Roughly a year ago, while I was writing a paper on homesteading and how living the “simple life” is not the easiest, I penned the following passage:
While I agree with their idea that it is the choice of the person to decide to go socialize or to “bake a cake,” not all of us have people stopping in to cut the workload of our gardening in half, much less do the entirety for us. In all reality, homesteading can be a very lonely and misunderstood lifestyle. A lot of the time is spent working, whether it be at home or at a job to support the home. Many homesteaders are not able to buy land around those with the same ideals, and thus are left adrift until they can make connections via farmers’ markets or the internet, but even then, unless they live close by, it’s hard to maintain a friendship with other homesteaders in which you have immediate support. (Not to mention that many homesteaders then, and now in the “new wave,” are the first of their family to want this type of lifestyle, separating them from their natural families as well.) Those who are not willing to recognize this at the get go are normally in for a huge surprise.
We knew that going into our preferred lifestyle was leave us lacking in those to converse with that had the same passions. (Or at least, we’d be lacking with those that lived near us as there is always a plethora of people online.) It’s been even harder given that we’ve moved itno a town where we know no one. In time, that will hopefully change. But for now, socialization with others of our “kind” is a seldom event.
About a week or so ago I was blessed with being able to meet up with fellow homesteader who lives in the area, knows a wealth of information, and is a wonderful person in general. I had started reading Karin’s blog, Fleecenik Farm, close to two years ago as a source of information and subtle support for trying to slowly move into the lifestyle we had chosen. We sat for nearly two hours in a coffee shop talking about knitting, homesteading, the economy at large, and anything else that came to our minds. It was a fantastic afternoon. Now having met her, I hope that we can make our meetings into a semi-annual event at the least (as long as I didn’t drive her off with my sometimes incoherent ramblings). It was great to be able to talk with someone about homesteading, gardening, taking steps into animal husbandry, and the like and to not be talking at someone about these topics. While out family members and friends don’t mind talking about such, it’s often a one-sided conversation.
Homesteaders can easily keep in contact through the internet and various forums, but it’s a wonderful feeling to have a physical connection as well. With the heavy workload that the life style of a homesteader entails, it’s a pleasant feeling to know that there are those that you can call on for help and guidance along the way.