Okay…maybe quitting is a bit of an exaggeration.
But, sometimes there are days (like today) in this lifestyle where I just want to give up. Quit. Be done.
Behind the scenes, behind the good days, behind the reasons we homestead– there comes a time when I just want to give up. There are many sleepless nights where all the thoughts that make me want to quit won’t leave my head. These thoughts lead to various scenarios and what-if’s.
See, in this type of lifestyle you have to deal with so many things like the loss of animals, time constraints, and more importantly budget limitations. Budget and time being the main thoughts in that very busy head of mine, while I lay there in the dark at night.
There’s is nothing like the loss of an animal on the farm. You have to deal with the death first-hand-then explain it to the kids who are heartbroken, while being heartbroken yourself. You can always buy a new animal, but that one that dies can never really be replaced.
You have to give up on a project because there isn’t enough money to complete it. It ended up costing you more than you thought and there is nothing left to finish it at this point.
Budget and time rear their ugly heads much to often around here. Much more than I would like. Why? Because we don’t have a big budget, y’all. Nor do we ever have a lot of time.
There. I said it.
I often wonder how other homesteads are funded because I know they are super expensive to have/run. I often find myself jealous of what other homesteaders/farmers have, and I have to remember that we are all different, have varying budgets, and things take time. I often wonder how some people ‘get it all done’ when there are some days that I can’t even get one thing done.
Yet- we are starting a farm. A real one. Our goal is to provide quality, non-GMO foods to our local community. However, it can be very discouraging when you have a small budget. Business licenses have to be bought. Equipment purchased. Animals cost money too.
But, it is very important to us that we provide our local community food that isn’t toxic. We want to be able to accept EBT cards here on the farm so everyone has access to non-toxic food. Everyone.
Our family has cut corners everywhere that we could to save money: from making our own toothpaste, to laundry detergent. We have turned to using essential oils since health insurance costs so much. We grow our own food and raise our own meat which totally saves from buying at the grocery store. But, since we just moved we don’t have our garden set up yet.
We don’t even have a space plowed and tilled and ready for hay (we’ve decided to use mulch gardening this year) for our garden. We don’t even know where to get the hay from. Our seedlings are yet to be planted. Our hoop house remains in shambles- not yet put together. And we just ate our last piece of meat from the 1/2 of a grass-fed cow we bought last June. We currently have three pastured chickens left in the freezer, so we are on the hunt for some local meat around these parts until ours are ready to be processed.
Oh wait, we still haven’t even bought our new animals yet. Yep- we still need a pregnant goat (for milk) since a cow isn’t in the budget right now like I had hoped. Nanette Lorraine has to drink raw milk. She can’t drink “regular” milk from the store because she is allergic to it. When she drinks raw milk her allergies are nonexistent, yet it is illegal here in Virginia.
Rabbits and pigs need to be bought. Chicken tractors and an egg-mobile need to be built so we can provide this food to ourselves and our wonderful community.
We were supposed to buy a tractor last month but had to put it off because the electric fencing costs us double what we thought it would. Gotta keep those animals in, ya know?
This year we will have to try to till the garden ourselves using a very tiny tiller because we had to cut the tractor out of our budget for now.
I often wonder where it will come from.
Farming for income, homesteading, making everything from scratch, growing, processing, and living. Those things take time. Not to mention we just moved. Well- January 31st, but I swear that was just yesterday. Boxes still aren’t even unpacked because we are trying to get the farm ready. Installing fence posts, electric fencing, gates, etc is complicated. Something I’ve never done. And we don’t have help. It’s just the five of us: Beau, me, and the three kids.
So, here it is. Laid out for y’all. The truth. The truth behind the scenes of our homestead. The reality of homesteading and farming. The thoughts that run through my head at night while trying to go to sleep. All I can do is pray and ask for guidance, in which I do. Every. Single. Night.
I know once a lot of these expenses are completed they won’t ever be expenses again (like electric fencing). But, I’m a worrier. A constant one.
I’m not asking for hand-outs. I’m surely not asking for sympathy. I just want you to know that it isn’t as easy as it looks. It isn’t as perfect as some homesteaders like to make it look.
It has it’s limitations- varying for each homesteading household.
Ours just happen to be time and budget.
But, we won’t quit. We won’t be giving up. Ever. We will pray. We will continue to come up with unique ideas to save money. It is extremely important to us to provide our kids, ourselves, and our community with non-toxic food. It’s important for us to provide our family and community with a choice.
Please don’t get me wrong, the good days far outweigh the bad, but it’s sleepless nights like last night that leads to days like this. It’s the 1,000
empty heavy thoughts running through my mind while trying to go to sleep to have the morning’s sun shining on my face. It’s my eagerness to help my community and to help my family.
So, tonight when I lay my head on my pillow, I will try to get some rest. To know that it will all work out. To know that I am right here- in the life I am supposed to be in.