January 27, 2011

Mindset: Key To Successful Homesteading?

Something has been on my mind lately. It's been important for me to figure out, because it seems to be key to successful homesteading. It's about mindset. It's about our expectations and attitudes, particularly, about what we need, what we have, and how we get them.

The early inhabitants of the New World, both Native Americans and European immigrants, had to be largely self reliant in meeting their needs. This affected what they did and how they did it. The industrial revolution changed all that. It changed our ability to obtain goods and it changed how we obtained them. It also changed society's ideas about the value of those goods, as well as work and money. While many would say we gained a lot thanks to technology, many would say we lost something as well. Something very important.

My observation, is that one major difference between then and now (besides the obvious fruits of technology and industrialization themselves), is how these things have changed our worldview, i.e. our mindset. By this I'm referring to our attitudes, expectations, and perception of the world, it's resources, our fellow humans, their purpose, and how these things interrelate.

My labels for these mindsets are "agrarian" and "consumer/profit." I'm not the first to write about them, and others have different names for the consumer/profit part. I'm choosing the term “mindset” because although agrarianism is often set forth as theory (social and/or political), that seems too superficial to me. Labeling it a theory is like trying to keep it into a box, which can either be set aside, or opened at will to examine and dissect the contents, as though they are not a part of what the human race is about. The heart of the matter goes beyond theory and politics.

At the core, both of these mindsets are about our relationship with the land, or the earth if you will. They are about the right to own it and how we interact with it. The question at the heart of it is, are we a part of the natural world, or are we a separate entity which simply uses and controls creation's resources?

The agrarian mindset is not specifically rural. Rather it is based on what a relationship with the land can provide. Neither is the consumer/profit mindset specifically urban. Rather, it is based on what technology and investments can provide. Many career farmers have bought into the consumer/profit worldview, much to their detriment. Even so, the agrarian mindset does focus on local and regional agriculture. The modern worldview on the other hand, focuses on consumerism and profit economics.

The little ditty,
use it up
wear it out
make it do
or do without

is an example of the agrarian mindset.

Cliches of the consumer/profit mindset on the other hand, include:

time is money
quick and easy
buy now, pay later
I'm worth it

Here are more examples, comparing the two. Their order isn't particularly logical, so bear with me on that. Also, I'm not so concerned about the individual examples as I am in trying to describe a whole, in this case a worldview, or mindset. As you read through them, try not to focus on them as stand alone statements, but see if you can get the gist of what I'm trying to describe.

An agrarian mindset considers the land a partner
A consumer/profit mindset considers it a possession

An agrarian thinks in terms of sustainable
A consumer/profit thinks in terms of expendable

The agrarian assumes there's value in the old
The C/P assumes new is always better

Some one with a consumer/profit mindset, will run to the store to meet a need
Some one with an agrarian mindset, makes do with what's on hand

In the agrarian mind, enough is enough
In the consumer/profit mind, more is better

An agrarian mindset thinks in terms of lifelong
A consumer/profit mindset thinks in terms of turnover

Security for the agrarian is in skills and the land
Security for the C/P is in job and investments

In the agrarian mind, a house is a home.
In the consumer/profit mind, a house is an investment.

An agrarian would prefer to pay their place off
A C/P mindset would prefer a tax write-off from the mortgage interest

An agrarian makes improvements based on meeting needs
A C/P makes improvements based on a return for the investment

The consumer/profit mind practices instant gratification
The agrarian mind waits and plans ahead

An agrarian mindset focuses on skills to meet needs.
A consumer/profit mindset focuses on money to meet them.

In a consumer/profit society, life's goal is happiness, fun and leisure.
In an agrarian society, life's goal is contentment and personal productivity.

An agrarian mind thinks in terms of community
A consumer/profit mind thinks in terms of demographics

The agrarian deems it a social responsibility to help others
The consumer/profit assumes that's the government's job

An agrarian based economy is about meeting real human needs
A consumer/profit economy is about making money

In an agrarian society, one's character deems one trustworthy.
In consumer/profit society, trustworthiness is based on credit rating.

The consumer/profit knowledge base relies on science and the experts.
The agrarian knowledge base relies on experience and common sense.

The agrarian mindset accepts life's uncertainties.
The consumer/profit mindset wants guarantees.

The C/P practices impulse buying
The agrarian practices planned purchasing

The C/P mindset assumes debt is a way of life
The agrarian sees debt as a means to an end

The agrarian looks for a fair price
The C/P looks for a fair profit

The agrarian is willing to share work, knowledge, and skills
The consumer/profit only looks to make a little money off them

The agrarian mindset looks to make a living
The consumer/profit mindset looks to make a fortune

The agrarian strives to be self-sustaining.
The profit mindset strives for consumer dependency

The agrarian thinks in terms of reusable
The consumer/profit thinks in terms of disposable

The agrarian mindset sees money as a tool.
The consumer/profit mindset sees it as personal importance and power.

To the agrarian, quality defines a product that lasts a lifetime
To the C/P, quality is a subjective interpretation

The C/P mindset determines value based on money; “how much is it worth”?
The agrarian mindset determines value based on utility; “is it useful?”

The profit minded business person says, 'This product is important. You need it. You need to be willing to sacrifice and pay a higher price for it.'
The agrarian minded business person says, 'This product is important. You need it. I'm willing to sacrifice profits to make it affordable for you.'

Some may see these as "modern" and "old-fashioned" mindsets and wonder, what's wrong with thus-and-such. After all, even agrarians consume things and some profit is necessary to buy things that can't be produced at home. That is true. However, it's neither the consumer nor the profit part that is the problem. The problem is in how we view these things. Both mindsets describe a means to an end. The question should not be which one is right or wrong, but rather, which end do you want to head towards?

I'm writing this because I have made an interesting observation. It is that despite our different social, cultural, religious, and political backgrounds, homesteaders have one significant thing in common, i.e. the sense that the modern, consumer/profit mindset is flawed. That it's forgotten things that are important. That it can provide neither true security, nor a sense of individual life purpose.

I sometimes get emails from folks who have a desire to homestead, but don't know how or where to start. While knowledge, skills, (and a little land) are obviously important, I believe that to be truly successful at homesteading (rural or urban), we need to change our way of thinking. Our success will depend on how we look at our needs and how we expect to meet them. It depends on where our sense of security lies. I do not believe that the consumer/profit mindset ultimately works for the homesteader. Not because homesteaders never buy or sell anything, but because homesteading is about simplifying our lives, not trying to replicate the modern 21st century lifestyle. It's not that the homesteader is opposed to buying or selling, but that one of our goals is to be able to live without buying or selling if we needed to.

My guess is that most of us are a mix of the two mindsets. Still, I see the importance (for us anyway) to leave the consumer/profit mindset behind, if we want to make our dream come true. We need to learn to rethink our needs, rethink how to meet them, and rethink the true value of things.

To those of you interested in homesteading, whether you are actually doing it, or just wanting to do it, tell me what you think. Tell me, what do you expect from your lifestyle? How do you determine your needs? Realistically, how do you expect them to be met? Where does your security lie? How do you determine the worth of a thing? The floor is yours.

36 comments:

Michelle said...

Another wonderful post to remind me of why I love your blog; it's because I love your mindset and it resonates so completely with mine! Unfortunately, my DH is more torn between the two mindsets, which makes things difficult sometimes....

Linda said...

Wow that was a very good post! As a matter of fact I am going to link to it in my blog (if you don't mind of course!)

Thanks!!!

Dani said...

Leigh

Thankfully, RMan and I are on the same page. We believe in producing what we are able and also in the old barter system - where goods you have produced can be traded for something you may require.

The world has become too focussed on money and the power thereof and has forgotten the solid principle of times gone by when it was not the be all and end all...

Rather, a good day's work on the land, was the reward for those who aspired to a simpler, cleaner and more productive life, and way of teaching children the value of day to day life.

Well done!

Leigh said...

Michelle, it's harder for Dan too. He agrees with the agrarian mindset, but in the day-to-day, is still pulled by the other. Of course, I'm at home and he's out making a living, so he's continually bombarded with the consumer/profit mindset. I think too, that our society is so indoctrinated toward consumerism and huge profits, that it's difficult for most folks to realize that there is another way to think about it.

Linda thanks! Of course I don't mind. I'm just happy to be in like minded company. :)

Dani, I agree to the bottom of my heart. Worse, I think it's a scary place for the world to be in because markets and economics can never be truly stable. In researching homesteading blogs, it seems a lot of folks sense this and are seeking to return to those simple, solid principles.

tami said...

I know I'll never be a true homesteader. The "chains" that bind me to the life that I live run too deep for me to step away from. 40+ years of consumerism is a hard habit to break. SM is also a child of the C/P world. I can only bend as far as he lets me for the sake of our marital bliss. (grin)

Personally, I hate what money represents. It literally creates a psuedo-value that twists life and death and turns our world into something really ugly.

The best I can hope for is to honor the ideals and values of an agrarian lifestyle by doing what I can in my small corner of the world. My soul and spirit will be nourished by the earth in a way that a dollar bill will never do.

Jane said...

Very good contrast in your post. For me, homesteading means that I have the control over what my family consumes. I can insure quality over what I could purchase. And in todays chemical and GMO world that is important. We have really scaled down what we would have once thought was a 'need'. We can meet those simpler needs with our land and descriminating purchases. Our security is that since we are providing 90% (food & power) of what we use, that in an emergency we will be well prepared. The only thing I find of worth is life- human, animal, planet. As Chief Seattle said, we are only small parts of the web.

starlighthill said...

A very thoughtful post! I tend to think on a practical level rather than a philosophical one. Thank you for leading me to think more deeply. I'll be cogitating on these questions for sometime.

The Mom said...

Great post. It is hard when we aren't all on the same page. Hubby and I have different ideas on lots of things, but for the most part are of the same mind.

Michelle said...

Good questions to ponder. I have to say that our security at present is the full time job of husband together with low mortgage. Owning our home & property is also important. Having lower budget needs allows for us to live on one income so I can be at home to tend to things here. We consider the work we do ourselves on the homestead to be sort of self employment, the pay off will come not in monetary form but to support some degree of sustainability. That may be food, heat, shelter or even something to barter.

Building A Better Life said...

Leigh,

I'm very political, so I'll speak to that first. I agreed with everything in this post except one - the issue of welfare. There are many c/p individuals who thinks it is each man's (or woman's) duty to be responsible for THEMSELVES, and not let the gov't be responsible for them. But, in some situations, certainly not to the degree of sloth and thievery in the system of today, people fall on hard times and need help. (Blind, deaf, recently injured, widowed, etc...) In that case community programs play a big role, and c/p conservatives donate to them, and do not expect the government to bear complete responsibility. Although I agree that even that could be better. This is one of those subjects I am passionate about!! Individual responsibility! Not laziness!! (Sorry about the soapbox :))

Other than that, I love this post. I am making plans to find land and move this or next year. I find myself, in spite of my marketing degree, disenchanted with consumerism and debt, and looking forward to returning to a debt-free life. Also, I want to get my 11yo son away from it - he should have room to explore without worrying about pedophiles, be able to carve up wood with a pocketknife, and in general not be held by the confines of video games in the city.

I do have a slight c/p mindset - I want happiness, fun and leisure!! But I would be happy if I had next to no bills and could produce most of what we needed myself, it would be fun to explore my own chunk of land, and sitting on the front porch with a glass of cold lemonade watching my livestock play IS leisure! Lol Of course, every now and then I would like a vacation to the coast...

Great post!
~Beth

Alla said...

Very good post! This is my goal for this year. I guess to use your words, to be more agararian. I hope to buy only the very, very basic food items and grow and raise my own, reuse, recycle and rethink. January has been successful. Eleven more months to go!

Mama Pea said...

What do we want from our lifestyle? Security, the ability to take care of ourselves, being personally responsible, living the type of life that brings us happiness, contentment . . . and all of the above.

Mr. H. said...

This was a very thought provoking post. We have chosen the agrarian side mainly for a few simple reasons, we enjoy it, it benefits our health and well being, it is sustainable or at least more so than the alternative, and most importantly this lifestyle, if we all participated, leaves something for future generations.

Cally said...

I really like this post. The only quibble I have is that I think the attitudes you describe as agrarian and the impulse to homesteading are intersecting but not necessarily fully matched. Particularly when you put it in the context of settling the New World, I think of the individualistic impulse that drove many - and still drives many - to go out on their own and be "self-reliant" to an extent which, frankly, I think is an illusion.

We are not self-reliant, we are human beings, and human beings need other human beings. We think of the world today as complex - but the world has always been complex, and we have always needed to share skills with one another. I grew up in an urban academic setting, but was very much instilled with the values of "make do and mend" that characterised my parents' wartime childhoods in Scotland. My personal gifts, however, are not for growing things or for tending the land - mine our "indoor" gifts, if you like, and some of them are quite technical. But I use them, or try to use them, to build community and to support others whose gifts are different from my own.

I will almost certainly never go "back to the land" myself, but I will continue to buy my food from those who grow it locally and sustainably. More power to their green elbows!

Woolly Bits said...

love the post! I said it before - I try to be as "agrarian" as I can be, I don't "need" a lot of the things consumerset people think are important, but in a world, where so many people belong to the c/p group, it would be very hard to be totally "agrarian". and I don't have enough land to be totally agrarian - and not enough time either! what most people forget when they aim for a totally selfsustaining lifestyle is, that with only the 2 or 4 hands of a couple or a small family you cannot possibly do every job you'd need to do for complete selfsustainance.
I also think that in the changed world of small families, each for his own etc. - it's much harder to be agrarian, because many needs can't be met without a way of paying for them! this was certainly easier in the days, where large families supported each other in their daily life... they had a way of sharing all the jobs around the homestead, which needs "all hands on deck" - and plenty of them:))
on the other hand I am not sure I could life like that myself again - big house, 3 or 4 generations in it and everybody has to take care of the rest. it comes natural if you've grown up like that but not so much, if you spent most of your life as a single/member of a very small family....

Emma said...

Thanks as always for a thought-provoking post! I definitely see the correlations you drew between agrarian and c/p but think it may be a little oversimplified. Of course, you're condensing two widely spanning philosophies on living and life styles into a few bullet points!

Joseph and I grew up with a very c/p mindset, though my background with our property in Wildwood and my father's occupation were slightly more agrarian. And we are both firm believers in being debt-free, delayed gratification and purchases, and ultimately paying off our home. Dave Ramsey set us straight on that course even before we were married. =)

We're very excited about our future and I'm always interested to see how our way of thinking morphs over time. I do not intend to be fully self-sufficient (if such a thing even exists today), but if we can control what we spend our time and money on, the quality and source of the food we eat, and surround ourselves with friendly, strong, faithful friends, life is good.

Thanks Leigh!

The Apple Pie Gal said...

Another wonderful post Leigh. While I think it may be hard to break the chains that bind the c/p mindset, it only takes a few of us planted strategically amongst others to get them thinking. We spread our enthusiasm and what we have learned. Many people are in awe, some think it freaky, but at least they think.

For us, it's simplistic. We don't want to be bogged down, trapped or stuck with what someone else is offering or controling. We trust in ourselves.

A few weeks ago, my husband, out of the blue said, "I am glad we are simple." It hardly meant of intellect as it may sound. Certainly we are always soaking in whatever information we can get our hands on, like your blog for example! :)

So when people ask us questions...give us an inch and we'll take a mile. Sort of like the mustard seed. It too will grow.

Leigh said...

Tami, good insight and well written comment. I think we all consider what we've grown up with to be "normal." That can mean different things in different cultures, but still, those things pretty much mold who we are. I think our nation's economic difficulties though, are what is causing a lot of folks to rethink their way of life. Most of us hope for the kind of recovery that enables us to continue in the life we are used to. Others aren't so sure. And if the world shifts away from the US$ as it's economic standard like some financial analysts predict, that could mean significant changes for all Americans.

Jane, thank you. Your comment points out a very important motivation for pursuing the homesteading lifestyle, i.e. being able to exercise some element of control over our lives. And you're right, we need to see ourselves as part of a greater whole, rather than the center of our personal worlds.

Starlighthill, well, if you read my blog for long you'll probably discover that I can be annoyingly analytical, LOL. Still, the whole point is the practical. Having read some of your personal goals on your blog, I think you are pretty much in touch with your beliefs about these things.

Heather, yes, Dan and I often have to work through our different ideas too. I think it's partly due to our backgrounds, but also because I think in some ways, men and women are "wired" differently, if you will. In other ways, I think it's just differences in personality.

Beth, I figured one or another of these examples would push somebodies buttons, LOL. I think every agrarian among us (from politically liberal to conservative) would agree with the concept of personal responsibility for self. Remember though that my examples are simply generalities, not things that are written in stone as tenets of the mindset. You have to admit that traditionally, agrarian communities rarely looked beyond themselves to meet one another's needs in time of crisis.

I love your goals. I think you'll be delighted to find too, that as you work toward a more agrarian lifestyle, the "work" itself is a tremendous reward, providing more fun and happiness than leisure actually does!

(Responses to comments continued below. Blogger tends to limit the # of words in the comments!)

Leigh said...

Alla, "goal," is the keyword I think. It seems to me that the homesteading lifestyle is a lifelong journey!

Mama Pea, I think security is at the heart of it. It's interesting that different folks find security in different things, particularly in what we can do for ourselves!

Mr. H well put. Leaving something for future generations is so important. And if, as you say, we all participated, we'd have so much more to leave our descendants that a mountain of impossible national debt.

Cally, that's the problem, they are mismatched, which is why they are nearly impossible to reach. But, so are the goals and promises of consumerism and ever growing profits. The question for either is, are we willing to pay the price? But remember, I did not set out to describe either of these as right or wrong. I set out to describe the differences in them as ways of looking at life, to attempt to paint a word picture if you will. You're correct, we do need other human beings, which is why the agrarian mindset doesn't include the goal of isolation. This mindset does, however, influence how we interact with one other, how we view goods and work, and where our sense of purpose and security lies.

Good points Bettina. The ideal situation, would be a community of like minded folks, both urban and rural, willing to help one another make a go of it. Most of us though, have grown up as consumers, with the idea that bigger and better profits is some sort of ultimate good. It's difficult to change that way of thinking. Still, there are a whole lot of folks out there who are seeking something different, looking for a sense that they can in some small way contribute to their own needs and have contentment while they're at it.

Emma, thank you. Reading through the comments though, I think I didn't simplify it enough, LOL

I agree that true self-sufficiency is not desirable, unless one is willing to live with severe limits! You mention being debt free and paying off your home. These are personal goals for Dan and I too. If anything would increase our sense of security, not having a mortgage would!

Diana, very encouraging comment, thank you! I agree with you. I live in an area where for example, canning is thought of something that only poor folks do. As much as I sometimes lament being located so close to a locally traveled road, I do hope we can set an example. You are so right about enthusiasm. Folks tend to be willing to do things they see others enjoying!

risa said...

Easily far and away the best post of its kind I have ever read -- whole books by Wendell Berry fall short of it -- seriously. It's what I've attempted to say, less effectively, in over 500 tries. Thank you so much for thinking it through and getting it out there!

Susan said...

How ironic for a lot of us that our parents, who came of age in a mostly agrarian mindset, worked so hard to give us a "better" life by buying into and promoting the P/C mindset, only to have us go back to the agrarian mindset. I agree that we have lost more than we have gained.

Leigh said...

Risa, your kind compliment humbles me! And to think, Wendell Barry is on my reading list. It seems to me though, that shift in mindset is a slow process, a little here and a little there. The more of us who blog about it, the better for all of us!

Susan, ironic but true. I know my grandmother talking about how the Great Depression affected folks. Many who grew up during that time wanted to protect their own children from experiencing anything like what they went through. I've wondered what kind of difference this made in their lives, and how it affected the mindset we have today.

Michelle said...

I guess I was blessed in that my parents and grandparents believed that hard work and living within your means and putting up your own food and economizing wherever possible were valuable attributes that should be passed on to one's children. I can't say that I've seen any good come of the attitude of "I want my kids to have it better than I did," except in the area of education. Neither of my immigrant maternal grandparents had schooling beyond 8th grade, and they were committed to college educations for all their kids. Not so that their children could lead an affluent C/P life, though!

Pam said...

My Gosh Girl, What a wonderful post, now you really have me thinking about our goals. Goal #1 To sell our existing property and business in Ohio. #2 to relocate probably to NC and start another business and buy a farm. #3 to know what other kind of business we would like to start or buy, just not a service business. #4 to have some more goats and horses, etc. #5 well when we have accomplished all the above, we will figure out #5...he he!, but always for Cliff and I to be together...happy, prosperous, healthy, etc. and doing/living somewhere we love. Hugs to you sweet Leigh and thank you!

Norma from Misty Haven Alpacas said...

Great post! (Great blog from a new follower).
I've read this this morning and thought all day about a response to your question. Tried to write a response and I kept going back and forth with your view points from the agrarian versus the consumer.
At this stage in my life, I am trying to break away from consumerism and live more simply and in a way that is more meaningful. It is a gradual transition, but it's gaining speed.
I am so much more ready to live simply than the rest of my family...it's always a discussion in my house.
I also hope you don't mind but I plan to link to this post from mine very soon. it's a great conversation that you've started.
N

Leigh said...

Michelle, I agree parents and grandparents are sooo important when it comes to passing on mindset. Dan and I are reading Laura Ingalls Wilder's books, and are amazed at how those folks passed on their life view. We struggle because our parents' mindset doesn't work for us. We know they meant well, but for us, that way of life is frustrating and fruitless.

Pam, thanks! I love your goals and especially that you and Cliff want to work on it together with a family business. To be able to make a living doing that, meeting folks' needs, would be a blessing. If you buy a farm, you might could look into becoming a CSA! That would be so cool.

Norma, thank you for your encouraging comment. Like you, we are striving to live less complicated lives. Dan and I have realized that too often we buy things that later we realize we didn't really need! And you're right, it is a gradual transition. Most of the time I wish we could move faster, but then I remind myself to be content with the progress we are making.

I am going to enjoy following your blog too. I would be honored to have you link to this post.

Pam said...

Thank you so much Leigh for your kindness, as always. We have thought about a CSA business, so who knows....that would be cool and good eating too!..he he! Gotta send that buyer...lol! Huggies!

Benita said...

Very well put. I have seen an "awakening" to what you are calling the agrarian. Part of this started with 9/11, and more has come with the latest recession and a realigning of values from what we "can get" to what we "already have." As a fiber arts teacher, I have seen a definitive shift toward "slow" stuff like "slow foods" and "slow cloth" - things that are grown or raised for the good of people, not a mixture of chemicals and made into something resembling food and clothes.

"In a consumer/profit society, life's goal is happiness, fun and leisure." This is the only thing I question in your post. Being agrarian in mindset can lead to happiness, fun and leisure, too. You can be happy with the work you are doing, you can have fun doing it, and it depends on your definition of "leisure." Mine is sitting at my loom weaving, or at my spinning wheel spinning, or standing in front of a class of students teaching them how to weave or naturally dye their yarn or fiber. It's all about the mindset. :)

Julie said...

Great Post! I love all you have to say and I think we all can do a little to help our earth. We try hard to be the kind of parents that help with our grandchildren so that they don't go to daycare. I believe that we have gotten away from the family's that help each other. So many grandparents don't really want to be close to the kids let alone help raise them. And I think that is the problem with kids today!

Laura Jeanne @ Getting There said...

Thank you for sharing this well thought out and well written post with us, Leigh. I enjoyed reading it. Certainly, my husband and I fall into the agrarian way of thinking on almost all points. We have both felt for some time now that we don't fit it with the current mainstream society very well at all.

Leigh said...

Pam, you're welcome! I think your plans are exciting and I look forward to reading about them on your blog!

Benita, interesting observation. It's a joy to the heart to know that folks are beginning to appreciate the non-mass manufactured ways of doing things, including not only food, but home crafted goods as well.

I agree that happiness, fun, and leisure are something enjoyed by agrarians. The keyword there though is "goal." I don't think this is a specific goal that motivates agrarians, rather I think they understand this and it's part of what gives them the joy of what they do. I know one of my neighbors has commented about all the "work" he sees me do in the garden. I laugh and tell him to me it's fun!

Julie, good point. There is an overflowing benefit to having a good relationship with the land and what it produces. Like you say, the earth itself, but the generations who follow us. Family is so key, but it does take a bit of slowing down to utilize it I think.

Laura Jeanne, thank you! I think a lot of us can relate to what you say about not fitting in to the mainstream. Maybe we're the ones who strike out to seek a different path. Actually, if it wasn't for blogging and the internet, Dan and I would probably feel pretty alone in our endeavor. As it is, we have a community of like minded folks all over the world to share our lives with.

Toni aka irishlas said...

I absolutely loved this post!
If I admit honestly to our mindsets, I would have to say we're about 50/50 right now, but, striving for a more agarian lifestyle.

We try to live as simply as possible and be good stewards of the land we have. We both work excruciating full time jobs which eat most of our time and at times makes our little 3.5 acre plot seem overwhelming!

I have no doubt we will live the lifestyle we both strive for - eventually. In the meantime, we just keep taking baby steps to get there!

As far as fun, leisure, etc., we play instruments, so, we make home grown music right here and sometimes out and about. We also have friends over who do the same and those evenings are by far much more meaningful to me than any night out on the town.

Thank you again for such a wonderful post and such an inspirational blog!

Todd Pulatie said...

I know this is an older post but I just found your blog and wanted to say I really like this post. To me it is very accurate.

Leigh said...

Todd, hello and welcome. I very much appreciate your comment. I have to say that the longer we work on our homestead, the more true these words are.

Pam B. said...

I try and read something from your blog everyday. My heart longs to be more self sustaining. My husband and I both feel our economy is on a down hill slide. I only wish that I had been smart enough when I was younger and stronger to start a more self sustaining lifestyle. I guess better late than never. I enjoy your blogs so much they give me hope. Thank You.

Leigh said...

Pam, you're not alone in getting a late start. Dan and I had the desire, but not the finances until 2009. We're now at the age most folks are getting ready for retirement, and feel like we have a long, long way to go! Better late than never, I agree! Every journey begins with a first step and something here is truly better than nothing. I encourage to evaluate your circumstances and needs, come up with a plan, and make a start. You won't regret it.