Your story : LUSENET : Freedom! self reliance : One Thread

My favorite part of any homesteading magazine is the stories of people who find their way to homesteading. How about we kick this forum off with everyone sharing their homestead story? How did you get where you are today?

Little Bit Farm

-- Little Bit Farm (, June 21, 2001


I always wanted to live in the country. Came from my grandmother. She lived on an acre in the middle of the city, but did more with that acre than anyone else I've seen. Grew everything, raised chickens, made quilts, canned, sewed, taught me about Jesus. I married a man with the same experience and longings, so we have been moving ever closer for 35 years. We had an acre when the kids were growing up, right in the middle of town, but managed to have everything except pigs. Still haven't tried them. They may be next. We always have planted a garden and fruit trees, and when we could move onto larger property, we did. We moved to Arkansas in 1990 to be near my dad. We are presently on only 7 acres, but it's all we need and can care for. We grow most of our food, sell eggs, and are experimenting with raising broilers in a chicken tractor. The only thing that would make this life better is if the kids wanted some part of it. We are in a depressed area and there isn't much in the way of employment for young families. So they stay where you can make a living, and we stay here, loving our life. If you aren't there yet, don't give up, and do what you can where you can.

-- melina b. (, June 21, 2001.

I'm not sure if I qualify as a homesteader yet although I certainly have the homesteader mentality. We live on just a little over 2 acres, would love to have more but don't want to ever move! lOl I'm not into animals because I just can't bear it when they die. Sorry! We do have a large garden, raised bed strawberry patch, blueberries, grapes, pears, peaches, apples and hopefully our black walnut trees will finally start bearing some this year. With all our technology you would think someone would come up with an easy way to get those hulls off! Anyway, I love to do things like hang the clothes out, sew by hand, can, heat with wood (that's our only heat), a lot of old fashioned things. We are also very into preparedness. My dad was Army but everywhere we lived he always had a garden and believed in doing for himself. I've always loved this kind of lifestyle and dreamed of having more land and being totally self-sufficient or at least as much as possible. It just seems like there is always so much more to do and learn. I don't know that I'll ever feel like a true homesteader but I love the trying.

-- Deena in GA (, June 21, 2001.

We just moved from a nice five acre homestead to just over 2. So we're not "real" homesteaders either, but love the old fashioned lifestyle. Like Melina, I "inherited" this love from parents and grandparents, who always kept large gardens, raised chickens, and their own beef. When he was younger, my dad also kept a few milk cows. I've never done that, but have kept Nubians for a couple of years...Hubby says my mom could stick a pencil in the ground and make it grow(lol). She just about could, as could her mom. I don't believe I inherited that green thumb, but nonetheless love to garden and we likewise plant out fruit trees wherever we go. We always hope to stay long enough to gather the fruit, of course, but figure if we don't, someone else will. We are also homeschool parents to six; sending Eldest off to BYU this fall.

-- mary, in colorado (, June 22, 2001.

We're half way there... Moved out of the burbs of Chicago to the mountains of Idaho. We are in a small town that has very lax rules on what you can do with your property, so I guess we get to start slow - a real plus for the city slicker hubby!! I'd jump right in if I could, lol!

We are currently raising rabbits and veggies, have four large dogs and a cat, and are raising tropical fish which sell to the same pet store as the rabbits. I'm not really all that big on selling to pet stores, but it puts money in the bank for now, and I guess I have to live with it for a while. Not too many 4Hers up here, so there's no other real market.

For my first gardening experience in a brand new climate, we planted basically the same things we did back in IL. Since I am in a trailer right now, we just planted a little of everything, going more for fresh variety than preservation. But, with any luck, we'll have some left to keep for a few months after harvest. THere's corn, beans, peas, lettuce, tomatoes (which they tell me I'll never get to ripen, though I started them months ago), peppers, broccoli, and all sorts of stuff. Plus the herbs. Gotta have herbs!!

We're thinking about getting a few ducks, primarily to clean up the creek behind the trailer. A neighbor is raising a few, and her section of the creek looks great, the ducks are all healthy and flourishing, and the city doesn't mind!! That's a big plus... The city will let you get just about anything you have the room for! No chickens yet, but I would love to have three hens running around. Don't know if I can squeeze out enough space to make ME feel good about it, though, lol!! Its getting a little crowded now!

We hope to put enough by to get land next year, as the great deals I found weren't exactly what I was looking for, so we have to save more to get the better spot. But, when we do, we hope to build our own place - straw in-fill... and produce most, if not all of our own power. We've been steadily 'training' ourselves for that eventuality.

I'm too cheap to buy a washer, so do clothes in the sink, and hang on a line - even in the winter. (Nope - never had anything shatter because it was frozen, lol!!) Only one electric appliance (besides the fridge) is on - or even plugged in - at a time, and we are trying to talk the landlady into letting us get a wood burning stove to lessen our dependence on propane next winter. We camp a lot, so we are both more used to cooking over a fire than on a stove, though Rich does most of the cooking... leaves the baking to me, poor fellow!! You could have built a house out of my first attempts at bread, but I'm learning, lol!

Guess that's about it for me - not there yet, but still plugging along!

-- Sue Diederich (, June 22, 2001.

Hi. I was born in 1934 on a farm in southern Minnesota. The dust bowl drought of the 30s compelled my family to relocate to northern Minnesota where I grew up in a self-sufficient household. We grew, raised or gathered almost all of our food and made a little money trapping furs and selling pulp wood. As way leads on to way I earned a Ph.D. and then was a college professor for 30 years. Talk about culture shock! Although I was successful, everything I did seemed like role playing rather than an expression of who I am and what I consider to be important. Now I'm retired to NW GA in the Appalachian foothills and live in the woods by a creek. It's as if I've come home but without all the hard work. I have a garden, burn wood, do my own building etc., but most important I feel connected to and part of nature. Finding a toadshade trillium or a lungless salamander under a leaf does it for me. Best wishes to all. Delwin Cahoon

-- Delwin Cahoon (, June 23, 2001.

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