Rookie Mistakes We Made As Beginning Homesteaders

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I’ll be the first to admit that when we first started our homesteading journey, we made a lot of rookie mistakes. We spent to much on things we didn’t need. Then we turned around and didn’t buy things we really should have. We skipped around when adding animals, buildings and tools. That is, until we learned to prioritize better. We have learned a lot of lessons the hard way. Starting a homestead from scratch, and building all our own infrastructure, is much harder than I had ever imagined it could be. Hopefully writing this all down will help you avoid a few of the mistakes we made!

Rookie Mistakes We Made As Beginning Homesteaders - Sled Dog Slow

Our biggest rookie mistake was not planning anything.

Sure we had ideas for what we wanted to do, and we wrote things down, but we never really had a set plan. There was no “house goes here, chickens go here, garden goes here” kind of plan. Not until we had already put the chickens too close to the house. So as we expanded we just threw things where it was convenient right then, rather than were we knew we wanted them permanently. If we had planned better we could have saved ourselves from a lot of the other mistakes. A homestead planning binder is necessary to keep everything organized.

Another mistake we made was jumping in to new things without preparing.

We’d get an idea and go for it. More chickens? Heck yeah. Pigs? Lets do it! Greenhouse and garden? Check! And then the inevitable fail. We wanted everything to work and be productive right away. Kyle was so disappointed to find out our chickens wouldn’t lay until the spring after we purchased them. At least we were able to push our pig order back to this summer, and have learned enough to hold off on beehives and other animals until next year.

We didn’t understand the weather in our new area well either.

Personally, coming from a desert area, I didn’t truly understand what living in a rainforest meant until we were hit by our first rainy season here. A little drowned garden and a lot of mud later, know I know how wet it can be! It also helps to know where the low spots collect so we can avoid building there. We also thought we were prepared for long winters, but they are much longer and darker than I could have imagined!

Also, we made the mistake of not budgeting from the beginning.

We have spent so much money on materials for our homestead, when we should have just invested in a saw mill from the beginning. Small purchases can add up really quickly. We should have figured out sooner that just because something is new doesn’t make it better. At least we have a few places we know to go for cheap homestead goods now!

The biggest lesson we’ve learned in starting our homestead from scratch is that it’s okay to go slow.

There is no reason to push to the point of injury to get everything done in one day. Pacing yourself in the endless work (it is endless) of beginning a homestead is extremely important. There should always be a realistic timeline for goals to be completed. This will save so much frustration down the line.

All things aside, we are still learning on our homestead journey. I’m sure there will be many more mistakes and lessons for us in the future!

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We Did Want Adventure…

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And boy did we get our adventure!

Yesterday we decided we needed to take the truck on the beach in order to get building materials to our property. We didn’t even make it to the beach before we noticed a clicking coming from our rear driver’s side tire. After looking at it a bit and calling our dad’s, we took some weight off to see if that would help. It continued to click so my dad suggested looking for a rock in the hub cap.

Lo and behold, when we took off the hub cap we realized that tire was loose too! Unfortunately we’d taken the tire iron to camp to work on the 4 wheeler and forgotten to bring it back to the truck. Luckily some people had come to the park and gave Kyle a ride back to their house to borrow theirs, and we tightened all the tires. Yup, the front were loose as well! After saying goodbye to them we ran into another gentleman who owns a cabin in the area and he lent us his for the trip down the beach in case we needed to change a tire out there.

And then we were finally off!

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Aaaaand….

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Progress!

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I feel like we’ve actually accomplished something and made progress in the past few days. After Kyle spoke with another gentleman with a cabin up in this area we gave up on finding our markers for now. He had been coming up to his cabin for 10 years and never found his property markers!

So… we used the plat map, paced off the distance and decided if we went in right in the middle there was no way we could accidentally be on someone else’s property. Which brings us to:

We have a driveway now!

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