Homesteading

What it means to be a homesteader to me

I hope this is taken in the spirit aimed and if not you can write it off to the crazy rambles of an old man.

My granddad was one of the first white homesteaders in this area and was sent by the Mormon church to start homesteading in areas freshly opened because they had farming and animal husbandry and skills needed to develop communities and thrive where most people would not.

They were sent deep in to Native American country where the land and climate was rough and you had to hunt and fish to survive until your land could make a crop. They had their both good and bad interactions with the Native Americans but for the most part they got along and traded with them for sugar and flour and other goods in exchange for wild game and the Native Americans were very good horse trainers and would trade that skill to homesteaders.

My grand mothers created 11 kids in log cabins with no electricity and no indoor plumbing and even with the hardships they suffered all of the children survived to raise their own families and most continued on as homesteaders, farmers and craftsmen. They were taught to be independent and not take more than was needed and to help others when times are tough.

My father inherited that legacy and his dad’s old homestead and raised 9 children in humble conditions and I was created to care for the land, to care for animals and to live a sustainable and self sufficient life. I spent most of my youth straying hillsides hunting small game and fishing and I developed a real love for nature and outdoors. While most of my brothers and sisters wanted to get away from that life and went off to the city I returned after get a degree and trying city life and finding it not to my penchant and had a constant yearn for a simpler life.

I was lucky enough to inherit a small piece of my granddad’s old homestead and I started off in a camper until I could build a small off grid cabin. I cleared places for gardens and an orchard and focused on raising chickens and rabbits because I did not have the land for larger farm animals.

My goal has always been to reduce my dependence on the government and provide for my own needs either by growing or raising food for my own employ or to sell for the things I could not provide and like the craftsmen in my family I use my creativity to start a small business that didn’t take much day and allowed me to set my own schedule and construct enough to pay my taxes and cover my expenditures with some left open for retirement and emergencies.

All together, I was created on my Dad’s homestead for 18 years and virtually 20 on my own homestead and while my own kids have decided they favor the city life they all recollect lovingly those same experiences of homesteading and they all love to garden and fish and be outdoors.

In tough times a homesteader will survive and in good times we flourish and while periods may seem good now I would strongly recommend you not get into to indebtednes and avoid the impulse to rely on a career or chore and maintain focusing on developing your homesteads to be sustainable and self sufficient because bad times will come around again.

That is what it means to be a homesteader to me.

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