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Sure, we’ve all heard of the Paleo Diet. But how about Paleo fitness for the homestead?
Crunches and bicep curls are great if you are trying to look good on club night, but the cows on the homestead won’t give you a second glance. For those unaccustomed to the work, homesteading takes a toll on the body.
Your tasks may include,
- bending and kneeling to weed and plant,
- hoisting 50-pound or heavier bags of feed while balancing them over a feeder,
- carrying crates of chickens,
- shoveling compost or wet snow,
- chopping firewood,
- bending over cheese vats,
- lifting heavy, wet trays of veggies out of the sink to prepare for canning,
- unloading trucks and tables at the farmers market,
- pulling calves and so on.
To make matters worse, if you are injured while on the job, you will have no one to call to inform you cannot make it in that day. There are no “sick days” out here, sorry. So best get your body ready for what lies ahead.
How? Well, imagine living 50,000 years ago. What activities would you be performing and what would your body look like as a result?
If you’re like most Americans you have debt. This makes almost all of us, if not slaves, at least captives of the industrial machine. It requires that we stay put, labor to earn a paycheck and continually service the debt.
Almost everyone is in this condition… the entire country is. We use credit for mortgages, furniture, automobiles, appliances, school, health care, home improvement and, to perpetuate the problem, for consolidating other debts we owe!
Our society seems to collectively embrace using debt to enjoy today what we failed to save for yesterday. Our parents and grandparents may have left college unencumbered with degrees in hand and walked straight into a waiting job.
Today’s graduates leave laden with debt and, with no jobs waiting, occasionally to occupy city parks to represent 99 percent of the population. Debt becomes part of life and few of us are ever able to jump off the treadmill that propels us to always chase more income just to keep up. Of course, that’s just the way they want it.
While the quality of life is excellent out here in the country, sometimes it’s mighty quiet on the homestead. So, what does a homesteader contemplate while checking off the chores? Surprisingly, I find myself thinking about economic and social unrest trends more than I would like.
Yes, even as my fingers sift through the soil I wonder if the trend in terrorism and social unrest will escalate and if harsh economic times are ahead. In these moments, I feel comforted by the choice we made to opt out of the rat race. Very comforted.
Still, I can’t seem to kick the habit of keeping up with world events, including increasing violence and quality of life economic indicators.
From time to time I look at the real inflation trends. Not the government numbers that suggest 2-3%, but the ShadowStats numbers that calculate inflation the way it was before the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) changed its methods, making the Consumer Price Index appear low.
When you search for rural property you’ll quickly find all sorts of places that look promising to you. Mountain views, green pastures, ponds with cattails, all idyllic landscapes that connect with that inner voice you have been hearing.
Before you plunk down that deposit on the first rural property that screams your name, consider this: you are planning to make a move there for life. A new life, a better life and, perhaps, not only the rest of your life but a homestead that future generations will cherish. So it is appropriate to take time and weigh the decision against criteria that are important to you and your family.
With this in mind, I encourage you to ask yourself the following questions when looking for a new homestead:
I recall playing outside as a youngster until dark, when mom would call me home—usually for the third time. My mother, like her mother before her, could recall the same memory from her youth.
Today’s children will have no such recollection, as childhood has transitioned from outdoors to indoors, and virtual reality has replaced the real world.
Whereas I spent hours each day playing outdoors, a recent study revealed that the typical American child spends only four to seven minutes per day playing outside. By contrast, digital screens hypnotize our children for more than seven hours each day.