“Honey For Nothing” – Guest Blogger – UnionHomeStead.com

UnionHomeStead and I had some chats recently. I visited them on my “day off” and really liked their blog. Sorry I don’t know all your names, and it’s no worries, in these days where privacy is rare 🙂 (Google and FaceBook I’m looking at you)

They are Kiwis from New Zealand, running a smallholding, growing their own food and raising their own animals (and kids and children !). All as ethically as they can.

Some concerns where expressed to me, about being a guest blogged (presumably because of exposure to 39000 followers) – but I promise it’s really nothing to worry about. I’d say 99% of those following are nice people, or at least the ones that I’ve had the privilege to converse with. WordPress.com is much friendlier social network than Twitter etc., kinda why I”m still here.

Hopefully, my guest blogging UnionHomeStead.com will bring them some more followers and friends. They are nice people, feel free to pay them a visit, say I sent you.

Honey for Nothing…

Having been asked to guest by The Charismatic One is both incredibly flattering and hugely terrifying. What to write was the number one concern because here is where we confess to being *whisper* utterly, completely, totally disjointed from the world around us. Well, perhaps that is overstating things a tad. Way back when the Homestead was but a twinkle in two bright-eyed kids visage, we were rather proud of being up with the play and in the know. We had some pretty set ideas on ‘Right’ and ‘Wrong’ and we weren’t scared to scream ahem…speak them. In fairness, Maggie, Ron et al did give us plenty of fulminating fodder but we fumed with relish; waving our placards from our tiny piece of the planet. That is, right up until the little Homesteaders started along.


Then suddenly way too many sleepless nights were passing in us agonising over what we’d done, bringing these innocent, beautiful, squawking bundles of promise into a place where making a buck ruled every decision, and individuals and the planet counted for nothing. And that’s when we decided, in the interest of a decent night’s sleep and the good of our little family, to let the world get on with itself. We’d work on looking after our own backyard.

Before long,  we started to take it literally.


Homesteading is what we decided to call it; our ideas and ideals seemed to fit most easily into that ethos. Basically, we grow as much of our own food as we can. What we can’t grow we attempt to source locally. You won’t find us eating asparagus in winter or pumpkin in spring but chances are we might run into each other at the local Indian takeaway once in a while…or the Chinese…or the chippie.

See, we’re contrary beasts. We name our animals, care for them oh-so-deeply, and they are utterly over-indulged (Marilyn the goat shakes hands for treats) but they are also the source of our dietary protein.


We watch our food miles like the hawks that circle our chicken coop. Our Christmas stockings literally bring the once a year bananas, pineapples, and other tropical wonders our climate doesn’t support, but two of our number drive three quarters of an hour, five days a week, to their paid employment. And best we don’t mention the industries they work in.

The Bangladesh sweatshop fires of 2012 made us rethink our wardrobes. As a family, we now wear only second hand or ethically produced clothing. Our shoes are built to last (while still being their own kind of beautiful) often with scary price tags, and our locally made, ethically produced underwear costs more per pair than today’s entire outfit, but we wear our passion for the Beautiful Game, bought new, for all to see.


But we own each and every one of those contradictory decisions. The buck stops with us. We believe that’s what Homesteading is. It’s taking responsibility for your actions; utilising what you have – be it land, stock, or a seven year old pair of lime green crocs (what was I thinking) – trying not to cause harm, and weighing up every action and purchase, not for how it appears or how much it cost, but for future-of-our-planet peace-of-mind. And then owning the fall out.

In short, looking after your own backyard.

For us that means five minutes from coop to eggs-on-toast or goat to milk-in-coffee, beetroot in every meal at the moment (even the cake), and photographing the evidence that we have indeed got our Honey for Nothing…


and our chicks for free.


(c) UnionHomeStead 2020 – https://unionhomestead.com/about/

Editor & Proofreader – Don Charisma

UnionHomeStead and I have been friends on WordPress since we bumped into each other recently. I would encourage you to visit them at the above link and have a look around. I was really impressed with their site, attitude and just really nice people. They have a certain ‘X’ factor I can’t quite put a finger on, their blog just stood out to me as having an authentic quality – so recommended to you to visit and say hello.

Thanks for doing your own editing and proofreading, I only had one minor correction (hopefully UK English and Kiwi English are about the same !)

UnionHomeStead – Feel free to reblog on your own blog, and might be worth subscribing to the comments section, as people often post comments/questions here.


Don Charisma

Resources & Sources

Unless otherwise stated everything here is (c) DonCharisma.org, all rights are reserved. UnionHomeStead.com copyright remains with them for article and photos all rights are reserved.


Comments are often welcomed, provided you can string a legible, relevant and polite sentence together. In other cases probably best shared with your therapist, or kept to yourself.


10 thoughts on ““Honey For Nothing” – Guest Blogger – UnionHomeStead.com

  1. Interesting post for sure. Thank you to The Charisma One for sharing. The Bangladesh sweatshop fire was an eye opener for me too. I wrote a post about it a few years ago. The Union Homesteaders sounds like a great bunch!

    1. They are nice people. So I reblogged, then a guest post from them 🙂

      I didn’t hear about the fire, but I can imagine, I’ve seen some of the conditions 3rd world are working in – quite a contrast to what people squabble about in first world.

  2. Those Union Homesteaders are the “really nice” people you think they are. They are truly amazing and after more than 30 years of friendship I am really proud to say they are my really nice friends. I miss them being 30 mins away (my fault) but if I turn up on their doorstep there is always cake – homemade of course and coffee on offer (I wont think about where the milk has come from).

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