My family lives in the western mountains of Maine, in a little town of 652 people. I pastor a church in a larger town (population 1100) north of here. We have 17 acres here in the woods, but about half of it is swamp.
Our interest in homesteading began in 2003. We had been going through some severe financial challenges, having spent most of our lives hooked into the world system. About that time, God brought a “strange” couple to church. They had just moved into the area and were building a yurt about a mile back in the woods.
Now, I didn’t even know what a yurt was, much less what the “homesteading” movement was all about.
Through these wonderful people, we learned much about homesteading, self-reliance, and simplicity and began our own journey in that direction. It’s been a rough journey, with challenges we never expected. Progress has been painfully slow, and sometimes we seem to be moving backward. But, it’s the right way to go.
One of the most unexpected benefits of the trip has been a deeper understanding of God and the Bible. When you get your hands in the dirt, when you break up new ground for a planting bed, when you cultivate and weed it, when you observe God’s way of growing food vs. man’s perverted way, when you see that God’s way is for one generation of plants to give their lives to become the soil (literally) that the new generation grows in, unexpected subtleties in God’s Word begin to emerge and many of Jesus’ teachings take on a richer meaning.
The greatest lesson has been to learn how to not be discouraged. We have had such dreams — oh such dreams! — of where we wanted to “be” by now, and none of them have been realized. But, we keep trying and working, and therein lies the joy and the education.
I have created this site to begin putting some of my thoughts out there as a means of encouraging others who are walking the same path.
We are not far along the homesteading journey, so I can’t offer any deep wisdom. But, there is one thing I can offer to those who are starting out, or who are frustrated with their progress: Baby steps. Take it a little at a time. A bunch of little steps will allow you to better keep your balance and learn as you go, while big, sudden steps may find you stumbling off-balance or in over your head.
I would love to hear about your own thoughts and experiences.