Living Homegrown

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Start Where You Are

Homesteading-Start Where You Are -

People dive into homesteading and preserving for a variety of reasons.

For me – it’s about:

  • Capturing seasonal flavor
  • Connecting with my food
  • Knowing where my food came from and where I am headed
  • Reducing my imprint on the earth – because by putting up food, I am being less wasteful

In other words, for me homesteading is about living closer to the earth and supporting the environment through more sustainable food choices.

That’s the reason many of us start on this journey, isn’t it?

We may not have a farm or even a large chunk of backyard, but we still want to dabble at growing food or raising chickens or making our own cheese and bread, etc.

We step into these things because it also makes us a part of something bigger.

And there in lies the problem for some…

The Beginning:

I find that many times, people who are just starting out on this journey feel very intimidated when they see what others are doing.

They may desperately want to start, but they are afraid to take the first step because it looks like everyone has it all figured out.

That first step can feel huge sometimes – especially when learning new skills like canning and fermenting.

But here’s the thing…

Every single canner, chicken wrangler and homesteader started at the beginning.

Every. Single. One.

Even if they were born into that lifestyle (and most were not), they had to learn at the beginning.

So if you want to learn a new skill, you should simply do this…

Start where you are.

That’s it.

Don’t compare your jam to what you see in a book or your garden to a magazine spread (which only shows the best shots and angles anyway).


You shouldn’t compare.

You are on your OWN path.

Embrace the fact that each of us is in a different place. And that means we can share and help each other along the way.

And in case you don’t already know this, you will find that homesteader-types are the most generous and giving group of people!

Everybody wants to help by sharing tips, hints…even seeds.

None of us know “everything”. We seek out others who know more and we share info.

That’s the beauty of it.

So do this…

Start Where You Are -

Start simple.

I always tell my canning students to start with a simple recipe to give themselves confidence.

Don’t start with a complicated, time consuming chutney.

Instead, make a simple blueberry or cranberry jam (which is pretty much guaranteed to work) so that you:

  • Build up your confidence
  • Learn the ropes
  • Get a feel for the process.

Once you get something under your belt, you can pat yourself on the back and then take another step.

So, if you are thinking of starting something new this spring like planting a new garden or learning to ferment – go easy on yourself and just start where you are.

You’ve got this. And if any of us are ahead of you on the learning curve…

Well, we’ve got your back.


Tell me – What new skill are you wanting to learn this year?

Let me know in the comments below!

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About the Author:

Theresa Loe is the founder of Living Homegrown® and the Canning Academy®. For 9 years, Theresa was the Co-Executive Producer & Canning Expert on the national PBS gardening series, Growing A Greener World®. Theresa homesteads on just 1/10th of an acre in Los Angeles with her husband, two sons and several disorderly but totally adorable chickens. Learn more about Living Homegrown here and about the Canning Academy here.