32 Things Your Non-Homesteading Friends May NOT Understand

If you’re a homesteader, then you know that there are some things your friends who aren’t homesteaders just wouldn’t understand.

From the daily chores to the occasional excitement, there’s always something new to share with someone who doesn’t live the same lifestyle.

ducks on the winter homestead

The gardening, the chickens, the joy of homemade food…it’s all there. However, a non homesteader friend or family member may look at you in wonder as they live their lives quite differently from you.

Here are just a few of the things your non-homesteading friends might not understand.

1. Vacations are few and far between.

And you usually don’t stay more than 2 days, nor do you go very far. With goats to be milked, chickens to be fed, duck pools to be rinsed and filled, rabbit water bottles to fill, eggs to collect, that’s a lot of responsibility to ask of another person.

Of course, that’s also when our chickens escape, or the goats figure out how to open their pen and asking a neighbor to be responsible for putting them back isn’t always easy.

It takes a special person to fill in for you, and since they are hard to find, vacations don’t always come.

duck eggs next to chicken egg
duck eggs in bowl next to a chicken egg for size comparison

2. Fresh eggs taste better than store-bought.

Call it science, call it opinion, call it what you want. If you have never had the pleasure of getting your own eggs from your backyard, then you are missing out.

The yolks are usually a darker orange, and they just taste better.

3. Chickens are people, too.

Truly. If you own chickens, most likely, they are your pets. And, more often than not, you become attached to the feathery creatures to the point of naming them, petting them, talking to them, and grieving for them when they die.

chicken in compost pile

To me, a chicken is just like a dog. Only noisier. And more cranky. But, I love my girls, each and every one.

4. Store-bought tomatoes aren’t worth it to you.

And I think that nearly everyone can agree that there is nothing like a fresh, homegrown tomato that you pick right off the vine.

And, once you get used to that burst of flavor, the bland, mealy ones at the store just don’t cut it for you. So, you will do without rather than use them.

5. You can’t imagine NOT having a pantry with home-canned goods.

No matter how bad the gardening season was for you and your location, you usually manage to save something from your garden.

jars of home canned food on pantry shelves
jars of home canned food on pantry shelves

Often, you have more than just one season’s worth of food stored up, too. (see tomatoes) You also have a myriad of jars filled with dehydrated fruits and vegetables just waiting for soups, granola and other delicious uses.

6. A gift of a pressure canner, jars, or a stand mixer are more exciting to you than jewelry.

You love pretty things, but would rather make them than just wear them. You see far more possibilities in jars than you do shiny baubles. At least most of the time.

A stand mixer just says “I love you and your homemade bread”.

7. Your favorite footwear goes with anything in your closet, including your jammies.

Usually rubber type boots, you have worn that footwear to and from the chicken barn IN your jammies, you can rinse them off and store them in the mud room.

Those boots are the first thing you grab in the morning, often before your cup of coffee. They are your most comfortable footwear simply because you wear them the most often.

They go on and off with ease, and there is no worries about tying them, or tripping on heels. Having them covered in mud or muck is normal as well, as you are outside in the barn a lot.

8. Your closet probably has more flannel and plaid than your non-homesteading friends.

The flannel comes in handy for layering in the winter and is great to wear on a chilly fall day around the house or in front of a roaring fire.

Why plaid? That’s actually a mystery to me, but you know that you have at least one plaid shirt in that closet, right?

9. The simple things in life bring the most joy to you.

The birth of a goat, the hatching of an egg into a chick, that pullet laying her first egg, watching the ducks splash around in their pool, it’s all a joy to you.

As a matter of fact, you could spend hours (and probably have) just watching your animals and all their little antics. It’s better than any TV show or Netflix movie.

10. We appreciate what we have.

There are a lot of things that non homesteading friends might not understand about our lifestyle. For us, homesteading is more than just a way to live – it’s a way of life.

We appreciate the simple things in life and strive to live off the land as much as possible. We’re self-sufficient and independent, and we value hard work and determination.

Homesteading isn’t always easy, but it’s gratifying knowing that we’re doing it ourselves. Our non homesteading friends might not get it, but that’s okay – we know that they’re just missing out on the best part of life.

11. Leisure time looks a lot different to us.

Leisure time looks a lot different to us than it does to our non-homesteading friends. For them, it might mean going out to eat, going to a movie, or taking a trip.

For us, it might mean taking a walk around our property, working in the garden, or puttering around in the shop. We cherish the simple pleasures in life and don’t need much to keep us entertained.

That’s not to say that we don’t enjoy going out and doing things from time to time, but we’re just as happy staying home and enjoying the peace and quiet.

It’s all about finding balance for us. And that’s something that our non-homesteading friends might not understand.

12. We like living outside of town.

We like living outside of town, away from the hustle and bustle of the city. It’s peaceful and quiet out here, and we enjoy being able to see the stars at night.

Our non-homesteading friends sometimes find our lifestyle a bit strange, but there are actually quite a few things they don’t understand about it.

For example, they might not realize how much work goes into keeping the property tidy. We have to mow the lawn, trim the hedges, and rake the leaves.

farmhouse near trees
farmhouse near trees

They also might not realize how much we have to rely on ourselves. If something breaks, we have to fix it ourselves or hire someone to do it for us.

And if we want something done, we usually have to do it ourselves. But that’s all part of the fun!

We enjoy being self-sufficient and living a simple life. Our non-homesteading friends might not understand that, but that’s okay. We know that not everyone is cut out for this lifestyle. And that’s perfectly fine!

13. We aren’t afraid to learn!

A lot of my non-homesteading friends are hesitant to try new things, or even step outside of their comfort zones. They might not understand why I’m constantly learning new skills, like canning or animal husbandry.

But to me, it’s important to be self-sufficient and prepared for anything. Plus, I enjoy expanding my knowledge and connecting with other like-minded people.

My homesteading friends are always willing to teach me something new, and I’m never afraid to ask for help. We are constantly learning together, and that’s one of the things I love about this lifestyle.

14. When we see things in the store, we immediately start thinking about how we can DIY.

There are some things that only us homesteaders can understand. For example, when we see something in the store, we don’t just think about how much it costs or how convenient it would be to have.

We also start thinking about how we could make it ourselves. We’re always looking for ways to be more self-sufficient, and that often means getting our hands dirty. To the non-homesteader, this might seem like a lot of work for not much payoff.

But for us, it’s all part of the fun. We love being able to provide for ourselves and our families, and there’s nothing quite like feeling proud of a homemade product that we know is good for us.

So next time you see us staring off into space while we’re shopping, just know that we’re probably plotting our next DIY project.

15. We know it’s faster, easier, and sometimes cheaper to buy from the store – but that doesn’t matter.

Non-homesteaders just don’t get it. They don’t understand the satisfaction that comes from being self-sufficient.

They can’t comprehend the importance of living a more sustainable lifestyle. To them, homesteading is just a bunch of silly old-fashioned tricks that take too much time and effort. They just don’t get it – and that’s okay.

We homesteaders know that there’s more to life than just convenience. We know that the real satisfaction comes from doing things the hard way.

From knowing that we can provide for ourselves and our families, even if the going gets tough. So we’ll keep on homesteading, even if our non-homesteading friends don’t understand why. Because in the end, we know that it’s worth it.

16. Sometimes, we have to think outside of the box.

As any homesteader knows, there’s a lot that goes into running a successful farm or homestead. From planting and harvesting to caring for animals and managing the land, it takes a lot of hard work to make it all come together.

And while it can be rewarding to live a more self-sufficient lifestyle, it can also be challenging at times.

One of the challenges is trying to explain what you do to your non-homesteading friends.

They may not understand why you choose to live this way or why you do the things you do. And that’s okay.

It’s important to remember that not everyone is going to understand your lifestyle or your decisions.

But that doesn’t mean you can’t still be friends. You might just have to get a little creative in your thinking and find ways to connect with them on other levels.

17. We don’t always mind scooping poop.

Most people who don’t live on a homestead are grossed out by the thought of scooping poop, but for those of us who do it’s just a part of life. We understand that animals have to go and that their waste can actually be beneficial for our gardens.

Plus, we’ve gotten used to the smell. It’s not that bad, really!

Another thing our non-homesteading friends might not understand is how much work goes into keeping a homestead running smoothly.

There’s always something that needs to be done, whether it’s feeding the animals or tending to the garden. It can be a lot of work, but it’s also incredibly rewarding.

18. It’s okay to have a little dirt under your fingernails.

As anyone who lives on a homestead knows, there’s something special about having a little dirt under your fingernails.

It’s a sign that you’ve been working hard – whether it’s digging in the garden, tending to the chickens, or just doing some general upkeep around the property. For many of us, it’s a badge of honor.

But for our non-homesteading friends, it can be a bit of a mystery. They may not understand why we’re so proud of our dirt, or why we’re always talking about things like composting and natural fertilizers.

But that’s okay – we know that the rewards of homesteading are well worth the effort. So we’ll keep our dirt under our fingernails and continue to enjoy the simple life.

19. Summer is no time to relax and unwind.

For those of us who live on homesteads, summer is no time to kick back and relax.

Instead, it’s a time to get busy in the garden, canning and preserving the harvest, and making sure the animals have everything they need.

It can be tough to explain this lifestyle to our non-homesteading friends, who often see us as missing out on all the fun.

20. The garden is tidier than the house!

Your non homesteading friends might not understand why the garden is tidier than the house.

They may think you are a neat freak or that you have too much time on your hands. The truth is, homesteading is a lot of work and there is always something to be done.

If the garden is tidy, it means that you have taken the time to care for it and that you are using it to its full potential.

clearing-dead weeds and vegetation from fallowed garden area
clearing-dead weeds and vegetation from fallowed garden area

A tidy garden can produce a bountiful harvest, which can be used to feed your family and friends. In addition, a tidy garden is a reflection of your hard work and dedication to homesteading.

Your non homesteading friends may not understand all of the work that goes into homesteading, but they can appreciate the fruits of your labor.

21. We are tan before the pool opens for the summer – and we don’t care about tan lines.

We don’t spend our weekends at the mall, or going out to eat. Instead, we are up at dawn, working in the garden and caring for the animals.

We are sweating in the summer sun, and shivering in the winter cold. Our hands are calloused from years of hard work, and our clothes are stained with dirt and sweat.

We don’t live for the weekends, because every day is a new adventure. We are homesteaders, and this is our life.

The plus side? We get a nice tan LONG before anyone else at the community pool does. The downside? There’s a lot more sweat and muscle aches that go into earning that tan!

22. We have a LOT of irons in the fire at once.

If you’re a homesteader, you might find that your non-homesteading friends don’t always understand what you’re up to. For example, they might not understand why you’ve got so many irons in the fire at once.

But as a homesteader, you know that there’s always something to be done, whether it’s planting a garden, caring for animals, or maintaining the property.

And while it might seem like a lot of work to those on the outside, homesteaders know that it’s all part of the fun.

So next time your non-homesteading friends ask what you’ve been up to, just tell them you’re keeping busy and enjoying the satisfaction that comes from a job well done.

23. We ask for some pretty odd birthday gifts.

If you’re a homesteader, you probably have a pretty good idea of what you need to get the job done.

But when it comes to gifts, your non-homesteading friends might not quite understand what you’re looking for. Here are a few things your non-homesteading friends might not understand when you ask for them as gifts:

  • A chainsaw: This is a pretty essential tool for any homesteader, but your non-homesteading friends might not quite see the need for one. It’s important to be able to clear land, fell trees, and cut firewood, so a chainsaw is a great gift for any homesteader.
  • A tractor: Another essential tool for homesteaders, tractors can be used for a variety of tasks, from plowing fields to hauling supplies. If you’re asking for a tractor as a gift, be sure to include some attachments like a plow or snowblower to make it even more useful.
  • A solar panel: Solar panels are a great way to generate electricity without using traditional fossil fuels. They’re perfect for homesteaders who want to reduce their reliance on the grid and

24. The tractor takes a higher priority than the family car.

And while we’re talking about tractors…

For anyone not familiar with homesteading, it can be hard to understand why the tractor takes precedence over the family car. After all, the car is what gets you to work and runs errands.

The tractor, on the other hand, just sits in the field all day.

But for a homesteader, the tractor is essential to the running of the farm. It’s used for tilling fields, planting crops, and hauling hay. It’s also a lifesaver when it comes to chores like mowing the lawn or clearing snow.

In short, the tractor is an indispensable part of homestead life. For those of us who live on the land, there’s simply no substitute for a good ol’ John Deere.

25. We don’t shower in the morning – we’ll be filthy by 9 am!

Your non homesteading friends might not understand why you don’t shower in the morning. For them, it’s probably unthinkable to start the day without freshening up.

However, for you, it makes perfect sense. After all, you’ll be filthy by 9 am! Why bother getting all clean just to get dirty again? It’s much more efficient to save your shower for the end of the day, when you’re actually ready to get clean.

Of course, your friends might not see it that way. They might think you’re a little bit crazy for giving up such a basic luxury. But that’s just part of homesteading life – and something your nonhomesteading friends will never understand!

26. There is almost always a little bit of poop somewhere on your body.

For those of us who live on homesteads, dealing with animal waste is just a part of life. We’re used to the smell, the feel, and the sight of it. We don’t even think twice about it most of the time.

But for our non-homesteading friends, this can be a bit of a shock. They might not be used to seeing piles of manure in the yard or smelling it when they come to visit.

And they definitely aren’t used to the idea of scooping it up and using it as fertilizer! But as any homesteader knows, animal waste is actually a valuable resource.

It’s full of nutrients that can help our plants grow, and it’s a great way to reduce our impact on the environment.

So the next time your non-homesteading friends come for a visit, don’t be afraid to show them how you use animal waste on your homestead. Chances are, they’ll be surprised by how useful it can be!

27. If we wake up later than 6 am, it’s because we’re extremely sick.

If you’re a homesteader, there are some things that your non-homesteading friends just don’t understand. For example, they may not understand why you wake up so early in the morning.

But for you, waking up early is a necessity, not a choice. You have to wake up early to take care of the animals, collect the eggs, and start working on the farm chores.

And if you happen to sleep in later than 6 am, it’s because you’re extremely sick.

Your non-homesteading friends may also not understand why you’re always so tired. They don’t realize that homesteading is a lot of hard work. You’re constantly working from sunup to sundown, and then some.

There’s always something that needs to be done, whether it’s fixing a fence, feeding the animals, or harvesting the crops. As a result, you’re often tired and run down.

But even though it’s hard work, you wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world. Because for you, homesteading is a lifestyle, not just a job.

28. Our priorities are very different.

If you’re a homesteader, you might find that your priorities differ quite a bit from your non-homesteading friends.

For example, while they might be focused on the latest fashion trends or the newest gadget, you’re more likely to be interested in topics like canning or chicken breeds.

And while they might view homesteading as a lot of work, you see it as a lifestyle choice that allows you to live more authentically and close to nature.

Of course, there are some things that your non-homesteading friends will never understand about your lifestyle. But that’s okay – you don’t need them to. You know that homesteading is the right choice for you, and that’s all that matters.

29. There’s nothing wrong with pulling weeds – even in public places.

Most people who don’t live on a homestead can’t understand the appeal of doing things like pulling weeds, even in public places.

They don’t see the beauty in it or the satisfaction that comes from a job well done. To them, it’s just a task that needs to be completed as quickly as possible so they can move on to something more interesting.

But those of us who do live on homesteads know that there’s so much more to it than that.

We know that there’s a certain peace that comes from working with nature, and we appreciate the simple act of taking care of our land.

So next time you’re out pulling’ weeds, don’t be ashamed – be proud! Because you know what they really are: little pieces of home.

30. We have strange pets.

While most people have cats or dogs, homesteaders are more likely to have goats, ducks, or even pigs. And while these animals may seem strange to your friends, to you they’re just part of the family.

Kunekune Pigs
Kunekune Pigs

31. We’re just always busy.

As a homesteader, you’re always busy. It seems like there’s always something to do on the homestead, whether it’s fixing the fence or harvesting the vegetables. As a result, you often have to cancel plans with your friends at the last minute.

32. We won’t always answer our phones.

As a homesteader, you might not always answer your phone. This is because homesteaders are often busy with chores and other tasks that can’t be interrupted.

If you call during the middle of the day, chances are good that we won’t be able to answer.

However, you can always leave a voicemail or send a text, and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can.

Homesteading: You Might Not Get it, and That’s Okay!

We live a different kind of life. A life that is not typical. We don’t live 9 to 5, we don’t commute, and we don’t follow the majority.

We are rebels in a sense.

We want to be self-sufficient. We want to know where our food comes from, how it’s grown, and what is in it. We grow our own vegetables, raise our own chickens, and milk our own cows. For us, this is not a “hobby.” It’s a way of life.

And it’s a lifestyle that our non-homesteading friends just don’t always understand. To them, it seems like a lot of work for little reward. But for us, it’s worth it. It’s worth the early mornings and the late nights. It’s worth the blisters and the mosquito bites.

Because, at the end of the day, we know that we are doing something special. We are living off the land. We are homesteaders.

So, if you’re a homesteader or thinking of becoming one, there are some things your non-homesteading friends might not understand. But don’t worry – we’re here to help!

We’ll teach you all about the basics of homesteading so that you can become a pro and show your friends what they’re missing. Ready to get started?

15 thoughts on “32 Things Your Non-Homesteading Friends May NOT Understand”

  1. This is great! Love the pressure cooker & jars etc. instead of jewelry. One other thing is that you aren’t “grossed out” by things. You know what I mean:)

  2. I second the not getting grossed out. Lol. And the thrill you get from using whatever you have around- be it foraged food, squirrel your hubby shot, etc. (People are always telling me they have to watch what they eat at my house. Lol.)

  3. You’re LIVING LIFE as it is meant to be LIVED. Your Lifestyle Reveres the Earth and other Living Things. You’re CONNECTED to it and can’t imagine LIFE any other way. You do enjoy having “Company” o`er to enjoy a cup of fresh brewed coffee or tea, fresh baked goodies and the local news or gossip – but – if they stay longer than a hour, they’ve overstayed their welcome as there’s chores to do. Everyday is the same, except maybe Sunday – when you go to the local country Church. GOD is central to your Life and you give HIM thanks each and everyday for the Rich Blessings and the LIFE you LIVE.

  4. I would add: working together with your adult children who also homestead in varying degrees. I so enjoying the cross-sharing of knowledge and produce and getting together to preserve foods.

  5. In my life homesteading and prepping are one and the same and teaching my children to can and now getting them to start again as adults has been fun. I am a nurse too ,and try to share with my patients the need to start preparing their own food and life to be more self sufficient. Unfortunately some of my work friends think 99 cent store eggs are the same as my organic eggs! they think I’m crazy when they are so cheap at the store! JR

  6. Stephany Matson

    I’m a city girl who married a small town guy (750 ppl in his town). I don’t quite fit the profile, but I’m learning! Thankful every day for his grandma who taught me how to can and preserve foods- we’re never without a whole pantry of home canned beans, tomatoes, carrots, jalapenos, pickles, applesauce, jams & jellies! I can’t grow anything to save my life, but my mom and sister grow it for all of us, and I can it for all of us- very symbiotic!

  7. One of the dearest pets I ever had was my disabled transgender chicken. (That’s not a joke–I’ve talked with others whose chickens have also gone through natural changes.)
    I’m not sure what made her–then his–legs become crippled up, or why my cute little hen grew a huge crown and spurs, but he was still really active on warm days. I have heard that chickens have sex changes because of stomach cancer, but he lived a long time and ate heartily long after he “came out”–started crowing. And I fed him the healthiest I knew how.
    I used to sing him Lady Gaga’s “Hatched This Way.” Antonio died in December, and I miss him every day.

    1. Heather Harris

      that’s interesting. I have also heard that hens can sometimes “change” into roosters, but I have never experienced this myself.

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