Why and How do I want to ‘homestead’

Call it what you like, homestead, farm, plot, rural lifestyle yard. Homesteading is defined by most as a lifestyle of living sustainably within the ecosystem, by growing your own food and carefully managing your own resources in an agricultural setting. Homesteads are generally small-scale, and by that I mean a few hectares. They are seldom full-scale farming operations, and are seldom driven by huge economies. I don’t even want to get into the reasons some people have for wanting to do it. My own reasoning and dreams are different.

  1. I always wanted to. I know inside that it provides a simpler way of life that I can handle.
  2. Simpler life does not mean easier. Hard work, hard thinking is amazing if you’re doing it for yourself.
  3. See number 2, Working hard for your own gains and benefits (not a billion dollar corporation), with any excess shared by the community.
  4. Urban lifestyle is affecting my well-being and health, my attitude to human beings and general mood – negatively.
  5. Rural lifestyle provides me with quiet starry nights, and pollution free days. The only noise is the noise I choose to make in the workshop.
  6. Everyone’s soul (spirit, heart, vision…) has a home. Mine is not in the city, and not in a fluorescent-lit office in constant fight-or-flight mode.
  7. I have, and still spend a tonne of time every day watching videos and reading articles on ‘doing things right’. I feel qualified enough.
  8. In point 7 I sound arrogant, but here in 8, I admit that in the uniqueness of nature, I will fail, document, learn and re-do. I want to.
  9. Super important. I want to say “i have a homestead, I have a little farm, I produce some or most of my food, I am off-grid more or less” – even if I just say this to myself.
  10. I want to nurture the spirit of community again, small scale, with the neighbors and people I trade with and work with, not with urban jackasses who litter and make noise to midnight everyday.
  11. If any achievement in life is measured in how much you gained, then I will never achieve anything. I would like to learn to live with less, and be dependent on fewer things and little money.
  12. Health is important to me, and I need to know that my family completely feels happy, peaceful and fit. A homestead provides this, even with the stress of ‘having to produce to live’
  13. If this does not work out, then I will be forever cursed with pretending to be happy in an environment that humans were definitely not built for.

There are the core reasons I simply cannot see myself doing anything else. The process of transitioning has been arduous, and slow, too…

Being young, and new in the workforce, I had nothing but ideals and plans; friends who lived on farms and those who escaped there already. Unreachable to a freshly brewed cog in the machine.

As I moved through companies and jobs, I  realised that it is possible to start aiming for what I wanted. Saving is still terribly difficult, things got expensive, commuting, housing, food and fuel.

Eventually I know what I needed, but while it was still out of reach, I found myself setting up vegetable gardens, grafting random things, learning to deal with rats and moles – all inside my own 2x2m townhouse garden.

Years later, the goal seems far away. This time it’s not due to finances, but just the lack of knowledge, who to ask, where to go, what to do.

Now, with the immense help of my wifey, who also shares the same end-goal, we have made friends, and arranged deals that make me feel lucky and grateful, but not 100% satisfied in my 13 points above, but close.

It’s a process, and while everyone means well, not everyone perceives and experiences the same motivations or ideals. It takes patience, time, trust and integrity.

Sometimes, it feels like a million years.

2 thoughts on “Why and How do I want to ‘homestead’

  1. Thank you for sharing some of the why of your mission to your own homestead! I look forward to following the rest of your progress and learning with you. Best of luck!

    1. Thank you Pieter, I appreciate the comment and readership.
      Thankfully, due to constant self assessment, learning and drive (mostly by heart and dreams), we are getting closer to a working solution every day, week… Since i wrote this, we kind of gave up the karoo homestead we were living on and started working on our own property. Not going easy though, between politics and the actual labour and costs of making something fuel itself. 🙂

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