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Become More Self-Reliant – Start Here

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For the majority of the American population, these terms probably conjure images of '60's hippies, rugged mountain men or perhaps Little House on the Prairie. For me, it's all about simply taking more personal responsibility and control of caring for my family. I am tired of big corporations and big government dictating my health and food choices. I believe we need, as a country, as communities and as individuals to develop our own resources, not be dependent on some foreign power that may pull the plug at any time.

Become More Self-Reliant - Start Here @ Common Sense Home

Self- sufficient – Self-reliant – Homesteading

When you can provide for yourself, and become more self-reliant, even in a small way, it gives you a feeling of empowerment, which often transfers to the rest of your life. You don't have to rely on experts to make your decisions for you. You can help your body to heal. We're here to help. Through this website, through our Facebook community, and through our network of resources that we're continuing to build, we'll help you get the information you need.

Small Steps Lead to Big Changes, Personal Growth

Ben Franklin made up a list of 13 virtues that he aspired to, and worked on one each day, until they became habit. The Japanese concept of “kaizen” translates to “continuous improvement”. It involves taking small steps, every day, to make a process better. Take these time tested approaches and use them to change your world.

Make a List of Changes You Would Like to Make, Things You Would Like to Do, Skills You Would Like to Learn

Pick one thing off the list – start there. Don't go for “all or nothing” – that usually winds up being “nothing”. Don't put off starting until this or that happens – there will always be a reason not to get started. Don't think you can't be a homesteader or more self-reliant because you live in the city – urban homesteading options are growing by leaps and bounds.

For instance, if you wanted to improve the quality of food your family eats, you might start with replacing a single prepackaged food item with a homemade version of that item. Continue until most things you eat are homemade or better quality pre-made. Eat out less (or not at all). Source your ingredients closer to home, either via CSA, farmer's market or growing your own. Add more veggies to your family' meals. Ditch the highly processed snack foods. Buy in bulk and learn how to store foods. Experiment with fermenting. Try sprouting. – As you can see, there are many steps you can take, you just need to choose what's right for you and try it.

I asked our facebook community what they would tell someone new to homesteading/preparing/growing your own food, and here are some highlights from what they shared:

Sarah – “One day at a time. Do lots of reading. And don't be afraid to fail or laugh at yourself. It's a life-long process, not something that happens overnight.”

Kari – “Know you will make mistakes… but we all do. If you keep good records, you can learn from them… and not repeat them ;0}… take the time to know your land… where you spend the most time… what you want to see from your window… Know what your neighbors are growing… grow something complimentary so you can trade/barter… while you're at it, find out what their skills are… what tools they are willing to share…”

April – “Start small and don't get overwhelmed! Slowly replace the things you buy with alternatives/homemade.”

Deanna – “Stock up a few things at a time, work on a small garden patch and grow it larger each year, learn to cook/bake as much from scratch as you can…start with a favorite food or snack and learn to make it yourself. There is an LDS preparedness manual readily available online you can glean information from on how to properly store foods, supplies, etc. As well as their monthly ‘to buy/stock' list. It's a nice guideline to give some direction.”

Michelle – “I have to tell new gardeners all the time not to get discouraged. It takes time to build up your soil, and some experimentation to discover what works best where you live. So the advice I would give is “never give up”.”

Kelly – “Soil test with a reputable outfit that gives you precise steps for making your soil better. This can help eliminate the frustrating first couple of years, especially if you have poor soil.”

Cynthea – “Go look for the people in your community who have been growing food successfully and grow the plants you like that they do. Get tips from them. Possibly do internship and/or work for food. This is also good deal if you have no land of your own.

Tracee – “Don't forget to use the free resources of your cooperative extension and public library. If you want something they don't have, ASK!”

Joshua – “Seed swaps are coming up and are free usually even without seeds to trade. Or even better check out the heirloom seed deals on ebay.”

Allison – “Growing: try sprouting first, especially if you have limited growing space or cold weather. Preparing: join a CSA , and do a workshare if they offer it to lower the cost. Better yet, find an internship at a farm doing what you want to do.”

Elizabeth – “Grow what you like to eat and add an experiment crop or two a year. Start small enough to manage and big enough to enjoy. And, don't stress over a few weeds.”

Crystal – “I think keeping sustainability in mind is one of the hard things at first. Don't go out and buy organic fertilizer from WalMart – think local gardening center and getting a truckload of compost to start your beds. Then start a simple compost heap. Read, Read, Read. I think organic gardening is definitely the first area to explore. But one thing about that is that you have to really put in a lot of back work the first year in most areas to have immediate success, which I think is important for most people to want to continue growing. Double digging and intensive beds seem to be the most sustainable gardening method for people like me who have rocky and clay soil with little organic matter. They also really come in handy interplanting in the summer when bugs would normally bother the area. A simple seed starting setup can be made using a plastic shelving unit and fluoro lights for starting seeds for about $30. It will make the process a much cheaper one in the long run… transplants get expensive. Then when you begin to harvest start thinking about canning. If you have the time, finding a harvest festival in the area to attend in the fall is very helpful.

Sue – “Learn how to do ferments (kraut,kefir, veggies) and practice on those. Any fermenting mistakes you make can be poured on your plants. Buy heirloom seeds from a reputable company. Plan, plan, plan, during the long winter nights and keep your garden dreams close to your heart. ♥”

Kathleen – “Slowly start buying what is needed as you can afford it. Do not try to buy or do everything at once, You will get overwhelmed and burn out really fast.”

Tami – “Think outside the box. You don't need to buy new everything. Look for what you need year around. Canning jars, lids, items for garden, seeds,etc. Let others know your plans and enlist their help when they go to garage sales, second hand stores, craigslist, freecycle and the like. Extended family is great! Once I shared our plans to start canning they cleaned out their basements of the jars they didn't use anymore.”

My Healthy Green Family – “Trading can work too. Seed trades etc. I have traded chickens for goats and so on. It doesn't have to be expensive. We found one of our chicken coops free on craigslist, as well as a small greenhouse, tiles for the barn floor, windows and a door for a chicken coop….”

My Healthy Green Family – “As others have said, one thing at a time, maybe one year a time. Example, start with a small garden and take good care of it. Increase it the next year. The next year add chickens. The next year add goats, the next year add bees and so on until you are at your comfort zone (or max!). Don't jump into it all at once or you'll be so overwhelmed you won't be able to do any of it.”

CJ – “Look at your hobbies. If you hunt, work to be better at it, same with fishing. Buy the best gear you can afford and do the hobby as much as you can. Someday soon, you will have to feed your “tribe” with what you can kill/catch….”

Rosalyn – “My biggest mistake was getting started before I had my farmette plan laid out. I should have spent a full year here before building any sheds or placing any fencing. Then I would have known more about where I spend the most time, where my wet spots are, how the pasture looks in each season etc.”

Crosstown Farms – “START. Then be willing to change and adapt. READ everything & Question everyone! If something doesn't work try it again somewhere else, or a different way/variety. Remember a setback is not a failure it is an opportunity to LEARN!”

Start Today – Become More Self-Reliant – Change The Rest of Your Life

I know it sounds like a terrible cliche, but it's true. You can't accomplish anything if you don't get started. I've been on this path for years, and I still feel at times that I've barely scratched the surface. I hope you'll join me and my family on our homesteading journey, and share your stories and ideas as you make your own path to greater self-reliance.

Ready to get going? Check out the rest of our “Getting Started Homesteading” series. We cover everything from bees, worms and chickens to grain mills, food storage and gardening.

There are also a lot of good book reviews on the Homestead Library page.

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65 Comments

  1. What an AWESOME post…so many things I knew…but so many new things I’ve learned just through this post.

    Thank you for sharing.

  2. A very good post. I find with building a chicken coop, the first thing you must do as you build a chicken house is take the time to plan the entire coop before you build. Many people make the mistake of building too early and then find out they have built too small because of all the additional pieces that have to go inside.

  3. Hi. I love this post. It does me so much good to hear from Americans doing this sort of thing…The foreign power that seems like a threat for us is America or at least American corporations, so it’s always good to know that there is a great network of ‘grassroots’ people trying to live in sustainable ways.

  4. I try to keep my main goal as producing experience. That way, if I kill a plant, it is as valuable as if I got fruit from it. More valuable, if I learned what not to do again. 🙂 I set long term “visions” such as produce all our own veggies in five years, rather than specific goals. That lets me include a lot of things, like noticing what’s in the farmers market as progress.

  5. Hi,
    We thought you would like to know that after a lot of web surfing we stumbled upon your website and are happy we did. Recently I decided that my family needed a change in how we eat and what we eat. So, over last month no processed, artificial, high fructose corn syrup…. you get the idea, for my family. My 11 year old daughter made her first from scratch chocolate cake mostly by herself and is so proud and happy. She’s having a big sleepover in a week and found your Brownie recipe and let me know she’s making it for her friends. (as well as saved 5 other recipes for us to try) Thank you for impacting not just me but my kids as well.

  6. I am very new ( 3 weeks old) on my path to change the way my family eats. I have been cooking everything from scratch with fresh ingredients and no preservatives, high fructose corn syrup,…. I have to admit that it is the most challenging thing I have ever undertaken. I live in the city so a vegetable garden is right now out of the realm of possibilities. My question is: is there a support group or an online community I could belong to that would keep my resolve from slacking? Thank you.

  7. Thank you everyone for sharing. I grew up working a garden, and canning with my parents, but there are many skills I don’t have though. Sharing information & meeting up with neighbors that garden is a wonderful concept that has been lost over time. I never even heard of interning on a farm, and I don’t know what CSA is, but I intend to find out:) My family is trying to move to the country so we can become more self reliant. And I want my kids to learn the art of feeding your family by your own means. Someday that may keep their families from starving. I need help:) It can be overwhelming to plan everything. I love the country & I miss it. But with people like you, that are willing to share your knowledge and tips, it makes it do-able for the rest of us. We do need to be less reliant on big brother and learn to take care of our own. Blessings to each of you for giving of yourselves to help others.

    1. CSA = Community Supported Agriculture. You buy a share of the harvest from a local farmer/market gardener at the beginning of the season to help cover up front costs, and then get produce (and sometimes other items) delivered throughout the season.

      Try not to get overwhelmed – just do what you can, where you are. Over time, the changes add up.

      Welcome to “the family”.

  8. Getting everyone in the family on board is important also. I often hear from the wife (mother) of the house asking how she can get her husband to understand the necessity of self-sufficiency. The best answer is not to force the issue. As CSH stated take small steps, those around you will get accustomed to the changes you are making and realize it is for their betterment as well. .

  9. I too stumbled unto this web site and am very glad I did. I am making plans (slowly) to move back to a climate more agreeable to me. I’m from Michigan and am living in Florida. I plan to buy some property back home (northern Michigan ) where I can hunt,fish and grow all my own crops. I plan to work down here for a couple of years but wish to start by buying property. Suggestions on land purchase?

    1. The U.P.? You have any friends or family in the area who could help you look? Land is expensive here compared to what it used to be, but houses are abundant. Generally folks who live in the area in question, especially old timers, can offer some of the best advice. I have learned a lot about our area since become closer friends with our elderly neighbors.

      1. Thanks for the quick reply. I don’t know anyone in the UP anymore. I have always loved the area,however because of the feeling of wilderness almost anywhere you look. I am from just south of the bridge in the lower peninsula.
        I know that gardening would be difficult at best but the area really appeals to me. I can improve the soil but I can’t do much about the weather .
        Any suggestions as to where I might buy cheaper land preferably east of the Mississippi .
        I am at the very first stages of a self reliant lifestyle and looking forward to diving in!!

  10. I think I would like n. e. Wisconsin as well. I spent several days in Spread Eagle yrs. ago as my car broke down. That was back about 1975 I think. I don’t imagine the area has changed too much. Please tell me more about your area when you have time. Or anyone else have any ideas ?

    Thanks so much,

    1. Spread Eagle and the area way up north around US 2 is pretty quiet, although that may change if they get mining going again. We drove through there this summer and many of the small towns looked like they were about ready to dry up and blow away. This crappy economy has been hard on everyone. We’re in Kewaunee county, east of Green Bay – more cows than people here. The county board had been taking cues from Washington DC and spending money we don’t have, driving taxes sky high. Other than that, though, it’s a beautiful area. Of course, I’m partial to Wisconsin, having been born and raised here. Land prices are cheaper up north, away from the bigger population areas, but there are few jobs and a shorter growing season.

  11. Thanks again,

    I have been looking at property in the UP . I’ve found several parcels which appeal to me. It appears to be a little over $1,000 per acre . For example; 11 acres with a nice stream running through it for about $16,000. Does that compare with your area ? It is near Marquette and beautiful as it has a view of Lake Superior from one of the larger hills on the property.

    I am homesick I guess!

  12. Wow @ those prices I would have to grow my own “everything”. No offense meant as I’m sure it is beautiful land and I’m sure produces more than the U.P. ever thought of. I have spoken to a few nurserymen in the U.P. and they have some interesting growing ideas using aquaculture and something called hoops. Anyway, I will probably look at some properties this winter or spring. I also will hunt and fish and therefore I will save lots of money there. I am so excited to start learning how to be more self-reliant. I wish I had not waited until retirement to get into this. I am 60 yrs. old.

    I really love your web site and look forward to learning.

    Cheers,Jerry

    1. The land prices have gotten so high it’s driving some farmers out of business. Even rental costs are sky high. We were lucky to find this parcel at the price we did when we did – now we just need to find my husband a local job again. Thought we had everything settled when we built the dream home, as he had been with the same business for nearly 16 years. Then he was “reorganized” out of his job. Life is never simple. Maybe I can solve our financial situation by getting “discovered” and getting our own reality series like Duck Dynasty. 😉

  13. I hope you do get “discovered ” ! It would be a wonderful show with different guest farmers or… every week,wow.

    Have you looked at solar hydroponics with both fish and plants. Really unique I would say. Anyway, thanks for the info. I will continue to look for the “perfect” property.

    1. They’ve got an aquaponics system down at Growing Power in Milwaukee that I’d like to visit but haven’t been able to make time for yet. Fish and plants year round in big greenhouses. I think a person could live two lifetimes and still not have enough time to get everything done.

      I was thinking for a show we could have people who’d like to learn about homesteading come to the area and spend some time with different farmers each week – sort of a homesteading crash course. We’re a very agricultural area. There are big conventional dairy farms, smaller organic dairy farms, organic CSAs, a winery, an alpaca farm and much more, all within a half hour drive of my place. Of course, we do an assortment of things here, too.

  14. That’s what I meant “aquaponics “. You know you might be on to something with the crash course idea. You could line up all kinds of people ie; blacksmiths,farriers,cabin builders, economics of homesteading, hunting, etc. What a great week ? that would be. Count me in!

    All it takes is an idea……

  15. Laurie, I might have just found “MY” property near Iron mtn. It is a beautiful area that I am familiar with. I’m considering an offer on 25 acres at the base of a very large hill. It has a pond on it and also has lake frontage. Over 20 acres consists of forest with 2 inches of soil on top of rock. Less than ideal for growing anything but there is a few acres (5-7) down near the lake where the soil is much deeper and richer. They are asking $18,900 so isn’t too bad I wouldn’t think. The electric is at the road . Taxes are $150.00 per year. There is an old copper mine on the property as well .

    I am going to fly up to take a look next week and who knows……….

    Cheers,Jerry

    1. Hey- that’s a beautiful area! Cold, but beautiful, and very affordable. Jobs up there are scarce right now, so you should know that going in, but it’s peaceful and the layout sure sounds nice.

  16. Can’t wait to get up there even with the snow. After living in Fl. it will be refreshing I’m sure. I won’t have to worry about the job market as I will be retired in a year or so. I’m going to try to buy something soon and take a year or two to pay off the property as well as other debts. I want to go into retirement debt free if possible.

    I hope this isn’t just a pipe dream!

    always good to hear from you. I look forward to your ” seminars ” or classes or whatever…..

    Cheers, Jerry

  17. WOW…….I just got back from the U.P. I mean WOW…..Is it cold. I stayed with a friend and did not want to leave the house. We sat around the woodstove a lot. I did look at the property and though it was not represented well I still will consider it.

    WOW…………………….Back in Florida.

    1. LOL – that must have been a shock to the system compared to Florida. There’s a reason the land is cheap! It has been running colder than average this winter, too. We no snow cover, the ground will be freezing deep. Hope you had a good holiday weekend. Stay warm!

  18. I came across a video called ‘Back to Eden Gardening’ by a man in western Washington. He uses thick layers of chipped wood mulch and plants directly in it with amazing results. There are several other experimental locations, one in Texas and one in Penn. that have used the same technique. Its best when there is virtually no soil to grow in, but worked really well in the Penn plot. I am currently in Utah with poor soil so this spring I am going to try that and compare it with the normal gardening procedure for around here.

    1. I’ve seen that film, and it’s very interesting. I’ve personally been using more mulch and ground cover, but it’s tough to come by the sheer volume of chippings that his method calls for.

  19. Laurie, It has been awhile. I did not buy the property in the U.P. but am continuing to look around. In the meantime I am going to try growing some things in Florida. I have very limited space but will try to be innovative. I’ll just grow “up” rather than traditional garden growing. Still a bit hard to get used to planting tomatoes in February. I’ll let you know how things go down here.

    I can’t believe the cold weather you have had and how long it has lasted. Of course it has been bitter here too ! I had to actually put long pants on the other day !!!! Can you imagine that ? My Dad (northern Michigan ) has had very few days of above zero weather lately. I guess no January Thaw this year.

    If you have any ideas or resources you know of for growing veggies or fruit in the Tampa area I would love to hear about it.

    Hurry up spring,huh ? Cheers, Jerry

    1. Hi Jerry! I was just talking to my husband about you the other day, and your trip to Michigan to check out a potential homestead.

      We’re freezing our tails off up here. It’s getting old. I’ve barely been out the last two weeks because the winds keeping drifting my driveway closed. The heating system busted and we had to put in a new boiler, the well pump controller died and had to be replaced, the cat ate something he shouldn’t have and the vet bill was crazy – it’s been bumpy lately! On the plus side, so far we’ve been mostly healthy and haven’t run out of propane, and the pantry is well stocked so even though I haven’t been to the store in two weeks, we’re fine.

      I don’t do much with southern style gardening, but I’d highly recommend scoping out your neighborhood or local gardening clubs and tracking down people nearby who can make things grow. They are usually a gold mine of information.

      Take care,
      Laurie

  20. Great information! We are just starting on our homesteading journey and love that you have so much great information in one area! Thanks for putting it together!

  21. Laurie, I have not forgotten you or your site. I am still in Florida and the heat is coming on early. I’m flying up to northern Mi. in a few weeks to look at some properties. This time I’m going to look in the eastern part of the U.P. It is far less remote but still mostly woods. The soil is also much better in the east. I am still so excited to start living a much simpler lifestyle. I have started growing things down here even though much of it won’t actually apply in the north. I have a mango tree started along with pineapple,strawberries, grapes, tomatoes. I have been playing with containers mostly and enjoy it along with raised beds.

    Anyway, I’m planning to retire in a year or two. Hope to have nearly everything paid off by then!!!

    Cheers, Jerry

    1. Hi Jerry! (((Waving))) Good luck on finding that dream property. If you’re site-seeing at all, you might want to check out the No Nahma Resort. The little cabins aren’t much to speak of, but that have a sand beach with a shallow access to Lake Michigan that is really beautiful. It’s shallow enough that is actually warms up quite nicely in summer.

      Getting experience keeping plants alive and producing is still good experience. 🙂

  22. Laurie,

    Sorry I have not gotten back to you but I just recently (sept.) got your comments. I don’t think computers are my thing.

    I’ve harvested my first bananas the other day…. I’m also getting ready to plant my fruits for the winter ie; strawberries etc. Still hard to get used to this.

    I am still looking for a cabin in N. Michigan . So expensive to live down here !

    I will keep in touch and thank you ………….Jerry

  23. One thing I would suggest everyone learn is collecting seeds. If you collect tomato seeds and your neighbor collects melon seeds, it becomes simple–just trade! But if you can’t or don’t collect seeds of your own, you’ll end up spending more money every year. $50 per year is not out of range for a large garden, and that’s money I don’t spend by saving my own seeds.

    1. Seed saving is a great skill and can be a great budget stretcher. It should be noted that, if I’m remembering correctly, to maintain a stronger gene pool, you should grow out at least thirty (30) plants of a specific variety. This can be tough in a smaller garden, or if you want to grow multiple varieties that interbreed.

  24. Laurie, It has been awhile. Still in St. Pete and wishing I was retired and living up north again. Oh well ! I hope your Christmas was wonderful and the new year looks promising. I’m enjoying some sailing,kayaking and a bit of scuba diving on the weekends. I’ve also got quite a little garden going now. Dozens of tomatoes, strawberries, mangos, grapes and papayas. I’m still looking for a place in upper Michigan perhaps near Mackinaw bridge. I’ve been doing some oil painting and building some garden furniture in my spare time as well. I almost don’t have time to go to work during the week (what a shame that would be ). Several of us have started a community garden specifically for those that don’t have the property and /or can’t afford groceries ( who can). It has been very rewarding cuz it gets these people away from the tv and out in the fresh air.

    Thank you for a great site……Jerry

    1. Hi Jerry! I’ve been working on some “housekeeping” type items for the website, which I can’t stand, but it must get done. The bills don’t pay themselves. 😛 The holidays were pleasant and the temps were mild in December after a cold November, but it looks like winter is back with a vengeance for January. Lots of cold and snow in the forecast. If things go as planned, I should be making a big announcement in the next few weeks, but I can’t spill the beans on that yet. Glad you are out enjoying the soil and sun and sharing it with your neighbors. 🙂

  25. Ive been working toward “farm to table” over the past couple of years. I just stumbled across your page and reading your posts and information has given me a boost! I live in Door County WI within city limits so having any livestock or bees is not a possibility. We do have 8 laying hens and medium sized garden. My daughter joined 4H a couple of years ago. She will be raising our pork this year at a near by farm. We have a church family that has started a meat share on their farm. That, along with my husband providing venison and turkey will take care of our meat. We joined a local organic CSA to put up enough food to get us through the winter. The goal is to stay out of the grocery store. I wish I could find a dairy that would do a “dairy share” of sorts. If we “owned” a portion of the cow I believe it would be legal to get the milk straight from the farm. I’ve started vermiculturing (is that a word?) and composting to keep feeding nutrients back into the garden. Anyway, it’s been so incredibly rewarding. Now if only I had some land OUTSIDE the city limits… $$$. Bye for now, and thank you!

    1. We are pretty lucky in this area to have a wide range of resources available, including a number that are organic/humane. The best bet on the milk is to find a friend with a cow or goat. Unfortunately, due to legal restrictions in WI, I can’t offer detailed suggestions online, but if you have friends raising meat they may be able to offer some suggestions. It sounds like you’re making good progress. 🙂

  26. Laurie, I’m still plugging along here in Florida. I think I may end up buying a house w/5 acres in Northern Lower peninsula of Mi. (about 40 miles south of the Mackinaw bridge. This is the area I’m from. I am just about ready to put in an offer. I now need to sell my house down here. I am thinking about applying for a bus driving job at the school as there are a couple of drivers retiring this spring. I’m too young to retire yet . I would take a cut in pay but the cost of living up there is far less, plus I would enjoy the area far more than the rat race down here. This property is wonderful and is only a few miles from where I used to live. It has a few apple trees and grape vines and part of the property is fenced. It has a pole barn and a beautiful view of the river valley. It is a three bedroom 2 bath house with new steel roof and new flooring etc. I CAN HARDLY WAIT !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Cheers,Jerry

    1. Hi Jerry! The place near Mackinaw sounds really nice. That’s a really pretty area. We’ve had some family gatherings up there, and stayed in the area on vacation for our tenth wedding anniversary. I hope everything comes together for you to have the life you’re dreaming about.

      1. Hey Laurie, I just got back last week from Northern Mich. I still can’t make up my mind about a homestead. I looked at some while I was there visiting with my Dad who was in the hospital for some surgery. I am now waiting for a call from the transportation director for the school system. I am sure I will get the job just don’t know when. Looks like either Sept. (start of school) or December (end of semester). I will probably stay with my Dad for a bit until I get settled in. The weather was sure nice for the visit. After stepping out of the Tampa airport I wanted to get back on a plane and head north. My figs are almost ready to harvest and the tomatoes are done now (seems odd huh ? ) Oh by the way you mentioned a couple of months ago that you had an announcement to make……. All the best,Jerry

        1. You’re not getting any younger, Jerry. At some point, like my mom would say, you need to “*hit or get off the pot”. Trust your guts then go with it.

          It’s strange having southern friends, because your harvest times are so very different. The greenhouse peppers and tomatoes have small fruit, but most of the garden tomatoes and peppers are farther behind.

          My big announcement was intended to be the publication of my first print book, but I ended up pulling the plug because the publishers were pushing it in a direction I didn’t want to go, and the homestead projects and some health stuff I’m dealing with has me too overextended. So I had to let go of something, at least for now, to keep my sanity. I don’t talk about my problems much because everyone has a enough of their own, but sometimes my thyroid stuff really kicks my butt, and just this last month or so, my psoriasis has gone crazy and it’s making me miserable, so I’m taking a step back and focusing on getting both under control again.

          I hope you have a good weekend, and things come together for you so you can follow your homestead dreams.

  27. i work full time AND have three kids (one leaving for the Air Force in July) AND don’t have a large budget…

    but I REALLY would like to get out of the rat race…I’ve finally gotten IN it and it’s not as rewarding as I hoped.

    I want to live simply, cook a lot, and knit for fun and profit.

    Where do I start “unplugging”?

    1. Check out the free subscriber ebook, look through the lists that talk about different areas of your life, pick something that seems like a good fit for you, and just start. The journey is different for everyone, but you’ve taken the first step.

  28. Laurie, Well I finally bought the home just south of Mackinaw. It has 5 acres and I bought the adjoining 5 acres. I can’t wait to get up there. I plan on moving this fall. It has fruit trees ,raspberries,strawberries,grapevines and a large sunny spot for some raised bed gardens.

    I hope your health has gotten more manageable and you are back on track. I wish all the best for you and your family. You have a great outlook .

    I will let you know of my progress. I will no doubt have loads of questions as I am a bit of a novice at some of this.

    1. Congratulations! You’re living bravely, heading up to Michigan just before the snow hits. I’m sure it will be quite an adventure. The place sounds beautiful, and that’s a great area. We were up there for my husband’s aunt and uncle’s 50th wedding anniversary a few years ago.

      I’m doing much better. Lost a bunch of weight, skin is much clearer and I just feel better overall.

      1. I am glad you are feeling better as it was sad but encouraging to read your comments about it. I wish you all the best. I am making my plans for the move which hopefully will be this fall.

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