Thoughts on becoming a homesteader

I'm sure there are folks out there who are anxiously awaiting more bathroom pictures, but right now I'm taking a bit of a detour to talk about other areas of my life.  More pics and an update are coming, though!  I should have more to say about it by tonight.

I just had one of those moments when I looked at myself, as if from the outside, and wondered who I was and how I got to where I am.  I was in the kitchen, mixing up flour, yeast, water and salt for bread.  A big pot of vegetable beef soup was cooking on the stove.  The beef is from a cow named Dolly, I grew the onions myself, I grew and canned the tomatoes that went into the tomato juice, and most of the other ingredients are from local farmers.  My sink is full of canning jars from food we've eaten and ingredients we've used in the past 24 hours.  Next to the stove was a wooden crate of herbs and several little jars of homemade "Neosporin".  I could hear my rooster, Pretty Boy, crowing out in the backyard.  And I was thinking of the apples on the back porch that are starting to get wrinkled, wondering if I had time to make applesauce tonight.

It really struck me how far from "normal" I've strayed. 

Sometimes I look at the blogs I read and people on message boards and feel like they are "real" homesteaders and I'm just dabbling.  I don't grow even close to all of my produce, I still buy bread at the store more than I bake it, and I eat out WAY more than I should.  But taken as a whole, the way we choose to live is not even close to mainstream. 

How did I get here?  How did my rather normal and unremarkable childhood (no offense, Mom, I just mean that I wasn't brought up on a farm or by hippies!) turn into this not-at-all normal lifestyle?  I keep wondering if there was a turning point, I place where I suddenly realized that I had to have chickens in my backyard, or grow and can my own tomato sauce, or know the cow that turned into my hamburger.  But I can't find that place...  I don't know when my mentality shifted and I became aware of how unsustainable and unhealthy so many modern practices are; I don't know what made me decide to opt-out.

But here I am.  Here I am with chickens in my backyard, a cow named Dolly in my freezer, and bread rising on the counter.  And I wouldn't have it any other way.


Kate H. said...

Well done, you!

I used to make all my own bread, and maybe I'll go back to it once the house is semi-civilized again. I always put a quarter cup or so of sugar in it. Keeps better. But with a family, that may not be an issue for you.

Di said...

I hear ya. Trying to cook/can/bake/whatever in a house that is in shambles is a constant battle for me. About the bread... I add sugar or honey to some recipes, like the bread I bake for sandwiches and such. These were little "boules" for the soup, and got eaten pretty quickly!