Have you ever thought back on your years of homesteading or farming and considered what you would have done differently, knowing what you know now? Or do you just wish you could fast-forward and tell your beginning farmer self all the secrets you'll undoubtedly know in twenty years?
In Homesteading Lessons Learned on Mother Earth News, Steve Maxwell lays out the wisdom he's gained after two decades of homesteading with his family. I read his tips eagerly, and found myself nodding along and jotting down a couple of notes as well.
Some of Steve's overarching themes mesh with things I've learned as I've begun my own journey: that it's best to take it slowly and build infrastructure first before gathering livestock; that raised beds can be a good thing; make your house work for you first - you have to have good shelter; a four-wheel pickup truck is a critical piece of equipment; and - my lesson most recently learned - high-speed Internet is not a luxury.
In fact, I found myself a bit more at peace with the two steps forward, one step back dance of "progress" here on my own small homestead. This year I tried to go all-out with garden space, and Mother Nature had a good laugh at my expense. Next year I'm going to refine my gardening skills in more limited square footage and focus on doing less, and doing it better.
Which of Steve Maxwell's tips are your favorites? What tips do you have for someone just starting on this adventure?