I was recently asked 'How do you start homesteading?'
I think you can start the homesteading lifestyle where ever you are, you can start learning skills and doing what you learn so you can really know how to do all the things you are learning about.
My journey in to the homesteading lifestyle started back in 1994, when I found myself living on an isolated sheep farm in the Strathbogie Ranges with little money.
It was initially a matter of survival and then as my knowledge, skill set and ability grew, I and by then my family thrived.
Homesteading was not a term know to me back then, in fact I wouldn’t hear it described to my way of life for 20 years into my homesteading adventures.
There was no internet inspiration back then, no examples of this life choice; we didn’t even have radio reception, a TV or a telephone.
My family, friends, active social life, work mates and team mates were hours away and were now living a very different life to me now and my good salary and financial independence had decreased dramatically.... it was almost as if I had gone back in time....
Hunting the abundance of rabbits plaguing the property was a nightly job, to feed the dogs.
Cutting, splitting wood and keeping the fire/s burning was vital.
Compost was started; I have always thought them very sensible ways of managing waste, even in the 70’s as a kid and I discovered that they also make a wonderful medium for growing everything I wanted to grow.
I was gifted a Rooster and shortly after 2 hens, the beginning of my free range chicken obsession which is now only a small flock suitable for the size of Moat Cottage.
Due to distance and financial restrictions going to town for food, which was the only shopping done for years, happened once a fortnight, so a vegetable garden was started. That’s right, no op shopping, visits to target, the plant nursery, Bunning’s (it didn’t exist yet) or obviously internet shopping. It is amazing what you can live without.
Initially I wasn't preserving food, as we needed what was growing and being hunted, so were using it up as we went, we were living completely seasonal, but as I got more experienced and had more success in the garden this became a beneficial method to ensure a more varied diet for the whole year.
I started growing medicinal herbs, sowed my own curtains from calico, a birthday present from my parents and I hung them on sunflower stems grown from my first season in the vegetable garden.....and my homesteading life was now how I wanted to live by choice and not so much about just surviving and what I could do continued to expand.
Now days most people interested in this way of life have inspiration, a road map of what can be done and many mentors teaching the skills online for free.
It is not always easy, there will be successes, failures, challengers, new life, death and plenty of work involved but I guarantee you it will be an adventure and a life well lived and there are many ways to live this lifestyle.....
Happy homesteading friends.
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