I recently read one of the more popular books regarding the Laws of Attraction and bringing what you want into your life with positive thought.  When I thought about how this would apply to homesteading, I started to laugh.  When you have a homestead and put out positive thoughts, as well as the spoken word, you can attract a lot!  It’s not always positive and that is when you learn the need for a great sense of humor.

I have grown up in a family of homesteaders, urban farmers, ranchers, dairy farmers, and back-to-the-land hippies.  We all love the land and are very aware of the Laws of Attraction when it comes to gathering, obtaining, barter and wondering, “Where the heck did that come from?!”

It’s easy.  Just have a positive thought of what you want and then pass the word, advertise in a little, free local paper or on the internet.  Believe me, you will get a lot more than you ever thought possible and sometimes you will find yourself laughing at what you find – or what finds you.

How the Law of Attraction works:

The law of attraction is based on the principle that you can attract what you would like from the universe by positive thought.  You can write it on a piece of paper and put it away, make a list of what you want, or plant your thoughts deep within your mind.

Then change all thoughts to positive thoughts.  If you are having a bad day and everything is seems to be going wrong you just take a deep breath, refocus your visions and change every thought you have to something positive.  If you find yourself criticizing something your spouse or a friend has done, turn that thought around to something they do you like and forget the bad stuff.

What you are really doing is creating a positive outlook on life and finding all the best it has to offer.  You find yourself feeling better, happier and more alive because you aren’t worrying about what happened yesterday or what might happen tomorrow.  In creating a better attitude, you attract like personalities, practicing the same ways you follow or choose to accept.

Word gets out you are fun to be with, helpful, and have a new, relaxed outlook; its easier to find solutions to challenges rather than problems.  It’s really a basic concept anyone can do, but for some it takes a lot of practice.  That’s ok.  It’s a daily challenge!

What do you need or want for your homestead?

This is where the fun comes to life.  Anything you want from animals to plants to money will start to appear just for the cost of a little work, effort, and creative thought.  Look at everything around you as something that is beautiful and artistic.  It’s all income and it’s all entertainment in some form.

Let your homestead work for you.  Learn about what grows on it, or will never grow on it, what the wildlife is and how to live with it.  Build a dream and make a list of everything you need to make it come true.  Starting with step one, you can list each step and mark off each accomplishment.  This way you see your homestead dreams and lifestyle changes as each one occurs, without the stress of what you haven’t done yet.

Animals

Goats.  When you are ready for animals on the homestead, but you are short of cash, all you have to do is think positive, pass the word for farm animals someone no longer wants and then just wait.  It doesn’t take long before some good soul brings you your first quality goat.

Goats are cute, friendly, and fun.  You can play with goats and they love to be around people.  They eat just about anything your family doesn’t eat.  Your goat is comical with a unique sense of humor that will have your laughing for hours.  Of course, your goat will also do things that will make you mad, but your friends will laugh for hours and hours.  The one laughing the hardest will be the person who gave that dang goat to you to begin with!

The first thing you will discover about your goat is how easy it is to feed.  They will eat all your family’s left over meals… plus the flowers, the weeds, the vegetable garden, your outdoor furniture, your pant legs, your shirt tail, and your shoes if you leave them within reach.

But if the goat has one of your shoes you can take it easily from him – after a great game of Chase and Miss.  Goats love to be chased and the madder you get and louder you yell the more it amuses the goat.  Eventually you will retrieve your shoes. A little chewed, a little wet, but in fairly good condition.  You will find yourself getting in great shape as you try to find your other shoe.  It will become your daily workout, providing you and your neighbors with hours of fun.

Goats love to climb.  They are great little climbers you can learn a lot from.  To distract them from your shoes place an obstacle in the yard for them to climb on.  Such as your car or truck.  You will know they are having fun when you hear that distinctive sound of banging metal as they tap dance on the hood.  You can relive the happy moments with your friends when you explain what those unusual marks are – you know, the ones that look like hoof prints.

Chickens. Chickens are your next source of farm-animal fun.  If you have never raised chickens they are a great food and income source.  You will need at least one rooster to go with your chickens if want them to lay (fertilized) farm fresh eggs.  You will love your first rooster when it crows at the crack of dawn, letting you know the eggs are ready, fresh and tasty.

But most roosters like to let you know they think you should get up at midnight, 2:00 A.M., 3:00 A.M., and so on until you are ready to throw at brick at it.  Once the roosters quiets down and the sun is peaking over the valley you can collect the eggs.

Be careful, because your quiet rooster was just storing energy for a surprise attack when you enter the coop.  They will attack from overhead, around corners, peck your back, ears, head, legs, and anything else that will bleed and make you look like a greenhorn, homestead fool.  The best way to handle this problem is to pass him on to the next new homesteader.  Or introduce him to the fine art of tasty stews.

Now that the rooster is asleep from another brick to the head, you can gather the eggs.  Just reach under the chicken and grab the egg.  Don’t worry about the pecking of your hands, the squawking noise and flapping wings and flying feathers.  Once you get your eggs into the basket and into the house you are ready to cook breakfast.  What?  The eggs are all dirty?  Well, they did come from a chickens hiney, so you are going to have to wash them.  Greenhorn….

Next you want to learn how to enjoy that young fryer with potato salad and baked beans.  So you are going to have to butcher your first chicken.  It’s great fun for the first-time chicken chopper.  Be sure to have a good grip on the body of the chicken when you chop off the head.  If you drop the chicken’s body it is going to…well…run around like a chicken with its head chopped off.

The fun part is when the neighbors are watching you and the dogs trying to catch the chicken.  It has no head so it can’t see.  It can’t think so it doesn’t much care which way its running.  You will have to be fast and this is when your old football moves come in handy.  Make a grand dive for your headless chicken and wrestle it away from the dogs while trying to drag yourself, the chicken, and the dogs out of the homestead pond.

But don’t worry.  Your neighbors will be right there laughing and giving you more advice for their entertainment.  Soon, everyone will want to know you and listen to your advice on catching a headless chicken on the run.

Plants.

Vegetable gardens are going to be your fresh and ready food during the summer and fall, and can be frozen for use the rest of the winter.  If you have never grown a garden, I suggest you plant a good crop of zucchini.  It grows like a weed, produces on a daily basis and you will not be able to find enough recipes to change the flavor.  You can grow enough to have zucchini pancakes, zucchini hamburgers, zucchini pie, zucchini everything!  But you will feel very successful with your first time garden.

Be careful who you get your seeds from.  The old homesteader with long hair, a kicked-back lifestyle and no social-security number may give you seeds that are not quite legal to grow.  It’s a good cash crop, but you could end up in the homestead big house.  Then you may find yourself growing suspicious of your neighbors.

Sometimes the first time gardener does a great job.  You will love all the good, fresh produce your garden provides.  So will the local deer, rabbit, kids, goats, and whatever else happens to wander through the neighborhood.  Always be on the lookout for attack from below in the form of gophers.  You will learn about bugs, snakes, insects, weather conditions, heat, cold, unexpected snow, water, lack of water, and so many other fun facts you never learned in school.

If your garden isn’t as good as you had hoped, you can gather your bounty from the wild.  There are always special foods indigenous to the area.  In the northwest there are huckleberries, wild grapes and other yummy items you can fight the bears for.

In the southwest are blackberries, various greens and always an abundance of dandelions.  Just be careful and watch out for that western plant of fun with five little leaves that turn a beautiful shade of red in late summer and early fall.  It goes by the well earned name, Poison Oak.

If you pick this plant and ingest any of it, then you are headed for the emergency room.  This is not a homestead plant you want to pick, eat, burn, touch or ingest in any way.  You will swell up like a balloon, break out in sores and feel just miserable.  It can cause problems in the lungs if you inhale the smoke from burning the plant.  You can even catch it from petting one of your farm animals that have played in it.

If you find Poison Oak on your property call your local county extension to find out the correct way to remove it as quickly as possible.  This is not something you want to mess with.  This can hold true for any plant you may gather in the wild; know what you are gathering and how to prepare it.  Keep your family safe and know what you are eating and touching in the wilds of the homestead.

Income.

Every good homestead needs an income source of some kind.  You can take a job on the outside, work seasonal jobs, temporary jobs, at neighboring ranches and farms, or create your own income with a personal business or homestead products.

You start small and work your way up.  Do not plan to make a lot of money to begin with, but each step and each payment brings you a little closer to a larger paycheck or useful income.  Be patient.  Be happy.  Live in peace with the land and all it offers.

For example, you can go into the scrap metal and savage business.  After all, you have the room to gather all kinds of metals to sell.  Old storage units, metal pipes, old bicycles and any other items of value you find laying along the side of the road.

Place an ad and say you will pick up any old scrap metal from homesteads.  You will find yourself with a thriving business.  But, you must take it all or nothing!  This is how the other homesteaders clean their property of old cars and buildings all at once.  By the time you lug it all home, pay for twenty trips of gas for your pick up, fight the ever present wasps, both eyes should be swollen shut for a good nights sleep.

They’re laughing again!  You are the most positive entertainment the other homesteaders in the area have had in a long time.

You already have your goats and chickens.  You know the problems and the pleasure, but you may also have some income from them and their by-products.  What goes into your animals must come out the other end and this is some of the best plant food you can find.  It’s all natural, eco-friendly and you have to get rid of it after a while or the smell will drive you off the homestead.

This is an easy one to solve.  All that good, ripe manure goes into your struggling garden, to the neighbors and anyone else willing to take it off your hands for the simple trade of vegetables and flowers when harvest time arrives.  This also solves the problem of the beginning gardener with a black thumb.

When your garden fails to produce enough or you are just starting small until you learn more, this is a trade that will fill the freezer and pantry with plenty of good eats to last the seasons.  You can place fliers at local stores or just tell everyone in town you meet that it’s available for trade.

If you want your goat to work to pay off its debt from the dents in the hood and the new work boots, he will be happy to visit a children’s party for the price of a dollar bill and free cake.  Kids and kids go together and both have a lot of fun.  Just be sure you muzzle the goat so a child will not get bitten.  This is a rare occurrence, but a good safety measure to protect the children, the goat, and yourself.

Your chickens are a great extra income once you have them started.  Eggs can be sold from home, to businesses, to restaurants, and at swap meets or to neighbors.  If you have enough chicks, they sell well during the spring and during summer holidays.  Raise several of the new chicks to fryer size and have them butchered.  You don’t have to do it yourself, but the cost they save you by filling your freezer will more than make up the cost at the store.

Everyone loves farm fresh eggs, but they will sell better if you clean them up a bit first. Ask your customers to bring their empty egg cartons.  It’s eco-friendly, and economical for you.  Once you have the customers on the homestead you will find all kinds of things to offer them for just another small addition to the price of the eggs.  Scrap metal?  A goat?

Check into local city and county laws regarding the use of your land for hunting or fishing use to private parties.  It’s a great way to make an extra income without any kind of effort on your part.  The customer just pays you the use of your land for hunting or fishing for an agreed upon time period.  This same idea can be used for city farm plots, picnics, photography groups or family reunions.  Offer an outdoor potty shelter, get a signed release, and collect your cash as they drive in.

Your homestead can work for you if you just pass the word, keep a positive outlook and no matter what, you have to keep your sense of humor.  A good laugh at yourself makes it easier to accept what nature can throw at you from any direction.  And all the great stuff the neighbors will give you out of the kindness of the great, big, funny hearts!

 

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