But one thing they rarely talk about is exactly how much it costs to start your own garden, or own your own flock of hens, or find materials to build a DIY furniture set. Contrary to popular belief, I've rarely, if ever, received my gardening supplies for free. Now, you uber-awesome folks who upcycle everything and have insane scouting and dumpster-diving skills, I salute you. And you should probably stop reading because chances are, you'll see this post as one huge bunch of excuses. Real jerk behavior.
And you'd kinda be right.
You see, I wanted to avoid purchasing the cinder blocks for my raised beds this year. I know there are millions of cinder blocks just sitting out there, alone in the world, just waiting for someone to come transform them into something useful. But I couldn't find 'em. Craigslist? Nothin. Local Facebook group for homesteading supplies? No go. Random drive-bys in my run-down Toyota Echo when it looks like there's a construction project going on? Nada. Zilch. Nothing. And even if I did find them, how would I haul them home? My car has quite the trunk storage, but only four, teeny, wore-out tires holding up all that weight. Not cool.
So I bought the cinder blocks. I spent money on cinder blocks...a material the non-jerks out there could likely find for free in a matter of minutes.
But ah - ha, never fear, readers. I came up with a mighty good solution for the next time I need cinder blocks.....or pallets for my dream patio furniture......or a really nice set of hay bales.....
A truck. I bought myself a truck. That's right. I spent more money.
Feast your eyes upon the glory of all glories...the champion of all mighty steeds...the white knight of the highest throne...my beautiful, strong, pallet-picking chariot of goodness....
That baby put me back a couple thou.....and where, you might ask, did I get this couple thou? Good question, because as you may have figured out by now, this post is all about spending money I don't have. And my goddess roller was no exception. I took tax refund money we'd earmarked for a well-water filtration system and I spent it on the truck instead. All of it. Poof.
Just look at her, all parked and gorgeous in the Farm n' Barn parking lot.
So we'll have yellow stains on all our white bowls and appliances and cups and clothes for the next year....but I've got a truck. I can pick up stuff. I can dumpster dive with no regard for my interior vehicle upholstery. I can lay out a sleeping bag and sleep like a real cowboy if I wanted to. This truck has taken me to a new level, let me tell you.
I'm starting to realize real quick that this whole homesteading thing isn't all sunshine and recyclables. It takes some serious, knee-jerk financial investing to build something like a raised bed, or a chicken coop (especially if you want one painted all cute-like), or a hoop house, or a self-reliant food system in your own backyard. Did you know I spent close to $100 on seeds this year? That doesn't even include the seed starting medium, the little pots I ended up buying when my "upcycled toilet paper seed starters" fell apart and ruined my life, or the lights I bought to keep the seeds alive, or the rack I bought to hold the seed trays that hold the seed pots that hold the seeds that will someday, hopefully, turn into food I can eat.
Now, I get it, I'm a newbie. I'm still learning. I will probably try those dang toilet paper seed pots again next year and maybe they'll work for me. I'll get better at recycling, repurposing, all that jive...and I've even got my Pallet Picker to help me with the big stuff....but that doesn't negate the spending I've done thus far to get this whole endeavor up and running. Yahoo doesn't tell you about how a recycled raised bed made out of old fence pickets actually needs some sort of dirt inside of it, and unless you live on hilly, fertile land, you gotta get that dirt from somewhere else...normally in exchange for money.
But (and this is a huge but)..
I keep thinking that maybe, just maybe, once this startup phase is over, I might start seeing a return on my investment. Maybe these beautiful girls will be worth their weight in gold (plus some for all the eggs they'll lay).
I keep thinking that someday, maybe, I'll master the art of breadmaking and won't waste so much dang money on epic Pinterest fails.
I mean, after all, I spent money on tulip bulbs last fall instead of a couple extra bags of Halloween candy....and that turned out great.
Any of you ever invested in something way more than you ever expected to? How did you make it work? What did you take from to support your project? I'd love to hear about it in the comments down below and as always, thank you so much for reading! Happy May, all!