Welcome to the Homestead Challenge!
You didn’t grow up learning about any of this stuff… Maybe you don’t even want a farm. You’re in the right place, my friend!
Let’s figure out how to make homesteading work in this modern, busy life. I am excited to walk on this journey with you as we navigate busting through the overwhelm and burnout and make our homesteading dreams become a reality.
Grab that sourdough starter from the back of your fridge girl, it’s time to rise!
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The Blog is Born
In 2020 quarantine fashion, my best friend and I challenged ourselves to start learning more of the traditional homesteading skills we had longed to learn, and created an Instagram challenge to have others join along. This blog started as my personal journey of testing new skills to pass down through generations, and sometimes failing pretty badly.
Then I went down the road of trying to learn all the homesteady things… I took all the courses, bought every Instagram bundle of information… bought a canner, a grain mill, a dehydrator, and more… and then I hit the burnout wall.
Attempting to master every internet-suggested skill all at once led to a lot of wasted time and, let’s be honest, quite a bit of wasted money.
I was left with a ton of home-canned goods I didn’t actually use. Felt guilty about not baking all of my bread, when I actually don’t even LOVE baking. I grew things in the garden that I would NEVER eat.
Making Homesteading Work In the Modern World
But guess what? It doesn’t have to be an all-or-nothing ordeal. I’ve found a way to live out homesteading principles in my own modern style, letting go of some things and crafting a plan that sticks. And now, I’m here to guide you to do the same.
I’ve learned a lot, found systems that I can actually stick to, and have found contentment along the way.
It is my desire to share this journey with those who did not grow up learning to cook, clean, garden, or do any of these homestead-y things. While I am greatly inspired by all of the famous homesteaders online with large properties, full prepper pantries, and all of the skills to live off-grid… That’s just not me. I am a modern homesteader, doing the best I can, and doing the things that bring me joy!
Let’s back it up a little…
Growing up…. I did not cook. Not at all. Not only did I not cook, I basically ate nothing but chicken nuggets and plain noodles. My mom cooked every day, so I am not really sure where the disconnect was.
I was also a hyper-consumer (still in recovery). I always needed the latest fast fashion, ate out several times a week, and always wanted more. I never knew about the unethical practices of big companies or all of the toxins that I was consuming on a daily basis.
I went to college and became a Hospitality Management major. The classes on planning and managing came easily to me. Then they told me I had to learn the basics of cooking and actually serve on the line at a restaurant. Scary stuff.
This course taught me the basic necessities to cook and not kill anyone. I wish I could say that this was a romantic love story where I fell in love with food and learned to cook inspiring meals for all of my college friends. It’s not. In fact, I would often have a panic attack every single time I had to go to this class. I still ate a lot of Subway and made a lot of nuggets.
Sowing the Seeds of Sustainability
College passed very quickly and I found myself working in a position where I had the opportunity to work with a professional chef hosting gourmet meals in amazing locations across a National Park. Again, the planning portion was a piece of cake. This chef HATED me and my lack of kitchen skills. Again, this was not my love story with food.
During this time as I grew more and more in love with our National Park, you would think I would have become more sustainable. Sure, I recycled and thrifted. My family even started calling me “crunchy,” but was I?
From Incompetent Cook to The Homestead Challenge
I got married, my husband joined the Army and we were quickly whisked away to an odd land (Alabama) where I knew no one, had no job, and suddenly it was up to me to become a homemaker. Each evening was a learning experience as I had to teach myself cooking basics. We had a lot of the same standard meals on repeat during that phase.
In 2019 we were blessed with our first child and I began to feel a need to create the best home possible for my family. I researched zero-waste lifestyles, making food from scratch, growing our own food, etc…
I started my journey by reducing plastic and other simple household waste in my kitchen. Anytime I bought a new item, I would search for a plastic-free option. I do not have paper towels, but instead use cloth (Whoa! What a crazy concept!). Over time, these simple practices snuck their way into our everyday lives. We even compost now!
This story led into that 2020 Instagram challenge and continues to grow as I learn new skills each year. But better yet, I am learning how to make these skills realistic in this modern world, in my little homestead in suburbia.
If you’re ready to homestead in a way that meshes with your busy life— Join me and let’s make your homesteading goals a reality!
Photos by Hannah Sanchez Photography
Fun Facts about Brittany of The Homestead Challenge
Join me in creating a homestead life, wherever you live.
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