The Homesteading Life

It’s funny. I’m perpetually talking about writing on this blog (that is why I started this one, after all) but in some ways it misses a  lot of what my life is. I mean, I’ve mentioned my goats and chickens and turkeys here and there and my garden but I never do blogs about them any more.

My first blog a few years ago was all about the farm life, homesteading, living off the land. (You can find it here, if you’re really curious: Turkey Woods Farm ) And my Facebook newsfeed often looks like “homesteading today” but in reality, the novelty of writing about it, has worn off. Back then it was all exciting and new-ish. I wanted to share everything I learned, everything I tried, all of my successes and failures, and a lot of my friends on other social media sites still enjoy my updates from time to time.

But for me, living on the homestead has just become part of life, part of who I am, part of how my day runs. I milk my goat, cook meals, take care of the garden (yes, even in the winter I have a garden), gather eggs, do my own home repair, make cheese, care for animals, keep records, … That’s life for me. And I can’t imagine it any other way.

Seems an odd thing for a writer to say … I can’t imagine … but I really don’t want to. Being on my farm keeps me sane. When the world has beat me down and finding people I really want to talk to or even be in the same room with has me overwhelmed, I just go out and sit with my goats for awhile, let the baby chickens run over my feet and peck at my hands, hold a rabbit or two and life just gets better all by itself.

It’s really not something I talk about any more, though. I’m a writer and most of my life seems to be putting myself out in the public eye, letting the world be moved by my words and thoughts, sharing my poetry and bits of my writing. I have to be that for the world …

So my farm is what I keep for myself.

It’s like I have two worlds I live in and they are almost polar opposites of one another. I write fiction, I spend my days creating characters and worlds to entertain other people … but I live on a farm, and life can’t get more real than that. It’s dirty, cold, and hard most days. I deal with hauling buckets of water in the winter with frozen hands and wet boots across an ice covered field. I cope with loss of life almost monthly as animals age and pass away or babies don’t make it. I carry 50 lb bales of hay and feed sacks full of grain slung over my shoulder. I dig in the dirt, and pull weeds, and drag hoses, and harvest food, and compost waste, and manage it all as well. I battle infestations of mice and flies and clean endless feed troughs and floors and pens. I can food and make jelly and freeze veggies and preserve seeds. I marvel as new life comes into the world, tears streaming down my face.

And I never once have a thought about not wanting to do it any more because it’s where I find my smile. But … I may have to write a bit here and there from time to time about it. Let that part of me see the light of day.

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4 thoughts on “The Homesteading Life

  1. I think it’s awesome that you work for yourself on the farm, gaining all your worldly requirements off the land, etc. Beats working in an office 8 hours a day. I’m sure your work is much more laborious, but no one is breathing down your neck if you’re coming up with new plot bunnies while hauling hay. I can see a great deal of freedom in that.

    • Thanks! I’ve been a “farmer” all my life in one respect or another. All I wanted for my birthday when I was twelve was a garden plot, so my dad dug me one and I grew more green beans and corn than we could eat. I’ve been gardening ever since. Upscaling those endeavors only seemed natural once I had a family to support. I’ve now had chickens for over 20 years and have added the other critters as time went by. It is nice to not have a “boss” other than myself but it also means it’s no one elses fault if things go wrong. We don’t have enough land yet to grow all the food for our animals but we are pretty self-sufficient otherwise. If I could have bees I would buy very littler at the grocery store. 🙂 That makes me happy.

  2. I’m still in that new and excited stage, so my blog will be packed full of my adventures, but I can completely understanding holding onto that part of your life as sacred and just for you. Especially when it consumes every aspect of your life and becomes who you are rather than what you do. Loved this peek into it so thanks for sharing!

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