Following your Dreams, Living off Grid, and Building a Sustainable Homestead

If money and time were not concerns, what would you do with your life? This is an important question. Of course money and time will always be problems - but acting as if they weren't will help you identify what you really want in life.

Think about it. Why are you here? What do you want? What's holding you back. The truth is - nothing that happens here ultimately matters. Well, it matters, but not in the way we imagine. On your death bed, are you going to stew about the money you've lost or the "things" you'll leave behind? No! Go out and live your life. Here's a quote I think says it best:

I've asked myself what I want out of this life. Health and food quality has always been super important to me. After some introspection,  I realized I want to try and grow all my own food, and I want to live sustainably. So just a few days ago, we bought a farm. Can I afford it? Hell no. Am I doing it anyway? You bet I am.

This is the land I bought:
It's raw land. 40 acres of trees, scrub grass, tilled dirt, swamp, and a lake. We own all the way back past the lake to the north - the lake is all ours. It's loaded with wild rice, fish, and waterfowl.

These guys live in the trees:

Those are actual shots from the property. Of course, that's not all. There are also deer, coyotes, ground hogs, and bears. We will eventually hunt the deer (and maybe the bears) but those animals are going to make it interesting to grow fruit trees and a garden. Some of them will be scary for my chickens and children!

Thank God for the 2nd Amendment!

How is it going to work? We are going to continue living in the suburbs and head out to the land each weekend. We are going to plant trees, move dirt, layout trails and plan for the future. This way, our kids get to stay in their schools (parents - it's brutal to move your kids during middle/high school. They have enough stress!,) my husband still has a reasonable commute to work, and we have something to look forward to when we become empty-nesters.

How many of you are "planning for retirement" but with no plans on what you'll do with all the free time? Because I've been a stay-at-home parent for almost 13 years, I've had time to think about it. I've basically been retired for the last few years. I've come up with all sorts of hobbies, volunteer, and come up with ways to keep myself busy, but I knew that when my kids moved out, I would have too much time and not enough interest. So this is part of the plan. This way, my husband and I will have goals beyond our children and our children will have a fun place to come home to (and eventually bring their kids!)

In the future, we will have so many fruit/nut trees. We will have chickens and maybe cows/pigs. We will have lots of work and lots of fun to do at our homestead.

The fun has already begun. Check out how beautiful this lake is:

Next fall, we'll be processing wild rice for the first time! And maybe I'll cook my first duck!

I've already started buying and planting shrubs (so many berries!!!) and have already lined up fruit trees for next spring. I'm on the hunt for a good deal on bee boxes - so I can start my hives.
End of the season plant clearance sales are the bomb!

And who wants to trek across all that land without some power....

My children have always been "city kids" and have never had the freedom to ride and explore the world. Well, we explore the suburban trails and park systems (and they rock!) but it's just not the same. Plus this bad boy is going to help me plant a lot of trees!

Starting a homestead is a scary and expensive process. But it's also super exciting.

Over the next decade - we will be building a hunting lodge, siting out a house, digging wells, planning for solar, sustainable septic (perhaps a methane producing digester?) planting berries and trees, restoring part of our land to natural wildlife prairie, and learning to tend beehives and process honey and wild rice. We have a lot of big maples to plant so we can continue tapping for maple syrup. We have a lot of equipment to buy too - four wheelers/atvs, bobcats, generators, nail guns, jacks, trailers, hitches....that list goes on and on!

It's going to be an adventure - and that's one of the big purposes in life! Have that adventure! And do a little good along the way.


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Thank you for your comments! I appreciate all your tips, advice, and well wishes!


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