You have decided to pursue your dream and start a homestead. Are you ready for the challenge? Do you know what it takes? Have you considered the ups and downs, the joys, and the crushing defeat?
Let me tell you a little bit about my story and the lessons I learned.
It is the joy of the sweet juice of the first harvest from the fruit trees. However, it is also the frustration of losing the peach trees. It is the delight of lambs frolicking in the spring fields, but it is also the sadness of babies frozen to the ground. It is enjoying the sunshine beaming warmth, but it is also the pain of fingers so cold they do not want to bend.
You see, we tend to imagine homesteading will bring only the delight of homegrown food and selling our goods at the market.
It is easy to get swept off of our feet. What most first-time-homesteaders do not realize is that farming and ranching is not all harvest.
It took us a while to learn this lesson.
When we first began, the dreams we had of homesteading were grandiose. We knew that there would be a struggle and a period needed for growth. At the same time, we were unprepared for the amount of stress that beginning a homestead created. We went off-grid within the first year. We shed many tears, threw harsh words, and learned hard lessons. There were multiple times we considered giving up.
About two years into the adventure that a friend gave me a piece of advice that I have held onto tightly since.
Give it five years. Not just one year, more than three years! A whole five years. At the end of five years, that is when you will see the leaps and bounds that you have made.
Within five years, that is when you will notice that something is off with your livestock before they are sick and dying. Within five years, you will look at your root cellar and see the benefits of your harvests. In five years, you will finally begin to see the fruit of your hard labors.
So whether your dreams are just beginning to blossom, or you’re getting frustrated three years in, take a breath, and give it five years.
Perseverance and patience do pay off.
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