Is there anything in the world that’s quite the same mix of frustrating and rewarding as home improvement projects are? Perhaps raising children — definitely raising goats. In that respect, at least your house doesn’t put up a struggle at bedtime or jump the fence to get into the neighbor’s garden. However, when it comes to homestead improvements, you can… Read More
Do you think it's impossible to homestead where you live? These Inspiring Homesteads will show you the way. Each week we feature a new homesteader from across the globe. They will tell you how they do it. Get inspired with these Inspiring Homesteads.
Homesteading is a lifestyle of self-sufficiency. It is characterized by subsistence agriculture, home preservation of foodstuffs, and it may or may not also involve the small-scale production of textiles, clothing, and craft work for the household use. Homesteading is not defined by where someone lives, such as the city or the country, but by the lifestyle choices they make.” —… Read More
Every now and then when someone hears me say I’m a homesteader, they’ll ask what that means. Did the government give us free land? Do we have indoor plumbing? Do we buy anything from a store? The short answers to those questions are no, yes, and yes. The Original Homesteaders Although homesteaders were originally people who took advantage of… Read More
This might sound a bit harsh, but my homestead is not a theme park, petting zoo, or quaint local tourist spot. It is my home. Although I encourage people to ask me questions and I’m happy to grant tours on my own terms, wandering around without consent is never okay. It just isn’t.
This wasn’t the first time this has happened. It’s happened quite a few times before. Let’s chat a bit about why this isn’t okay behavior…
Whether you are a backyard hobby homesteader or an avid homesteader on your journey to live off-grid, these are the articles you want to be reading. I searched high a low to compile the best of the best for you. Not sure if homesteading is right for you? Interested in DIY and MYO? Wanting real food recipes for real people? Considering getting livestock? This list compiles the absolute best homesteading articles of 2015.
We know that backyard chickens have been talked about all over the news lately (both favorably and negatively). Homesteading and self-sufficiency is on the rise and for so many great reasons. With this rise comes a great supply of reading materials dedicated to we non-traditional farmers that live in non-traditional places.
There are many great books out there, but I have a few that have become staples in my library.
(My husband’s Jeff Foxworthy voice): If you have indoor plumbing, but you make the males in your house pee outside in the compost, you might be a homesteader. If the chicken you’re eating for dinner has a name, you might be a homesteader. If you have a state-of-the-art dryer, but you insist on drying your clothes outside, you might be a homesteader. If you have longer conversations with your poultry than you do with your spouse, you might be a homesteader (he’s so jealous).
We live the homestead lifestyle because we prefer to live closer to nature, at a different pace from most of society. We would rather live by the tides, sun, and seasons rather than the time clock and schedule. We are not purists or Luddites, but we try to lessen our impact on the environment, and appreciate older methods of living and working.
We also find satisfaction in working for ourselves rather than others. We appreciate benefiting directly from our efforts when we can rather than working outside the home for pay.
I was chatting with a few of my blogger friends. We were all frustrated and overwhelmed for a variety of homesteading reasons. One had goats go missing when her electric fence shorted. Another lost several of her crops to a freak hail storm. Another just felt like there wasn’t enough time in a day to get everything done. I can relate. Can you?
My grandparents on both sides of my family inspired so much of my reason to start homesteading. I grew up eating homemade canned goods from my grandparents’ gardens. My grandfather is also a bee keeper so I never knew the taste of store bought honey until I was an adult. I continued these traditions with my own family as it helped us stretch our budget.
Our story really starts with my Great Uncle Ed, who always dreamed of having a farm. In the 1960’s, he retired very young, found a piece of land (about 3.5 acres), designed his dream home and threw himself into homesteading. Everyone told him he was crazy! Mainly through books, he taught himself all he could and the rest he learned as he went.
We bought our current property a little over three years ago and knew we wanted to do a little more than just gardening. We also wanted some fruit trees and keep chickens and bees. I guess we could be called the lazy homesteaders because we have no desire to have any other livestock. And that is okay.
I’m not sure why, but we as a society have this need to put labels on ourselves and others. Sometimes these labels are innocent. They describe to others where we stand. They describe how we feel about others and what their mission is. I turned to Facebook to find out how people viewed homesteaders, preppers and survivalists. I’m sure these cliches won’t surprise you.
I hope I’ve been truly transparent about the struggles I’ve had on my journey. One struggle that comes to mind is my difficulty learning to make bread. My family was losing faith in my ability to learn this skill, and I was losing faith as well. Finally I figured it out and it was an amazing feeling. That amazing feeling is what makes trying worth it.
Any urban homesteader will tell you that the moment they get an animal that produces something for the homestead, they feel like they’ve achieved the dream. For us, it was the yard birds that made it happen. Not only do we feed these partially free-range girls a 100% organic diet on a budget, but they supply us AND several neighbors with eggs.