Do you ever feel like an impostor the ealy homestead

I wasn’t raised on a farm. I wasn’t even exposed to gardening as a kid. My dad used to work a small plot of ground in the backyard, where he would grow beans and squash, but we kids weren’t allowed to go near it. I didn’t drive a tractor until I was in my late twenties. The closest I ever came to livestock as a kid was when we would jump the fence along the pasture down the road from us to see if we could get the bull to chase us on the way to the rock quarry.

When we moved to Iowa, I knew we were going to get some looks once we started putting in the vegetable plots. Our 12 acres farm is dwarfed by the large acres of corn and soybeans that stretch for miles around us.

Hog confinement buildings housing thousands of hogs are popular in our area as well, making my small operation of 11 hogs seem insignificant. And my little 4052 John Deere tractor looks like a child’s toy compared to the large equipment rolling down our road in the spring.

I used to be hesitant to even call our small operation a farm. Real farming meant high horse power and lots of land. Right? Neighbors would ask about our garden and I’d catch the sarcasm in their question, although I don’t think it was intended to be malicious most of the time. We were different. What we were trying to do was different. People don’t understand different.

Ten years ago you could have never convinced me that we would be where we are today. Farming vegetables and fruit in Iowa. Raising pigs. Passionately pursuing a life contrary to the “normal” status quo. And I have to look back at times and laugh. We’ve come a long way. This journey has been strange. It’s been hard. But it has been satisfying.

But we should never feel like we are left to do it alone. There are other impostors out there, like you and me. Trying to blaze an original trail. Trying to find a deeper purpose to their lives, one that does not depend on the commercial matrix of modern society. All good movements that are worth anything are fueled by the spark of community and common purpose. Homesteading is no different.

J > Great post : I identify with what you say, but with a twist : where we are, the land being poor, the holding small (about the same as yours, on average), and the special laws that apply to crofts make them profoundly uneconomic (in the conventional sense), the vast majority of the crofts are neglected, and many have for practical purposes been abandoned (though they still legally have tenants, and those tenants have a legal duty to be resident and use the land productively). So there’s us, with no experience, throwing ourselves into it – and earning our living. Why, how? Because we’re not tied-down by the expectations of neighbours and relations about the way things are done, and we’ve got experience of doing other things in other contexts. We innovate and add value. And we’re prepared to change what we do, and the way we do it, as the times demand. Above all, we sell direct to consumers – largely those who share our values – worldwide, not just selling stuff to unappreciative neighbours.