Prepping Positively

Homesteading After 40 - Changes To Make

July 24, 2023 Ann Marie Season 2 Episode 6
Homesteading After 40 - Changes To Make
Prepping Positively
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Prepping Positively
Homesteading After 40 - Changes To Make
Jul 24, 2023 Season 2 Episode 6
Ann Marie

In this episode learn how you can homestead after 40 easier and better by just making some small changes to the way you do your homesteading tasks.

Show Notes Transcript

In this episode learn how you can homestead after 40 easier and better by just making some small changes to the way you do your homesteading tasks.

Season 2  Episode 6. PP

Homesteading After 40 - What Changes?

Homesteading is hard work. It strenuous and labor intensive. So what is homesteading like after 40? What changes do you need to make? What needs to be done a bit differently?

In today’s episode we are going to talk about homesteading after 40 and how to make it a rewarding and successful adventure. Are you ready? Here we go…

Hi and welcome back to the Prepping Positively Podcast! I’m Annie, and today we are talking about what it’s like to homestead after the age of 40.

It’s one thing when you’re in your twenties and planting a garden, pulling weeds, watering, and pushing around a wheelbarrow. Kneeling down and working in the soil is not that difficult. Even working in the hot sun isn’t too bad right?

But after 40 our bodies seem to slow down a bit. The sun feels hotter, the tools we use for the garden seem heavier, and even a few of hours of gardening can make us want to take a nap.

I know many people that can go and go and go for hours even into their sixties! My sister is 70 and can run circles around most people. Even better is my 95 year old mother who can still put 30 bags of mulch out in a week and not complain or ache at all.

But for the majority of others, homesteading after 40 can be a challenge.

So do you give up your dream of being a homesteader? Heck no. Instead, you have to find ways to make those homesteading chores easier to manage and do. This may mean completely changing what you do or just changing how you do it.

Let’s look at gardening as an example. 

Those in-ground vegetable gardens you’ve always had may be an issue if you suffer from joint pain, arthritis, or back issues. 

So instead of planting in those in-ground beds, why not build some raised beds. 

With raised beds, you can bring the garden plot up to a height that is easier to manage and work with.

Whether they be just high enough for you to sit on them while planting and weeding or whether you build them tall enough to stand and work at, they will definitely make gardening easier.

Maybe you can’t build raised beds. Then an option is container gardening. 

Container gardening is wonderful for having a ton of veggies, herbs, and even fruit trees and flowers right on your patio or deck. Many food plants can and do thrive in containers. And your containers can be placed on a table or on shelving so you don’t have to bend when utilizing them. 

When using containers for plants, remember that the bigger the pot, the heavier the weight. So be sure to place your container where you want it before you fill it up to eliminate lifting it later.

Maybe you want to grow some herbs and veggies, but do not want to spend the time in the heat of summer. Maybe you want some fresh food in the winter. To solve this, although you may be a bit more limited in what you can grow, consider indoor gardening.

I can’t grow lettuce except for 2 months of the year because it is just too hot here in Florida. Instead, I have large windows in my office with glass shelving across them. Since I have an air conditioned home, I can grow lettuce on those shelves all year long. I also have herbs on windowsills, and a dwarf lemon tree in a pot next to my desk. 

Speaking of outside chores, what about the lawn? Most of us homesteaders, whether we live in a residential neighborhood, or on 100 plus acres of farmland, have some grass to mow. 

If you have a lot of land to mow, you may want to consider a grazing animal such as a cow, sheep, or goats. But if you have a small area, maybe you can hire a young adult in your community to do it for you. Maybe you can barter the lawn mowing for a service you can do.

If all else fails, throw out some wildflower seeds and enjoy a field of flowers.

Now how about the bigger projects like fencing repairs, barns, animal enclosures, etc?

The reality is if the things that need to be fixed or repaired are beyond your means, you may have to consider changing the situation. If you can no longer milk the cow, or carry hay, maybe it is time to butcher the cow or sell it. Then the fencing for the cow won’t be as big of an issue. If the barn needs repairs, but you no longer have animals needing a barn, is it better to have the barn removed? 

Now I am by no means saying to get rid of everything. But sometimes we have to give up things for life to be easier.

When I got my first pig, I squealed with excitement! I always wanted one. Well, like chickens, once I had one I wanted more. 21 more to be exact. I loved feeding them everyday, taking them the scraps, making them mud puddles to wallow in. 

But now, that I’m older, 53 to be exact, I don’t want to clean feeder troughs daily for 21 pigs. I no longer want to haul 8, 50 pound bags of feed weekly from my car to the shed and dump them into barrels. 

So what is the answer to make it easier? I sold off all but one pig. The benefits are amazing! I have less animals to feed, less feed to carry, and some great soil to plant in! Problem solved.

We raised chickens and sold eggs for a few years. 60 plus chickens actually. I have a quite large coop and a super big run. Although it is not hard to collect eggs everyday, when sales went down, I had to find room for all the extra eggs. 

Cleaning the large coop was very labor intensive! 60 chickens make a lot of chicken manure. So what was the answer to make it easier for me? 

First I lessoned the number of chickens from 60 to 30. Secondly, I switched to the deep litter method. With this method, I fill the chicken coop floor with hay about 6 to 12 inches thick. When they mat that down I add more until the depth of hay is at about one foot. 

Every six months, I remove all of the hay and start over. No smell, no problems, and it gives me tons of material to add to my compost bins and my gardens too. As a bonus, I still get plenty of eggs and even baby chicks. Now I can sell the chicks and eggs. I make more income selling both with half the number of chickens, half the feed bill, and half the work.

While we are talking about being outside and doing homestead or even farm chores, let’s talk about tools. We all have the common tools like rakes, hoes, shovels. pitchforks, and trimmers. You may also have chainsaws, pole saws, shredders, and so on. 

You can make using these tools easier by buying lighter weight tools. For example, my garden tools had very heavy and long handles on them. My man doesn’t struggle with them, but for me they were very heavy and awkward.

He needed well-built tools because he is rough on them. I however, needed lighter weight handles that were easy to manage and use without me being worn out after using them for only a few minutes. So the answer for me was to go to my local Acre Hardware store and purchase those lighter weight, shorter handled, tools that I could use and for a longer period of time.

As far as the bigger equipment like chainsaws, I can’t and won’t use them anymore due to a bad shoulder. If my man can’t find the time to do the tasks that require them, they don’t get done or I hire someone who can.

No matter what the chore is you are trying to do after 40, there is always a way to figure out how to make it easier on you. Imagine if you, right now, were completely by yourself suddenly. Could you keep your homestead going? Can you keep doing things the way you were? 

If the answers are no, then rethink those jobs. How can you make those jobs easier for you? What do you need to change? Make a list and start replacing and changing what you need to now. That way if and when the time comes, you are prepared and ready.

So if you are over 40, think about what you want to do and how you can do it successfully. I’m sure there is a way to do everything you would want and need to do with a bit less effort.