Earlier this summer I was having wine in town with a group of moms. Some I had known for a while, most I had just met. After introductions, the conversation came up of what I do for a living. I told the ladies I was a modern-day homesteader. One of the ladies gave me a funny look and said she just couldn’t picture that because I was in a cute summer dress with heels on and had my nails done. Shocked by her comment (and a little bit insulted) I asked her what a homesteader should look like? The common answer amongst the ladies was basically, dirty! I should look dirty. Say What? I should have dirt under my nails and wear coveralls! And I’ll admit, I do on most days but not every day and certainly not to a girl’s night out!
This conversation got me thinking (and raised my blood pressure a bit) about all the misconceptions of a homesteader.
Here are 5 misconceptions about a modern-day homesteader
1.) Homesteaders are dirty people!
Don’t get me wrong, we might have cow poop splattered up to our knees on most days but we know when it’s time to be clean! Every farmer I know has “farm clothes” and “town clothes”. You don’t wear your town clothes around the farm and you certainly don’t wear your farm clothes to town. Like you, we still take pride in how we look. And smell!
2.). Homesteading is cheap
On the contrary. Homesteading is beyond expensive. Buying chicken, dairy, produce and cloths at Walmart is cheap. Buying a good chunk of land, a family Milk Cow and a tractor is expensive. Building a barn, a coop and raising quality stock chickens, is anything but cheap.
3.) Homesteaders are all hippies.
Yes, I am a crunchy mama and damn proud of it! I rock yoga pants, I love shabby chic decor and my medicine cabinet is filled with essential oils instead of conventional drugs. My husband is the opposite. He’s a diehard farmer that works an average of 18 hours a day. He only wears Gap Brand jeans, he’s a minimalist and his combine cab smells like his Gucci cologne.
4.) Homesteading is easy
Are you kidding me?! Getting up with the sun to tend to barn animals, collect eggs, milk the cow, process fresh milk, chase something that inevitably escaped and start a load of laundry, all before the kids go to school. Make lunches, run kids to school, tend to animals again, refill waterers, feeders, muck out barn, clean the coop, chase the escapee again, fix the fence from said escapee and then spend every extra minute tending to the garden. Shower, pick up kids, go to gymnastics, and tennis and to the farm supply store because something is always broken, then drive home, make cheese, butter, and bread. Prep dinner and then BEGIN your regular everyday household chores. Lock up the chickens, secure the garden gate and scratch the cow. Finally, resting your exhausted head on your pillow just hours before you have to do it all over again. Rinse, lather, repeat!
5.) Homesteaders live in a raggedy slum
This is so not true. Most of the homesteaders I know take a huge amount of pride in their home! We work our butts off to run a self-sufficient farm and keeping a clean, organized home is no different. The majority of “us” are overly crafty and our homes typically smells like fresh baked bread.
There ya have it! 5 excellent reasons to think beyond the blue tarped roof and hug a homesteader!
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