Homesteaders are those who want to live a more self-sufficient lifestyle. They use renewable resources such as solar energy, build or repair their homes and furniture, raise animals for food or companionship, and grow their own vegetables.
Getting started with homesteading can be tricky. It takes a lot of grit and effort, so it’s not for everyone. But if you’re able to embrace the homestead mindset and make it work, there are some benefits that will be worth the effort.
In her own way, Heather Barter is every bit a homesteader, albeit one without land, livestock or a garden.
“If I had a magic wand I would have a big enough garden to grow as much vegetables and animal feed as I could to support myself, my friends and my community,” Barter said. “Some goats for dairy, chickens for eggs and have as much of a sustainable system in place as possible.”
She’s interested in keeping her homestead small scale with the goal of doing as much as she can for herself and relying on local sources for her other needs.
homestead dreams in the confines of her Veazie apartment growing what she can in containers on her porch and a small patch of ground next to her building.
Given the price of land, it’s a good thing she’s content with a small-scale operation.
Barter, 34, and her husband, 40, figure they could do all they want on about a quarter of an acre, but so far even that is out of reach of their current budget and desire to be within a 30-minute commute of Bangor and the school systems that match their daughter’s academic needs.
Their two daughters are 8 and 3 years old.
Ideally, their homestead would have a two- to three-bedroom home with space for Barter’s studio. Their working budget is between $150,000 and $160,000, which pushes their combined annual income of $65,000 to the limit.
They began the serious hunt for their dream parcel about six months ago.
Leela Stockley for the Bangor Daily News