I’ve been binge watching Discovery Channel’s show Homestead Rescue this week. Have y’all seen it? It’s a little intense, but I love watching the hosts transform a homestead with only the resources they have on hand. They’re so innovative. Any how, it got me to thinking. You know, this homesteading gig ain’t for everyone. There are those who are gung-ho, all about this way of life, those who have the best intentions jumping right into it and those who were thrown into it for whatever reason. But, not everyone has the grit to make it.
Here are a few reasons why:
It’s early mornings and sometimes late nights.
If you have animals on your homestead, which most people do, you have to get up pretty early to start your day. Animals need feeding and tending to, and they wake up with the sun. Sometimes, your animals will require your attention and you’ll have to stay up long past your bedtime too. This could be for something as exciting as helping new mamas birth their babies or something as sad as caring for a sick animal.
There are no holidays.
Someone forgot to give the livestock and the poultry this year’s calendar. They even wanted breakfast on Christmas. Animals obviously don’t know or care about our holidays. They care about their routine and their feed times. You of course can hire a homestead sitter for you to go on holiday, but remember this is an added cost to your vacation. [ see our What to Look For in a Homestead Sitter ]
It actually requires maintenance and work.
In a society where manual labor is often thought to be menial and looked down upon, modern homesteaders are paving their own paths full of daily chores and maintenance. Homesteads actually require a lot of hard work. It takes time, effort and ingenuity to effectively run a homestead. You didn’t feel like working on fences today? Whoops. The horses didn’t know that and took down a fence line. You didn’t feel like having to pick veggies today? That’s okay. They’ll just spoil. There are a thousand things to do at any one time on a homestead. Sure there are times of relaxation, but it’s usually laced with exhaustion. Winter is typically when homesteaders get a moments rest, but being the type of people they are, they’re just anxiously anticipating and planning spring and summer’s return. And if they have livestock and/or other animals, then their winter is still busy with chores and work.
It makes you somewhat of a recluse.
I don’t mean this in an offensive way. It’s just reality. There’s so much to do all the time that you frequently have to turn down invitations and outings. I see what normal people’s weekends look like compared to ours, and it looks like a hallmark card. They’re off at festivals and get-togethers. Our weekend is a hallmark card too, it’s just a dirty, productive and tired one. 🙂
It may be expensive.
If you only knew our monthly feed and hay bill… Unless you make your homestead work for you to bring in an income and help sustain itself, you’re going to have to fork out cash for feed and vet bills. If you don’t happen to have animals and only have a garden, odds are you will have to purchase items for your garden too. Not to mention if you have maintenance or equipment costs crop up. There is always the goal of the homestead sustaining itself monetarily, but more often than not, it takes time to reach this goal. In the meantime, you’ll need the funds for proper care and maintenance.
It can be really sad.
I’ll never forget the first flock of chickens we lost. A week after our wedding, our dog broke into the coop and literally ate some of them whole. I was devastated. I mean I cried and cried while I watched my husband bury them. Now, when we lose a bird, I don’t have quite the same reaction, but I still get sad. Death is a part of life on the homestead. Whether you butcher your own animals for food or they die from sickness, predators or old age, a death is a death, and it can be sad.
Now that I’ve depressed you with the negatives of homesteading… No, but really. Homesteading just isn’t for everyone. There are many levels of homesteading so each situation is different, but every homestead requires some kind of sacrifice and a lot of hard work and determination.
What would you add to this list?
[ See the opposite of this post here ]