So many people hang around the homesteading forums, their heads filled with impossible dreams. They have an idea of an idealistic existence where they test their mettle in a gentle way, where nature and fate smile benevolently upon them and encourage and aid their every effort.
I must confess, I do not possess the self-restraint necessary to not poke fun at them, just a bit, in putting down in words the fantasy that seems to permeate the minds of the romanticists who get ahold of the idea of homesteading without ever really having any idea of what it is they got ahold of!
Something like this:
We will brave the storms (which will come every few years to challenge our resolve but which will NOT come twenty and forty times each winter), and Love our little animals, and our gardens will grow just because we want them to!
Other people may have bug problems but we won't because we will be NATURAL and we will be so smart that bugs would not dare come into our gardens uninvited!If they do, we will sprinkle diatomaceous earth everywhere and the bugs will just go away and never bother us again because we read that is what it will do!
We will let our chickens live out their natural lives and never butcher old layers and we will eat the meat that we raise (we forget that this means butchering old layers... and we forget that butchering is messy business).
Other people will flock to our homestead and pay us to tell them how we did such a marvelous job so we will never have to work a second job or struggle to sell some of our excess production - and we WILL always have excess production because our goats will always have triplets that survive, and milking them every morning and evening will be a joy and never inconvenient, our chickens will surprise us all the time with new chicks even though we take the eggs every day, and they will free range and feed themselves so we never run out of feed before the next paycheck comes in and OUR chickens will NEVER go onto the neighbor's property (and if they do the neighbors will just love them so much they won't really mind the poop on their cars and porch), and we will teach other people how to get their chickens to be like that!
We will learn how to bank our fire at night and it will not only last all night but it will keep the house nice and warm too so we don't have to get up shivering in the morning and the pipes will NEVER freeze! We won't ever run out of firewood because we will gather firewood a few times in the fall, and we will get an energy efficient stove for practically nothing and install it ourselves, and the firewood will last us all winter!
We will have a composting toilet that will never stink, and our county will have no problem with this because we are going to live where there are no regulations.
Our guard dog will love our kids, and never bite anyone unless we tell it to, and won't ever kill the chickens or distress the sheep, because we are going to get a GOOD dog that INSTINCTIVELY knows what we want it to do!It will never leave our property because it will KNOW where its boundaries are, and it won't ever hurt anyone else's livestock.
We will build our tiny house to live in and it will have room for everything we just have to bring with us, it will only cost $2000 to build because we will scrounge everything we need to build it (and it will be brand new stuff because old things are yucky), and we will have room in it for our food storage and self-sufficiency supplies (oh... do you need those things?), and big closets and a big bathroom and a bedroom that will hold a king size bed and place for all the kids on the same floor because stairs aren't safe for them, and room for the dog in the house downstairs too because we would not want him to hurt himself going up the stairs (OF COURSE he will be inside at night... and he will be outside to guard the animals... You just don't know how to do it if you think we can't do that!).
Our fruit trees will bear fruit in the first year because we can't wait three or four or FIVE YEARS!!! for the trees to bear! We will plant our garden and not get tired of weeding, and when the garden overflows us with food we will dry it and can it and freeze it and not get tired of doing that. We will work all summer and fall and then we will spend the winter doing what we want to do because there won't be any more work in the winter!
We will co-exist with the wild animals, who will befriend us and not eat our chickens because that would make us sad, and they won't want to make us sad. We will take pictures of the cute raccoon babies, and the cute coyotes, and the cute bobcats, Oh! and the cute possums and show all the people that hate them that they are wrong (because wild animals never eat chickens if you just love the animals enough).
We will live out in the wilderness all by ourselves, but not too far out because we still want to go shopping at the malls in town and we don't want to commute more than 15 minutes to work so we need to be right outside the limits of a big city or there won't be a good job, but we are going to build our tiny house on several acres (we don't want to mow more than that) as soon as we can find a bargain because we can't afford to pay more than $50,000 for our property and it has to have a well and septic and electricity (even though we will be off grid, of course), and no regulations or HOA to tell us we can't have the house we are going to build all by ourselves. We need to be where it does not snow, but where it is not desert either, but where there is lots of water but not a lot of rain because mud is messy.
Ok, so it isn't very nice for me to poke fun at people who do not understand that it just doesn't work like this.
Feel free to send us your additions to this monologue, we'd love to add them in!