We Sell Our Time (Ourselves?) In Exchange For Things
I think it is safe to say that in this day and age, most of our population works a job in exchange for money. We use this money to purchase our homes, our food, our vehicles, our haircuts, education, clothing, entertainment, and household products.
The Lost Art of Survival
Skills that were common in our society a century ago are rare today. Our grandmothers knew how to make soap, bake bread, sew, butcher chickens, milk a cow, preserve food and so on and so forth. Today, these skills are considered "hobbies".
|My Great Great Grandmother, Katie Longhofer, with all of her chickens|
I realize that these skills have become hobbies simply because most of us are too busy. We work hard at our jobs for 8 to 10 hours a day, then rush home to feed our families, help with homework, transport the kids to their extra-curricular activities, clean the house, wash laundry, and if we are lucky, find a little relaxation time.
Homesteading in the City?
I've taken steps over the past few years to pull out of the "norm" and step away from the expectations that I feel are imposed on me by society. I was able to cut the expense of daycare out of our budget and stay home with my children by starting my own in-home licensed childcare business.
We grow a large organic vegetable garden and preserve our harvest by canning, dehydrating and freezing. We did raise chickens but decided it didn't make financial sense as we were limited to only 12 hens since we are in city limits. The cost of the feed plus the reality that our hens would not be able to produce new chicks without a rooster made our keeping chickens for eggs a mere hobby.
I love to make soap but without a pig to slaughter, the lard used in the recipe becomes an additional purchase instead of a valuable by-product. Unfortunately, our city zoning doesn't allow us to have farm animals such as goats, pigs or cattle on our city lot.
There is so much that we can do to be self-sufficient where we are living now. I try to remember this when I'm feeling anxious to get out of the city. I think of the Dervaes family doing extraordinary things with their small city lot when I need to feel inspired. See their site here - http://urbanhomestead.org/journal/
Debt Freedom Is a Requirement
Still, I want to get out and away from the sounds of cars rushing by, the bright lights, and especially the city regulations. So, this year my husband and I have been earnestly looking for that perfect piece of land that will allow us to go from wannabes to the real deal. To truly live that dream, we will need to be as debt-free as possible so that we are not tied to a job. We realize that this may take some more time.
Our goal is to find a piece of land with some trees and tillable land within one year's time. We pray that it will be reasonably priced and that if it doesn't have shelter on it, we can find a mobile home to purchase cheaply for a temporary shelter.
Eyes on the Prize!
This desire is in my mind every moment of every day. I am very much looking forward to the moment that we sign the dotted line on our new property and take that exciting step toward having our very own homestead. In the meantime, I'm learning everything that I can about living self sufficiently. It is a truly exciting journey!