Our homesteading journey has been a few years in the making. Ryan first felt the itch to be more self-reliant in our first year of marriage. We were 20 years old, living with his parents, and still going to college. Then a few months later, I was pregnant with Kender. With student loans and slim job opportunities, self reliance seemed pretty far out of reach.
We started slowly, gaining more knowledge and experience over time. Ryan bought books about raising cows, chickens, rabbits, and goats. We started gardening, and learning how to preserve the food we grew. Ryan graduated and landed not one, but TWO great jobs, and living with Ryan’s parents allowed us to save up a little money. After a few years, we were able to build our current home on five acres.
I was far behind Ryan, and didn’t begin feeling passionate about self-sufficiency until our first year in our new home. Seeing him work our land, plant all sorts of fruit trees and berry bushes, and lay out our garden plot was inspiring. It all became real – we were building our very own homestead! I started by helping out with the garden, but eventually took over all the planning, planting, and harvesting. He was the one who wanted to get rabbits, but they’re definitely my babies now. His vision became mine too, and it feels so good to work toward that goal together.
Although we live on five acres, most of it is still trees. Our goal is to eventually clear more away so we can expand our useable land. Life is very busy with Ryan’s two jobs, and me being at home with our three little boys all day every day, so I’d say we are currently “part-time” homesteaders. We do what we can with the time and energy we have. We raise chickens for eggs, rabbits for meat, and we have a large garden to harvest in the summer. We don’t yet grow or save enough food for our family to eat all year long, but we are in it for the long haul. I know the day will come when most of the food we eat comes from our own land, and what an amazing day that will be!