How do you spot a homesteader out in the wild? Or, have you made the change to homestead and are now wondering how many steps it may need? Read on to find some of the top 10 ways to spot a Homesteader!

1. Dirt under fingernails

Both my mum and sister have beautiful long fingers and well-kept nails and lovely feminine looking hands. Mine, at some point in the day, has had horse shit on it. But you know what…

I love my hands. 

Unlike my sister, who inherited mum’s hands, I got my dad’s. Chunky and solid. My hands can work hard outside. They can haul dirt and mud, work in the garden, build a fence, chop down trees and most importantly, hold the reins to my big Moosey boy when we go for a ride. They also help make the best hamburgers and fresh bread rolls, too.

Now don’t get me wrong, I do love me a good manicure. But I get so dirty so quickly that whatever NASA grade polish they put on comes off easily. And I can’t justify spending all that money for something so useless.

 2. There’s always more than one project on the go at any given time

Busy is fake. I worked with a guy who was always ‘soooooo busy’ and never got any work actually done. He was always overwhelmed with work and couldn’t keep a schedule or manage his priorities. So I don’t like the word busy because it doesn’t mean anything. People are always busy. How are you? Busy. No, how are you, not how productive are you at this point in time.

That said, I am currently very well scheduled. Work full time hours 5 days a week (moving to 4 soon), helping my husband with a few businesses, running my own small artisan soap business and homesteading on top of it all.

The best days though, are the ones where I have worked all day outside and come in to some fresh cornbread (recipe for that soon!) and a drink. Where I am so tired and sore that I limp and hobble around. Where, when I go to bed at night it feels like my mattress is sucking me in and I wake up refreshed and accomplished. And the next day when I look at my achievement from the previous day, I know it did it myself. And I feel proud.

Those are my favorite days. I love every bit of them.

3. Food grown in your own vegetable patch tastes a million times better

I’m lucky that I live in a semi-rural to rural area. There’s still a lot of farms and people that produce vegies and you won’t have to travel far to find a stall with an honesty box and some very cheap fruit, vegetables or herbs for sale.

There is no that a vegetable picked a few steps from your front door will always, always have better flavour than something that’s been shipped half-way around the country (or even the world!)

Once you have the experience of looking down at your plate and knowing where each and every component came from, you’ll be hooked. It’s the best feeling knowing that what you produced is what you eat.

4. Getting the first egg from your layers, ducks or geese, is the best feeling

Or when you pull that sneaky vine out and find a huge pumpkin, or pluck out your first big potato or anything that you have grown or produced on the farm.

Growing your own food is one of the most satisfying things I’ve ever done, and the first time experiencing the fruits of your labour is magical. It makes all the tough times, hard work, and disappointments worth it.

5. Things that can be bought are often made

Nobody said homesteading would be easy. And homesteading becomes fun and interesting when the easy routes are not taken. That is where the joy of homesteading arises.

  • Buying milk is 100 times easier (and cheaper) than keeping a milk cow. But why wouldn’t you keep a cow instead? They mow the lawns, the poo is good for compost, and lets face it, cows can be cute.
  • Buying artisan bread to go with your spaghetti dinner is way easier than making bread from scratch.
  • Buying neatly wrapped meat at the butcher is far less messy than raising or butchering meat yourself.

Homesteading, whilst labour intensive, can be empowering. And fulfilling. And an adventure. But easy? Definitely not. But for some reason, that doesn’t bother me. I’m just weird like that.

6. Homesteading is not about beating your laundry on a rock…

Yes, you can and will still use a washing machine and a dishwasher. Cos you know what, they are lifesavers. We’re not opposed to technology, us homesteaders. And if that’s what you think homesteading is…You’re missing the point.

The way I see it, homesteading is all about mixing the best of the old with the best of the new. There is no way in this modern era that anyone would waste time beating their clothes on a rock. I mean, let’s be realistic.

I also very much appreciate my dishwasher and washing machine. Can I live without those things? Yeh probably. Do I think it’s wise to be prepared in case the future version of toilet paper during a pandemic takes all the power and fuel offline? Sure!

But in the meantime, I’m thankful to have electricity in my homesteading efforts. If I don’t yet need to be fully off-grid, I won’t. But even partially being off-grid, or having the necessary set-up in case of environmental disaster is very useful. I’ve been flooded in due to severe weather events more times than I could count, and my alternate things were what saved me during those times.

The old-fashioned homesteading lifestyle is one we heavily romanticise. And while there are romantic elements to it, I’m careful in my understanding that our homesteading ancestors lived the way they did out of necessity, and simple survival consumed a huge part of their day.

7. Living far away from most is what we enjoy. Really, we do.

Let’s be honest.I want to vomit when I hear someone say they live in the city or a suburban area. Like I get it – we all have different aspirations. But nothing could make me run in this world other than the incessant noise others make. I hate it.

Living far away is a personal choice and preference.Please don’t think I do this because I cannot afford to live elsewhere.

I know living this far out isn’t for everyone, and some people really, truly want to be within walking distance of the grocery store, but when I leave my property its for a purpose and I am thankful everyday that I can return to my safe space in the bush.

8. Picking up horse shit is not a bother, really, it isn’t.

Or any type of manual labor, actually. When you’re a homesteader, animal poo isn’t gross– it’s beautiful. Animal poo turns into compost which magically nurtures the soil and your plants. Embrace the animal poo.

9. If I don’t answer our phone, I am outside working. Don’t take it to heart

Sometimes we get so focused on the latest project, any semblance of a social life goes out the window. Not always, but sometimes… At least for me. I’m pretty horrible about meeting friends in town for lunch… It’s not that I don’t want to, it’s just that my brain is usually preoccupied with my latest homesteading project or catching up on errands.

10. I’m not a super human, nor better than you.

People often forgo logical thought when they realise not everyone follows the same ideology they do. Hey, we are all made as individuals, and that’s how it should be. I am not better than you or anyone else because I homestead. Sure, I have very strong opinions about it, but if you don’t do it then I understand that too. Sometimes, people are limited by their circumstances and other times sheer choice.

As much as homesteading is a choice for me, so may be going to the gym for you, or being more environmentally conscious, for example. Either way, we all strive to live our best and happiest lives and I think that’s what is most important.

So have you made the list yet? How many of these points do you currently do?

If you’re interested in seeing what else we do around the farm, make sure to keep reading and link in with our socials. We update regularly on the progress of our projects. You can also subscribe to our blog to make sure you get all the round-ups and updates first!