I have never had a lot of friends. Growing up homeschooled I only a few close friends, and I was completely satisfy with that. Into early adulthood, I was never the “social butterfly”. I had a few friends from work, or neighborhood acquaintances, but never any homestead friends. Now that we have moved out to the county, and we no longer can see a living soul in any direction, I stay at home with the kids and don’t interact with clients. How is one supposed to be make a friend? Well, slowly. As we have been here we have met fellow farmers, joined a homeschool group, 4-h group and even Facebook group and have slowly begun networking a group of homesteader friends. These friends have taught me the true meaning of friendship, one that I had never experienced inside city limits.
Sometimes friendship comes in the form of advice, we have a dear neighbor that had mentored us in everything from growing potatoes to raising pigs. He has been invaluable in letting us learn from his many years of wisdom and experience. Who else would be able to tell you “when the potatoes flower: thats when you put the water to them… or piglets pop out like popcorn. If they’re not, somethings wrong”
Friendship comes in the act of teaching: calling on a fellow farmer to show you how to butcher chicken or how to split beehives. These time gifts given to us are priceless nuggets that we have tucked into our our homestead arsenal. The old saying if you give a man a fish, feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, feed him for a lifetime. This couldn’t be more true. Now we have been taught and will be able to pass this knowledge on the our children.
Friendship comes in the act of comrodery. An afternoon spent with friends, or a night roasting marshmallows while kids run to and fro, these beautiful time with friends although seemingly fleeting and “unproductive” add to the richness of homestead life. A richness that I never knew I was previously missing.
Friendship comes in the act of gifts, sometimes in comes in the form of baby bunnies delivered to your door easter weekend. How can you say no to a gift like that? Sometimes in comes as in the form of a freshly baked loaf of bread, an always welcome treat, because well, I LOVE bread. Its right up there with baby bunnies. Add some butter… I mean seriously does it get any better?
As you can see, this whole homestead friendship thing is pretty complicated. I mean, its hard right? And now its my turn to be an advice giving, skill set teaching, comrodery giving, and gift making homesteading superhero. I’m not sure if I am up for this challenge. I mean, loading stubborn hogs into a trailer is an easier feat than being a homestead friend. But, I’m going to give it my best, after all, my friends deserve it.