Walking through the woods, scouting for deer, this happens a lot. But we can learn from that spider.
A spider begins its web by climbing up to a high point on a stick. It then allows the wind to carry one single strand of silk off to another part of another stick nearby. Once that strand sticks, the spider crawls out on the strand, drops a second strand as it walks. Once in the center of the original strand, it drops the second to form a Y. Now it is connected to 3 anchor points. 1 or 2 anchors are not safe enough to secure a web, nor would they allow for a large enough span of influence (or fly catching surface… if you will).
Homesteaders can learn from the spider. One anchor point isn’t enough. A mentor is good. A network, with multiple anchors is great.
You’ve spent the last few weeks (if you’ve been following our series) finding mentors. Now its time to form a larger network. A diverse group, some who are more experienced, some who may be in a similar spot as you. Where can we find this network?
At an event.
“At your family dinners, you may stand out talking about buying killing cones.”
Every homesteading path generates groups of like minded people. And where their there are a bunch of people who love to raise their own meat, or hunt deer for food, or fish for striped bass, there will be an event to gather them!
Events are a great place to meet lots of people who are on the similar path as you.
At your family dinners, you may stand out talking about buying killing cones. But at the Mother Earth News fair, not only will you fit right in, but you may find multiple distributors selling different cones, as well as classes you can take to learn how to use them! (We host a class like that, let us know if you would like to join us for our chicken butcher course)
So find an event in your area.
Often you will find farming events in the winter. That allows you to go meet people, network, plan, all before the growing season arrives.
You’ll find Hunting and Fishing Shows during February and March, after deer season and before turkey comes in.
Then there is usually some farm tours and harvest festivals later in the season, early fall, as well as some pre-deer season events for hunters to check out.
When at these events, get lots of business cards.
Talk with as many people as you can, vendors and guests alike. Sometimes you’ll find people who know more walking the aisles than those behind the booths. Remember, the more people you add to your network, the more anchors your web will have. when the wind blows, a spiders web is only as tough as the amount of anchors it has to hold it down.
When times get tough on the homestead, crops are failing, animals are sick or escaping and the deer are nowhere to be found, you will have a pile of email addresses to write a quick note to. The more help and advice you can tap into, the more likely your homestead will succeed.
Some Great Events to Look For
Northeast Hunting and Fishing Show (you may see us at this one! we go every year)
Another great source for networking is this website! Leave comments and questions here, and not only will Accountant Mike and I get back to you, but perhaps another Homesteady fan will too!
This is the end of the first part, Exposure, in our 21 steps to a sustainable homestead. Hopefully by now you have met some farmers, hunters, or fishermen who are willing to share some tips with you, maybe even take you under their wing. And your network will continue to grow. But enough stalling already, The next part in our series will focus on getting our hands dirty! Stay tuned for Part 2 in our series!
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