Welcome to the homestead!
My name is Kat and I started this site years ago to document my journey into becoming more self-sufficient. Originally, it was sort of like a public diary. I just wrote about what was going on and how I felt about it. So you’ll find a few posts that might make you scratch your head and wonder about the purpose of it being there. That’s okay. It’s all part of the journey.
The beginning of the journey
I have always dreamed of living on a farm, since I was a child. I loved the outdoors, gardening, and animals. When I got older, I got married too young, and life was really a struggle. Not only was I raising and homeschooling 5 kids, but we lived in poverty. I can remember having nothing but rice and cereal to eat, and it seemed like I was always having to go to a local food pantry to get emergency food.
It was very stressful, but it taught me to make due with what I had, and that material things were not as important as we often think they are. Mainly, I wanted my kids to know this, because they usually couldn’t have the things most kids took for granted. They had to be happy with whatever we were able to salvage or what people gave us second hand.
Then I discovered homesteading. It didn’t take long for me to be hooked on the idea of living on a chunk of land, raising my own food, and being less reliant on society. I lived in public housing but would spend all my time dreaming about finding a few acres and providing for our own needs instead of relying on government assistance and the kindness of others. Living that way is scary and it makes you afraid to do better, because what if you lose that support? How will you manage? I didn’t want to live that way. I wanted to be free, even if free meant hard work.
We went through a lot. I had to leave my job because the stress of helping care for my dying grandfather, homeschooling, dealing with chronic daily migraines, and my newly acquired fibromyalgia (which doctors had yet to diagnose) was just more than I could handle. We found owner financed land and we put up a tent. Five kids, living in a tent…so many stories I could tell! Eventually, my husband at the time built us a “cabin” which was essentially a shed with walls made of r-board, a plastic roof, and a blanket for a door.
Rough as that was, my kids and I loved the woods and foraging for blackberries. That’s where we raised our first chickens and I struggled (unsuccessfully) to grow something in the rocky soil. What an adventure.
I can – And you can too
These days my kids are grown, and I have a husband who is willing to work hard to give me a better life. But I still dream of the freedom of being self sufficient and I am still working on it every day. I’ve learned a lot about survival, living in a shed in the woods. I’ve learned a lot about growing food and raising animals. And with all that I have lived through, I have learned that empowerment is essential to survival.
Empowerment is different things for different people, but for me it’s about believing I CAN. I can create better health for myself by living in harmony with nature. I can be strong and self-sufficient and enjoy the freedom that comes with relying on myself.
And so can you. You CAN! So even though I created this site as a journal of sorts, it has evolved into a place where you can learn what you need to be empowered and self-sufficient. You deserve that freedom too. It’s not always easy. I still have many days where I’m ready to give up and live in an apartment. But you know something? Anything worth having is worth working for. That’s what I taught my kids and it’s what I teach here. Because I believe it.
About the Homestead
So after all that rambling, what can you expect from me? Well, I’ll probably still have the occasional post about random stuff going on in my life. I feel like that’s something that helps you to know me, as a person.
But I’ll also post about survival and preparedness, because everyone should be prepared for disasters and emergencies. You’ll also learn about healing. I’ve been an herbalist for many years, and I’m also a Reiki master/teacher. I believe these are important skills because the less you have to rely on the medical system and Big Pharma, the better off you are. It’s all part of surviving through self-sufficiency.
I enjoy cooking and gardening so expect to find posts about growing food and raising animals for food. You’ll also find posts about canning and preserving, as well as the occasional recipe. I will also link to things I think will help you on your journey, as well as writing the occasional product or book review.
Oh! I’m also a freelance writer and editor. You can find links to my work on my Kat’s Work page. If you need a writer or editor, give me shout. Because, you know, I can’t just make a living selling eggs (as much as I would love that!).
Anyhow, welcome to The Practical Homestead! I hope you enjoy your visit.