Health, Homesteading, Personal experience

Homesteading, It’s a Thing

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Chickens on the homestead…but not mine

The internet has a smorgasbord of everything! I was researching ways to grow my own food, and do everything organic, and I learned so much! Did you know that when you grow and raise things to supply your family with food: fruit, vegetables, and even chickens and cows, it is called homesteading?

Homesteading: “a lifestyle of self-sufficiency. It is characterized by subsistence agriculture, home preservation of food, and may also involve the small scale production of textiles, clothing, and craftwork for household use or sale.” Thank you Wikipedia!

I’ve seen a farm before. I can do this! “It will be is so easy!” I thought to myself. Yep. I bought the first plant starts until I could learn how to harvest the seeds for next year. Organic soil, organic amendments, checked on them every day. The garden was growing beautifully!

For a little while.

Then the garden pests arrived. In the Spring, it was those pesky slugs. How many of those things are there! I had a very small vegetable garden, so I kept hand-picking them off. I heard about putting a little bowl of beer by the plants that they like and they will go in it and die.

Well, apparently slugs don’t like good beer, because it didn’t work. The FaceBook Homesteading group I joined said, “No, it has to be cheap beer.”  Really? They prefer Bud Light over Phat Tire? What the heck?

Once the slugs were gone, all hell broke loose. I have never seen these “squash bugs” before. Where did they come from? I don’t understand how all of these bugs, which I have never seen in my yard before, are all of a sudden moving their entire family in to eat my garden. I first picked off and squished one here and one there. Then there were multiples all over the place. No way could I sit there and search for them all.  Too hard on my back. I did harvest two zucchinis before they killed the plant entirely. Over time, some other “cute” little worms, completely ate up my brussel sprouts and cantaloupe, too.

My garden started looking like little dead raised garden beds that would have been quite charming to the Addams family, but not to me. I was so disappointed. The tomatoes were still growing well, and bugs didn’t seem to like bell peppers, so that was good. So, my very first raised garden wasn’t a complete fail. As a glass half-full person, I got to harvest something for the very first time, and I learned a big lesson. Homesteading is NOT easy. It takes work, persistence, and a positive attitude. And you need all three of those qualities to make it work. I’ll get it right next year, I just know it! 🙂

What was still growing well? My herb garden. I’ve grown herbs before, and now they are still standing strong. I started two small raised herb garden beds by my back patio a couple of years prior, and they looked better than ever! Bugs apparently don’t like their strong aromas that many of us humans long to smell. They are wonderful. They are peaceful. They are still alive.

All is well with the world.

2 thoughts on “Homesteading, It’s a Thing”

  1. Best of luck in your homesteading ventures. I’ve been a full-blown homesteader, owned an herb farm for 40 years, and now still grow nearly all our veg and some of our fruits, all our herbs. It’s still a joy, although I can’t work the 14-16 hr days once possible, but it’s a fantastic lifestyle.

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