Taking a vacation when you homestead—it’s almost taboo to say that, isn’t it? You feel a little dirty for saying “vacation” when you’re a homesteader. It might stem from the fact that you just have so much to do that you can’t stand the thought of leaving. Or it could stem from the stigma that people always say “you can’t homestead and take a vacation”. Lies, total lies.
Recently we took the first vacation we’ve taken in over five years, and it was glorious. We stayed in a friend’s beach house on Hatteras Island. We enjoyed time with friends and family, ate well, and laughed even more. It was the best vacation we’ve ever taken. Period. But how did we take a vacation and still run the homestead? Let me show you exactly that.
Hiring A Trusted Source for Vacation
Before you leave on vacation, here are some systems you need to have in place on the homestead before you hand it over to someone else to take care of.
- Make Sure You Hire a Trusted Caretaker— We did this by using one of our neighbors to take care of the gardens and seeds, and my in-laws to take care of the animals. Splitting the chores between them all really helped carry the load fairly easily. One person wasn’t doing all the work, making chores go by quicker. We paid them with lots of love, eggs, and when summer comes, some vegetables! Most people you know personally are eager to help out because they want to experience the homesteading lifestyle, or because they have their own homesteads!
- Training and Organization is Essential— What happens if your livestock get out? What happens if something happens to the feed bins and they need to run and get more feed? If they don’t already know your sources and resources, they should. Leave a binder with information on hand, or bring them to your house a couple of times before you leave to train them on the “what-if” scenarios. Also, if you have dairy animals, make sure your caretaker knows how to efficiently do their job. Training is a must for that situation.
Making Sure Your Property is Secure and Prepared
Not only is hiring a trusted caretaker essential, but making sure your property is secure and stocked up is key. This will help ease the process along for your caretaker while they are there.
- Make Sure Your Fencing is Secure— we thought we did this before we left, but apparently we were wrong. We lost a few chickens while we were gone, but nothing that can’t be replaced. Make sure your fencing is working well before you leave. It’s no one elses responsibility to fix that while you’re gone!
- Have Extra Feed and Medical Supplies On-hand— because you never know what could happen. If you make your own chicken feed, make sure that you’ve made enough of it in advance.
- Emergency Contacts— If you’re not hiring someone that knows your homestead well, you’ll probably need to leave a list of emergency contacts. If you have large livestock, your vet will be top priority on that list. After that, your contact information and others.
- Don’t Take a Vacation During Calving Season— or breed any livestock that are due to have babies while you’re gone.
We had an amazing time on vacation, and it’s so important to make that time to get away with your family. Check out this week’s video to learn more about how we were able to take a successful vacation, where we went, what we did, how it affected us, and for updates about what’s happening around the homestead!
Amy K. Fewell is an author, family herbalist, entrepreneur, homesteader, and homemaker. Living in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, her and her family live a natural homesteading lifestyle where they promote self-sufficiency and liberty. Amy is the founder of the Homesteaders of America organization and annual events. You can discover more on this website and at homesteadersofamerica.com