Read more to learn how a city girl becomes a homesteader, and what that means to me. I share with you a glimpse of how homesteading changed my life, how anyone can become a homesteader at any point in their lives.
Someone asked what homesteading meant to me and I truly didn’t even know where to begin.
There is so much about homesteading and becoming a homesteader that has brought so much good to my life. Looking back I don’t know what my life was like without this way of living.
Becoming a homesteader has been such a blessing to me, and I have loved every hardship and trial included with it.
WHAT IS THE MEANING OF HOMESTEADER?
According to the Urban Dictionary, homesteading means “tasks and chores done related to being self-sufficient from the home.”
The definition is true, but I feel it means a bit more than that.
WHAT DOES BECOMING A HOMESTEADER MEAN TO YOU?
Homesteading to me means to do everything on our own, whether that is building a building, renovating a room, growing our own food, making scratch foods, and so on.
Being a homesteader means we are doing everything ourselves and becoming more sustainable for our home and environment. Even includes increasing our economy with local business for our area.
We want our homes, health, and lives to be the most sustainable they can be to care for the Earth and our bodies. God has us here for a reason, and I want to do the most I can while I’m here.
HOW DOES A CITY GIRL BECOME A HOMESTEADER?
Story time – Growing up, we didn’t have a ton of money. We moved a lot, and most meals were spaghetti or something really simple.
My family lived in urban areas and a couple subdivisions. The yard was never bigger than quarter of an acre, and the only animals I ever had were dogs. I wore named brands like I was sponsored by them, and had no idea that goats were considered a farm animal.
When I was younger, I had a dream to own animals but had no idea what that even meant. It was just a dream, and never did I think it could one day become my reality. I didn’t even know homesteader was a thing.
My husband is a huge outdoorsmen. He can really do just about anything with a little bit of research and his dad/friends. So when I came into his life, it was almost like a culture shock for my little city heart.
As soon as I got a taste of the country life though, I just wanted it for myself and my future family.
There was just something about fixing it yourself, harvesting your own food, and living a simple life that made me feel like I had a purpose. I felt as if through it all God made us capable because of His Power. This way of living makes me feel the closest with the Lord.
And I never wanted to lose that feeling.
WHAT STARTED YOUR JOURNEY TO BECOMING A HOMESTEADER?
When I started this homesteading journey, it began with my hands in the dirt of our first garden. COVID-19 had taken over the world, so I was stuck at home with (in my head) nothing to do.
I knew I had wanted to be sustainable in some way for our home, but I didn’t know where to begin. We had one acre of land, and I always thought it was never enough to have our little farm.
I was always on the go, and almost never home. So we’ll pretty much say COVID shook me to my core when all I could do was stay home.
Anyways, back to the garden. My husband and I started this garden because it has always been a dream of mine to grow our own food, and eventually have my own stand in front of our home.
We already had our chickens, and we were working on getting our meat birds for us to raise.
Day by day we just started changing things. Finding local raw milk and raw honey, buying handmade soaps and lotions, sourcing raw milk cheese, and being apart of co-ops.
I researched how many and what animals we could have with the amount of land we owned. Next thing we knew, we were buying our first goat: Phoebe.
Life went from being all-convenient to all-sustainable. We went from buying everything to making everything. Our marriage went from relying on someone else to relying on each other.
I won’t say life got easier, but it made more sense.
WHY DID YOU START RAISING ANIMALS?
Our first farm animas to meet our homestead was our chickens. We started with egg-layers, and I spent every minute I could with them outside during the summer months.
We started raising our own animals simply because of the health benefits that a farm fresh egg had to offer. Yes, it all started with an egg.
For ourselves, we wanted the health benefits that came with raising our own animals. My husband and I would know what they were being fed, the vaccines they were getting, and the treatment they were receiving.
I also had many health issues that came all at once that made me had to change my entire way of eating.
Knowing where your food comes from and how its raised is probably one of the most important things you can do for your health.
WHAT IS IT LIKE RAISING ANIMALS WITH NO EXPERIENCE OR KNOWLEDGE OF IT?
This has been a journey for us for sure. My husband has owned chickens (egg-layers) and ducks before, but that is the extent of it.
Learning can be such a beautiful experience, but sometimes the hardest thing someone can ever go through.
Owning animals without any knowledge or experience has been one for the books. We have stayed up countless nights researching, building areas for them in the frigid cold, trying different foods to make sure they’re getting proper nutrition, etc.
My husband and I have had many good days and some really heartbreaking ones, like when we lost our sweet Scout at 9 weeks old. That was the hardest thing I believe I have ever been through.
Since we are one of the firsts in both our families to own goats, we have had to learn everything by ourselves.
Raising animals from scratch is hard to explain unless you have been through it. It no longer about yourself, but everything about what is happening on the farm. Every step we take on the homestead is to better the lives of our animals.
There have been some really hard days, but I wouldn’t trade this life for anything or the journey we took to get where we are today. We have grown so much because of this, and through learning we can teach others.
Becoming a homesteader was the best thing I ever did.
HOW DID “FROM SCRATCH” COOKING SAVE YOUR HEALTH?
I plan to make a post about this entire story, but I am going to give you the short version of it for today.
All at once I had a lot of health concerns. Within 3-4 months I gained 40 lbs. out of the blue (yes, I was eating nutritiously and working out 5-6 days a week).
I also had severe heartburn and gastro issues. I became lactose intolerant, gluten intolerant, and couldn’t eat a lot of produce. Beef actually made me sick, and I felt coffee (my true love) was trying to hurt me.
My life went from enjoying food to resenting it. There was something I had to do, so I started researching a ton.
I didn’t want what only the FDA said was good for me, and I didn’t want the same cookie cutter answer everyone got. For myself, I wanted to know what the problem was and how to solve it. There was no way I could be fine one day and terrible the next, and just “accept it.”
I wanted to know everything there was to know about foods that were more natural and sourcing local. So after days of research, I changed everything about our food.
I made my own bread, bought raw milk and cheese, added tons of fermented foods, drank homemade bone broth, sourced local farmers for meats, and so much more.
Disclaimer – this is my story and I am not claiming anything, but my whole life changed around for good again. I felt like I was starting to recognize my body and felt confident.
From scratch cooking changed everything for me: my health, my journey, and even my small business.
HOW IS IT GOING WITH COOKING FROM SCRATCH?
It has been almost a year of scratch cooking and I must say we are doing amazing. I have found some recipes I really love, and the kitchen has become my studio. Not only that but I also feel like I have more of a purpose in the home, and I love bringing dishes to life.
My family is really enjoying all of my food, and my home has become the place where friends come over to eat quite often.
I feel amazing, and the food is just pure deliciousness. Everyday I can’t wait to make dinner to either make a fan favorite, or come up with something new.
HOW HAS BECOMING A HOMESTEADER CHANGED YOUR LIFE?
I was the girl who was searching for her purpose. I had a blog where I was inspiring others constantly to find what they truly loved to do – their God given talents – and use for the glory of Him.
However, I couldn’t tell myself that.
I was the girl with two college degrees, but had no passion for those degrees anymore.
Likewise, the girl constantly divided between what I loved to do and what others thought I should do.
I spent the first 4 months of my marriage away from home, constantly on the go looking for my purpose as a wife and the second income of the home. It felt like I didn’t have a place in this world anymore.
This life became a roller coaster of different things I wasn’t sure if I even wanted or not. My relationship with God was there, but put on the back burner as I was trying to figure it all out.
One day my world stopped. I don’t want to take away how difficult COVID-19 is, but I have to say it was the best thing that ever happened to me.
My crazy, insane life slowed down and for first time in years I was able to see the damage I had caused. I was forced to feel the slowness of life as I sat in my home for 6 months, and it was almost like a withdrawal.
I cried praying to God for Him to expose to me who I truly was or what my purpose was. An answer didn’t come for awhile, and I wondered if I ever would.
But day by day I just started doing things around my home and outside.
Day by day He showed me what life was all about: Like when I pulled the first squash from the garden, or our chickens laid their first egg. Or when I made my first loaf of sourdough bread to when people started asking for orders from me.
Slowly I learned what homesteading was, and started calling myself a homesteader. I felt then that I had a purpose.
I know it may sound silly to you, but you have to understand I was stuck in this sinkhole of busyness. My relationship with God and my husband were suffering, when all along I thought I was just becoming someone of worth.
Although, through it all, I did have worth and a purpose was surfacing before my eyes.
Homesteading showed me that I don’t have to be the girl that makes the most money or has the best job. It showed me who and what is truly important, and the “simple” life is just as glamorous as a busy one.
This lifestyle of becoming a homesteader didn’t give me my life back, but began it.
THE HOMESTEADING COLLABORATION
I have teamed up with other bloggers to share about what homesteading means to each of us! Be sure to check out each of these wonderful bloggers to learn about their experience!
Brandy with The Stylish Homestead
Brandy has a beautiful blog and horse! She talks about how to balance a full-time job along with a homestead, which I know I can learn from myself! Learn what homesteading means to Brandy!
Brittany with The Homestead Challenge
Brittany is good friend of mine and is absolutely hilarious. Her blog is one of my favorites, and also has an amazing Youtube videos! Brittany is going to talk about the definition of a homestead to her, sustainability, and health.
Youtube Channel: https://youtu.be/GvP6RcEhIsI
Chey from Living Like We’re Country
Chey is the sweetest soul, and someone I would call a dear friend. This girl has the best ideas and amazing content – something I always look forward to reading! Chey is sharing with us defining what homesteading is, living a simpler life, and is even introducing us to her farm!
Debbie from Simply JAD Farms
Debbie shares about what homesteading means to her and her family. She talks about raising her family with strong values and work ethic, freedom of homesteading, and increasing self-reliance!
Wendy from The Mountain Farmhouse
Wendy shares about what homesteading means to her, self-sufficiency, and independence. She also explains how to achieve all this by applying permaculture principles!
Youtube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UClJwfVGOEVgJRApkSuLLNgQ
Steph from Spruce Acres Homestead
Steph shares with us what it means to homestead. She also shares with us how homesteading empowers us in areas of health, community, and teaching the next generation!
Anja from Our Gabled Home
Anja talks about how her and her family created their urban homestead and even contains a free ebook of a guide to urban homesteading!
Youtube Channel: https://youtu.be/5e_ELjOVOy0
Megan from Simply Rooted Farmhouse
Megan shares with us today how to plan for your garden, growing crops in New England, and what homesteading and gardening does for their family!
Lindsay from The Little Acre Farm
Lindsay shares with us the good and bad of homesteading, building a community around you, and benefits of growing organic food!
Kati from A Handsome Homestead
Kati shares with us why she homesteads, life on the homestead, and how anyone can homestead where they are at!
Samantha from The Crooks Family Farm
Samantha shares with us about what homesteading is to her, why she chose to homestead, and 10 steps to start a homestead!
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This is lovely! Our stories parallel in so many ways. COVID 19 also propelled me into homesteading and I have no plans to look back!
I loved hearing more of your story! Having a purpose in life is so important. I love how homesteading has healed you in so many ways. It really is an amazing way of life.
Alexa, you have no idea how much I relate to your story! I absolutely agree with everything you said- I was hanging on to every word. It honestly felt like I was reading my own story! Homesteading has changed my life so much and opened my eyes!
First of all, you are so stinking adorable. Second, I love how similar our stories are! I definitely did not grow up knowing how to do any of this stuff! You are definitely farther along on your journey than I am and I am so excited to learn from you! Haha you make the mistakes first so I don’t have to 😛 Kidding!