How many of you homesteaders have city folks for friends? It’s quite alright if you do. In fact, if you do have a few friends who live in the city, then this post will more than likely strike home for you. Living on a homestead involves doing several things our cousins in the city know nothing about. People who grow up in the city seldom understand the hard work it takes to maintain a homestead; they believe everything should be provided for them, rather than being tasked with finding or doing things for themselves. Listed below are 10 different homesteading habits that people in the city cannot comprehend, simply because they have been trained not to.
Dirty Hardened Hands
Homesteaders and farmers are proud of their hands; they show off the hard work and dedication it takes to be successful on the homestead. Men and women who live on a homestead will often have some of the most banged up, bruised, used, abused, and callused hands you will ever encounter. Shake a farmer’s hand and not only will it feel as rough as sandpaper, but you will also experience a firmness seldom found anywhere else in the world. Their hands get that way from doing all the chores around the homestead on a daily basis; milking cows, tending to the garden, riding horses, fixing fences, etc.
Multi-tasking Projects Simultaneously
Homesteaders seldom have one project going at a time. In fact, most homesteaders will agree that they have several projects going all at once, and they know the status of each project. There is nothing wrong with this; however, homesteaders tend to finish their projects on time because they place them on a schedule, and the schedule never gets ignored, or allowed to atrophy.
Believe it or not, there are people among us who firmly believe that ALL food comes directly from the grocery store. They have absolutely no idea how the industrial food chain works, or the potential hazards involved; all they know is that when they run out of something, it is found at the nearest store. They do not understand that homegrown food not only tastes better, but it is better for you. Homegrown food is food you plant, fertilize, feed, grow, and harvest yourself. Grocery store food is grown by people you’ve never met. They fertilize it, spray it with harmful herbicides and pesticides, harvest it, and ship it to the processing center where it is contaminated with additional preservatives and chemicals before being shipped to a store near you. Growing your own food can also improve your overall health as well.
Most people living urban/suburban lifestyles participate in the “comparison craze,” as I like to call it. While most city folks try to keep up with their neighbors by comparison, homesteaders couldn’t care less what new toy their neighbors have purchased. In many cases homesteaders will share equipment, or establish community work programs to help each other out, rather than everybody on the block buying a five-figure tractor just to till the back forty. They do not try to make their neighbors try to feel inferior through their personal purchasing efforts.
Appreciation for Firsts
Homesteaders experience a thrill unlike anything their city friends have ever felt when something happens on the homestead for the first time; collecting that first egg from the chickens just purchased the day before, seeing the first sings of produce on vegetable plants, plucking that first ripe tomato off the vine, milking that first cow, etc. These are experiences that will recur frequently throughout the life of a homesteader, maybe not with as much fanfare as the first time it happened, but it will always be an enjoyable experience worthy of appreciation.
DIY Designs & Developments
Homesteaders normally purchase something only after they have made every assurance it isn’t something they can build, or do themselves, and this applies to all aspect of life on the farm. It might be easier to run down the road and grab a loaf of bread off the grocery store shelf, but the homesteader will make bread from scratch first, before ever considering the option of buying the bread in a bag. This increases their personal skill level, as well as ingrains sustainability into the process, which gives them the confidence required to continue doing it for themselves instead of buying it from a local supplier.
It is not uncommon to see homesteaders doing things city folks don’t do even though they are conducting the same type of chores. Dishes are normally washed by hand on a homestead, rather than in an energy draining dishwasher; saves money on appliances, repair and replacement of appliances, and reduces the energy bill, while helping keep the homesteader in better physical shape than their city friends. Homesteaders might also wash clothes the old fashioned way, by hand in a tub with scrub board. Even if they have a conventional washing machine, they often prefer to hang clothes outside on a line to dry.
Living in the Sticks
Homesteaders actually prefer living in the sticks. City folks may see this as being anti-social; however, that is far from the truth. Scientific studies support the idea that living in nature improves overall health and helps maintain circadian rhythm. There is more peace and quiet in the country than there is in any urban/suburban setting, which is another reason homesteaders don’t mind living “way out in the sticks.”
Homesteading is Therapeutic
There are stressful situations to deal with on a homestead, but none of them are the by-product of working for someone else, nor are they a side effect of living in the city. Manual labor, which there is plenty of on a homestead, keeps your body in shape and your mind focused on the task at hand. Finishing a chore or project provides the feeling of self-respect and pride, which are sorely lacking in urban/suburban living and working conditions. Homesteaders seldom have time to focus on the problems associated with modern society; they have fewer social media profiles, fewer interactions with the nightly news, fewer interruptions throughout their day, etc.
Less Reliance on Technology
Most homesteaders do not have cell phones. They continue to have landline phones at the home, but refrain from contracted cellular devices, as they view them as unnecessary and unwelcome obstructions to their way of life. When they do have them, they treat them like an emergency fund; available for use when needed, but not something to rely on. If you have homesteading friends with cell phones, and they seldom answer when you call them, it isn’t because they are ignoring you, it’s because they are working on the homestead and don’t have their phone with them.