Thursday, April 21, 2016

Learning to Homestead


Not too long ago homesteading wasn't called homesteading, it was just called living. Cooking from scratch, animal husbandry, food preservation, gardening, ...... these were all just a part of everyday life.

Nowadays life is a bit different. The new normal involves working a 9-5 job, eating out, and buying everything needed online. For those of us wanting to pursue a homesteading lifestyle it can be difficult to know where to start and where to find support and resources.

Here are some places I have found to be very helpful:

Books

It might seem old-school, but go visit your local library. There is so much quality information to be found in books. Homesteading is not new. So while somethings do change a lot of the information is still very relevant.


Community

Finding people who are actually farming or homesteading can be an invaluable resource. They know what you are going through firsthand and can point you in the right direction. Visiting local farms and farmers markets have introduced us to a lot of interesting people. Many farms are now offering classes teaching basic homesteading skills. I have seen classes ranging from canning and basic food preservation to classes on butchering your own livestock.

Facebook

While I love talking with people in real life in can be hard to find people who actually share our interests. Social media has been a great resource in finding like minded individuals. I have joined many Facebook groups specific to the animals we have and they have been a wealth of information. Since most people have Facebook on their phones nowadays I can get answers to my questions in almost real time. Last year I had trouble with a ewe in labor so I posted pictures and my questions on the Facebook group. Within minutes I had many people walk me step by step through the delivery all through the Facebook group. It was incredibly helpful. I have also been able to develop real-life friendships with some of the people through the group.

Online Forums

I love using forums for more general questions. Forums aren't usually as quick to respond since people don't visit them as often as they would Facebook so I usually use them for non-pressing issues. Forums are easy to search and many have been around for many years so they contain a lot of information.


Blogs

I love reading blogs. Books contain a lot of great ideas but sometimes I want to see how the idea actually plays out for someone and blogs are great for that. They can be practical and inspirational and if I have a question I can just drop them a comment.


What resources have you found to be helpful?


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