Sometimes in order to be happy we need to take a step back and look at the big picture. Sometimes that leads us to reevaluating. For anyone who read our goals for 2018, its obvious we did that! Our process was a little jumbled due to our busy lives. But I just want to point out that just because we need to postpone things does not mean we are failing at homesteading, even if it feels that way!
We’ve decided to cut back on many of the things that most homesteads have.
We jumped in to some things waaaay too fast. Like animals. We’ve had chickens, goats and pigs out here. We ended up free ranging all of our animals because we didn’t have fencing, and with no neighbors there was no one to bother. Turns out without fences they could bother us! The pigs liked to dig holes, and chickens and goats always managed to break into the garden.
So. No animals until we have fenced pasture ready!
A homestead without animals? That’s our plan, for now anyway. Not having animals for meat, milk and eggs feels like we aren’t really homesteading any more. Especially with all the problems I’ve had gardening here. But in reevaluating our wants vs our needs, we realized there were other things we should concentrate on more. We want to have a perfect little homestead filled with cute fuzzy, useful critters. But what we need is fenced pasture to graze our animals on. Not to mention we need better shelters for the animals. What we’ve done for shelters has worked so far, but we could do better with some planning.
What else did we realize we needed rather than wanted?
The biggest thing was a larger living space! While most of our coming summer will be occupied with fishing, we realized we’ve lived long enough in our tiny cabin. With our growing toddler we just need more room to spread out. We’ll be milling lumber for the cabin, and clearing land to build on. We have some ideas on how to build that should speed our building process along a little. But spending so much time building means putting off some other homestead wants.
I want to have the biggest, best garden ever.
I dislike relying so much on grocery shopping in town. But we’ve managed this far and we can continue for another year. I’ll just plant the staples like potatoes for now, even though we’ll be clearing a big space. It makes sense to clear the land at least since we’ll have equipment out for it anyway. Plus if this coming summer is anything like last summer my garden would be a bust anyway. I’m still not used to planning a cold weather garden.
I want to have a fully functioning homestead today.
But part of having a great homestead tomorrow is planning today. Scaling back from a huge garden and animals gives us time to think before we leap. And I’ll admit that we haven’t done enough of that on our adventure out here thus far. Taking a look at what we need and what we want has shown that we need to scale back in a big way. It does feel like we are failing at being homesteaders right now, but we just have to remember that this is a temporary step back. Once we get a bigger cabin built and some fencing up we can leap back into our bigger homestead goals!