Starting a homestead can be tough work and you need to be ready for that. That being said, it will also be the time of your life if you do it right!
It takes a lot of courage to move off the grid and start up your own homestead. The last thing you want is to fail and have to return to society and start all over again. Make sure that you do your homework before you get started so that you are as prepared as possible.
If you have ever considered getting started, don’t let anything getting in your way. I hope that this article will help you avoid these common homesteading pitfalls from the start.
Secure Your Animals Well
Most homesteaders need animals for labor and food. They are a vital piece of you operation and you would not be successful without them. Losing just a single animal can be devastating when you only have what you need to survive.
One of the biggest mistakes a new homesteader will make is not securing their animals properly. Whether that means that they are using inadequate fencing or not checking their existing fencing, it always ends in a bad day.
We have had our alpacas escape twice now, so I can tell you what it means first hand. Luckily, I have some good neighbors that were very glad to say hello and herd them back into my pasture. If I lived in a busy area or didn’t have neighbors that liked alpacas, that could have gone in a different direction completely.
Not Preparing For Winter Properly
Preparing for winter is in the back of every homesteaders mind all year long. Everything that we do throughout the year is to make sure that we are set up to survive the next winter.
When we grow our produce, we aren’t just growing enough to feed us through the warm months. We are looking to grow enough produce to can and store away to feed us all winter. This is the only way to truly remove grocery stores from the equation if that is what you are looking to do.
We are also always looking for more meat to stuff in our freezer throughout the year. From the livestock that we are raising to the animals we are hunting, we just keep stacking it until it’s full.
You never know what you, or a neighbor, might run into over the winter. Having a little extra to help out is much better than being on the other end, and needing someone to help. We store as much food as we possibly can before with hits.
Continue To Learn New Skills
When we first got started, the burning desire to be the best homesteaders on earth was very bright. We set out to be the best gardeners and alpaca farms on the planet. We made a lot of it up as we went along, but learned quick and mastered our skills.
From that point, we plateaued for about two years before we started taking off again. Not learning new skills is one of the biggest pitfalls for those just getting started because they get complacent. You should always be looking for more way to learn and more ways to be successful.
I always tell people that you need to treat homesteading like a job. Do the best you can do and continue to learn new skills so that you can be more valuable to your company. The more you can do on your homestead, the more adaptable you can be. Being able to quickly adapt will seriously increase your chance of success!