Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post brought to you by the Homestead Bloggers Network. I did receive a free copy of the book as well as compensation for this post. Regardless I only post items that I feel my readers will benefit from. All opinions are my own. There are also links to products I recommend from companies that I have a referral relationship with. I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.
Why I Chose To Homestead
My journey began in 1993, but my dream of owning a small acreage homestead did not happen until 2004.
In 1994 I moved onto a 50 acre farm, sadly it was not mine and in 1999 I had to move back to the city.
The five years I lived on the farm was filled with lots of learning and lots of happiness.
I had a large garden, a greenhouse and wild foods to forage.
I raised poultry and horses.
Moving back to the city was horrible – loud noises all hours of the day and night, a small lot to grow on, neighbors and no livestock.
In 2004 we purchased a small property right on the county line.
It was an acre and a half but a few years later we were able to purchase an adjoining acre to create the two and a half acre homestead we now live on.
Over the years I have come to love the homesteading lifestyle so much that I created a free eCourse to help you get started on your journey.
Getting Started With The Homestead Lifestyle
I tend to take on way too many projects – and that is just what I did when we moved here.
I immediately started my first winter garden – because it was August and I did not want to wait for spring even though in hindsight that would have made more sense.
I brought truckloads of plants with me that I had been hauling from place to place for years and since we had no time to till or even a way to till those went into the ground with grass all around them.
What a mess that has been!
I also insisted on planting fruit trees that fall – because they do take five years to produce and I didn’t want to wait a minute longer.
The following spring we started raising poultry and by fall had a horse and goats.
The next year we added sheep.
It was exciting, overwhelming time and if I had to do it all again, I would not do it quite so fast.
Homesteading Is Not Easy
I learned how hard homesteading is the old fashion way – buy doing it.
It is a choice that each person has to make and then commit to and it is not always an easy choice.
For many they want to be self-sufficient and not rely on anyone else – and that was my reason – but going from point A to point B on your own takes determination.
It is easier to give up than forge ahead.
Growing your own food takes time, patience and then you must have the ability to preserve it for winter use to get the most out of your garden.
For those who choose to raise livestock, it is a learning curve especially if you are doing it for the first time.
Animals get sick and often a vet is not close by or cannot save them.
You must accept sometimes death is inevitable.
Learning how to make things by hand is not so easy either.
I chose to raise fiber animals so I could spin my own yarn, then knit clothing and weave fabric.
Never did I dream the learning curve was going to be so steep.
The Choice Is Yours
The journey from living in the city where I went to the store to buy everything I needed to moving onto a homestead where I was on my own was filled with tears, frustration and finally success.
Those first few years I felt very alone and often wondered if this lifestyle was the right choice for me.
Along the way the homestead movement picked up momentum.
I was able to connect with others on the same journey.
I found people who shared the heartache of losing animals, the frustration of things not going right and finally the people who had the skills I needed to learn what I was doing wrong.
Most of them were happy to share their knowledge but living in a small town none of them were close by.
I relied on books, the internet and of course, Facebook!
A Great Mentor Who Is Living The Homestead Lifestyle
One person I met along the way was Deborah Niemann.
Over the years she has had her share of struggles but one thing is for sure, she is a true homesteader at heart, just like I am, and has taken on those struggles, learned from them and made it through the darkest of storms.
Recently a revised and expanded 2nd edition version of her book Homegrown & Handmade was released.
If you have the original version of Homegrown & Handmade you might wonder if you need the revised edition, the answer is yes!
Learning Along The Way
One of the things I have learned personally is that the longer you do something the better you get at it and the more you learn.
In the revised edition of the Homegrown & Handmade book, this is clear.
There is a lot of new information.
In fact, there are three new sections – Homegrown Pork, Homegrown Sweeteners and Homegrown Business.
There is some information that is updated that is going to be of help to people who have already read the original version of the Homegrown & Handmade book.
Some of the information that is updated includes statical information about the sad state of food, farming systems in the United States and our health.
There are also some revised recipes that are gluten-free.
Deborah Niemann has some a long way in her knowledge and that shows in this new book.
Over the years I have read a lot of books on homesteading.
I have talked with a lot of people and learned a lot through trial and error.
When I received my copy of Homegrown & Handmade I was anxious to read it to see if there really was anything in it I did not already know.
It was a great refresher on things I had forgotten but it was so much more than that.
The recipes and projects inspired me to try my hand at something new.
I was even inspired to try things – such as wet felting – that I had failed at in the past.
Enter To Win This Great Prize Package!
Before you go, take a moment to enter this contest.
There is over a $100 prize package to celebrate Homegrown and Handmade Goodness by Deborah Niemann.
This comprehensive guide to food and fiber from scratch proves that attitude and knowledge is more important than acreage.
Written from the perspective of a successful, self-taught modern homesteader, this well-illustrated, practical, and accessible manual will appeal to anyone who dreams of a more empowered life.
Chapters include gardening, keeping backyard livestock, and making your own handmade items.
And this exclusive giveaway package through Homestead Bloggers Network will have items you need to bring the book to life in your own home.
One winner will receive:
- 1 copy of Homegrown and Handmade, Revised Edition by Deborah Niemann
- 1 hand-dyed skein of yarn, 450 yards, by Blue Savannah in an exclusive Colorway “My Chicken Ate the First Tomato of the Season”.
- 1 pair of wooden knitting needles from Timber Creek Farm
- 1 $30 gift certificate for heirloom seeds from Seeds for Generations
Enter to win in the rafflecopter widget below.
Log in with your name and email or Facebook account, complete the mandatory entry method to unlock optional entry forms as well.
Giveaway will close August 31st, 11:59pm and the winner will be emailed the following day.
Winners should respond within 48 hours or a new winner will be contacted.
Open to US residents 18 years of age and older.
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I highly recommend the following articles:
- 10 Home Food Storage Solutions That Will Inspire You
- Tips For Prepping For Survival On A Budget
- 7 Ways To Start On The Path To A Self Sustaining Homestead
- Survival Grocery List – First Month
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