Adding the best value to your homestead is about setting yourself apart from what everybody else is doing; it begins with you.
You’re no longer following the crowd and there’s no room for cutting corners to achieve goals. This could mean anything from growing quality produce to raising sheep or beef from heritage stock.
That’s a pretty wide range so let’s discus how to add real value to your homestead.
- Learn before diving in
- Specialize in products others overlook
- Maximize your homestead resources
- Pay attention and do your best
Learn before diving in
When a farm begins from scratch it’s safe to say most people have their own ideas about what they want to achieve and many times those ideas are simply that.
The dreams are big and the desire to move forward is real, to many times people just dive in and fail because they didn’t take the time to research.
Corners are cut to make things easier and the results don’t meet expectations.
Homesteading isn’t about cutting corners and it’s definitely not easy.
It’s about adding value to your life. This is why before you do anything figure out what it is you want to do first; begin by reading about each idea and learn as much as you can on that topic.
Get your questions answered and visit established farms who know what they’re doing. I mean really know what they’re doing.
Many times this can inspire you to move forward or help you realize your idea isn’t an avenue you want to pursue.
|Image compliments of Meyer Hatchery|
Specialize in Products others overlook
Something simple like chickens is probably one of the easiest things to do because it’s where almost every homesteader begins; many say chickens are the gateway to homesteading. Acquiring information on raising chickens is available everywhere, online, bookstores, fairs and the library. This makes getting started a breeze.
But what if you want to raise a certain breed that may not be popular? What then? Dig deeper because a specialized product can many times benefit your homestead.
Specializing in what others are not doing can help you stand out and possibly turn those efforts into a small side income. Chicken breeds like the Lavender Buff Orpington are hard to find and acquiring them at a reasonable price can be difficult. This breed can be purchased online from selected hatcheries certain times of the year.
This makes them a specialty item and people will pay more. Raising Lavender Buffs would be an opportunity to add value by hatching and selling chicks right off your homestead year round.
Specialized chicken breeds are one concept. Think about products from the garden to the pastures that are overlooked and discover how they can benefit your homestead goals.
Maximize your Homestead Resources
Beginning a homestead from square one can be expensive and many times wasteful purchases can happen without really thinking things through. Look at available resources and investigate the credibility of those items to see if they’ll fit your plans.
Let’s say you want to raise sheep or goats and you have an old bard but it needs some major repairs. Would it be cost effective to repair this barn or simply use something like a portable shelter?
An old barn that’s falling down can sometimes be more of a headache and sometimes even a danger. Consider having it removed instead of fixing it up. People love reclaimed materials and it’s possible someone may pay you to remove what’s falling apart.
Portable shelters can be built from wood at a fraction of the price and offer similar benefits as a barn.
These shelters are perfect for lambing and kidding; smaller animals will use them for shade during the hot summers and shelter on rainy or snowy days.
Depending on the climate where you live a barn just might not be worth the added expense.
Another example would be if you have a pond, this water could be used to irrigate your garden or large crops you’ve decided to grow. Water bills can get expensive and if a well isn’t present a pond is always a good resource for irrigation.
Look at your homestead see what you already have available and ask yourself if these items will work to meet your plans.
If you have resources that won’t work sell them off and use those funds towards what you need. Be smart and always add the best value by maximizing your resources.
Pay attention and do your best
Homesteading is hard work; it’s an everyday lifestyle that can be very rewarding and there are times when it can feel like it takes control. Pay attention so that it doesn’t take over and keep you from putting your best effort forward. Stay focused and always be consistent.
Let me share a time with you when I wasn’t as focused and it wasn’t that long ago. I thought I was burned out because I stopped enjoying the process and started asking myself, “why am I working so hard?”
The solution was to scale back, first we sold the cows and another afternoon I sold all the chickens including the coop. We stopped growing large crops and for the first time in a long time my focus returned; there was this desire to take over the garden and create a space with raised beds.
During this time part of me felt like we were giving up because animals were leaving. At that moment I realized I wasn’t burned out, I was tired of doing the same things over and over. I wanted something different, more specialized and unique to our personalities.
The sheep stayed and once the garden was taking shape I added quail. Later we even brought back a new batch of chickens and a couple other blessings.
I acted on what seemed to be burn out, but was more of a loss of focus towards adding the best value.
Homesteading shines all around this farm including the blessings that appear when we least expect it. Like hummingbirds, unique butterflies and our pair of roadrunners that visit quite often.
It’s pretty incredible!
Take a moment and add value to your homestead; don’t follow what everybody else is doing. If you want to raise peacocks then do it and enjoy it every step of the way.
Follow these four steps and don’t cut corners through the process. More than anything I want your homestead to be a place you’re proud of, one that inspires you, and one you want to share with others. Put your best foot forward you’ll be glad you did.