Guess it was the peer pressure on this forum !!! NO, seriously, it began waaay back in childhood, being raised around cattle, dogs, rabbits, and the beauty of country living through all the seasons. Everyone we knew back then had a hand in farming in one way or another. This was before the high tech revolution, satellite tv, credit cards, and fast food. Ever since leaving that place in my memory, the dream has been to capture at least a small portion to keep. There's a moment in time that is indescribable when I am out somewhere and I get a whiff of new mown hay. It all comes back so forcefully that I could cry. funny, huh?.............Margo
I was a paralegal for a large law firm and also had a computer tech business. My husband was a New Agent Trainer/Compliance Manager for Northwestern Mutual Life in Tampa. We had great jobs, good income, 401K, and benefits galore. Our kids were all raised and life was good -- except "something" was still missing. We then had a late in life baby boy and that changed everything!! No way were we going to raise this child in the city. We quit our jobs, sold our house and moved to homestead in Virginia. Our income is less than a 1/4 of what it was and have no benefits; but, we have never regretted one minute of it and wouldn't give up this lifestyle for all the financial security in the world!
We know what is important in life and we have discovered the "big picture"! We have a happy and healthy little boy that can run to his hearts content, climb trees, have all the pets and animals he would ever want, knows that eggs don't come in styrofoam cartons, milk doesn't come in plastic jugs, and bull doodoo isn't a swear word but a real thing! He also gets life lessons in birth and death that you can't explain to a child unless they experience it. They learn about "real" life when you homestead. The best part he gets to do it all without our worrying to death over his safety like we would in the city. A child in the country can acutally go outside by themselves! Who knew!!!
Also born and raised in the country. We never seriously gardened or raised animals as a food source, though. My Dad got meat animals a couple of times, but no one else in the family was interested in it. Sure, we kids had to do most of the feeding, etc., but when it came time to actually eat the critters, I became a vegetarian. I loved growing up barefoot, making up our own games, the privacy, it was such a simple life.
I left home at 18, and spent the next 20 years in several different parts of the country. I had a vegetable garden everywhere I lived, without exception. My home was usually in suburbia, or actually in town. Then I got divorced, and decided to really think about what would make me happy. I sat at this computer one night and typed in "homesteading", and the old Countryside forum came up. I'd had John Vivian's book "Practical Homesteading" when I was younger, and how I loved that book! After reading about other people living in the country, and Voluntary Simplicity, I knew I finally had a direction to go in. And go I did. I spent 5 years getting here, but I've never been happier.
I grew up in the city. My parents often talked about when they grew up in the country, raising their own food, etc. They even talked about going back to that lifestyle, but never felt they could make a living in the country. I guess it never occured to them that lots of people do it. Anyway, all those talks of country life took root in me. I begged them to move us to the country (I wanted a horse!) but they never did. I told them when I got old enough I would head to the country without them.
When I grew up and married, DH and I tried living on the outskirts of the city, both working to make ends meet, but when the 1st chance came to really get out to the country (100 miles away) we jumped on it like a tick on a dog! My parents were shocked. You'd think they'd never heard of the idea. Been in this area for 14 years now. Our son has hardly ever known anything else. Wouldn't trade it for the world. Only in the last few years have my parents come to accept the fact that we're not moving back to the city. They even talk occasionally about relocating to our area. (We might make homesteaders out of them yet!)
I didn't have a life before homesteading, merely an exsistance. I had always longed for the homesteading life, from childhood on. I had horses growing up in the suburbs of Atlanta, but they were boarded. I had to work in exchange for board, lessons, trailering to shows, vet care, etc. So I came in contact with lots of people who taught me about the homesteading lifestyle. Now that I have my children, I am so happy to be offering them this life. They are so happy and well adjusted. People often comment on my children and how polite, kind, gentle spirited, and wise they are. I love my life. We've been through a lot this year, but being a homesteader you know that tomorrow is always better.
I'm still living my pre-homestead life, but I'm looking foward to moving to my place in the country in a few more years. I've worked for an aerospace company for 29yrs & made a good enough living to raise 3 kids, pay off our city home, & pay off the country place. We've had 18yrs of wonderfull vacations & weekends at our property in the country, but I'm really looking foward to moving there full time. My wife & I will both have our retirement,no debts,& a nest egg from the sale of our home in the city. There are almost no jobs in the part of SE Oklahoma where our property is located, so I seriously doubt that we could have provided for our family as well there as we have here. The rat-race isn't so bad if you have an exit plan. This web site has given me some wonderful ideas & advice for when we DO move to the country permantly & I'm sure that I'll continue to benefit from the experience of all of helpfull people here. Thank you all, & thanks to Chuck for the site.
I was a country boy that was proprietarily trained in design engineering by one firm over 19 years. When I was laid off at the age of 40 my training was not usable by other firms in the industry or restricted by contract severence clauses. So homebased was a holding pattern until I retrained myself. When I discovered this lifestyle was worth more to me than what my rat race potentials were, I stayed as a high tech agronomic 42 year old semi retiree. They laid me off. they can help support me with stock profits and I can farm to feed myself and establish my BISF and worm ranch :haha:
We too were sitting at desks and wishing for something more. We quit our jobs in L.A. and headed for central CA. We had a ten acre farm before returning to the city for awhile. A year and a half ago we returned to the farm and are having fun so far. We have 9 hens, 3 goats and a dozen cats. We are still looking for a blue merle female if anyone knows of one in southeast AZ.
I grew up on this place and live on what remains of it. Truthfully there was a lot more going on here in my childhood. My dad was a cotton farmer. He worked 5 farms scattered over this side of the county and there was a garden on each farm. That way the vagaries of the weather weren't such a problem with things spread out. He grew cotton, grain sorghum, corn, wheat, oats, hay and beef cattle. Before my time there were other crops and livestock.
There was an old couple working for him that lived in a house behind ours in the pasture. He was from MO and his given name was Jesse James. His parents knew the famous one and named him for him.
He and his wife did things the old way. We had a milking shorthorn that they milked. Kept hogs and chickens. He built a smokehouse and used it. I was an only child and spent a great amount of time around her. He could do more with an ax than todays people do with a shop full of power tools.
The neighbor across the road was a truck farmer. He had beef cattle,bees, large vegetable gardens and an orchard. To me he was Uncle John and I spent lots of time with him after the old couple left and moved to town when the old man turned 80. Uncle John let me have his old copies of OG.
I was planting my own gardens as a child.
Went to college and got two degrees in Ag. ED. taught Ag 9 years and switched to English and History. Now teaching Spec. Ed classes 5 miles from the house.
No matter what I do I will consider myself a farmer. My wife said as a girl that she would never mary a farmer, cowboy or teacher and she got all three in one.
I was born and lived on a three acre place in the country until about age 10. My parents did not farm, but I hand tamed the wild birds, raised guinea pigs and kept the christmas tree plot weeded starting at age 7. My grandfather would raise chickens every year - about 100 at a time. He always had one pet he named Ichabod (never got that until many years later!).
We moved to town then and I hated it, it was a greenhouse property though so I started gardening in the back yard. We tore the old greenhouses down one by one. Left PA at 18 for Oregon, then Denver, then here on the Olympic Peninsula where I have finally been able to get back to the kind of life I loved as a kid. Every place I landed over the years has many new trees and new gardens. I look forward to creating this place for me this time.
Took a trip to Corvallis, OR a few years ago to see the first house I bought at age 19 many years ago. The little evergreen I planted in the front yard is now over 50 feet tall!
Never stop dreaming and planning and moving step by step toward that goal and it will happen.
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