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Overwhelming Homesteading

Posted by on March 28, 2014

Anyone who has ever begun the journey to their own homestead, to being self-sufficient, very quickly learns just how difficult and tiring it can be. The planning, the building, the learning, the hard work, the victories, and the failures are all part of the journey. It can very easily and very quickly become quite overwhelming.

Overwhelming Homesteading - IdlewildAlaska

My to-do list never seems to grow any shorter. The few things I do accomplish are quickly replaced by another task that needs to be done. My “wish list” never seems to shrink. Have a large garden; a new greenhouse; the bountiful harvest, the moose, the caribou, the salmon that all need to be grown and caught to be stored away for the coming winter; build the root cellar to store it all; the firewood that needs to be gathered; the chicken coop and the chickens that still need to be built and bought; the goat that will provide milk for cereal and homemade cheese… The list is never ending. Sometimes I feel like I’m standing still, stuck in the mud, just waiting for the right season so I can begin work on this list.

Thank God for a wonderful husband.

I was again going over my to-do list in my head the other day, as I so often do over and over, and slowly getting overwhelmed, when he unknowingly said the perfect thing. He reminded me of just how far we’ve come since we started this journey less than a year ago and how much he loves it.

We eat far more organic food than we ever have before.

We’re still eating salmon that we caught ourselves last summer.

Canned Salmon - IdlewildAlaska

I make our bread.

He makes his own beer.

I make my own cereal. (Get the recipe here.)

How to make your own muesli - IdlewildAlaska

I make our laundry soap. (Get the recipe here.)

He always makes sure we have enough firewood to keep our cabin nice and toasty.

Plans for this year’s fall hunting trip are already in place.

Seeds for the garden have been started.

Organic Seeds on the Homestead - IdlewildAlaska

The land for the garden has been partially cleared.

Plans are underway for clearing the rest of our land this spring.

Our log cabin home is clean, warm, and cozy.

There’s still so much to come as the season change, but it’s nice to have a reminder that we’re not standing still, stuck in the mud, and we are moving forward, no matter how quickly or slowly, we’re getting there. No matter how overwhelming homesteading can be, we’ll get there. I can look back over our accomplishments and be proud of how far we’ve come.

What’s that old saying? Something about every journey begins with one step… Don’t get discouraged, no matter what your goals are. Just keep swimming!


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10 Responses to Overwhelming Homesteading

  1. Anita Boeira

    I can barely keep my basil plant alive 🙂 But canning and food storing has always been something I find very interesting. I have little wish to do any gardening, but when I see the marvelous canned stuff my friends come up with, I do get a little jealous. A friend of mine did her own tomato marmelade, and it was delicious.

  2. Megan Kubasch

    One of my goals is to have a successful vegetable garden in the next few years. My husband and I will be moving soon, so I won’t be able to do it this year. Hopefully Spring 2015 will be a good time to get started on my gardening journey. Thanks for sharing this post. I know it must be very overwhelming at times to be in your position, but you are doing so many good things for yourselves and the environment. Kudos to you for being amazing!

  3. Ashleigh

    I defiantly know how you feel!! I want to be 100% self sufficient, but each time I complete something, I turn around and see I need to change something else…but you just have to do a full 360° to notice how much has really changed!! 😀 You go girl! I am so glad to see others saving our planet & doing their part!! ❤ ❤ ❤

  4. Morgan

    Wow! I really admire how self-sufficient you and your husband are, good for you! I never knew that salmon could be preserved, that is really cool! 🙂

    I also want a big garden! Last summer my dad and I tried to grow a salsa garden in our backyard, but one night, right as the tomatoes were just turning, the deer came and ate every last one of them! So instead this year I am starting an herb garden in my windowsill, and my dad are going to build something to keep my plants high out of the deer’s reach!

    I love reading about your life in Alaska, I love the outdoor and wilderness!

    • Idlewildak

      My family has had moose, Dall sheep, mountain goats, and rabbits clean out their gardens. Don’t give up hope! One of our first projects this spring will be the six foot tall moose fence around the garden area. 🙂

  5. Rhonda Crank

    You already know you are living my “dream” life! LOL, but I wanted to encourage you in that you are not alone in feeling overwhelmed. Even though I have been farming all my life [trust me, that’s quite a while 🙂 ] I still find myself being overwhelmed from time to time. It’s just part of the lifestyle: repairs, improvements, changes, upkeep, it’s just never ending. That’s the joy and the toil of this lifestyle. Keep up the good work and you’re right, it sounds like you have a great husband.

    • Idlewildak

      Thank you, Rhonda! I love all the work that comes with a homestead; I really do, but that to do list does grow! Thanks so much for the encouragement! (And he is great 😀 )

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