Homesteading can provide many benefits to those wishing to live a more self-sufficient lifestyle. On the surface growing your own food can seem not as daunting as the hustle of the typical nine to five. However, there are some lesser-known difficulties of agriculture that need to be considered if you wish to have homesteading success.
When starting their venture towards a self-sufficient lifestyle, the number one obstacle that new homesteaders face is clearing the land to make it hospitable for crops and groves. You’ll need fertile land to create the homestead of your dreams but the problem that most overlook is that fertile land is usually overrun by trees, shrubs, crabgrass, and pests.
Because tree removal can be a pain it may be tempting to leave stumps and random trees in the ground after you’ve cleared the land of most of its unwanted growth. However, trees and stumps not only occupy valuable agricultural space but may even damage harvesters or other equipment. Make sure to completely clear your land of these obstructions.
To ensure success it is vitally important to clear the land quickly in order to get it ready for the planting season.
Dramatic Weather Changes
Since the dawn of farming, farmers have been at the mercy of unpredictable weather. Dramatic weather changes can wipe out most or all of your efforts if you don’t take the right precautions. Seasons come and go and while weather patterns can be predicted there is still an element of the unknown when it comes to late or early freezes which can ruin crops.
When planning your homestead take into consideration possible droughts and implement irrigation that will give your crops the best chance to make it to harvest. If you live in an area that is susceptible to flooding, make sure you have good drainage. Planning for extreme heat or unexpected freezes is a must.
One of the main draws to homesteading is the money you save by producing your own food and other necessities. An area that some forget to take into consideration is the equipment used to farm your land will break down at some point. It’s inevitable that your agricultural equipment will need maintenance and when that happens, you’ll either have to pay a mechanic or learn how to repair the equipment yourself.
It’s a good idea to become familiar with the equipment you’ll be using on your homestead. Keeping a small library on how to repair and maintain your equipment will save you in mechanic fees.
Learning how to preserve your food allows you to enjoy the fruits of your labor when they are no longer in season. Since you will be responsible for producing all or most of your food finding ways to keep them fresh year-round is important.
Ways that you can preserve your food include dehydrating, smoking, fermenting, canning, and salting. You don’t want to unknowingly cause your food to spoil through mistakes in the preservation process, so learning how to complete these steps properly is arguably one of the most important things you can learn as a homesteader. There are two canning methods you will want to read up on: water bath canning and pressure canning. Both of these methods can be done at home with sufficient preparation and time.
Homesteading can be one of the most rewarding ventures a person pursues. It is a lifestyle and not a trend, so treat it as such. Your new life will rely heavily on how well you’re able to prepare for the unexpected. Consider these four lesser-known difficulties of agriculture, and you’ll be on your way towards homesteading success.
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