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Posted by M.D. Creekmore on March 3, 2018 3:45 pmTags: Categories:
We can all profit from the lessons the Allen family learned during the six years they devoted to homesteading in Tennessee. Great article from 1980…
The ‘go big or go home’ mentality. Seems they have come through it with a still healthy attitude. Many bite off more than they can chew, and leave ‘homesteading’ with a bad taste in their mouth. Start small, homestead where you are now wherever that might be. Then you can move on to bigger and better things. And yes, compromise has to be a part of that decision. Is that ‘ideal’ property close enough to where you can still work a day job (or can you work online and is there internet available)? Just how much work will you need to put into that ‘ideal’ property, do you need to maintain a day job, or have enough in savings to cover your expenses? Being isolated isn’t such a big deal for us, but we do need to be close enough to ‘work’ to be able to justify it. THAT is OUR big issue. If we are both looking at an hour or more commute, the gas and wear and tear on the vehicles and the time involved just aren’t worth it. And if you have children (ours are grown) you also have to consider the things the author mentions.
My wife and I did the same thing in 1974. Part of “back to the land movement”, we settled in the Kickapoo valley of Western Wisconsin. Those 1st years saw many come, a few years later we saw many for our cohort of settlers leave for cities and better paychecks. In the late 1970s one of our friends told us “this year we are going to have a 3 acre garden and a divorce.” They did. We, like the couple in the article sustained ourselves as crafts people doing up to 20 – 25 art/craft fairs a year. We supplemented our winter living when there were no art fairs with graphic arts (pre-computers). 44 years later we are still here. Our gardens shrunk to Tomatoes and anything else we have time for. Farmers markets abound and we are happy to support the younger wave of homesteaders. Our careers have also changed and art fairs aren’t part of it anymore. But we have hung in there.
We are planning to sell out now to downsize to have less to care for and live more inexpensively for old age. However we are still planning to live around here and stay rural.
Thanks for the timeline! Everyone(!) should read your article very carefully, maybe more than once. From what I have seen and experienced personally, you are typical for many type ‘ movements’ . The ebb and flow of non-conventional living. Many religious movements follow the identical pattern. This too shall pass away… The only enduring mind set is learning to live by Faith- dependence on God. Not blind, fanatical fantasies, but the reality of having God provide from the spirit realm every need. You don’ t have to move anywhere or grow anything. You just do what you want to do and you succeed over and over your entire life. That is peace and security, freedom from all fear of anything or anyone. Thanks again. I feel sorry for you and the years you worked and toiled based on an idea…
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