There are lots of blogs and websites and online magazines about homesteading. Some of them are not very useful, unless one has a good job, a bank account with a four digit balance, and a barn full of inherited equipment. Others aren’t much more than glorified garden sites, and some are written while looking through rose-coloured glass.
I am trying to avoid that. My favourite crofting sites (the two I have found) are not rosy. One crofter, raising Berkshire pigs, is honest and forthright and includes photos of the poor little piglets that didn’t make it, as well as great shots of sunsets and misty hills in Scotland. The other is an island croft, where a writing couple are trying to make a go of raising vegetables and animals while managing their own careers and a small publishing house.
I am trying to be honest about our struggles. Maybe we will make a decent enough living here, or at least just about feed ourselves. I am still cautiously optimistic.I have a weed-bound garden, five remaining silkie chicks – and I isolated one this morning because it looked distressed – three not very productive goats who conspire to eat my bean plants and the neighbour’s grapevine, a herding dog who the goats treat with disdain, and an income that most months covers the necessities and nothing more, like truck repairs. I have to make decisions about whether to buy medication or pay the phone bill.
Like a lot of people now, we are living on the edge. We do not borrow money. We do not receive any welfare benefits. In desperate months, the church has given us a hand. That is what churches are for. I would work if I could, but the only work I am allowed in Canada right now is as clergy, and my bishop is not answering letters or returning phone calls. Without his permission, I can’t work for another church.
Well, we keep rolling along anyway. Today looks like an indoor kind of day, overcast and damp. Laundry and ironing await!