There is nothing I’ve pursued in homesteading that has brought me more value in the past few years than building community and it wasn’t even on the list of reasons I wanted to homestead in the beginning.
When Many people think of homesteading they think of a cabin in a woods or on a prairie far away from anyone else. Living off the land, completely self sufficient, supplying all your own needs without help from anyone. We have a word for that and it’s not a homesteader, it’s a hermit.
The reality is homesteaders should value other people and see them as a necessary resource for their homesteading journey. Not only does a true homesteader need others but they should also realize that others need them.
When I talk about a homesteading community I mean the total of your community. I’m talking about all those you have contact with on a regular basis who are involved in some way with homesteading; your friends, your family, neighbors and yes, even your online homesteading community.
7 Reasons Having A Homesteading Community Is Important
Encouragement and Inspiration
- You feed off of the successful projects of others and become inspired. This is why sites like Pinterest and Hometalk are so popular.
- You will be encouraged when you see others doing what you want to do. This helps you realize the possibilities and overcome the fears.
There is a story of about a man who had to walk across a frozen lake but he was unsure of how thick the ice was. As he stepped onto the ice he suddenly became very afraid and dropped to his hands and knees and trembled as he inched his way across the lake. Then all of the sudden he felt a rumble on the ice and looked over his shoulder and seen a team of horses pulling a sled across the frozen lake. All fear of whether or not he could make it across the pond left him and he stood up and walked with confidence.
I believe this story is a great example of what it’s like to overcome our fears in homesteading by witnessing what others are accomplishing.
Availability of Knowledge and Wisdom
- Everyone in your community knows something about something more than you. This can be a valuable resource for information which can be tapped into at anytime.
- Everyone in your community has experience in something that leads to wisdom you don’t have. Sure, if you need to know something you can always “Google it” but nothing is more valuable than reaching out to someone with real life experience and have them personally guide you.
- Mistakes are a great teacher but they don’t have to be your mistakes, you can learn from others mistakes.
- This especially takes place with the community directly around you, family, friends and neighbors.
My parents experienced this while on vacation once. While they were gone their home was broken into and as the robbers proceeded to load up a truck with all of my Dad and Moms things a neighbor seen what was going on, called the police and even held the robbers at gunpoint until the police arrived.
- Having people around you who are willing to share what they have and you being willing to share also is a valuable asset to the homesteader.
A friend asked me to borrow my truck and of course I said yes but I also told him “you need to get you a truck” to which he replied “I don’t need a truck because my friend has a truck” and he was right.
- Start or Join a Tool Lending Library
- Start or Join a Makerspace – https://www.youtube.com/user/TheUrbanFarmingGuys
- It’s a tricky term, it means to provide for one’s self through one’s own resources. If you view community as a resource, does having a community make you more or less self sufficient? Of course it will only add to your self sufficiency.
- Community helps a person to maintain and grow as the valuable resource that it is, this is the very essence of sustainability.
Opens You Up To The Needs Of Others
- We are in this together and I believe one of the aims of homesteading is to not only make your life better but to make the world a better place. In order to do that we need to be there for others in their time of need just like we hope they will be there for us when the time comes.
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