Homesteading - live the life or pay the price

I've been told that you can get out of the rat race (become a homesteader) or be a city dweller; the only difference is you'll either be trading your time working to be more self sufficient (self employed, gardening, getting wood in for the winter, etc.) or trade time away from home, at work, to pay for the conveniences and bills (Overtime).

The person who told me this didn't see the difference in the quality of life; to this person, you exist here or you exist there, the price you pay is the same, it was all a wash in the end - and they call me the boring one.

I've had conversations with my brother in law - a dairy farmer - that have been very liberating and extremely frustating at the same time; being of the old school of thought he believes in hard work, being self employed and wouldn't have it any other way. That's the liberating part, the frustrating part is when he insists that in order to keep his lifestyle he must always juggle the bills and have that second mortgage to pay for new equipment. The same path, that many dairy farmers took, that eventually ended in failure, it's almost predictable just because of the sheer number of failed farms in my area.

I use farming as an example because I feel it closely parallels a homesteading lifestyle; where I see a difference is the farmer will go out and get a mortgage to build their homes or purchase equipment, while homesteaders will do without the mortgage and build their home as money allows, in the end they will have their homes built and paid for in far fewer years than the 30yr. mortgage holder.

Other areas that show a vast difference is utilities, in my brother in laws case he has a problem with manure; he liquifies it, gives it away, buries it, throws it at the cows - from time to time. The natural resources exist for him to implement methane production, but, he doesn't have the inclination to do so.

Countries like India and China have proven the concept of a small biogas plant (methane) and have used it in energy deficient areas (methane producers on individual farms) of their country, why isn't its use more widespread here - I don't know, but, homesteaders that deal with very limited resources on a daily basis wouldn't let that kind of potential go to waste.

The other thing that nobody is immune to is "complacency"; how can someone that works 14 to 16hrs. a day be complacent about anything? easy, if that person doesn't recognise changing trends in their business, or if they simply have contempt for any ideas that deviate even a little bit from "conventional business practices". This will lead to deterioration in the business and eventually failure.

What I've found in the homesteading community is even though the life style is considered "low tech", my favorite kind, this doesn't mean that a homesteaders mentality is stagnant, if anything it's the opposite, when faced with changing conditions and limited resources a flexible, inquizitive mind is a must, if a serious problem presents itself, a solution has to be found or your lifesyle may suffer or die completely.

It's just my opinion, but, it seems that the less we have to do with modern conventions i.e. financing (mortgages), utilities (electric, natural gas), the more unfettered we are and we have more of that precious commodity, time - NOT MONEY; that will allow you to investigate different ideas and better ways of doing things that could save money and enhance your life, instead of the other way around - working all the time and only using what spare time you have to dream about a better life.

Author Credits ::

Husband and father, one time itinerate merchant and story gatherer, that has settled down to live the simple life and recount some of the experiences that have led me here. Author and Admin. at
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