In this “How to Become a Homesteader” series we have talked about leaving the rat race for greener pastures, eliminating a lot of unnecessary bills and cutting others. We have lowered our need for so much income and found a good trade or homestead job that we can bring in what little we do need. We have discussed farm animals and heating with wood and with telling time on a cuckoo clock. We have figured what skills we ought to pick up and we are ready to roll. But there is one very important aspect to becoming a homesteader. Community. It seems that would be opposite to what we are trying to achieve. We want to be self reliant, grow our own food, take care of ourselves, and have less fear. But, what we are really doing is becoming less reliant on big corporations and more reliant on ourselves and each other. That is how we were made.
When you become a homesteader you will naturally attract and meet other homesteaders. Each has something to offer. It is one big circle out here. A gentleman took my herbalist classes who has a tree service who got us our first cords of wood and will provide me with wood chips. He is teaching me more and more about wild plants. I make herbal medicines and Doug fixes computers but we need some help learning how to build things and with cars. We have found more and more people that need what we have and can offer what we need.
Even our friends who aren’t homesteaders, per se, have like minded ideas. Rodney used to have a large garden before arthritis made it difficult. Rodney Sr. can fix many things and is very creative. Kat would love to have chickens and a small homestead. Sandy and Bill have lots of chickens and a mad goose near their gardens. Monte and Erik have food, water, and other necessities in case of emergency.
Monte and Erik, our dear, dear long time friends, are moving across the country next month. This is a couple that has a framed painting from Emily that she drew when she was six on the wall among their fine art. The kids used to call them Uncle Monte and Uncle Erik. We have traveled with them and they were among the first at the hospital when Maryjane was born. Eating and drinking and watching the Superbowl at their house with all the kids was bittersweet this year.
In a fit of silliness at the end we planned our ideal homestead and what we can all do. Bret is a hunter and is going to school for mechanics, Dillon (Shyanne’s long time boyfriend) works in construction and can help us build things on this imaginary homestead. Shyanne is an amazing baker. I volunteered to grow the gardens and make the medicine. “I’ll be the bartender!” Erik says and across the room Andy says, “I’ll grow the weed!” and everyone cheered.
Despite the fact that some of us don’t smoke weed (our son is an executive at a dispensary), and Monte and Erik are moving to Washington DC, and our kids probably don’t want to live that close to us, we enjoyed imagining the possibility. There is comfort in being near close friends and family and a need to be near others. The old saying still rings true, “Many hands make light work.” And since each of us has our own gifts and talents, we can come together to provide a completely self reliant community.