to see progress. And you pointed something out I also take for granted and shouldn't....a temperate climate where I can go out and gather onions without scraping snow off the ground!