Being prepared is something I am just starting to learn. As soon as our first child came into the world, I began to worry. I worried that the power would go out and I wouldn’t be able to keep him safe and warm. I worried that a pipe would burst and we would be sans water, and perhaps even sans home. I worried that a fire would consume our house and we wouldn’t have anywhere to go. I worried that a burglar would enter our home and I would be defenseless to protect my family. I worried that my husband would lose his job and we wouldn’t be able to pay all of our bills. I worried that food prices would soar too high and we woudln’t be able to afford to feed our family.

My answer to these worries… these fears? To prepare. I’m starting small. For now, I make sure that I am stocked up on batteries for flashlights, candles, canned and dried food, paper products, and hygeine items. We don’t have a lot of space to store things. At the moment, I would estimate that we would be able to get by for a month on our own. It woulnd’t be a pleasant month, but we’d get by. If the power were to go out, or we had a fire, we could probably visit family for a short time. But that is getting by on the backs of others, and eventually I would like to be free from that eventuality.

So what would we need to overcome these obstacles? I think having our own land and building our own house would help with all of these. We have agreed to heat with wood. That would mean that even without power we’d still be able to heat the house and cook. Two big worries knocked down. We have also talked about water storage. We could build a large holding tank with a water-pumping windmill attached. Water worries, check. We could till up a couple garden plots and raise many of our own fruits and vegetables. We could hunt game on our land. Food worries, buh bye. If we were able to pay for all of this as we went, we wouldn’t have a lot of debt to worry about paying for if times got really tough.

Yes, I know there is a lot of work that goes into making homesteading dreams come true. I have experience gardening, woodworking, raising chickens, chopping wood and stacking it, operating a woodstove, canning, dehydrating, clearing brush, pruning fruit trees and bushes, and living in the country. Things I still need to learn include seed saving, building fences, how to care for a well and septic system, construction techniques for a house and outbuildings, how to compost effectively, organic methods of gardening, how to chop a tree down, and much more. I’m a fast and willing learner, though, so I think this will be an interesting adventure.

No, I am not one of those nuts that believes in the end of mankind. I am not preparing for a massive nuclear war, nor am I readying myself for zombies left over after a major virus wipes out 90% of the human population. I just want to make it through the small stuff life throws at us. I want my children to grow up knowing where their food comes from. I want them to grow into responsible adults, to know the value of a hard days labor, to know how to take care of themselves.