Calm down, Please?
The emails I am receiving are starting to freak me out. I realize that many people are worried about the economy, but jumping into homesteading with both feet can cause you a lot more harm than good.
Homesteading is not a cheap endeavor, and not something to take lightly. Jumping in without the resources and research could cause much sorrow in your life. If you are wanting to make this leap, I am hoping I can convince, even in this time that is reminiscent of the Great Depression (which could if allowed, to be worse than that do to the fact that we no longer have industrial jobs, or at least very few of them) to continue to take baby steps.
First, meet your neighbors. Community is a huge part of being self sufficient. I know that sounds like an oxymoron, but it really isn't. Unless you are incredibly well off, you will not be able to acquire everything needed to live. Find out which neighbors think like you do, then sit down and talk. Work out what you can do for each other. And older neighbor my not be able to milk by hand, but can afford a milking cow, another neighbor has a tremendous green thumb, yet a black one when it comes to small livestock. Figure out what you can do for one another, work out deals and barters, creating a neighborhood that is reliant on one another.
A beginning homesteader needs to take small steps, but with a collective of individual talents at your fingertips you can create a worthwhile endeavour. And once things get better, extra income for all of you. Read that as a CSA.
Also I would like to give a shout out to my good neighbor, and give you all an example of what community homesteading truly means. Yesterday my husband and I were out, paying bills, making rounds, when the electric co-op showed up, looking for payment. We were $36 short on our payment last month. (co-ops tend to forget over time what they were originally about and end up behaving like big biz) The man told our squatter that we owed almost $300! And if he left without the money, he would turn the power off. Good thing I wasn't here, otherwise there would have been a lot of commotion. I digress, while the co-op worker was standing there with my squatter, my good neighbor happened to see the truck and called over to our house wanting to know what the H E double hockey sticks (ain't I cute?) did he want. Our squatter told him, and the good neighbor came over and paid him. I don't like it that we owe our good neighbor, bu we were appreciative of it. He is going to get a huge baked goods basket out of this one. The co-op guy had our good neighbor pay our $36 late payment and this month bill that we hadn't received yet, plus extra for what ever reason. This will be an interesting phone call when I get a hold of someone at the co-op. I walked over to the good neighbors house and thanked him, and told him that he shouldn't have paid it. I should have showed him the bill. But the point to this story isn't that I don't pay my bills when I should ( sometimes I can't, but I always pay just not as timely as I should) but the point is that with strong community, you will look after one another in desperate times.