It’s been about nine months since we moved to the Homestead and we’ve come to realize that it’s not as easy as we hoped it would be. There is a lot to homesteading that can’t be understood fully until you actually live and do it.
Each Homesteader is different, as is each Homestead, and until you put the two together there is no way to know. No matter how much you read or study before hand, you can’t know how you will react until you actually live it.
What we have learned so far, is that our journey into Homesteading is changing us, each and every day. Not so much the things we do but rather the ways we now go about them.
It’s the Little Things
- Every trip outside in the dark we take Headlamps / flashlights, something to cover our ears (bugs love to fly into ears) and some snake shot in case something bigger decides to sneak up on us.
- We go to sleep earlier and wake up earlier, Homesteading wears you out!
- Trips to the store aren’t as often and we stock up when we can.
- Rather than buying final products (for example bread, which goes bad quickly) we buy the parts to make them (flour, yeast, salt) and make them fresh
- Growing food is not a WANT any more, it’s a NEED. (There is nothing like running out of something and being able to run outside and pick some thing fresh to fill in!)
- No eggs? Run out and check the Chicken Coop and wait till the chickens lay more! They taste better anyway!
- There is no better entertainment than watching the animals. They are endlessly amusing!
Looking for Ways to Be More Self Sufficient
Each day, as we go further and further into our Homesteading adventure, we learn more and more about our environment and how to live within it in.
But I am still surprised when we find signs of animals like Deer, Foxes, Coyotes, Bobcats, Hawks and all the myriad of wildness Florida hides. Things that I could not fathom being so near as a child growing up in the city.
We’ve actually been told some animals are becoming over populated and that we are actually encouraged to hunt them to assist in controlling the over population.
Get Your Meat at the Store like Everyone Else
Some people don’t understand our desire to take part in hunting and filling our freezer.
Some people don’t understand why we keep animals for food either.
I think they haven’t thought the process through enough to understand the meat at the store isn’t humane or healthy.
At first I thought it was a joke.
I couldn’t fathom that someone didn’t understand where their food comes from. But I have come to learn, there are many people out there that just don’t think about it. Like when I was a child in the city and I could not fathom the wilderness so near.
In the end, hunting or bringing up your own livestock for food is a very personal decision. The decision to have a personal relationship with your food. To feed it each day, give it love and sustain it. To kill it humanely and to be thankful for the sacrifice made to give your family sustenance.
Corporations don’t thank their animals for their sacrifice to increase the bottom line. They use chemicals the increase the rate of growth. They don’t give names or love or kill humanely. (Let me stop there before I go off on a rant).
Hunting and Homesteading
For us, Hunting is our next step toward self sufficiency. It isn’t for everyone and should be discussed and agreed on as a family.
Firstly, The animals are in the area and we are being encouraged to hunt them (by way of no limits).
Secondly, we are not hunting for sport or the thrill of the kill. We are hunting to put food on the table and meat in the freezer.
For us Hunting and Raising your own food are not entirely dissimilar, due to our situation and circumstance and because we would go about both in similar ways.
It is free range, free of chemicals and trapped humanely.
When dispatched it will be done humanely, as we would with animals we raised ourselves, putting as much of the animal to good use as we can.
We may change our minds in the future, as everyone is allowed to do, but for right now this is the route we will pursue.
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