Cows Gardening Homesteading

3 Secrets Legit Homesteaders Might Not Tell You

Sure, it seems wonderful. But today I’m gonna let you in on a few homesteader secrets that other legit homesteaders might not have told you about homesteading…

Homesteading is like sitting down to an amazing Thanksgiving meal, hearing your student aced an important midterm, and being told you just inherited all of Great Aunt Flo’s retirement funds… but only if you personally plucked every feather of that turkey; stayed up countless, sleepless nights helping your student study; and worked twenty years in Aunt Flo’s place to earn that inheritance.

While the rewards of homesteading are huge in hindsight, on a minute-by-minute, living-in-it basis, it’s not so great. If you read about chicken care, dream about the land you want to buy, and have already named your family milk cow even though you still live in the city, well, this post is for you. Cause I know in the books and blogs you read it looks wonderful. I figured I should let you in on 3 secrets that will help you stay well-grounded with your dreams.

By all means, read till the very end and take a peak here at a 3-minute Snippets of Life on our homestead this week. (And while you’re there, take a second to subscribe to my youtube channel so you’ll get a monthly little snippet of life here on our New England homestead–the good the bad and the poopy.) While I wholeheartedly encourage you to make your dreams a reality, you should know a few things first…

#1. It’s hard.

We might not share this as often as we should. Not because we actually want to keep homesteader secrets. But because, as homesteaders, we have to stay focused on the positive. Truth is, we often have what I call a 4:8 Attitude–I explain here, on my very first blog post, many years ago. We are surrounded by our own feelings of inferiority (see #2) and so… much… mess! (See #3.) So we have to continually focus on the beautiful parts of homesteading today, or we might walk away from it all tomorrow.

Of course, I’m sure I am doing plenty of things wrong on my homesteading journey. But just like the Colossal Hoax of Parenting that I wrote about here, there’s a Colossal Hoax of Homesteading too… we don’t want everyone to know it, but all of us fail. Pretty often.

#2. None of us truly feel “legit.”

This is one fact we truly intend to keep a secret. It’s hard to be proud of failure. But most of the time, homesteaders feel like we could have done better. We mess up. Continually.

I’m pretty sure I’m worse than the average homesteader. I mean there have been the mistakes with my young hens, my incubated eggs, my pregnant heifer, and my cow with her calf, just to name a few. We didn’t even know our cow wasn’t pregnant until weeks before she should have given birth. Yep. Most of the time I feel like a fraud when I declare myself a “homesteader.”

#3. We stink.

This one, well, there’s no keeping it a secret if you meet us in person.

Yesirree Bob, I have shown up at the dentist office and the grocery store with animal poo on my boots. Not purposefully, of course. Sadly, it just seems to be a fact of farm life that poo lingers no matter how much I clean it off.

Living a sustainable life; living off the land; raising, growing, and milking our own sustenance–none of it’s easy. And it almost never smells anything like roses.

But this hard life–that’s filled with mistakes and messes–is a beautiful life. It’s beauty in one of its rawest forms. It’s worth all the effort, embarrassment, and stinkiness, because we get to be an intricate part of scenes like this. Every. Single. Day.

I took this picture this morning. We were down at the stables at 6:35 a.m., my teen daughters and I.

Early-morning transplanting in the garden was calling me. I often do gardening with bedhead, a sweatshirt (to fend off the New England morning chill), and dirty gardener’s knees. See those gardener’s knees, in all their loveliness, below.

My daughters had just finished milking Scout and took the jars of foaming white joy into our farmhouse. Now it was Selah’s turn to get her fill of her momma’s sweet cream, while Scout finished eating her morning hay. I had just finished picking some garden produce and gathering eggs when I let the chickens out to scratch around the barnyard. They ran down their coop ramp and straight for the fresh cow paddies. And that’s when I snapped the above picture. It’s a photo that shows how everyone was nourished here on our farm this morning. Nothing was wasted. Bellies were filled. Daily hope renewed.

So, yeah, homesteading is hard, and most homesteaders feel inadequate for the task, but it is a BEAUTIFUL, hard, smelly ride that we’re glad we’re on. Most days.

You’ll Love This Resource!

Now that you know my 3 little secrets, I’m guessing you’d like to know even more. If you’d like to sit under the tutelage of 32 different experts, and learn great insights into 32 different aspects of this homesteading way of life, you’ll love the 2017 Back to Basics Living Summit. Whether you are a homesteader yourself and want to expand your knowledge or you’re just dreaming of one day getting to enjoy this hard life, where you feel totally insecure and smelly most of the time, this Summit is totally for you.

Why Did So Many Homesteaders Get Together and Do This?

This Summit is a wonderful compilation of downloadable content that I am totally excited to be a part of. Basically, we all got together to help each other and our readers out by offering this Summit as a great way to build community. It’s a win-win for myself, the other 31 experts, and for you. 

Let’s Keep This One Secret Between Us

I should stop and recognize those of you who have been following me on this homesteading journey. Cause you know I don’t consider myself an expert at much. Well, except failure. I’m really good at failure. (I mean, let’s remember my #2 secret.) So don’t let the rest of the presenters at the Summit in on our little secret, that I’m not truly an expert.

I’m presenting my first-ever eCourse (which you can purchase here): Maple Joy in 8 Steps–From Tree to Syrup. Watch this 1-minute intro video for more info.

But through the 2017 Back to Basics Living Summit you’ll also learn great life lessons, like how to effectively save money at the grocery store, how to make DIY cleaners and even makeup, and how to lose weight.

And there are courses on all kinds of homesteading-related skills, from purchasing a good incubator to making cheese.

There are plenty of courses to help people prepare for the homesteading life before they start, with topics like making homemade bread, preserving herbs, using sunlight efficiently, and starting a homestead from scratch.

Is it Really Worth it?

The Back to Basics Living Summit is a fantastic investment! Whether you choose to binge-watch all 32 presentations, Netflix style, or slowly, earnestly, over a long winter or on hot summer nights, you’ll have all 32 presentations available for a lifetime, to go back and review individual ones when you want to refresh yourself on particular skills.

Plus, you’ll have $184-worth of bonus gifts sent to you immediately, when you purchase your lifetime access to the summit.

Crazy! Your bonuses are valued at more than the cost of the summit!

But in the end, you can’t loose, because we believe in these courses so much that we want everyone to have a chance to try them out. So you can watch them all–multiple times if you want!–for 30 days and STILL request a refund if you don’t think they’re as helpful and useful as we do. No questions asked. Truly.

V  V  V  V  V  V  V  V  V  V  V  V  V  V  V  V

Enjoy my FREE Resource Library!

Take a second to follow along here, and you’ll have full access to tons of information, recipes, eBooks, and more in my FREE Resource Library.

V  V  V  V  V  V  V  V  V  V  V  V  V  V  V  V

Stop over to my farm for a minute!

Take a second to follow my channel while you’re there. (Honestly, it’s not easy making these videos but it’s so rewarding when you all tell me how much you enjoy them. If I know a few people like them, I’ll keep making and sharing them.)

V  V  V  V  V  V  V  V  V  V  V  V  V  V  V  V

Take a second to connect with me!

To find me in some other neck of the woods, just click any (or every!) box below. And please send me a message from time to time. I truly love hearing from you.


follow on Pinterest

follow on twitter-2

V  V  V  V  V  V  V  V  V  V  V  V  V  V  V  V

Pin this for later!

Just hover over this image for the Pinterest logo.–>

Many readers often ask what camera I use to take the images you find here on SoulyRested. I love my Nikon; you can read more about my camera and even purchase your own here.


DISCLOSURE: This post contains affiliate links.

Check out these homesteading-related products I love

For even more, hop over to my resource page, where you can get a glimpse of all the supplies I use and recommend for everything from gardening, to homeschooling, to nature journaling, to maple syrup making.


  | | | | | |

And please follow along!

Please take a second to follow along here on SoulyRested to catch up on a few of my memorable mishaps, discover fascinating things about my centuries-old farmhouse, glean a little parenting/homeschooling insight from this momma who’s been failing at the effort for almost 2 decades, or enjoy the inside scoop on the secrets other legit homesteaders might not tell you. I hope my focus always encourages you, because simple joys require hard work. Let’s face it, we all need all the encouragement we can get!

As soon as you subscribe, you’ll have immediate access to my subscriber library of resources, which I’m continually adding to. It includes lots of printables, including my popular e-book and lots of homesteading-related resources. You’ll have access to my directions for making lilac syrup and training your dog on your homestead, just to name a few. And, of course, you can snag my free eBooks too.

v  v  v  v  v  v  v  v  v  v  v

3 Comment

  1. Thanks for joining the Love to Learn hop. I don’t know if I want my own cow, but I’d love to have chickens and a great big garden. Some day! Thanks for keeping it in perspective. It is a lot of work.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

%d bloggers like this: