Homesteading veterans are pretty awesome, right? They know stuff. They’ve got experience. They’ve been around the block more than a few times and they’ve done things. They don’t necessarily need to read all the books and blog posts because they have a lot of first hand experience. Heck, maybe they’ve even written the books and blog posts that other people are reading. (Ahem.) They have tricks and tips up their sleeves that they’re happy to share with you while you help them pull weeds or milk goats or knead bread or work on a quilt.
And sure, some homestead veterans may smirk inside when a newbie homesteader is over the top excited when harvesting their first tomato or gathering their first egg. They may secretly roll their eyes at some of the questions they ask. But here’s the thing: homesteading newbies are so important to homesteading veterans. Here are three reasons why:
Homesteading newbies have zest!
Homesteading newbies have a zest for homesteading that veterans tend to lose. Yes, things are always more exciting when you’re starting out because they are new, but that doesn’t mean that the excitement needs to completely die away as you move on in your skills and experience. Homesteading is an amazing, miraculous thing to take on, and forgetting that fact will be the death of your motivation to continue.
Homesteading newbies can show veterans how to do things differently.
Even if you’ve been homesteading for years, there are always new ways of doing things that come along. Homestead veterans sometimes scoff at newbies who “learned a new trick from a blog post”, but really…what’s wrong with that? If it works, what harm is done? If you turn your ear and listen to what the newbies and wannabes are learning, you might just find you learn something yourself.
Wannabes and/or newbies are also good for showing veterans a better way to use part of their land. I know some folks who are dreaming of a piece of land, and in the meantime are comparatively making better use of the space in their postage stamp sized yard than some homesteaders are doing with 10 acres.
Homesteading newbies remind veterans to be thankful.
Newbies give veterans a perspective on being thankful. Ever feel complacent about your chickens, pigs, or 2400 square foot garden? Talk to someone who can’t have that and hungers for the day they can.
Wannabe homesteaders remind veteran homesteaders of what they’ve got. Or at least they should, if homestead veterans are paying attention. Come on, veterans: sometimes that person who squeals with delight that you have 20 free range chickens should not be condescendingly patted on the head, they should be given a smile and a hearty thank you for reminding you how blessed you are that you can have 20 free range chickens.
Homesteading newbies and wannabes often look up to homesteading veterans as being able to teach them a ton of things—which makes sense because homesteading veterans have a ton of experience to share! But homesteading newbies and wannabes are just as important to the grand picture, and the homesteading community is stronger when wannabes, newbies, and veterans all work together.