If you have been following me for any amount of time on Facebook or Instagram, then you already know that our homesteading life that we have begun is pretty new. Even though I was born in rural Louisiana I ended up living the majority of my teen and young adult life in a major city. The city is where I found myself and discovered who I was. It is where I learned about life, relationships, and heartache. It taught me how to dream and how to appreciate life, but it also taught me appreciation for where I came from.
My children were ages 18, 15, and 6 years old when I decided to move back home to rural Louisiana. Even though I had already spent nearly 75% of my life in the city, I call it home because when I was living in the city I was LONGING for a place where I could just slow down. My life was crazy busy and stressful. My marriage was falling apart. I was struggling with major anxiety, and I needed to take control of my life rather than allowing the circumstances of my life to control me.
Life in the city required working sixty hours a week to pay for a house that we were too busy to actually live in and enjoy. Life was all about “keeping up with the Joneses” and I needed to get back home to where things were simple. I was craving simplicity in my life, so we sold the house, sold most of the furniture, and moved 700 miles south back to where I came from. My childhood memories were some of my very best memories, and I was finally going to be able to give my children the same. After moving back home, we met a ten year old little girl who we never expected would become our daughter, and it all suddenly made sense as to why God had orchestrated my life the way that He had.
Sustainability in Our Homesteading Life
Sustainability is another major reason why we began to homestead. I had envisioned a life where everything on our backyard farm would serve a purpose, and everything would be dependent upon each other. Our homesteading life all started with what I like to call “three sassy chickens”, but it grew rather quickly. Chickens that would provide us with breakfast. Egg shells that I would give back to the chickens for calcium. A vegetable garden that would provide my family with produce. Food scraps and chicken poop that would feed the compost bin and ultimately get sewn back into the dirt where we would grow more food. Repurposing material before purchasing anything new. Homesteading is kind of like one giant science experiment, and THAT kind of feeds my soul.
I also believe that learning to raise animals and grow vegetables for food is a humane and necessary way of life. Let’s face it… groceries are ridiculously priced, and if you are feeding a large family it can leave you feeling like you need to take out a second mortgage just to be able to afford them. Trust me! I feel that with every fiber of my soul. And you know what else? Grocery store food simply isn’t as healthy as it used to be, which brings me to my next WHY.
Taking Back My Health
I was DROWNING in anxiety, lack of sleep, lack of energy, and obesity! I knew something had to change, and I realized that if sustainability worked the way that it did on the farm, then it would work the same with my health. Everything we put onto our skin, breathe into our lungs, and feed to our bodies will produce SOMETHING. I took control of what would be produced. I could write post after post about the research that I have done regarding the effects of toxic chemicals that are in your shampoo, makeup, and lotion. I could write post after post about how dangerous many of our store bought products can be to our health. I can even tell you how dangerous using chemicals to just clean out the chicken coop could be, simply because chickens absorb it and produce eggs that we consume. But that is not what the focus of this post is about. I will leave it here: I knew that I was slowly killing myself, and I knew that I wanted to do something about it so I made some major changes in my family’s lifestyle.
Food From Our Homesteading Life
However there is one area of my health that is now a major focus for me, and that is the food that I feed to myself and to my family. Research tells us that chicken farmers are pumping their chickens full of antibiotics and steroids in order to produce bigger chickens. The same can be said about pigs and cattle as well. Produce is being fertilized and treated for pests with very toxic chemicals because it is the most affordable way for farmers to produce larger crops. Even foods that are certified organic can no longer be trusted. Our homesteading life allows me to be in control of what goes into my animals or into the dirt where I grow food, which ultimately gives me control of what goes into my body.
No! I am not the crazy hippy lady who is going to try to sell you some essential oils or convince you that you are going to get cancer if you eat produce that you purchased from the grocery store. But my health definitely plays a huge roll in my why! My husband hunts deer every year, and that allows us to stock our freezer with enough deer meat to last us all year. We are still slowly adding things to our little backyard farm that will help us eat healthier, use healthier skin and hair products, and cut down on the amount of toxins that we come into contact with. Our future plans include a few goats that we will milk for milk to drink, yogurt, cheese, goat milk soap, goat milk lotion, etc. I also have plans to plant a ton of flowers, shrubs, and fruit that will be friendly to the honey bees that I would like to eventually keep.
We are still growing and getting ourselves setup, but getting everything put together is super fun for me and my sassy daughters. It warms my heart to know that they love our homesteading life as much as I do, and when they become adults they will be left with a set of skills that will also keep them fed with healthy foods. It’s time for us to all take back our health!
Oh and just to be transparent… my husband Jason could not care less about homesteading. HAHA. He would just assume go to the farmer’s market and stock up on produce every year, which we have done many times. He is not an animal lover unless he can shoot it and call it dinner. HAHA. But you know what? He is such a trooper, because he helps us with all the hard stuff. I would not be able to chase this dream life of mine without his help and without him doing all the heavy lifting.