As a homesteader, it’s easy to get hung up on all the things we don’t know. We’re always looking for that other homesteader who knows more than us. Because of this, it can sometimes catch us off guard when someone wants our advice. Me? A homestead expert? Are you kidding?
Yes, you. Let’s talk a little bit about your homestead expertise and why other people need to hear about it.
You’re a homestead expert on your own experiences.
Homesteading encompasses a huge field of experiences, and everyone has their own homesteading stuff they’ve dealt with. Not everyone has knowledge about the same homesteading skills, and that’s okay.
When we moved to our farm several years ago, I assumed everyone around us who had farmed or homesteaded longer than us knew everything about everything. So I would ask someone who had cows all my questions about raising hogs. I mean, aren’t farm animals…farm animals?
(I can hear you laughing. It’s okay.)
I would ask chicken farmers about hay.
I would ask someone who had a bunch of apple trees a ton of questions about my raspberry patch.
I would ask someone who grew amazing tomatoes about their best tips for homemade bread.
It didn’t take me long to figure out that while homesteaders know a lot of things, there isn’t a single homesteader out there who knows everything about everything.
We’ve all got things we know about and things we are downright clueless about. Why? Because we don’t have everything on our homestead.
You can’t be an expert in everything, but you can be an expert in the things you’ve experienced. You haven’t dealt with everything on your homestead, but you have dealt with things.
See the difference?
Value the experiences you have. People can learn from you, homestead expert.
Don’t discredit the experiences you have had just because you know someone out there might know more.
As a homestead blogger, this is something I honestly struggle with. There are at least 4,923 articles I should write—but haven’t—because
- a) I mistakenly believe that most people won’t find the information useful, or,
- b) I figure someone knows more than me about it and is more qualified to answer that question.
Thank goodness I have readers who kick my butt about that.
“Amy, write an article about how to build an incubator from a cooler.”
“Amy, did you write that article about how to build a fodder system yet?”
“So…do you have any articles on how to deal with a mean rooster?”
“You know what I could use an article on? Why my bread never turns out.”
“What kind of meat birds should I raise, Amy? What do you think?”
Everyone’s experience in homesteading can help someone else. Sure, there are lots of people who might know what you know. But there are also people who don’t. You might learn something in your first six months raising chickens that someone else hasn’t dealt with in six years of keeping chickens.
Just because someone has been homesteading for years doesn’t mean they’ve experienced everything there is to experience.
Part of being a homestead expert is learning to ignore the haters.
Everyone has had their own experiences, and along with that comes their own opinion. Don’t be afraid to tell your homesteading story just because you think someone will tell you you’re wrong or inexperienced or don’t know what you’re talking about.
If your advice is truly based on your experience, how can they tell you you don’t know what you’re talking about?
People can have conflicting bits of advice because people have different experiences. It’s fine. Don’t take it personally, and don’t let it keep you from sharing what you know.
(And if someone is really rude regarding your advice or experience, maybe remind them that we should all be interacting with each other like we would at a good ol’ fashioned fried chicken dinner.)
A homestead expert never stops learning.
While you may be an expert at your own homesteading experiences, a real homestead expert never stops learning. They never stop searching for more information that can make them an even better homesteader.
Don’t be afraid to ask questions. It sounds like something your elementary school teacher would say, but there really aren’t any dumb questions. The only way that we learn more about homesteading is to ask the people who have experience in the homesteading things we want to learn more about.
So, yes—never stop learning more about homesteading. But remember to go forth and tell your homesteading story. You’re a homestead expert at your own homesteading life.