Saturday, September 17, 2016

Finding Like-Minded Locals

Do you have trouble finding local friends who share the same interests as you? I've been struggling to meet homesteading types for a while.

I sat in on an hour of the small animal auction last night even after I discovered there were no guinea eggs or keets up for sale. Yes, it's late in the year for them but I was hoping to get lucky. It was nice to rub elbows with people who dress like me and talk like me. Unfortunately, for me, it's hard to make any kind of lasting friendships at a place like that. Most of the folks had traveled over an hour to get there from every which direction.

Social media has been great for online chatting and sharing ideas and encouragement. I think I belong to about 8 homesteading groups on Facebook. And I really appreciate all the friends I've gotten by blogging. Just by commenting on a blog I was able to meet a local-ish lady who is teaching me how to spin. I was thrilled! Her homestead is beautiful and I got awestruck both times I visited. But she's also a 45 minute drive away, not someone I can have an afternoon cup of tea with.

I'm not the kind of person who hides how I live or what we do, but I usually get odd looks when I talk about it. Trying to barter for anything is like speaking a foreign language. I'm smack dab in the middle of farm country but the owners of the soybean and corn fields surrounding me all live miles away. The occupants of the few farm houses I can see plant their crops and then return to their other jobs until harvest time. They're not homesteaders, though.

I know there must be others out there- I'm not the only one buying chicken feed and bee equipment at the farm store. So where is everyone? If you're networking with like-minded locals, how did you find them?





12 comments:

  1. I can relate. This is a rural farm community but again every one works off farm to make a living. The neighbors to the east say they want to 'homestead" but 4 tomato plants and 7 broccoli do not cut it in my mind. So we enjoy our blog friends and our Amish neighbors. Good Luck with your search, more people are doing this all the time.

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  2. I have found a few local homesteaders through our feed store. Since I raise dairy goats, I sometimes will post a picture on their "For Sale" board. The employees also have my phone number and will call me if there's a customer in the store who has questions about goats. I've sold a few goats that way and have mentored a few new goat owners. The wives are home-schooling their kids and developing small homesteads while their husbands work off the property. I've taught them soap making, canning, etc. The two women that I'm closest with now were both "found" that way!

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    1. That's great! I'll start checking out the bulletin boards.

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  3. I have made many friends since moving here, a few of them through walking Sol down in the forest, friends through blogging, friends though having a market stall once a month, none are on my doorstop though but its lovely when we do meet up :-)

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    1. It's great having a dog to walk! We're not near a forest but we get to the park in town or walk on the country roads.

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  4. You must have been at Dinky's Auction. I was planning on going but then decided not to. I relate to your predicament. We homestead also and have trouble meeting like-minded people, especially since we do not blog or do anything on social media. It would be so nice to have a homesteading friend close enough to stop by for a cup of tea and a chat from time to time. And no, you are not the only one in the feed stores. I seem to be there almost too much...buying chicken or rabbit feed, fence staples, canning jars or any number of other necessities. Hang in there. I know I am trying to. All the best, Bora.

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    1. Just think we could have been sitting right next to each other and never known it! (I'm in Knox County. If you're nearby send me an email using the contact button top left.)

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  5. I am not a homesteader like you but I can relate. Most ladies in their 70's don't garden, can or freeze. I have also bartered. Also harder as an older lady and making new friends. We moved here about 13=14 years ago. Just sold our house so the only garden I will have now is a small courtyard but will still plant what I can. If your ever in Valparaiso stop by for a couple tea. You can even wear your barn clothes!! Nancy

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    1. Thanks for the invite! I hope you enjoy your new place!

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  6. Hi ...why not set up a neighbor to neighbor group. We signed up for Nextdoor.com, I live 15 miles from town in what I call a little hamlet, there are about 20 families scattered about. Everyone keeps to themselves but in time of trouble we have this site to notify each other. You can sell, give away on the site or set up a meeting which you could meet at the most local public place. It for free and its a great idea.

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    1. That sounds neat. I'm going to check it out for when I do find other homesteaders. Thanks!

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