Homesteaders, for the most part, are smart folks. They know where they are headed in life, and how to get there. They can calculate the yield of five tomato plants, and they have 1,000 ways to preserve the harvest in their kitchen armory. If they don’t know something, they ask. They listen to advice. They try, and try, and then try again until it works. But there are just some things that, if faced with, will fuse a homesteader’s feet to the ground like sticky fly paper. That ‘deer in the headlights’ look has nothing on these faces. And all it takes is for you to tell them…..stop!
It’s Time to STOP!
STOP! – Do not buy more than one tomato plant.
Tomatoes take a lot of time to grow. They need food, water, nutrients. They need to be staked, suckered, and loved. One is plenty for any person. After all, what are you going to do with 15 bushels of tomatoes? You just need to quit – no more seeds. No more peppers. No more cucumbers, radishes, lettuce, onions, garlic, beans or peas. One plant is more than enough for anyone.
STOP! – Folks, you really don’t need more than two chickens.
Remember the old adage – ‘two’s company, three’s a crowd’. Allow your chickens to bond with each other, not get lost in a large flock. Remember, with a large flock you have additional chores – cleaning the coop, gathering all those eggs, and adding hay to nest boxes. And then there is all that feed. Think of the expense!
STOP! – You really don’t need to read a fourth book on the same subject.
Just go to the library, read a paragraph or two in one book, and you will have all the information you need. Too much information will just confuse you and give you more questions than answers. Why waste all that brain matter with useless opinions?
STOP! – Why in the world are you getting milk cows (goats)?
Do you really need all that milk? No. You don’t. A little bit of calcium can go a long way. Just grab a gallon at the store. If you don’t finish it, just pour it down the drain. A little bit of waste never hurt anybody. And if you don’t milk daily, then you can free up some space in your kitchen by tossing out all that cheese making equipment.
STOP! – Why are you wasting all your time and effort growing your own food?
There is a perfectly good selection down the road at the grocery store. And if you don’t like broccoli, don’t worry. In a grocery store, everything tastes the same – like cardboard. So just think about it – you can quit growing your own food, and you will never have a problem with your kids eating their vegetables.
STOP! – Don’t spend all your time doing chores.
Instead of working like a dog weeding the garden, cleaning the chicken coop, milking the cow, tossing hay bales, just stop. Life is short. Spend your time more productively. Instead of making a batch of natural hand lotion, your hands would be plenty soft if you just sat on the couch eating Bonbons. You wouldn’t need to know which sunscreen is best – your complexion would remain that peaches and cream color and texture that most women strive to achieve.
My final thoughts…
Unfortunately for homesteaders, we have no clue what Stop! means. And you can just call us a potato chip because we are literally unable to stop at just one – whether that is a tomato plant, chickens, or milk. We will continue to grow our own food, can and process the excess – we don’t understand the concept of ‘waste’. And we don’t call them ‘chores’, they are labors of love. We prefer real food to a conglomeration of chemicals. We just happen to get excited to see a neat row of freshly made body products on our kitchen counters. And if you want to see a homesteader go ballistic, just try touching their cheese making equipment. Throw them out, and you may not make it as far as the gate. (We know where the quicksand is on our properties – just think about that for a minute…).
Before you tell a homesteader to STOP!, try taking a good look at them instead. No, look past the sweat. Look past the streak of dirt on their foreheads and that greenish brown stuff on their boots. Look deep into their eyes. What you will see is a joy and contentment that reaches far beyond the surface and all the way into their souls. Homesteading is the very heart of their lives. And unless you are warning them about a snake in the vicinity, STOP! just isn’t in their vocabulary.
Except for mine. I have to stop writing now. I just heard there is a new shipment of chicks down at the feed store, and I need to pick up another dozen. Or twenty. Or forty…..