With Thanksgiving fast approaching, I wanted to take few minutes to think about thankfulness on the homestead. While homesteading is hard work, it is very rewarding. There is so much to be thankful for! Here are some of the things I am thankful for.
My family is so important to me. I have 3 generations living in my home. I have me and my husband, our two kids, their spouses, and their kids all living under one roof. That’s 10 people, folks! And it’s a small house! Of course we have our challenges, but overall I wouldn’t change it for the world.
One challenge in our house is keeping up with the housework. You can imagine that with 10 people living in a small house, it gets pretty messy! I had to implement a chore chart to keep everyone accountable for doing their part. It seems silly to have a chore chart for adults, but it is necessary in order to keep down some of the chaos in our household.
I know that it’s just a temporary thing to have them all living with me, but I’m going to be thankful for it while it lasts. My family is so important that I will cherish the time we have together.
I am thankful for my home. It’s nothing fancy, but it’s warm and cozy. It was built in 1916 and has lots of charm.
The house is definitely not big enough for all the people we have living in it, but it has its perks. There is a huge laundry/storage room with rows and rows of shelves to store canned goods on. It also has a wood stove to more efficiently heat it. Beautiful original hardwood floors stretch throughout the home, and it has a lovely front porch. I love it.
I am so thankful for the land that I have to stretch out on. As an animal lover and self-reliance advocate, it is so fulfilling to me to have the space available to raise the animals that I want, and that my family will use.
I only have 3.8 acres right now, but in the future I plan to have a lot more when we buy our own property. Still, it has been enough to raise lots of chickens, goats, cows, turkeys, ducks, and rabbits, with plenty of room to raise more. Pigs will be on our farm in the spring, and more cows and turkeys.
We have lots of animals on our farm, and I’m so thankful for each and every one of them. In our household we have 5 dogs, who protect us and give us tons of love and companionship. We have one cat who is a great mouser (too good, unfortunately, as he has killed a couple of our baby rabbits so he has to stay inside right now). On the farm we also have about 18 chickens that give us lots of eggs (when they’re not on strike due to the cold weather), and we butchered nearly 50 meat chickens to fill our freezer.
Right now we have 5 goats, they are super fun to watch, and 2 of them are giving us milk. I will soon start making #goatmilkeverything, as most of the family doesn’t particularly like to drink their milk. We just butchered our two turkeys (one for Thanksgiving and one for Christmas), and our 3 cows. We also have our 11 rabbits, which after a little bit of a learning curve, they will be giving us lots of litters to butcher after about 4 months.
Then we have our 8 ducks. I don’t know if I’m thankful for them, as they don’t like us and they don’t provide us with much besides an egg every once in a while. But my daughter had to get them. As always, cute baby animals in the store seem so much more desirable than when they grow up!
I love to garden. Working in the garden always brings me such peace and sense of satisfaction. This year’s garden didn’t fare too well, as I think I tried to bite off more than I could chew. We made it much bigger than any garden I’ve ever had, and wound up falling behind on the weeding and tending.
Honestly, though, there’s nothing better than a ripe, juicy tomato straight from the garden. Gardening is so fulfilling. I’m not sure where it came from, but I love the quote “Gardening is cheaper than therapy, and you get tomatoes”. Just watering the garden by hand is almost zen-like.
I am so thankful for the wonderful food that we have to eat. My goal for this last year, since moving on to our property, was to grow nearly half of our own food. Well, we didn’t quite accomplish that, especially due to the garden failure, but we still managed to raise a good portion of it. Starting a homestead is a lot of work and learning, and can be overwhelming at times.
The things we did grow were far superior to the stuff you buy in the store. We grew quite a bit of organic vegetables. Nearly 50 meat chickens. 2 turkeys. 3 cows. Haven’t butchered any rabbits yet, but will soon. All of them were chemical and antibiotic free. I can’t exactly say that they were cheaper to raise than buy at the store, but the quality was unsurpassed. And still cheaper than buying the stuff labeled as “organic” in stores.
It has been such a relief to have more control over what my family eats. And we have learned how to raise our own food, so we know that we can always have plenty to eat. This is what self reliance is all about. Being able to provide for your family no matter what. Food shortages, economic downturns, natural disasters, or even job losses won’t affect us as much as it would for many, many others. This gives me sense of security that is so very important to me.
With all the work that is involved in homesteading, I feel it is super important to take some time every once in a while to think about thankfulness on the homestead. You need to reflect on what benefits your hard work is providing with you.
What are you thankful for? Please comment and share!
Thankfulness on the homestead
This post is part of a Thankful Loop post as part of the Natural Living Bloggers Helping Each Other facebook Group. Please click the links below to read other bloggers post within the loop.