The Five Reasons Why We Homestead

Are you interested in homesteading? Have you been dreaming of a simpler life? I want to encourage you to step out in faith! I’m sharing our five top reasons why we began this lifestyle and why we never intend to change. 

Picture of a garden with a greenhouse and barn in the background.

I hope that the insight into our journey will give you the motivation you need to take that first step towards homesteading. If you have already decided to pursue the homesteading lifestyle, check out my three favorite books on homesteading for further inspiration.

Homesteading is a favorite topic of mine to talk about. Since publishing this blog post, I have since recorded a podcast episode on why I homestead. I hope you will enjoy it below.

Reason #1 – Lifelong Dream

When I was a young girl, and someone would ask me what I wanted to be when I grew up, I’d always say I wanted to be a farmer. I envisioned a little red barn, a family milk cow with an abundance of dairy, a handful of goats to breed (plus milking the goats by hand), free-range chickens producing eggs, and a neat little vegetable garden.

I loved animals as a child, and I spent as much time as I could with them. I volunteered at a local animal shelter as a teen and into my young adult life. My heart connected with animals in a way that nothing else could. 

When my friends and college peers started their careers and began to settle into suburban life, the desire for a home in the country didn’t go away for me. I wanted a country home, land to work, and animals to love!

An overhead view of a red basket filled with fresh eggs.

Reason #2 – Food

When my second son was born in 2007, he had some severe food allergies. I had to completely overhaul my diet in order to be able to breastfeed him. For the first time in my life, I began to read food labels. My eyes were opened to the unhealthy foods I was eating.

I quickly realized how broken our food system is and began questioning why certain things were even allowed for human consumption. I decided to remove myself and our family from this broken system as much as possible and began pursuing food security

At the time of this video recording, we were eleven years into our food freedom journey, and I can’t say we’ve arrived even now. There are still seasons when we depend on a few convenience foods, but my goal is to grow and raise at least 85% of the foods we eat.

As we continue to learn, practice and grow, we can get closer to leaving the broken food system while living a healthier lifestyle. The foods we grow taste better, we know where the food comes from, and we aren’t dependent on a broken system.

Salad greens growing in a Greenstalk Vertical Garden planter.

Reason #3 – Experience

This is a really cool life we’re living! So many people don’t get to experience this slow-paced, quiet lifestyle. It’s hard to describe the inner joy of planting a seed, watching it grow, and then harvesting the food to feed your family. 

I love being disconnected from the fast-paced, man-made world and experiencing things growing as intended. It’s become so normal for me to see potential everywhere I go. When I’m traveling and see suburban homes, I imagine places in their yards where they could plant a garden or raise chickens.

If you live in an area where gardening might seem impossible, check out these Greenstalk containers. When using the code ROOTS10, you will receive $10 off of your order. They make gardening possible anywhere you live!

A woman carrying a large basket filled with fresh picked tomatoes. Her family is in the background.

Reason #4 – Family

Before we homesteaded, we lived relatively “normal” lives. I had a successful photography business and my husband, Miah, was in full-time ministry. We spent many hours apart and disconnected.

When we decided to leave that life and do something completely out of the norm, it cost us something. We had to change cities, leave our church, and we even lost friends due to the distance.

Yet, what we gained was so valuable! At that time, we had been married for six years, and we didn’t know how to work together well. We had to learn to be partners as a married couple. We learned how to share projects and hobbies, and it grew us closer together as a couple and family.

I’ve always been intentional and involved in the lives of my children. I want to know what’s going on in their lives and who their best friends are. Living on a homestead made that come alive in different ways.

Raising kids on a homestead brings opportunities to teach life lessons.

  • Hard Work – Living on a farm teaches kids the value of hard work. It prepares them for life when they see the fruits of their labor.
  • Food – If you involve them in gardening, they know and understand where their food comes from. If they grow up on great-tasting, fresh, nutrient-rich food, it gives them the desire to want the same when they grow to be adults. 
  • Responsibility – They develop a sense of responsibility for what they consume. There is a lot of hard work involved. Why would they want to waste what they worked for?
  • Family – They feel secure in the family unit because a closeness develops when you work shoulder to shoulder with someone.

A woman standing by raised garden beds in a high tunnel.

Reason #5 – Our Calling 

All of the other reasons are intertwined in one big YES! We felt called to this life as a family. When God calls you to something, and you obey, blessings will follow. The things we’ve experienced since obeying the call are a testament to the obedience of the calling.

I think there is a reason so many other people are feeling led to a simpler life. When you sink your hands into the dirt and become familiar with this parable type of life, you can’t help but draw closer to God.

I encourage people to be obedient if they are being called to this lifestyle. When the hard decisions come to leave the city life, or a job, just do it! Don’t, however, take on the full responsibility to make it all happen yourself. If He’s calling you to it, then you can trust Him to make it happen.

We couldn’t make all of our dreams come true on our own. When things started falling into place, we were prompted to partner with them. Make the sacrifices, do the work, and He will be right there with you.

We only get one opportunity at this life. For us, it didn’t really make sense to follow our calling in the moment. I had a successful photography business, and Miah was finishing school to be a pastor. It was a huge turn, but as we walked the path in obedience, we realized how prepared we were for it.

The desires of our hearts lined up with our journey.

A dog sitting outside a greenhouse with plants all around.

I want to share this beautiful life with others and teach them the lessons we've learned along the way. Welcome to Roots and Refuge, friend. I am so glad you're here.

Top Posts

R&R on Teachable

Looking to get started Homesteading? Check out our courses!

Subscribe Now

Never miss an update from us! 

Plus...something special

coming next week!


Watch Jess & Miah's "Wilder Still" Series


USE CODE  "JESS10" FOR 10% OFF - EXPIRES 3/4/2022

​​Plus premium content, designed specifically for your homesteading needs.