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One of the biggest frustrations for me is seeing the mistakes homesteaders make when they are getting started on their journey.
Addressing those mistakes and finding a solution can make your homesteading journey more pleasurable and rewarding.
Below are the common mistakes I see and some simple fixes.
Mistakes Homesteaders Make
Mistake # 1: Not Planning
Most people just jump right in. They have an idea in their mind and they run with it.
While being spontaneous can be great in other aspects of life, it doesn’t work with homesteading.
Homesteading requires planning, knowing what you want to accomplish and what you need to do to reach your goal.
Sit down, take some time and write out your plans. Be realistic in what you can accomplish.
Having a written plan of action is crucial to a successful homestead.
If you need more detailed help you can read how I plan my homestead year for some inspiration.
Mistake # 2: Being Unrealistic
Everyone knows their limitations. Often times I see new homesteaders trying to take on the world.
Think about your goals. Are they realistic?
Setting a goal to build a chicken coop is an attainable goal. It is something you can accomplish.
But setting goals and plans that are unrealistic are only setting you up for failure.
When I started homesteading I wanted to do everything. I was clearing trees, building pens, erecting fences.
You know what, I became overwhelmed, burned out, and almost gave up.
The problem was not what I had planned, but the time frame I allowed to get those projects done.
I had to break those goals down into smaller, bite-sized pieces.
Be realistic about how much you can accomplish, and in what time frame.
Mistake # 3: Not Expecting the Unexpected
I’ll admit, this is all me and one of the biggest mistakes homesteaders make.
I had a great plan, I thought it all through, I was golden! NOT!
I didn’t think about the coyotes that seemed to smell my chickens a mile away.
I didn’t take into consideration that my parents, now in their 80’s, would require a lot more of my attention and care.
And I didn’t think or plan for the tropical storm that dropped a 28-foot tree on my tool shed.
The point is that things happen that are out of our control, we can’t change that.
You have to allow for the unexpected. Then when it happens, you change and adapt to the situation.
My chickens are no longer free range and my new shed is not within tree falling distance.
Mistake # 4: Growing the Wrong Food
Most homesteaders in one way or another grow some if not most of their own food.
I am one of those people. I have vegetable gardens, herb gardens, fruit trees and berry patches.
But if you walk through my gardens, everything you see growing I eat.
It’s great to just fill up a garden with plants and seeds to see what grows but the truth is if you don’t eat it, then why grow it?
I grow tomatoes because even though I don’t eat them, I do make sauce and salsa.
Growing food you won’t consume is a waste of food and a waste of garden space.
Mistake # 5: Not Developing the Right Skills
No matter how big or small your homestead is there are skills you need to learn.
Skills like canning or preserving food can be useful. Gardening skills can also be beneficial.
Learning some new skills in the areas that pertain to you will allow for a smoother life in the long run.
You can watch videos, read blog posts, or even take classes to acquire the skills you wish to learn.
For some ideas of some basic skills you may need, read 5 Skills You Should Learn.
Using This Knowledge
Now you are empowered because you can avoid making the mistakes homesteaders make.
You can make better decisions, plan better, and allow for unexpected changes in your journey toward homesteading the way you choose.
With a little planning, a lot of hard work, and a flexible mindset, we can all reach our goals and pursue our dreams!