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Homestead Dreamin’

tomatoesAre you homestead dreamin’? Then this post is for you! My family dreamed of our homestead long before we had one. We used to say things like, “We can’t wait to plant our own tomato garden.” “It will be so great when we can hunt on our own property.” “The kids will love all the room we will have to run and explore.” “One day we’ll be able to have our own free range chicken eggs for breakfast.” We had so many homestead dreams! And it’s been so exciting to look around and see those dreams coming alive right before us. We’ve actually accomplished more than we could have ever imagined back then and shared much of what we have learned with you.

We get emails from people all the time telling us about their homesteading dreams and plans. It’s so exciting for us to see that the information we put out in videos and articles is being used to inspire you! It makes us so happy to see what you are doing to either improve your homesteads or make plans for the future. I received this comment only just yesterday:

laundry-tank“Hi Jaimie! I love reading what you write and we all love to watch your family via Roku/Homesteading Channel! We are on a mission to live more self sufficiently and sustainably and your videos have helped. My husband modeled my outdoor laundry station after yours. Thank you for all of the great episodes! Our family is SO much better off since we started doing things in a more hands on manner. We now grow a lot of our own food via raised beds…we plan to raise meat birds soon…my husband and son built a water barrel station to collect rain water and we plan to install a gray water system soon, too….we compost…we plan to build a brick oven similar to yours….and so much more! Life is good! I can’t wait to check out ‘Frontier House’ …..please keep us informed on great shows/videos you enjoy as they give us a good form of info and entertainment, too! In our home we don’t ‘keep up with the Kardashians’….we ‘long to keep up with the Homesteaders’!
Many blessings!”

Thank you Michelle! Good for you. I love it! I’m sure your story will be an inspiration to others as well.

The list of possible homesteading options seems endless. I feel like I could spend a lifetime and still not learn to do everything! Even though I have accomplished so much, I still have dreams of the future. I hope to one day be really good at cheese-making. I think it would be really fun and rewarding to learn to make quilts. So, what are your homestead dreams? We would love to hear from you! I encourage all of you reading this to fill this post with comments about your own homestead dreams and successes. If you could do anything, what would it be? Let’s all do some homestead dreamin’ together and inspire each other.

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About JaimieB

Jaimie lives with her husband on their off-grid homestead known online as An American Homestead. They live with their two sons and her parents Tim and Joann on 50 acres located deep in the American Ozark Mountains.

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29 comments

  1. Is that a picture of your reader’s laundry set up or yours? What is the large black barrel for? Thanks!

    • Caroline,
      It is our laundry station. The black tank is a 250 gallon water tank to provide laundry water. It is painted black to reduce the algae in the tank. – Thanks Tim

  2. I loved watching frontier house. I wish they would have more seasons. We have tried to be more self sufficient as well. We have 8 raised beds, potatoes and some fruit trees this year. Last year we added in chickens for eggs and 2 goats. Fingers crossed the goats are pregnant and we will be one step closer to living a little more off the grid. love your blog and YouTube channel. Thanks for all you guys do to inspire others.

  3. My wife and I have talked about it for years and then about 18 months ago we decided to take the plunge. During our research we discovered “An American Homestead”. We thought it funny that your family had settled not far from where we were looking for land. It was from there that we discovered we had a lot more in common. I would say that it has been life altering. We leave for our land at the end of this month and have no desire to ever turn back.

  4. You guys helped to nudge us along on our own path towards homesteading. The land has been purchased. Notices given to our employers. We hitch up the wagon and roll on June 24th.
    Farewell Seattle! Hello Mammoth Spring Arkansas!

  5. my family has been planning for a year or more to do so the ozarks were the idea place for us . we are currently in nebraska but have been looking for places for the past 6 months . almost completely debt free. we hunt for most our meatt and garden as much as possible. hoping to make the move within next 2 months

  6. We just bought our first house one year ago. I would LOVE to make it a fully functioning homestead, but we are a LONG way from that. Baby steps for now. We did put some plants in the ground (though I hesitate to call it a garden). WE made a ton of mistakes, but I think we will keep learning from them. In the fall, we’d like to plant some trees and bushes. I want to start composting and upgrading the soil so next year we can have a “real” garden. This is so much fun! Your videos have been a great encouragement! Thanks for sharing your family with ours!

  7. Now that we are very young, empty nesters, it’s time for our dreams. One of them is homesteading. We’ve done what we can here in the suburbs, but there’s just too many people, and our acre+, just isn’t enough. I’ve taught myself alot in the last few years. pressure canning, cheese making, scratch baking, sewing, to name a few. The hubby is quite handy, and we’d like to make a go of it before we get much older. Wish us luck.

  8. kudos terri my wife has taught herself alot as well. she has evolved from the city jersey girl to a homestead wanting patriot in the past few years .lol. we are greatful to have 5 kids who want and work for the same things. of course they like their you tube annd xbox . but they know if things arent done first that cant happen

  9. First of all…WOW…to be quoted and included in your post is a high honor for me! Thank you so much! It’s true that your family has been and continues to be a wonderful, uplifting inspiration to our family!
    Our homestead dreams? Where to begin? This summer we hope to get the pizza oven built. We also plan to build a portable chicken shelter and raise meat birds similarly to how Joel Salatin at Polyface Farm raises them. We’re presently in the market for a chicken plucker. Any advice on those? Tonight my husband will be late from work because he has to load a water storage barrel that we’re buying from a farmer friend that he works with. We are on our way to being less dependent on the city water system. This summer we planted 6 new fruit trees and 4 blueberry bushes…and our 5yo asked for a strawberry bed. Her wish is our command. lol That my 5yo asks for strawberries…..not plastic rick rack…amazes me. We added more raised beds this year and are already enjoying lettuce and onions. (THANK YOU for turning me on to DE….made an order for it last night and it should be here in 2 days….bye bye slugs! πŸ˜‰ ) One of the BIG accomplishments we’ve already realized as homesteaders is homeschooling. We have 3 children and 2 are in college now. We decided to homeschool the third and we are thrilled with the results! I just got the results from her portfolio review this evening and we blew the teacher away! We covered SO much this year…it was unbelievable! I guess our future dreams are to keep adding pieces to our puzzle. We’re not sure where the road will take us, but we are enjoying this journey. Meat birds….possibly a dairy cow in the future….becoming less dependent on the grid and more on our own wily-ness. πŸ˜‰ A personal goal for myself is to ramp up the whole foods diet and expand my repertoire using those foods. I would love a grain mill, too!
    Oh and that ‘off grid laundry station’ I’m using these days? My neighbors look at me like they are ready to pass the hat for us. They don’t know how truly RICH we are! πŸ™‚
    Again, thanks so much for all that your family shares and thank you for mentioning my comment! God bless you abundantly!

    • Hi Michelle,
      I dont pluck my chickens. When we kill ours we skin them Feathers and all. It is much easier and they say the skin isn’t very healthy anyway.
      You basically cut the bird from neck to feet and peel the skin off. It takes about 10 min.
      Hope this is helpful to you.

    • I don’t want to get in a discussion about skin vs skinless. We like roasted skin, so we pluck. We built our own plucker using Herrick Kimball’s plans and parts. He can be found at The Deliberate Agrarian blog. You will need to look on his sidebar for the page link to his Whizbang chicken plucker. If even that cost is too high, consider going in with others and sharing it. After all, you’ll likely only use it one weekend a year. It is worth the investment in my humble opinion. The ability to get skin off the feet and make nutritious stock is worth it alone.
      And his blog is chock full of excellent tips, ideas, anectdotes, and stpries.
      Good luck with your endeavors.
      Pam Baker

  10. We took the plunge six weeks ago! Lovung our new life.If u dont think u can…U CAN. I had a hip replacement a year ago, three children one with autism and we are doing great!!!!!!

  11. Hi guys,
    Love your articles and videos.
    I live in Texas on 25 acres. We just got done paying our property off, and we are working towards making our place offgrid. We have installed a composting system for our poop and a graywater runoff system for our bathwater and sinks.
    The house we are currently living in is a farm house built in the 1950’s, sad to say it is falling down around our ears.
    So we are in the early stages of planning to build a partially underground dome house.
    The summers in Texas are very hot so we thought it would be good to have a home that would stay cool in the summer and warm in the winter.
    When I build this home I want to use wind and solar power for our electricity needs.
    We want to raise longhorn cattle and we currently have chickens.
    I enjoyed learning how you guys are using guineas to control ticks and chiggers, they are terrible on my property. We will be implementing this asap.
    Keep up the good work putting out articles and videos. Love from Texas.

  12. My hubby and I are hard at work on our homesteading dreams. We currently rent in the suburbs, so our little urban homestead is small but we are so in love with everything it gives us. We have a very productive garden and will be harvesting lots of tomatoes soon to add to our crock neck squash and are getting lots of practice in canning, raising Quail and rabbits, and we are also getting ready to process meat chickens for the first time! Being able to share these experiences with our little ones is amazing! Our dream is to become self sufficient and not be enslaved to the modern world or an employer that sees me as a number, I want my work to have meaning and purpose. Homeschooling is another goal of my, and we’ve started with our four year old. The next step for us is to get our land, and expand into goats for milk and soap. Looking forward to our future!

  13. one week to hit the road on our own homesteading dream…although it’s difficult and scary to start with practically nothing more than the dream it’s exciting to be going on such an adventure and finding it in ourselves to be more self sufficient and sustainably. we may not get completely off-grid…just trying to head in that direction πŸ™‚

  14. First I would like to say thanking for all the hard work you and your family put into collecting and presenting the information on your site, it has been a blessing to me and my family. My family currently is renting a home with a very small backyard than is shared with several people. However we are fortunate to have land owners who have allowed us to but in a small garden. Our hope is to one day have a piece of land that we can design to be self-sufficient, provide refuge for our family, and reduce stress and unnecessary β€œneeds”. We have two boys, 16 and 21 who currently are not willing to let go of their modern conveniences but see value in the utopia mom talks about. Our household has expanded recently with my parents moving in last fall and our oldest son expecting a child in November, this furthers my excitement in having a homestead where not only my children can enjoy a more pure life but also my grandchildren.

    This idea of living on a home stead is much different than anything I knew prior to meeting my husband. I grew up NYC, we relied on store bought food and did little in way of gardening or providing a food source on our own. When I was 19 I moved to a large farming area in PA where I was first exposed to gardening and farming by my father-in-law, whom my husband and I live with. Dad was an adventurous person, always looking for something new to do, so he bought 35 acres, set up a green house, and got ducks and sheep. It was fun, unfortunately Dad got sick and much of his plans faded as his health deteriorated. In that short time though I began to see a connection to the food system that I never knew existed and when my husband and I moved into our first home I set up a garden and have had one ever since. I will for forever be grateful to my father-in-law for revealing a desire to get back to the root of life I didn’t realize was missing and to people like you who take the time to help others find peace in a simpler (not easier) way of life.

  15. The one skill I would like to acquire that I haven’t is learning how to make clothing for my children, my husband, and myself. I wasn’t raised in a home where we were taught any real life skills and I had to learn them as an adult. I feel like sewing should be one of the things that comes naturally to women but for me, it is very difficult. In the last few years, I have learned many valuable skills but I still yet have to learn how to sew. Thank you for another great article Jamie! God bless you and your family as you continue to inspire others in your journey!

  16. We recently purchased 14 acres in Oregon County, MO but live 9 hours North in Iowa. We are unable to move to the homestead until my two oldest children graduate (they’re 6 and 9 now —custody requirements).
    We make it to the homestead when we can – we’ve been there 3 times so far this year and are going again this weekend.
    I dream of building our own cabin that overlooks this gorgeous ravine. We have a water catchment system but no other water source so we will need to put in a well. I also want to put a root cellar into the side of a hill we’ve got…and plant lots of fruit trees!!

  17. I would love to do the homestead thing. I have the land(8.6 acers) that has about 750 feet of river frontage. All the work required is not a problem as i am a construction worker going on 30 years now. My concern is health insurance Is very expensive. How do you make enough money to sustain the things needed that you cant grow or make yourself while living on a homestead? As you very well know a homestead is a full time job on its own.

  18. I love your channel and website! I’ve definitely been homestead dreaming for quite some time now. We currently live in the city, but we plan on purchasing land in 2016. I can’t wait! Until then, we are doing what we can where we are. We just got permission from our city to grow a large garden in our front yard (it’s the only part of our property that gets sun!) that will hopefully yield enough to feed our family of four for an entire year. We still have municipal water and electricity, but when we move, we have plans to start using solar and a well. You guys are such an inspiration. Thank you!

  19. I have been dreaming since 2001 and have learned a lot since then . I make my own toiletries (I’m allergic to petrochemical nasties), make my own cleaning products (I’m allergic to chemical and petrochemical nasties) cook from basic ingredients (as its cheap) and sew (because its fun, cheap and more productive than watching TV). I’ve made and altered some clothes for myself and friends along with making a few quilts, a rag rug with textile waste and lots of baby toys. I work a small allotment (I live in Scotland) and am learning about biodynamic gardening, herbs and food preservation this year. I live on the grid but hope to have a log stove and solar panels in my home. I would love to have a herb and kitchen garden at the back of my house with chickens and bees. I love what you are dreaming and doing on your homestead and wish you every success, thanks for sharing.

  20. Your family is so amazing and you are such wonderful mentors. Our family has been practicing, planning, preparing, and gathering all the knowledge we can to start our journey to homesteading for the last few years. Our big step is to find land. 2 days ago we discovered your videos the 4 of us have been glued to the screen ever since. Thank you so much! It’s like putting the practical knowledge we already have, plus what we plan to do into a visual that someone is actually living. We have scoured the country looking for the perfect placed to settle down, giving up almost all of our possessions and driving from California to Tennessee looking around at all the country to see what area best fits our family’s needs. We just love the area you are in. Can you tell me about where your are at so I can start a land search? I just can’t wait until my two bare feet are on my earth and I can hug it all in. I wish you continued blessings on your farm. Thank you for all you do!
    Melissa

  21. Land is expensive ,unless it is very remote and has hidden resources,
    Living off grid with solar -is expensive. Raising animals ,can be expensive , Home education can be expensive ,especially if you co-op classes for high school students . Or have music lessons.. Here, we have to pay a cover school fee and had legal rep. (!HSLDA) it is also time consuming- curriculum selection or adaptions, instruction & follow through.. & Planning…With our 6 children, it took from 7a.m-2p.m.. You have all your chores, still.-
    yet-a wise mother will teach her children to pitch in, cheerfully-with out complaint- to be a working member of a family…. But it isn’t free!,
    . For all the moms.. It’ll be O.k.
    Aquaponics is expensive.. Any chemicals, supplies, failures,or successes…cost$$$
    With all the expensiveness; manufacturied housing, building roads, solar, green house, animal shelter, new ideas, gardening ,school,clothes..isn’t free,…where is it going to come from? Selling a sheep?

    Other than initial resources..in what ways are you earning money for needed things. .. Fabric, material, clothes,building supplies..maintenance on vehicles and tools… Internet access and computer or video streaming cost money..
    How many sponsors will it take.?

    We are partially free from worldly ties. We are working On it.. But one of us has the mindset of freedom from attachment and the grid.. While the other sees homesteading as being poor and nasty or under par.. I’m wondering if others have some of the same feelings,mind sets,or thoughts..

    life isn’t free. Nor is home steading! And .. It takes many resources to fulfill the “dream” and it isn’t easy.. It’s so much work!
    And the other videos are right..If both spouses aren’t on the same page – it can be awful with a horrible out come.

    • You are correct, it all costs money! But if you do the things that are within your power to do, it will start and it will be rewarding! One small thing at a time. And as you accomplish the small goals– like a garden, and some canning- the spouse will see the benefit and maybe get on board- A little bit at a time! Good luck, I understand- I have big dreams of a farm and homestead and my husband does Not!!! But I found some things he does like to do and start there- strawberries and fruit trees! And he helps with those things! Keep dreaming and learning, and try new things as you can manage to!

  22. I have really enjoyed your videos and articles. I only found you a couple of days ago. I have always wanted to homestead and lately my wife has really started to come on board. My friends are in the process of busy some acreage in Georgia. They also share in this dream. They have asked us to join them and help them homestead. We plan to garden and raise chickens, pigs, goats, and bees. We are also looking to own 1-2 teams of draft horses. This will allow us to pull out trees from wooded areas and not damage the rest. Also plan to acquire a portable sawmill. This will be useful in bartering and build our homes and barns. Very excited.

  23. I live in town, but want to be an off grid homesteader. In south arkansa

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