Five Things You Should Be Doing On Your Homestead Right Now
On this week’s podcast episode, I had the privilege of interviewing Amy Dingmann from the A Farmish Kind of Life blog and podcast. In the interview, we talked about the temptation as content creators to put out episodes or blog posts or newsletters that say,
“The 5 things you should be doing on your homestead right now……” or something to that effect. We have to constantly remind ourselves that because homesteads are so different, it is difficult to speak in broad terms like that. The 5 things that Brian should be doing on 3B Farm and Homestead in beautiful upstate NY are different than what Amy should be doing in (I assume) beautiful middle-of-no-where Minnesota which are different than what Jenna should be doing in California which are different than what Barb should be doing in southern Indiana.
In part, that’s because all of our climates are different. Probably Amy and I have the most similar growing seasons. But, if Jenna tries to start tomatoes when I start them, she’ll have missed the boat. And if I try to start them when she should start them, well, I’ll need a pretty good sized greenhouse or high tunnel to support them.
But, it’s not just climate or growing season that makes a homestead unique. Each one of us are on different stages of our journey. Some of you are just getting started. To tell you that you need to raise 100 meat birds this year because food prices are through the roof when you may never have cared for an animal other than the pet gerbil you had as a child, that just sets you up for failure. We must crawl before we walk, walk before we run, and run before we sprint. However, some of you have been doing this for a very long time. To suggest to you that you should raise 25 meat birds, when you’ve been raising them in batches of 100 would be insulting. Where we are at on our journey is just as important as where were are located geographically in determining what our next right step should be.
Beyond that, each homestead is unique because each homesteader is unique. What interests you, may not interest me. What you like to eat, may not be what I like to eat. Invariably this time of the year, the Facebook groups are filled with people asking, “What should I grow in my garden?” The best answer to that question is simply, “Grow what you like to eat!” And I would really extrapolate that to homesteading in general. Do what you like to do. Raise what you like to raise. Homestead how you want to homestead.
That’s why I don’t farm like Joel Salatin, Justin Rhodes, or Amy Dingmann. Or anyone else. That’s nothing against them. I’m just not them! I homestead like Brian Wells. It ain’t always pretty. It certainly isn’t well planned. Nor is it well organized. But, it’s who I am.
And so when you invariably see those posts of the five things you should be doing right now, the 10 vegetables you should be growing, and the 17 chicken breeds you should be raising, take it all with a grain of salt. Draw inspiration from others, but avoid the imitation. Figure out the 5 things, the 3 things or the one thing that YOU should be doing. And do it to the best of your ability. Don’t get hung up on the 5 things someone else should be doing. Not your circus. Not your monkey.
Until next week, keep up the good work!!