Andy Fleming wiring on homesteading…

A self-sufficient life is incredibly rewarding.  You appreciate the simple things and find value in providing for yourself from the ground up.

Living off the land is certainly different from an urban or suburban lifestyle, but it’s not necessarily more difficult. Instead of fighting traffic to get into the office, you’ll be rising to prep garden beds…tend to livestock…chop wood to heat the house. A simpler lifestyle should allow you to eliminate debt and cut down on your bills. That leaves you with time and energy to devote to learning new skills to help you thrive in a rural environment.

A little preparation goes a long way. Anyone can learn to live a free, independent life without much difficulty if you approach it with the right mindset. Here’s some things to think about before or during your transition to help you prepare to live the life you’ve always dreamed of.

1. Try before you buy

Whether you’re planning on building a cabin in the woods, starting a small farm or hobby business, or looking into the Tiny Home lifestyle, there’s almost always an option for you to sample this style of living before you dive in.

You can easily rent an off-grid cabin or Tiny Home on AirBnb. Take a short vacation and try to emulate the life you’d like to have as closely as possible. See if you’re able to cook tasty meals without electricity or a full kitchen or practice washing clothes without grid electricity.

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If you want to start a farm, consider joining the World Wide Opportunities On Organic Farms organization. It provides opportunities to spend time on organic farms and learn firsthand what it takes to run a sustainable farming operation. There’s no substitute for real life experience, and anyone who enters a homesteading lifestyle with some hours in the field under their belt is sure to have a much easier time getting started.

2. Start your transition before you move

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©iStock.com/mucella

No matter where you’re currently living, there are things you can do to practice the homestead lifestyle before you head out to the woods.

If you’ve got a backyard, try planting some spring crops and see if you can’t produce some tasty veggies to cook. You might even want to take on a small construction job like building a cold frame to grow plants in the fall and winter. Even if you don’t have land to spare, you can practice growing herbs or smaller plants indoors.

3. Get advice from the community

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You’ll fins a strong homesteading presence on the internet. Forums like HomesteadingToday are visited by thousands of members who share stories and post advice for new homesteaders. Any questions you have about farming, buying land, prepping for winter, taking care of animals, etc. can be posted on sites like this. You’ll receive answers from people with real life experience, and they’ll likely share tips and tricks you can’t find anywhere else.

4. See mistakes as a lesson

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©iStock.com/Martins Vanags

In today’s society, we tend to constantly reinforce the idea that being wrong is a bad thing. But whenever you attempt something that’s new and drastically different from your previous lifestyle you’re going to make mistakes.

Instead of viewing mistakes and setbacks as “failure”, try to look at them as an opportunity to learn a better way of doing things. Few mistakes are so big that they’ll derail your entire plan for the future. If you focus on things you did wrong, you’re more likely to get discouraged.

If something breaks, see it as an opportunity to learn a new repair skill. If you have a crop that’s overcome by blight, figure out what went wrong and take a note of it for the future. No expert ever got where they are without making mistakes along the way. Take a deep breath, start again, and never lose sight of your goals. Practice this way of thinking enough and you’ll eventually reach the point where setbacks don’t bother you as much.

5. Get first-hand experience

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You can spend years researching, but you’ll never get the practical experience you need without trying things for yourself. Take every opportunity you can to get hands-on experience building the skills you need to lead the life you desire.

Some people get caught up trying to become an “expert” in something without ever trying it firsthand. Some people design their dream cabin over and over again and never actually get around to building it. It’s great to be prepared, but no one is ever 100% prepared for anything. You’ll never succeed at something unless you get your hands dirty and give it a go.

P.S. Discover how you can enjoy a more laidback, authentic, independent way of life in Truth & Plenty. Sign up below to have it delivered – free of charge – to your email inbox.

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