Stages of a Homesteader


| 5/13/2014 3:08:00 PM


Brandon DinsmoreMaking the decision to live off the land, become self-sufficient, get off the grid, or simply live a little bit better is monumental in the lives of those who do it and there seems to be a typical rhythm to how we all go about doing it.

From the first moment our brains start formulating the affinity for raising chickens or growing veggies in the backyard, we're locked in, and the following years end up changing everything we do and the very way we think, act, and carry ourselves. I think we can easily sum it all up into a few stages, which I call the stages of a homesteader.

1. Research

This one never really goes away. But in those beginning months and years, the typical homesteader will invest time and money into books, magazines, websites, and any other information they can find all in hopes of learning more and more. Usually, the aim is to learn "how to live" on a homestead. We search for magical advice and wisdom that will change us and make the transition easier and easier. Most of us can spout off more advice about homesteading than we have ever actually practiced in our lives, and rarely do we realize how often our own knowledge conflicts with itself. Take snake bites, for example. Remember that point when you identified all of the venomous snakes in your area? And then you researched how to take care of the bite and what to do to get rid of the snakes (turns out there's no getting rid of them). The first bit of advice was, "Suck the venom out with your mouth." and you memorized that. A year or two later that new edition of your favorite homesteading book said, "DO NOT suck the venom out with your mouth!" and you had to make that adjustment, update that bit of your personal knowledge base.

Eventually, you realized that all of the books and websites had the same basic information, and you slowed down on buying so many of them. You learned that gardening truly is planting seeds in the dirt and applying some water when there isn't enough rain. You learned not to visit those poultry forums too often because it was a den of worry about every moment of a chicken's life being the possible end. Lots of disease and death were the only thing people seemed to talk about when you asked, "What's wrong with my chicken?" only to realize it was a hurt leg from jumping off a high perch.



There are countless forums we all get started in, but after some time we fade out and away from them because they truly are places for beginners, which is great, but after awhile you start to learn with real world experience. This is because you've more than likely started to implement your homesteading lifestyle which brings us to the next stage.