We get a lot of questions about why we decided to take on the challenge of a homesteading lifestyle. Now that we are doing it, I could give you LOTS of reasons why we’re (attempting!) homesteading. We absolutely love it. But our journey started with one primary reason – being prepared.
A few years ago, my husband and I started to become aware of how dependent we were on conveniences just to stay alive. Conveniences like a grocery store to feed our family, a close gas station to fill our vehicles, and clean water from the town, just to name a few. But what if a disaster struck and those were not available, even for a short time? (Hurricane Irene, anyone? There are STILL areas of our state rebuilding from that storm.) Whether natural or man-made, we knew we would be devastated. Even an ice storm in our area could knock out power for weeks and cause shortages of basic necessities, like food and clean drinking water. We decided that being prepared for whatever circumstances might arise would be wise for our family.
We began to build up a short-term storage of food (www.ready.gov recommends a minimum of a 3-day supply), water and first-aid supplies. At first it was just enough for a week or so, then we continued to build up from there as we were able. Just five extra dollars a week of non-perishable goods each time you shop for groceries will quickly build a decent supply of food to last through an emergency.
Then we began to think about the long-term. What if our country did fall into a great depression or experience a large-scale terrorist attack? What if prices sky-rocketed and we couldn’t afford to fulfill the needs of our family? Though we weren’t planning on those things happening, we wanted to know that we could provide for our family, regardless of the circumstances. As we read and researched, we learned not only about how homesteading could help us be prepared in difficult times, but also the many other advantages of homesteading (like the health benefits and better taste of truly fresh, organic food).
Even if you don’t think homesteading is for you, I’d encourage you to do some research on how to be more prepared. Then take small steps (or big ones!) as you are able until you have the supplies and skills you need to get through whatever circumstances come your way.