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Successful Homesteading, Issue # 39, Need Some Encouragement Today?
July 22, 2011

Issue #039, July 22, 2011

Need Some Encouragement Today?

Just recently as I was doing my early morning chores, I was faced with a discouraging sight: Two of my beloved chicks were dead. The next day two more were dead and then three more. A trip to the vet revealed the reason: heat stroke. This has been one of the hottest summers on record, and my poor chicks just couldn't handle the intense heat. We revamped our chicken tractor to add more ventilation and added a sprinkler system, but it was still discouraging to lose so many birds all at once. “I'm a chicken killer,” I lamented to my husband.

Then not long after that, I spoke to an old friend who with her husband has been farming for more than 40 years. Just that year they had started raising broilers for the first time, and an acquaintance recommended they feed their chicks a feed that accelerates growth. The chicks grew so fast, the poor things died of heart attacks before my friends could butcher them. As she sighed into the phone, you could hear her shrug all the way across the line. “You're always learning,” she said.

And so it is with homesteading. It's an art you never fully master. That's part of its allure and its frustration. It's so easy to blame yourself, throw up your hands and be tempted to quit, but before you throw in the towel and scurry back to the cubicle, think on this one truth: nothing of value is ever easy, whether it be starting your own business, learning a new skill or pursuing self sufficient living.

And as painful as they may be sometimes, our mistakes can be our most valuable assets. We never really learn from our successes the way we do from our failures. Failure is the driving force that makes us step back, reflect and discover how to be better.

Did your garden burn in the intense heat this summer? Did your canning attempts fail? Did you lose valuable livestock? Take heart; you can always try again next spring, with more knowledge and determination than you've ever had. Keep at it, and eventually you will become a confident, seasoned veteran with valuable skills that bless others for years to come.

What's New?

Grower of Giants

Grower of Giants is the name earned by one homesteader pursuing self reliance in Kentucky. Read his story here.

How to Make Weed Tea

Ever wonder how to grow truly magnificent vegetables with your organic gardening? The secret is to learn how to make weed tea. Read more.

Wilted Salad Recipe

Want an easy, low-cost way to make a high quality salad and impress your friends and family? Try this wilted salad recipe. Read more.

Honey Yields

Grower of Giants Marc Bryant shows you how to increase your honey yields. Read more.

How to Make Gourd Birdhouses

Gourds are wonderful additions to any homestead farm and are as useful as they are fun to grow. Read more.

Favorite Frugal Tips

Favorite frugal tips. So what are some of your favorite ways to save money? Share them here

My Service as a Family Entertainer

How one reader is earning extra income in a unique way. Read more.

Feeding Plants

You've brewed up a barrel full of weed tea - rainwater and weeds from your garden allowed to cook under the sun for several weeks - but how do you apply it? Here are some tips.

Alley Gardens

How one reading is pursuing self-sufficient gardening while living in an apartment with no back yard. Read more.

Getting Started

How one reader is planning on becoming self sufficient within the next year. Read more.

Agritourism Farm

Agritourism farm income is a way to earn a part-time or even full time income off your land while you pursue simple living. Read more.

Bees and Dutch Oven Cooking

Learn how a single dad is learning to cook with a Dutch oven and keep bees. Read more.

And as always, happy homesteading!

You Can Build a Chicken Tractor

If you’ve ever thought of keeping free range chickens in a chicken tractor, this book is for you! In addition to providing full plans and giving you step by step instructions on how to build your own chicken tractor, this handy guide gives tons of great tips, including great sources of free wood, how to recover your costs by selling chicks, chicken care and egg recipes. Click here to purchase.

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