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How To Create A Self Sufficient Homestead – A 10 Year Plan Comes To Life!

It’s hard to believe, but exactly 10 years ago this month we set about creating our little self-sufficient homestead on a 2+ acre plot of overgrown land.

Creating A Self Sufficient Homestead
A look at how our little self sufficient farm looked September 1st, 2010. That brush may look small, but it was close to 7′ tall!

That’s right, this month, we are celebrating the 10th anniversary of Old World Garden Farms!

And the farm is certainly a far cry from where it was back then. It was September of 2010, and all we had were dreams. There was no garden, no barn, and no chicken coop.

Nor was there a strawberry patch, apple trees, grape vines or blueberry bushes. And most of all, their certainly wasn’t a cabin or a house to call home. But armed with a 10 year plan, we were determined to make it happen!

Creating A Self Sufficient Homestead – The Plan

One thing is for certain, to fulfill any dream, you have to have a plan. So we sat down and scribbled out our 10 year plan to create a homestead that we could hopefully, someday actually call home.

create a self-sufficient homestead
Old World Garden Farms as it looks in mid-September, 2020.

We started with what was most important to us – creating a more simple, self sufficient life.

A life in which we could grow and preserve most of our food, build and create more of what we used, and follow our passions of gardening, cooking and all things DIY.

But we also wanted to do it with a zero-debt philosophy. After all, debt = stress. And we knew the more we learned to do ourselves, the more we could save.

the first chicken coop
Our first chicken coop back in 2011. Built from recycled pallets and shipping crates, it was created for under $100.

The Most Important Goal Of All

There was one final goal we both agreed on more than anything else. And to us, it really is the secret to creating a homesteading success and life.

And that goal? To always, always, always find the fun in everything we do. Meaning, to enjoy the path, the journey and the process as much as the final outcomes.

It is one thing we certainly have always done, and will always do! Oh, yes, have we ever screwed up projects! In fact, many, many times. And oh have we ever failed at building and planting things.

how to create a homestead
Building our own barn from 2 old barns was quite the learning experience. We faced a lot of challenges, but had a lot of fun with the process.

But we have laughed and smiled all along the way. And more importantly, kept at whatever we were doing until we figured it out. After all, the only time you truly fail is when you give up.

And honestly, we both will tell you we have enjoyed the process probably even more than the results. And that includes the failures right along with the successes.

Creating A More Self Sufficient Life

One thing is for sure, whether you live in a tiny apartment, or have 5000 acres, anyone can live a little better by becoming more self sufficient.

By learning to grow some of their own food. Or perhaps building and creating things they need. Or maybe just by slowing down and enjoying life without the need to be rushed. See: The Five Simple Secrets To Create A More Self Sufficient Life.

The Simple House
In 2016, we built our little 1054 square foot home and finally fulfilled our dream to live at the farm.

When we began this journey 10 years ago, we started documenting it all with what was a little tiny blog we called Old World Garden Farms. In fact, it was somewhat of a joke to keep family and friends from thinking we had lost our mind by trying to grow all our own food!

But somehow it evolved and grew into a life of its own. And we discovered we loved writing and talking about what we loved doing just as much as doing it. It eventually led to our first book Growing Simple, something we never imagined we would be writing some 10 years ago!

The Next 10 Years – Creating A Self-Sufficient Homestead

So what are our goals for the next 10 years? Well, for certain, that number 1 goal of enjoying life and the process is still and will always be firmly seated at number 1.

2x4 canning jar cabinet
One of our most favorite projects of all, our homemade canning jar cabinet.

But beyond that, for us, it is to keep spreading the joy of simple living through our writing.

This coming November, we will be creating a 5 part series on creating a homestead that will lay out the steps one by one to creating a simple life on less than an acre. Hopefully, it can serve as a guide for others looking to do the same.

But one thing is for sure – we will continue creating our little self sufficient homestead, and even more enjoy spending time in the garden, or cooking or canning, or simply enjoying a more laid back life on the farm.

open fire cooking bar
Making homemade soup from the garden over the fire – still one of our favorite things of all to do at the farm!

Happy 10th Anniversary Old World Garden Farms, Happy Gardening – and thank you to all who have followed along with the journey! Jim and Mary.

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