Homesteading and Self-Sufficiency

Is it time for you to ruralize? Is the idea of homesteading and becoming self-sufficient appealing more and more? Welcome to the club.

Four years ago, my son and I left the congestion and high property costs of Tampa Bay and headed for a small village in central Florida. Since then, we have figured out many of the pros and cons about ruralizing. Here are a few of each.

Pro: Rural areas – even those fairly close to smaller cities – can usually offer lower home purchase prices, if you have a decent down payment set aside.

Con: At the same time, there are not as many rentals available in rural areas.

Pro: If you buy a house, you might have enough space in your yard for a food garden.

Con: The grocery store is likely to be many miles away from where you live.

Pro: During the pandemic, we thanked our lucky stars for living in a small community with fewer people.

Con: We found more people with guns and fewer people wearing masks than we would have liked here in rural Florida.

If you’re planning to “go rural” check out the area you’re interested in carefully before you sign anything or call the movers. Assess the distance to food supply, doctors, schools, car repair (no bus service or commuter trains), restaurants and more. If you’re used to city life, or even suburban living… everything in rural areas will be fewer and farther between. Where we live, we have a couple of good mom-and-pop restaurants… but we only have two total.

On the other hand, if you’re thinking about homesteading, there are a lot of great books and magazines to help you get up to speed (in theory, at least) ahead of time.

In Florida, my favorite food growing expert is David the Good. I have all his books, but still haven’t started my garden… so I guess I’m still in the research phase. This is his latest book:

You might want to check out Backwoods Home Magazine for DIY everything and one of my favorite prepper books Start Prepping! by Tim Young, who explains self-sufficiency without focusing on military tactics.

Sometime in the next couple of years, my dream is to live in a small self-sufficient community of like-minded people. Stay tuned…