Thursday, February 5, 2015

Quick Hit: It just keeps snowing, and thoughts on "real" homesteading.

I really liked this photo from last post, so I decided to re use it for today. I'm running late on everything today because it's snowing more every day, which means I have to be clearing snow constantly. It's just part of life, but when you're at work during the day and are helping with baby care, and animal care isn't able to be compromised, you lose time somewhere. For me, it's lately been either the blog or sleep. In this case, it's the blog And sleep! The topic for today though is prompted by Cold Antler Farm's blog. Read more below the cut.

Yesterday there was a post on the Cold Antler Farm blog about someone who was upset with her for not being a "real" homesteader because she accepted help. Take it a read through, and if you enjoy this blog you'll probably enjoy hers.

My thoughts:
Homesteading is not, and can not be a solitary endeavor. By the very nature it is a community activity. I'm sure there are people who do nothing else, have no debts, and can manage to consistently survive without outside assistance, but that's their whole life. For most of us though, we can't produce the tools, all of the feed, every thing we need. We're going to rely on the people and community around us to shore up where we're short. She covers this well in her blog post, so I'll leave her words to do so.

Failure does not negate:
One of the particular things that stuck out to me was that the person who is stopping reading her blog said that she's no longer a real "homesteader" because of her lack of preparation for winter and reliance on that assistance from others. I think that's particularly silly. Not everyone succeeds all the time, and a failure or inability doesn't negate being something. If we suddenly needed to eat without outside assistance for over about 3 weeks we'd be in trouble. Before that our animals would be in trouble because we'd be out of feed within a week between chickens and rabbits. I've discussed what Homesteading is to me before so I don't think I need to discuss that again.

I guess this comes down to, I feel that what you aim for is more important than whether you always succeed at it. We may not always manage to do what we aim to do, but that's ok. I think that much like ethical eating, small steps are better than none at all. And is it really failure to be prepared if you manage to cope through help from others?

Tuesday I'll be back with more significant content and a more coherent brain!


  1. Goodness, even the Americans settling the plains had help! And bought stuff (the country store, the railroads). Did that silly person never read the Little House series? Yes, they talk about not wanting to be "beholden" to others, but you still helped out the people around you. That's how people work.

    1. My dad's response was very similar, and I think worth sharing since you'll appreciate it.

      "Gracious! The REAL homesteaders (those in the 19th century who staked a claim on 40 acres somewhere) would never have survived without the help of their neighbors! Barns would never have been built, wells never dug, etc. etc. And then comes the issue of cross breeding to keep herds/flocks healthy . . . Without community there is no civilization, whether on the farm or in the city. This over-the-top glorification of 'individual' and denigration of 'community' is one of our biggest problems these days."

  2. Replies
    1. My pleasure, your blog is an inspiration on the kind of place we could be in the future. Be well, and best wishes to you and your farm now and into the warm season.