Homesteading, becoming more self-sufficient some people think we are crazy, some say we are tree-hugging hippies but what others think has yet to change our goals. Although sometimes I do believe I over think things and letting my mind wander just gets me so stressed out. I am not going to lie, I am a over protective parent most of the time although I know my children have to run free and experience all life has to give. We are just trying to live the dream, grow our own food, eat healthy and know where our food is coming from, provide for ourselves. Unfortunately due to my early adult years and stupidity I had claimed bankruptcy and even though that is in the past it still is looked upon when trying to purchase a home, not to mention that a larger portion of my income is currently government based and well apparently that is frowned on.
So in order to live our dream we tree-hugging hippies as they call us are forced to rent. Well if you have a dream like we do and are looking to rent to follow that dream I do hope you don't go through the troubles we have had.
In 2012 we rented a small 17 acre farm, the landlords seemed nice enough and the first year was pretty decent, until winter came and I ended up with snow in my bathroom, frozen taps only in half the house which was so funny as the two rooms with plumbing where side by side, the landlord just told me well it didn't happen when we lived here. Then things got worse as the back side of the wall was separating from the house bringing water into the smaller children's bedroom when it rained, the water started tasting funny and the sump pump kept jamming in the middle of the night, and again we got pushed off and told he had to find someone to do the work and didn't want to pay the quoted $10K to fix the house. Later the furnace was tagged by plumber and he tried to tell us to use it anyways, we said we don't think so. So they put in a propane furnace, yep it was supposed to be cheaper but when you have air leaks all over and mold beginning to show up on walls you know its time to get out. I tried for a mortgage but unfortunately even with a down deposit I needed a co-signer and that was something I didn't have, so desperately searching for a farm more suitable as things kept getting worse, I was almost ready to give up and then my ad I had posted online was answered.
You could imagine my joy when they said they had 140 acre farm for rent, I jumped on the chance to take a look and the hubby and I accompanied with my father went driving 2 hours to check it out. When we arrived it looked a little messy from the garbage the last tenants had left behind but the house looked livable and the barn was gorgeous. We had mentioned all the problems with the rental we where in at the time and again this landlord seemed nice although he was worried about not getting rent on time, well that is one thing I always have ahead of time. So we took it and decided to move in within the next month.
So now we have lived here for almost six months and spent all my down deposit I had saved for a home which was ten thousand dollars just to move us two hours away and all our tractors and animals, only to find us in a similar predicament. We have an leaking attic, and were told it cannot be fixed till spring, we have doors and windows that freeze when it gets cold at night and wake up to thick ice on windows in the morning and mold on the windows, but cannot be fixed till spring. I cannot use the cupboards that are on the outside wall in the kitchen for food storage as everything freezes and now have found mold in the cupboard and to top it all off the downstairs addition is now leaking when it rains or snow melts...all I keep hearing is oh it can't be fixed till spring or I'll find someone to check it out. I am getting so frustrated and cannot understand why you wouldn't want to keep your houses updated.
So now we stick it out and hope that I can save up enough to purchase our own land soon, and get out of this bad streak of rentals.
So if you are looking to rent a farm and homestead, just be cautious its not always as great as it seems.
I love how a fresh snowfall can make everything look so beautiful and untouched, and how relaxed and at peace it can make you feel. Especially first thing in the morning as I rise out of my toasty warm bed, grab a hot cup of coffee and sit looking out the patio doors to our acres and acres of snow covered fields. But at the same time I find myself anxiously awaiting the spring thaw...oh how I cannot wait for the melting snow, the muddy walkway, the sounds of the birds chirping, and I shall not forget to mention my most favorite thing of all, that crisp fresh air smell spring brings.
But with Spring so very close our work loads get even busier, fences need put up not only for our animals but also for our children. Chicken, Duck and Rabbit tractors need to be built, our fields need to be cut and prepared for planting, and the rest of our seeds need to be started. From dusk till dawn we will work non-stop, sure from time to time you may hear us mutter something under our breath but everyone has their moments!
When we started our journey two years ago with very little money we thought we might be kidding ourselves.
Becoming self-sufficient does not happen overnight, it is not something you can just say your going to do and expect it to happen. No, in order to become self-sufficient you have to work hard and be committed to your goals, and it can be back breaking at times, but if you work your butt off eventually it will pay off. It may take a few years but once you master your goals its rewarding in itself.
We have yet to accomplish a perfect garden, but we have been lucky enough to bring in enough vegetables that we don't have to rush out to buy any. With a family as large as ours it takes a lot of planning in order to make sure we can feed ourselves throughout the winter and into the spring. This past year we did not get to preserve as much as we needed, due to the great amounts of rain we received last season and the fact that we moved quickly during harvest season, to beat the snow. The one downfall to renting your homestead is you really never know how long you will be there and this is why we have our goal of finding a cheap but useful plot of land up North of us to call our own.