Why Bother With This Homesteading Thing?

by Tammy Taylor

I’ve often thought about other people’s perspectives on why I try so hard to provide for myself.  (Although I’m focusing today on food production, homesteading encompasses providing many items for yourself, not just food.)  I love to garden and it brings me joy knowing I’m providing healthier food than can be purchased at any price – veggies are often fresh out of my garden and on the supper table in an hour or less!  I also like to grow herbs & spices such as rosemary, thyme and oregano.

But from another person’s perspective – why buy the seeds and plant them, water the plant until it grows then weed the beds constantly under that Texas summer heat and several weeks later harvest it, dry it and put it in a jar when you can just BUY a bottle of oregano for a couple of bucks?  I suppose it’s true that it doesn’t take much money to supply my family with oregano, so why do I even bother with this homesteading thing?

Some people may wonder "With all the work involved why bother with this homesteading thing? See what the homesteading life means to us. #TaylorMadeHomestead

Homesteading, Why Bother?

  • Financial – Although it’s not really about the money, oftentimes providing for yourself takes a little more of your time and lots LESS of your money.  I’m amazed by the ‘convenience at all costs’ mindset these days.  Our lives are often so over scheduled that we feel we need to buy convenience at a heavy price to hurry along parts of our lives to allow more time for other things we try to cram into our days.  Although I realize it’s all about moderation and there are certainly times when convenience foods play a part in our home, it really doesn’t take much more time to plan out a meal. Or even better, use the “cook-once-eat-twice” cooking method so that a quick, healthy, fully-cooked homemade meal is as close as our freezer.
  • Health –  When I provide home-cooked meals I know what is (and what ISN’T) in the food we’re eating.  I know the oregano in my garden is at its peak of freshness when I harvest it.  I know my homemade yogurt is simply milk & yogurt starter, nothing else.   I know how much salt has gone into that delicious bowl of homemade beef stew.  And I know that egg is far fresher than anything that can be bought in the store – our chickens laid it just this morning!
  • Environmental – For several years now I have been on this quest to have lighter footsteps on our world.  Actually it was for environmental reasons that I first started this push to provide for myself when possible.  Back in those days although I loved yogurt and I ate it every day, I hated the plastic tubs yogurt was sold in.  Our city didn’t recycle that kind of plastic so even though I was very mindful of recycling I had to throw those small tubs away.  Once I found out how easy it was to make my own yogurt I’ve never looked back!  I typically make yogurt about every two weeks – in reusable glass jars.  Actually this one action on my part combines the financial, environmental and health reasons all in one!
  • Independence – It allows me to focus on what’s valuable to me.  Instead of saving a little time by just buying what I need but then being forced to drive to work each day so I can afford to buy all the things I am not producing for myself at home.   I’m able to be here on the ranch, a place that speaks to my heart, a place that I call ‘HOME’.  I’m not as reliant on my car to drive me to the store, the gas station to fill the car with gas, nor the company that sells the item I need.  When I’m able to provide for myself – whether food or product, I know the craftsmanship that’s used.  I know the ingredients that are added.  I get immense pleasure and pride that I’ve been able to provide for my family.

 

Some people may wonder "With all the work involved why bother with this homesteading thing? See what the homesteading life means to us. #TaylorMadeHomestead

So why do I bother with this homesteading thing?  I think maybe for me it’s all the reasons above.  Financial so that I can live very comfortably with much less money than would otherwise be needed.  Environmental so that I won’t be adding unnecessarily to the world’s current landfill or pollution problem.   Health so that I can provide the healthiest food possible to my family.  Independence that I don’t rely on other people or corporations to provide for me what I can so easily provide for myself.  I know it’s not for everyone, we’re all different and in different walks of life with different time restraints but it certainly works beautifully for me.

Some people may wonder "With all the work involved why bother with this homesteading thing? See what the homesteading life means to us. #TaylorMadeHomestead

Homesteading – it speaks to my heart and I absolutely love the life we live here at the ranch.  What about you, why do YOU homestead?

~TMH~

C’mon by & sit a spell!  Come hang out at our ~TMH~ Facebook Page . It’s like sitting in a front porch rocker with a glass of cold iced tea.  There are lots of good folks sharing!  And you can also follow along on Pinterest, Twitter or GooglePlus.

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46 thoughts on “Why Bother With This Homesteading Thing?

  1. Darby

    I so enjoy your blog! I’m working at becoming more self sufficient, baby steps. There is nothing like home grown produce!! My goal when I retire is to have chickens, a small orchard(planted 2 years ago!) and keep grocery store trips to a minimum. Merry Christmas!

    Reply
    1. Taylor-Made Homestead Post author

      How wonderful Darby, those are some great goals. And you’ve already got the running start with planting your orchard. Fruit trees are a heavy challenge in our ‘Botanical Hole Of Death’ but I’ve managed to get an apple tree and a pear tree to survive (so far, anyway) Hopefully they’ll produce for me some day. Thank you so much for your sweet comment! ~TMH~

      Reply
  2. Donna Reidland

    It’s not practical for me, at least not at this point in my life (grandmother caring for my mom), but I admire what you do. My mom always grew many of her own vegetables, cooked most of her meals from scratch, canned and froze her produce, etc. It is so much healthier and yummier!

    Reply
    1. Taylor-Made Homestead Post author

      It’s true each of us are in different walks of life Donna. A young mother may not have time to do everything for herself, and a parent with teens may have ‘bigger fish to fry’ as well. We all have different desires and requirements and that’s a wonderful thing! I continue to re-evaluate what I do and to determine to what degree it all works for me, changing where it makes sense. Life is fluid and ever-changing. ~TMH~

      Reply
  3. Lorelai @ Life With Lorelai

    Although I am not a homesteader, I truly enjoy reading about the lives of those who are. It absolutely awes and inspires me. Your ranch looks beautiful, and I can’t wait to read more… Please come share your blog posts over at the Home Matters Linky Party! We’d love to have you for a visit. The Door is OPEN! http://lifewithlorelai.com/2015/01/29/home-matters-linky-party-22/ 🙂 ~Lorelai Life With Lorelai

    Reply
    1. Taylor-Made Ranch Post author

      Thanks Lorelai, and thanks for the invite. Think I’ll “hop” on over & check it out! ~TMR~

      Reply
  4. Texomamorganlady

    Our self sufficient journey started with my desire for humanely raised meats, I just couldn’t continue to fund the cruel practices I had witnessed while growing up, and had gotten far worse since. Then we found out it was healthier too! Then it became trendy, but I won’t complain about this kind of trend, I hope it grows like mad. Plus, it’s great to have our grandkids know where and how their food lives/grows, and to encourage them to respect the life that is given for that food.

    Reply
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  6. Jayne

    Great post! My hubby (as well as my whole family!) do not get my motivation for homesteading. It is all the things you mentioned, but mainly I love it! I probably wouldn’t do it even for all the reasons you mentioned, if I didn’t just simply love it. I am really enjoying your blog.

    Reply
  7. Jenna

    These are great reasons. I love raising my kids this way. Thanks for sharing at the Homestead Blog Hop! Hope to see you again tomorrow. 🙂

    Reply
  8. Shirley Wood

    You have all excellent reasons for Homesteading. I admire the energy and devotions it takes to be a Homesteader! Thanks for sharing with us at Merry Monday. I am inspired!

    Reply
    1. Taylor-Made Ranch Post author

      I’ve always heard “Bloom Where You Are Planted” Shirley – homesteading begins right where you are. 🙂 ~TMR~

      Reply
  9. Deborah

    You can spend all day at work providing for your family, or you can get up in the morning and take them with you. The second options is definitely funner and makes my life more fulfilled. We live in a world that is blessed abundantly right now so just like you said–people don’t understand. But it may not always be this way. When times get super tough, homesteaders will be able to teach and inspire others basics skills of surviving. We are a much needed community. Oh, +Brandon: It always starts with chickens… 🙂 Blessings,

    Reply
  10. Suzie@homemaker-mom

    I say way to go! I wish I could but I live in the middle of a city in an apartment but I do what I can , I plan to at least start my own herb garden in pots! Found you today via Thriving Thursday!

    Reply
    1. Taylor-Made Ranch Post author

      Have you ever heard the phrase “Bloom where you’re planted”? It’s great advice for all of us & I love that you’re thinking along those lines Suzie. Thanks for stopping by. ~TMR~

      Reply
  11. JES

    I enjoyed reading why you do this homestead “thing”! Many of our reasons are similar and there are a few more too… Perhaps security too knowing that if things went south, we have the ability to provide for our family, neighbors and loved ones if necessary. Thanks for sharing your wonderful posts with us on the Art of Home-Making Mondays!

    Reply
  12. Monica

    This is awesome! I just posted last week about why I’m farming. I love seeing the motivations and reasons people live this lifestyle. I farm because I hope to keep our farm generational, for the animals, and for the food. Really, it’s all about love…love for family, health, animals and food. Monica @ shesafarmer.com

    Reply
    1. Taylor-Made Ranch Post author

      Sometimes it takes a running start to realize your dream StellaLee, but it’s well worth the effort. You’re gonna love it! ~TMR~

      Reply
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  14. Tracy Fredrychowski

    Homesteading gets in your blood and its hard to walk away from once it hits you! I love our life in the country with our pigs, chickens, bees and rabbits. We don’t buy any meat or most vegetables from the store and I make everything from scratch. It’s just a good feeling to know we can take care of ourselves. I can’t tell you how many times I get asked “why do you choose to live like that?” All I can ever say is it is what makes us happy, keeps us connected to the land, and keeps us closer to the Lord! Thank you so much for sharing this post with us.

    Reply
  15. Karen

    Hi! I also just found your blog on Homesteader Blog Hop. Thanks for being such an inspiration. I also desire to live more simply. Yes, it isn’t always easy but it can be so rewarding. Today after I had finished what I had planned to do outside I was shocked when I looked at the clock how the time had flown by. Didn’t experience that working the nine to five. I have to ask if the picture at the end of your post is your apple tree. If so, do you know the variety? Being that you live in Texas I would think that it would be compatible with our zone 8b. Very jealous by the way.

    Reply
    1. Taylor-Made Ranch Post author

      Hi Karen. Yes that last photo in the post is of the first two apples my tree provided me, it’s about 4 years old now and just starting to produce. I have two of these apple trees, they’re a Jonathon apple variety but the trees themselves are supposed to stay very small, only 10-ft tall when fully grown. This will keep us from having a deluge of apples when there are only the two of us here to consume or preserve them. Can’t wait to see how they produce next year! You’re right, time flies when you’re doing productive work for yourself instead of being forced into the CEO’s vision of productivity during the 9-5. I absolutely love the life we live here! Thanks so much for stopping by! ~TMR~

      Reply
  16. Tanya @ sevenspringshomestead.com

    We are beginning our homestead journey on my husband’s family farm. As I am looking through the many seed catalogs and counting the monetary cost, it is nice to see this reminder. I know it will be a better way of life for my family. Thanks for posting. Oh by the way, I found your link on the Homesteader Blog Hop.

    Reply
    1. Taylor-Made Ranch Post author

      Tanya, although initially perhaps barely more expensive, consider heirloom seeds as you can save your own year after year when you use heirlooms and the plants grow true to the parent seed. In the long run it’s quite a savings. I wish you luck in your homesteading adventure, it can be lots of work but there’s no satisfaction like it! ~TMR~

      Reply
  17. Terrie

    I couldn’t have said it better. I grew up in the homestead life moved away to make it in the corporate world and now I am back. I enjoy reading everyone ideas, thanks for taking the time to share.

    Reply
    1. Taylor-Made Ranch Post author

      Terrie, I’ve often thought about what I call the ‘full circle’ just as you’ve described – growing up in the homestead life, moving away as a young adult to the exciting hustle & bustle of the city and returning to your roots when the city life no longer fulfills you. 🙂 ~TMR~

      Reply
  18. Abbi

    I agree with all your reasons and would just add that I also do it because it is fun! I love being able to work together with my family natural and worthwhile pursuits.

    Reply
  19. Janolyn Keller

    I just wrote an article about this very thing last week. Hearing about the love people have for the simple life is very comforting to me. For years I thought that I was the only one left out here that lived this type of life. I am looking forward to reading more of your experiences.

    Reply
    1. Taylor-Made Ranch Post author

      I think more & more folks are desiring to get back to the land in some degree or another and that makes me happy. You don’t have to be an “all or nothing” homesteader – there are things you can do right where you live to be more independent and I think people are starting to realize that. Thanks so much for your comment! ~TMR~

      Reply
  20. jody

    All the reasons you mentioned, and also a very strong desire to get back to the way of life I grew up in and OUT of the way of life I lived for too many years in the corporate-ladder-climbing world of ” Look at my big paycheck, too bad I had to step on you to get it”! I feel that homesteading gives me peace in my heart that I am doing something good for my soul, my family, and hopefully other people as well.

    Reply
    1. Taylor-Made Ranch Post author

      OMGoodness YES Jody! My heart is warmed seeing there are people out there feeling the same as me about this homesteading thing. Thanks so much for sharing. ~TMR~

      Reply
    2. Brandon

      Amen! I’m in Advertising and I’m exploring, praying, planning on being a homesteader. It’s reasons like both of you have mentioned that inspires me to transform from a cog in the consumer based wheel to a soul that’s connected with the Earth. My friends and family think I’m crazy! But since experiencing the benefits of our backyard chickens, I can’t shake this dream.

      Reply
      1. Taylor-Made Ranch Post author

        Brandon – I feel your pain! Please don’t try to shake that dream – pursue it with all you’ve got. You don’t have to be a full off-grid churn-your-own butter kinda homesteader to feel that satisfaction of providing for yoruself, you can start today right where you are with something small & build on it. Then go step by step until you get to the place that’s just right for you. ~TMR~

        Reply
  21. Kay (A Ranch Mom)

    I don’t know if I can be classified as a true homesteader – because we are really ranchers, but by default we are sorta homesteaders! 🙂 I love my garden, chickens, and making stuff from scratch. Saving money is a necessity, (low cowboy wages) and green is a byproduct of our lifestyle. I love cooking from scratch, hanging out my laundry, etc. But I mainly just love living in the country! 🙂

    Reply
    1. Taylor-Made Ranch Post author

      Yes, yes, YES! We are ranchers as well, but I think homesteading encompasses many levels of self-sufficiency, not just the off-grid churn-your-own-butter types. And how true – green is a byproduct of the lifestyle. You & I are so VERY on the same page! Thanks so much for sharing. ~TMR~

      Reply

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