Why We Homestead
Why we homestead.
This is something I have been asking myself quite a bit this summer.
Why do we keep goats that need to be fed and milked twice a day? Why do I get up at the crack of dawn to work in the garden before it gets too hot? Why do I bother to juggle endless jars of milk around my fridge and coax my crawlspace into being cool enough to age hard cheese? Why do we attempt to wrangle our kids around a field in the hot sun so we can pick enough berries to preserve for the winter?
In short, why do we work so hard when we could choose a much easier lifestyle?
With a new baby added to the family this year, and the craziness of high summer harvesting and preserving, I have contemplated this quite a bit. Trust me, some
days weeks I have felt like quitting. My life would be SO much easier if I just went to the farmers market and grocery stores for all our food, and left off the producing and preserving. (And NO! there is absolutely nothing wrong with going to the grocery store for all your food!)
So, why do we do it?
Over all, it boils down to quality of life and health.
I want my kids to grow up being able to run around barefoot in the grass. (Let’s face it, mostly naked a good bit of the time.)
I want them to know that milk comes from a cow or a goat, and not just a plastic jug in the refrigerated section of the grocery store.
I want them to experience the immense gratification and appreciation that comes from eating a meal that is grown and prepared by our family’s hands.
I want them to learn that most good things in life don’t come by instant gratification.
Matthew made my cheese press, I milked the goats, and Finn and I made this lovely white cheddar. It has been sitting in our crawlspace for a LONG time, and tonight, we get to taste the fruit of our initial labor, AND appreciate our patience in waiting for it to age.
I want them to know what asparagus looks like in July, and what it tastes like straight from the garden in April.
I want our family to consume food that hasn’t used up enormous amounts of fossil fuels just to get to us, and food that comes from land and animals that are extremely well treated and given the best life we possibly can give.
Most of all, I want our entire family to experience the healthy vitality that comes from working hard in the sunshine and fresh air and eating nutrient dense organic fruits, vegetables, eggs, dairy and meat that we produce.
You know how our soils have been depleted of nutrients, and we need to supplement with additional vitamins? Not when we consistently work outside in the sun to create nutrient dense soil to grow our food, and feed our animals with! (We do still supplement with high vitamin butter oil and cod liver oil.)
Yes! There are days I don’t want to get up at 6am. There are even more days where I run the dishwasher for the 3rd or 4th time and get frustrated with all the time I spend in the kitchen. (Especially this time of year with canning, drying, and cheesemaking.)
So this post is just as much for me to remember why we homestead, as it is to explain it to my lovely readers.
Every time I start feeling overwhelmed, I think of these reasons why we homestead, and get a little boost of energy and reassurance that this is the life for us.
Why do you homestead, or want to homestead? Do you think we are crazy? 🙂