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  • Writer's pictureSandy Eplett

Why You Need A Mentor

Updated: May 29

 I wanted to share a bit about my homesteading journey, which has been both a challenging and incredibly rewarding experience.

When I first ventured into homesteading, I was far from the seasoned homesteader I am today. My background was quite different—I grew up spending my time in the gym, knowing next to nothing about farming or self-sufficient living. My husband, on the other hand, was a former farmer, so he had a wealth of knowledge that I lacked. However, convincing him to start a garden took a whopping 15 years!

Our journey really began when I enrolled in what I fondly call my "mother-in-law's school of dirt." She taught me everything I needed to know: from canning, sewing, and food preservation, to gardening, thrifty shopping, and so much more. Her guidance was invaluable and set the foundation for what would become a beautiful homestead based on permaculture principles. We adopted closed-loop systems and aimed to walk alongside nature as best as we could.

But let me tell you, it wasn’t easy. Sometimes it was downright hard. There were many moments of doubt and frustration. However, the advent of YouTube provided a significant boost to my skills. Watching videos helped me improve and gain confidence in areas where I struggled. Yet, despite its vast resources, YouTube couldn't entirely replace the value of having a mentor. Learning directly from someone with experience was crucial for my growth. Do you have a mentor? If not, I highly recommend finding one. Learning from others and just getting started can be the hardest parts of the journey.

Building a community was also essential for my husband and me. Homesteading can be incredibly rewarding, but it can also feel isolating at times. By connecting with others who shared our interests and values, we found support, advice, and camaraderie. This sense of community has made the challenges more manageable and the successes even sweeter.

Looking back, I'm grateful for the journey and for the people who helped us along the way. It has been a transformative experience, and I wouldn't trade it for anything.

I’d love to hear about your own journey and if you have any mentors or community support.

Sharing experiences can be incredibly enriching for both of us.

And if you need a mentor or many mentors like I do then consider joining the movement of homesteaders across the country! We will be converging on the grounds at our 2024 East Tennessee Homestead Festival July 12-13! Get tickets now before we sell out!

See you at the FESTIVAL!

Stay WILD & Homesteady,


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