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…..
Well all u r telling people not to have to many chickens not to have a cow or goat to waste milk down drain and u r surposed to be self sufficient I don’t think so some how people like that don’t go tell others to go to the super market to get milk
Barry, I think you missed what Julie’s post was about. She was saying that is the mindset of those telling homesteaders to stop. She was meaning that they don’t understand what homesteaders think and do. She very much does all of those things as you can see in the pictures. Reread the article and think about what she says in the end! Thanks for coming by! I apologize if you misunderstood her post.
Barry – I am so sorry I misled you on this post. It was meant as more of a ‘tongue-in-cheek’ response to the reaction I get when I tell people we are homesteaders. I have had all of these STOP issues directed to our chosen lifestyle. Like you, I would rather inform those who don’t understand, and help them see the value in what we do. I can honestly tell you that I have had more chickens than I could count, have three large gardens, and cannot wait until our Jersey is ready to milk. We raise our own beef and process most of our own food. To me, the homesteading lifestyle is becoming more and more important to society, and I would love to see more folks adhering to the benefits of such a way of life. Again, please forgive me for misleading you. If you still have questions, please feel free to contact me!
Julie and Annie…I think many of us have heard these sentiments at different times. You bring it down to the truth in the last bit. Made me tear up because we truly are content and happy, and those who are like us get this post completely. Thank you for sharing this!
So glad Jennifer! Thanks for the support!
Why stop? We should say stop to those that tell you to stop. Chances are that if you are homesteading you are doing it out of respect for the limited resources and it’s for sure with that in mind.. so I think as long as the mindset is right then just keep going 😉
Absolutely! I think homesteaders are misunderstood! We are constantly told to slow down, don’t take on too much, or take a break! We as homesteaders don’t know the word stop. We are determined, dedicated and busy people! And you are right, mindset is everything.
Homesteading chores never end, and we do have a tendency to take on more and more.
But we do it because we believe it’ll be good for us somehow. For our characters, better food, the end reward.
We aren’t good at STOP.
But there are times when we should use that word, for our own sanity, for the sake of our children, and so that we can stop and smell the roses.
Balance is everything!
I couldn’t agree with you more. Homesteaders seem to have more determination than most and “stop” seems to get lost along the way.
Thank you, Jennifer. It is so nice to have folks out there who understand our lifestyle!