If you are one of the many people these days considering a transition from urban or suburban life to country homesteading, then you are in for a massive lifestyle change. This will involve things you may have never considered since they might not have had a large impact on you in your current way of life. Considering what these factors are and preparing for them may just make the difference between living happily ever after in an idyllic setting of your choice, or blowing your savings only to move back to the city with nothing to show for it. This is by no means a comprehensive list, but just three things that almost everyone in any homesteading situation needs to consider prior to making the move.
Water is necessary for life, but many people who live in a city their wholes lives can take this for granted since all they need to do to get water is just turn the sink handle. When you are considering where you are going to relocate to, consider your access to water. Are you going to have a stream or a pond on the property? Or are you going to be on well water? Or is it an area where you are going to be able to use rain catchment to meet your needs? Everyone’s budget and situation is going to be different so don’t expect to find absolute perfection, but on the other hand, don’t over look the issue of water because you like something more superficial about the area or property.
Gaining self-reliance includes energy independence. Most of us are not going to go as far as to run our tractor on wood (fun fact: combustion engines do not operate on liquid fuel but on expanding gas that is heated by any fuel, in WWII during fuel shortages in Europe tractors and boats were converted to run off of wood instead of gas and diesel). But most will want to heat their home and possibly cook from wood fire. Wood can also be used for construction, though this will require skills and tools that a beginning homesteader might not have. And sometimes money actually does grow on trees: wood can bring you income if managed properly.
One resource that many don’t think of when they are preparing for a life that demands much more self-reliance is the people that will be around them and the potential downside or benefits that these people offer. There is much to be gained in knowledge and second-hand resources if you move next to a third generation farmer who has been doing what you want to do since he could remember. On the other hand, you might find a seemingly nice place to live, but find out too late that your neighbors don’t farm at all on their 120 acres but instead be up to no good. The people around you could be the difference between success or failure. Know your potential neighbors and weigh them in as a resource or a danger.
If homesteading is something that has been on your mind, then get out there and do it, but don’t make such a drastic decision without thinking it through. Do it right and enjoy all the benefits.
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