For the last seven years, it has been a dream of ours to own property. We knew, once we bought property, that we would want to do great things. Finally, we’ve purchased eight acres in the middle of Missouri and are officially getting the ball rolling towards our self-sustained homestead. Not only do we plan on being able to survive off the land we work everyday, but we want to better our community and this planet, that has provided so much for us as a species. I feel that this planet gets taken for granted and consumers have no clue where their food comes from or how much work was put into each vegetable on the dinner table. We want to change that.
Starting our homestead is going to be a lot of work. After we have water and electricity situated, Summer will be just about ending. We won’t be growing any vegetables this year. However, we will be planning on lots of vegetables starting next year. We will start right away composting and mulching the areas we plan on sewing next spring. It takes time and careful planning to make sure our vegetables do their very best and yield enough for eating fresh, having vegetables to can for next winter and having a surplus to distribute throughout the community.
This work, if done right, will be well worth it. Even if we fail at one aspect of our garden, we will have learned something from it and can do better next time. Organic fruits and vegetables are expensive and that motivates us more to grow our own. We understand that nowadays no one really knows what they are serving up for dinner. Between the preservatives in canned and frozen foods, to all the pesticides and nutrient-stripping processes our vegetables go through, it is getting more difficult to eat “healthy” everyday. We want to work with what Mother Nature has given us and build a relationship with our land.
Some of the most interesting aspects of homesteading are the relationships observed. Not only will we be building relationships with everything we eat, there are exchanges within the homestead not many people think about. Everything that we compost, from cardboard to dinner scraps, will eventually be put back to supply nutrients for our garden. When we start our rabbit hutches, we will be using their waste to feed a community of earth worms, which in turn will supplement a snack for our chickens. When we raise beef cattle, we will use everything, including fat for making soap, and skin for leather. Everything on the homestead will have multiple purposes, to help each aspect of our food grow bigger and healthier.
While our own food will be our main motivation for homesteading, we also know how important it is to keep this planet happy and growing. Everyday we hear of new pesticides that are wiping out another species; bee and butterfly populations are dropping because of pesticides and herbicides being used. A corn farmer wants to farm huge amounts of corn, and to do so they kill off the plants that the Monarch butterfly uses to breed and make its journey across the United States. As a society, we don’t realize that everything we do for this year’s crops impacts what happens to next year’s crops. And if we eradicate our bees and butterflies, there will be nothing left to pollinate the farmer’s corn fields next season.
All of these motivators have brought us to the beginning of our homestead. The fun begins, and who knows where this adventure will take us. That’s kind of where homesteading is most interesting, not knowing how tomorrow will go, which areas on the homestead we will succeed at right away, the different trials and errors and learning everyday. We are excited to start the process, and hope you plan on coming along for the ride.
And, we want to hear from you. Tell us about your homesteading dreams, urban gardens and backyard chickens. What is your main motivator for growing your own food? Comment here and find us on Facebook and YouTube (coming soon).