Chickadee Homestead is a new adventure for our family. And you get to see it all from the very beginning. We moved in just after Christmas of 2013 and have some big plans for this first year on the Homestead. We’re focusing on natural and organic farming practices and we’re working toward a long-term goal of raising and growing 80% of our own food, as well as making the majority of our own home and personal care products. Soap making anyone?! I’ll be writing about it all along the way as a creative outlet (my friends and family are probably tired of me talking their ears of about it!), and it’s also my sincere hope to inspire others who many be on a path to a more self-reliant and natural lifestyle.
On our first day here in our new home, the very first birds we saw were Carolina Chickadees. It was like they were welcoming us home. Plus, according to a little googling, chickadees are apparently symbolic of cheerfulness, boldness and being true to one’s self. And for me that really embodies the spirit of our new homestead. We’re being bold and true to ourselves in carving out the life we want for ourselves and our kids, and we are oh so cheerful about it!
Why homestead in the first place?
This is a big question and there are so many answers to it. The three biggies for our family are these :
When you walk into a grocery store, not only is hardly any thing there actually “food”, what is food is usually laden with pesticides, herbicides, hormones, antibiotics, been genetically modified or fed gmo’s, most animal products are from animals raised in horrifying conditions, and it’s all most likely been carted to the store from thousands of miles away. We want to take back control of our food to ensure that our kids are being fed truly nourishing food and that they have deep appreciation for where their food comes from.
This is a big one for most homesteaders, and we’re no different. While we understand that we can’t be completely self sufficient (nor would we want to be! cultivating a community is important to us), being prepared for emergencies is a big reason for all our crazy plans. All kinds of things could impact our food supply. Both natural and economic disasters can disrupt the ability of our broken agricultural system to get food into the stores. If we can produce most of our own food and support local farmers to provide us the rest, we’re much better off if anything crazy happens. Like my husband jokes, “If the zombie apocalypse happens, we want to be ready for it!”.
Teaching the Kids Work Ethic
So many skills have been lost over the industrialization of agriculture. We want to relearn these skills ourselves and teach them to our children. We also feel like there is something really unique about this lifestyle that instills good work ethic, something else we feel has been lost by many. Our generation has a real problem with this, and we want to teach our kids how to work hard and take personal responsibility. We live in a world where convenience is king and work is, well it’s inconvenient. “Why would you raise your own chickens? You know you can just go buy eggs at the store, right?”. The problem is that work is just a principle of life, and culture can’t take that away – though it’s trying it’s hardest. So we feel it’s vital to teach our kids this principle so they can be happy and fulfilled adults.