How to Set a Vision for Your Dream Hobby Homestead

 

5 Ways to Get Started on Your 'Simple Life' Dreams

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It’s easy to pin beautiful photos of picturesque animals and gardens, but I want to share with you helpful tips of planning your own dream hobby homestead.

1. Know Your Why

If you think country living is all romance and flower farms, think again. Having a deeper purpose than an idyllic place to live or searching for some sort of 'slow living' answer isn't going to cut it when you've got to get out of bed at 2am because a coyote broke through your fence and attacked your animals. 

If you're looking for slow living, don't wait until you're in the country. How can you embrace a slow life in your everyday now? And you may want to re-think you're definition of slow. As any farmer knows, it takes a lot of hard work and patience to produce what you want.

2. Understand what you're getting into 

Educate, experience, walk through it.

Of course, reading all the literature you can get your hands on is super helpful and important. But I can't express how beneficial it is to get your hands dirty and try it out. Even if you can't find a mentor of sorts to walk you through want you want to do, start with a small garden or backyard chickens right where you are.

3. Be on the same page as your partner

It's totally fine if you have different interests. Nate is eager for the cattle ranching side and I'm excited about breeding Babydoll Southdown Sheep for Cottage Hill Ranch. But we both are working towards both of those things happening in time that makes sense based on what projects we can accomplish, money, weather, etc.

There will be compromise, but make sure you're looking at life in the same direction. 

4. It can get surprisingly expensive

A 'simple barn' on Pinterest is a lot more expensive than you think. Yes, 'cost of living' may be less when you live rurally, but farm life can get very expensive very fast. Know the costs of your dreams.

 To give you perspective, my chicken coop cost about $2,500 for materials, labor, chickens and starting food.  While my dream chicken coops looked like this , I had to find a way to make it how I wanted, but not get carried away because it can get expensive fast.

To give you perspective, my chicken coop cost about $2,500 for materials, labor, chickens and starting food. While my dream chicken coops looked like this, I had to find a way to make it how I wanted, but not get carried away because it can get expensive fast.

 I named our chickens after character from my favorite sitcom, Designing Women. This is Julia Sugarbaker.

I named our chickens after character from my favorite sitcom, Designing Women. This is Julia Sugarbaker.

 We own 10 acres and my in-laws live on 100+ acres East of us. The way the land is laid out, we can't see each other because we're separated by woods. It's nice to have family near, but not feel like we live next door. It's also so nice for Hadley to be able to walk to Gigi's house and visit their animals. Finding land with family can help you find a prettier piece of property.

We own 10 acres and my in-laws live on 100+ acres East of us. The way the land is laid out, we can't see each other because we're separated by woods. It's nice to have family near, but not feel like we live next door. It's also so nice for Hadley to be able to walk to Gigi's house and visit their animals. Finding land with family can help you find a prettier piece of property.

 We co-own some cattle with my in-laws and are hoping to really grow the herd next year. I'm expecting my first horse ever later this fall, a beautiful Palomino. We're also getting our sheep in the spring of 2019. My sister-in-law and brother-in-law have kept their mini horses here and just had a baby mini horse that kind of broke the Internet,  see here.  My in-laws also have two mini donkeys who are my absolute favorite of the farm,  see here.

We co-own some cattle with my in-laws and are hoping to really grow the herd next year. I'm expecting my first horse ever later this fall, a beautiful Palomino. We're also getting our sheep in the spring of 2019. My sister-in-law and brother-in-law have kept their mini horses here and just had a baby mini horse that kind of broke the Internet, see here. My in-laws also have two mini donkeys who are my absolute favorite of the farm, see here.

 And sometimes we get chased (friendly, of course) by my in-laws excited Wirehaired Griffons!

And sometimes we get chased (friendly, of course) by my in-laws excited Wirehaired Griffons!

 I'm so grateful Hadley, and baby #2 coming spring 2019, get to grow up at  Cottage Hill Ranch .

I'm so grateful Hadley, and baby #2 coming spring 2019, get to grow up at Cottage Hill Ranch.

5. Be clear, but flexible and patient with your dreams

Just like anytime you work with nature, you definitely need a clear vision—what you want and do not want. But you've got to be flexible, there's no such thing as the 'perfect' piece of land. Also, Nate and I drove around and search for land every weekend or free evening for about 2 years before finding our place. Be patient, and you'll find your home.


We are definitely learning as we go, but if you'd like to follow along on our ranch adventures I share more over on Instagram!

@katieoselvidge


 
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