In our last email newsletter I listed Planning as #4 on the list. It should have been #1, and here’s why: Homesteading has so many moving parts that are interconnected that planning is a must. So let’s start off the year right with some practical steps to take our homestead to the next level in 2017.
Pick a system and try it (for at least a year)
There are several, and by several I mean seemingly endless, philosophical approaches to homesteading and a self-sufficient lifestyle. People are approaching it from all different angles—prepping, green living, hobby, etc. This has given rise to so many systems (and books about those systems) that it can be hard to settle on one. This January, I encourage you to pick ONE. If you think it is reasonable, apply yourself to it, and stick with it. It doesn’t do anyone any good to keep changing systems before they have truly seen the outcome of one. There are a few exceptions to this, but for the most part it pays to stick it out. Learn from the flaws of your system. Next January, re-evaluate and change. For systems that take years to get going (like permaculture) you might have to give it some time before you decide whether or not it is for you.
Start working NOW
Books are nice. Books are safe. If you are like me, you can get comfortable somewhere and read the day away. The problem is that reading won’t get your hands dirty. Personally, I was caught up in the “research phase” of homesteading for a long time. It wasn’t until I started muddying up my boots and getting some blisters that I started learning. Research it great and greatly needed in the planning phase, but start working now. Build that chicken coop. Till that patch of dirt. A year flies by before you know it, and a season is a flash. Don’t get caught in Spring having not limed your garden. Don’t get caught Mid-Summer having not planned for how to deal with pest and weeds. You have a small lull in early January, but for Zone 8’ers especially, your works starts now.
Let’s Move Forward Together
I cannot stress enough that The Homestead Box staff really has a passion for seeing people actually take steps forward. I hope that some of our boxes can inspire some to get going and get those hands dirty. But no man is an island. Lean on each other in 2017. Ask questions. Ask us, but ask others on our YouTube and Facebook Pages. Someone has been there and failed. Someone may have had great success. Let’s help each other figure it out. Host a dinner for like-minded people to pick their brains about their plans and systems. Participate in the community. Hope to see you there.
-Sam with The Homestead Box