One of the most important things I find about the homesteading lifestyle is the importance of working together to help each other achieve your goals. I think in life we don’t help each other enough, but as a homesteading community altruism is a much more desired trait. There is a lot more trading of goods and services than you would ever find in everyday life.
A perfect example of this is our good friends A.J. and Aimee. They have been homesteading for much longer than I have (I would say we but C grew up homesteading). They have goats, chickens, ducks, and even a very friendly pot bellied pig. They also have one of the largest backyard gardens I know of. They have helped mold my views on affordable food prices as well. In years past he has set up in small farmers markets with some of his goods and I have come away with loads of potatoes, peppers, carrots, onions, and kohlrabi all for about $10. Their aim is that real, organically, home grown produce can cost the same as the crap you get a walmart or kroger. You can and should be able to eat well without going broke doing it, which is exactly what we are doing. In the past few years he has taken his pepper business to the extreme. He grows some of the hottest peppers in the world, along with the rest of his garden, and sells them online. It’s a pretty amazing business. If you like hot peppers check out his site: Peppers by Mail. Mention you found him because of us!!
C loves hot peppers. He finally was able to grow habaneros this year which he is very excited about. He was going to buy some plants from A.J. this year so he could grow the hotter peppers but they went fast and we were unable to obtain any. That’s where the “working together to help each other” awesomeness comes in. We have about 24 squash plants and 12 zucchini plants. Needless to say we have an overabundance of yellow squash and zucchini. They were unable to grow their squash and zucchini this year but really wanted some. So we struck a deal! We are now doing a produce exchange once a week. They are giving us red potatoes, onions, carrots, and occasionally the hot peppers (like they did today), and we are giving them squash, zucchini, honey, and anything else they want out of our garden. It’s a great deal and allows for homesteaders to be able to focus on fewer types of plants yet still get a good variety. it’s really important to utilize your strengths yet still help others around you. Imagine what would happen if C and I were stingy and kept all the squash and zucchini for ourselves. I think we would probably get really sick of them pretty fast.
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