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Spring planting is over and the weather is warming up, and that means for many of us homesteaders it’s the perfect time to go on a vacation! But as you know, getting away from the farm for more than an afternoon is a challenge. Chickens need to be put up, cows need hay, and plants need watering. It’s difficult to take a break from your routine for a quick weekend trip. Here’s how homesteaders manage life on the farm with a summer escape.

Automation

This isn’t possible for larger homesteads, but if you have a small property, you may be able to automate homestead care.

  • If you have a garden, look into an automated sprinkler or irrigation system. These can be hooked up to timers to water your plants at certain times.
  • Chickens can be kept in their coops for a weekend provided they have food and water. Both of these can be automated with simple devices from the feed store, which measure feed and release it on a timer.

Just make sure your automation is working before you leave!

Tap into your network

If you have a larger homestead where automation isn’t an option, tap into your network. Ask your family, friends, and community for help on the homestead while you’re out of town. For example, my sister barters for animal care with her neighbors. She cares for their horses when they’re out of town and they care for her chickens and pigs.

Whether you want to barter or exchange homestead-sitting for a fresh loaf of bread, you likely have people in your network who can help.

Hire help

Maybe you’re new to the area and don’t have a support network yet. Or maybe you need more specialized care for your homestead. Sometimes it makes sense to hire help for the homestead. You can hire a few extra hands as needed for your vacation days, or you can even use them a few times a week to lighten your workload. Ask your fellow homesteaders for references. You can also inquire about farm hands at your local tractor or feed store.

It does cost money to hire help, but this will give you the peace of mind you need to enjoy a break from homesteading life.

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