Homesteading club discussion - how does one keep the homestead simple?
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  1. #1
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    Question Homesteading club discussion - how does one keep the homestead simple?

    Having a homestead is lots of work. There is gardening, lawn mowing, the possibility of animals, sewing, quilting, knitting, spinning yarn, canning and preserving and on and on it goes.

    ~How does one keep the homestead simple?

    ~How do you find a balance between taking care of family and taking care of animals if you have them? (Animals are a lot of work.)

    Share your thoughts on keeping your homestead simple.

  2. #2
    Registered User forestdale's Avatar
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    For me, simplicity in the homestead comes from doing those chores you listed. I make sure I concentrate on what I'm doing, make sure I think carefully about my processes and really experience each moment, even if it is cleaning out the chook house.

    For me, each part of homesteading is as valid as the entire part. It's like my version of patchwork - each piece fits in neatly (or not so neatly) with the other parts to make up one homestead.

    I think it would be much more difficult when homesteading with young children. Their needs tend to overshadow other things that need doing and that would put me out somewhat. With my children grown I have the luxury of doing things in my own time and asking for help and getting it whenever I need it. that makes it simple for me.

    So to keep it simple I:
    ~ make sure I know what I'm doing, or learn how to do it.
    ~ ask for help when I need it.
    ~ make sure I really need to do whatever I'm doing.
    ~ keep within my simple living philosophy - which is that whatever I do must have value to me or my family and must contribute to our happiness.
    ~ make sure I get enough rest to allow me to carry out my tasks each day.
    ~ I try to keep things interesting by learning new skills and trying new things.

  3. #3
    Heather Bob
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    Very good question and one that I find takes constant fine tuning.

    I really think it takes work and effort to keep it simple if that makes sense. I found when I first started my homesteading lifestyle I did way too much. I think the best thing is to get a couple things down pat and then they become routine/habit, and then and only then move on to something else. For example, I put in a huge garden, wanted to can everything, got animals, was trying to learn different crafts, decluttering and so on ALL IN THE SAME SEASON.....needless to say it didn't work! My heart was in the right place but it was just too overwhelming. As life on a homestead has it's seasons so does learning and developing a craft or a new skill.

    We have had laying hens for 4 years now and we just got rid of them. I must say that I really don't know if we will get more or not. We can purchase fresh eggs from the Amish up the road and there are no hassles of who to get to feed them if we go away, buying the feed, we really weren't making money from them with the price of feed going higher and higher everytime we purchased a bag.

    It is a family effort, our place runs much smoother if everyone takes part and does their own chores. For example, the lawn and trim is to be done every Friday, the boys do that. Every other day the kids and I head out to the garden and take an hour to weed. I am out there everyday but to specifically weed, we make a time. I am all for routine but on a homestead that can be interuppted half an hour into the day! LOL! We must learn to be adaptable to what is happening around us and with each season, some are obviously busier than others. A time to plant and a time to harvest! And then there is the time to plan!

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    Master Dollar Stretcher
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    We make it a family affair. Everybody helps. It's part of our "education" so to speak. My boys do most of the yard work and anything involving heavy lifting. We all work on weeding, harvesting and canning (though this year due to a late frost we are not canning as much). I love this lifestyle!

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    Registered User FarmLady's Avatar
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    When we first moved to the country, I tried to do it all at once, I jumped in both feet first. It was a disaster of course, there was just way to much to learn and do all at once. I always seem to get way to far ahead of myself when I start something new. But, over time I guess our ways of doing things evolved and after 20 years of living this way we have a routine we go by, a set list of chores that get done on certain days and at certain times. I have a huge garden still, even though the boys have left home and have thier own places now. It would be to much for the two of us, not only to much produce but way to much work if the boys and thier wifes did not help. We are lucky that both of the dil's enjoy gardening and canning, they help with the garden chores and the canning and they get thier share of the produce and can goods. If at some point they decide it is no longer for them, we will undoubtly cut back on the garden. The animals, are another story; I love taking care of them and they provide us with our meat, eggs, milk, cheese and exercise. I can't ever see us with out them. I take care of all of the animal chores in the morning, and my husband does the evening chores so it is a joint effort. I may complain from time to to time but even though this place is a lot of work, I don't really see us living any other way.

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    Registered User Kindred-Spirit's Avatar
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    To me keeping things simple, mean every thing is planned. Well as much as possible. Not running here and there for things.

    We all have chores, and are responsible for getting them done. Great thread.

  7. #7
    Margery Bob canadian gardener's Avatar
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    Having routines, not a lot, and printing them off so I can keep track of my basics getting done each day.

    As Kin says, menu planning, planning in general.

    It's not a straight jacket, if I decide not to do something, tomorrow it gets done again, no biggy but the list keeps me focused.

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