Have you ever gotten a confused stare in response to mentioning your homesteader lifestyle? Maybe even a disapproving scoff or an insult? You’re definitely not alone. While the revival of the homestead lifestyle is definitely gaining steam, the minds of many people in our modern world boggle at the thought of working toward self-reliance and living off the land.
For those of us still attached in one way or another to contemporary society via work, church, or family, justifying something even as small as keeping a compost heap or a dozen chickens is a source of constant frustration.
My advice? Stop trying to justify your choices. Stop explaining yourself to people who don’t understand. Keep your chin up each time you’re the butt of a joke. You have value independent of anyone’s opinion, and as a homesteader, you can wear the proud title of a producer, rather than just a consumer.
Rather than blowing hot air in yet another futile attempt to convince your friends and relatives of the merits of homesteading, here’s my simple solution:
Bring your skeptical in-laws a dozen eggs and a few fresh tomatoes. The next time your cynical coworker takes a sick day, bring him some immune system-boosting homemade kefir or kvass. Be sure to bring a growler of home-brewed beer or a bottle of sweet dandelion wine to the next holiday get-together.
Rather than explain all the ideological reasons to homestead or get frustrated with the skeptics in your life, share the fruits of your labor, literally! A slice of fresh, authentic sourdough bread with a smear of raw butter will go a lot further to convince someone than a red-faced tirade on the virtues of the self-sustaining lifestyle.
You never know; they just might ask you for some spare sourdough starter someday and start their own homesteading adventure.
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