Typically we think of homesteaders as pioneers living on government free land forced to live a self-sufficient lifestyle. Today the land isn’t free and the choice to live a simpler life is being embraced by the homesteading movement.
What’s so different today is those pioneers couldn’t rely on a grocery store, they didn’t have a car to drive them to the market, and when they had a hole in their shoe, they fixed it. They all knew how to repair a roof, mend clothes, give haircuts, make bread and if they wanted fresh eggs they raised chickens. They didn’t have fast food and their entertainment didn’t come from a little black box. Sunday church was the most important part of their week and they all looked out for their neighbors. Life was simple then.
If you’re tired of relying on a pre-packaged lifestyle and are looking for ways to provide your family with healthy alternatives, homesteading may be for you.
Give some thought to how much you rely on outside sources to provide your everyday needs. If you’re like most Americans you purchase your food from the grocery store, buy your clothes at the Mall and buy your energy and water from the city where you live.
Do you dream of becoming more self-sufficient? Do you desire to use less energy, eat homegrown food, and improve the quality of your life for your family, community, and the environment where you live? If so, you have the heart of today’s homesteader.
It doesn’t matter if you live on a farm surrounded by cows or in the city surrounded by people, it’s all about making wiser healthier choices.
Your homestead is wherever you live and whatever you want it to be!
Embrace the journey as it fits your life. If it means you make bread from scratch, raise chickens, plant gardens, or line dry your clothes it doesn’t matter because it’s all about the satisfaction you get from working hard and providing for yourself.
There isn’t a one-size-fits-all definition. Modern homesteading begins with living within your means and learning to do things as close to the land as possible. Even if your home is in the city, you can shop at a local farmers’ market, buy fresh eggs and live by the “use it up, wear it out, make do, or do without” mentality. Today’s homesteader isn’t afraid of hard work or getting dirty and is always looking for ways to be more self-sufficient.
Learn to become a producer, not a consumer.
Your very first step in becoming a homesteader is to have a clear vision of your goals. Start by focusing on survival rather than consumerism. Look at your current living conditions. Where do most of your food, shelter, and energy come from? Look for ways you can start providing some of your most fundamental necessities and then outline a plan.
Here are a few ideas to get you started:
- Make homemade meals
- Learn to bake bread
- Look for ways to generate energy
- Start line-drying your laundry
- Learn to grow your own food and herbs
- Learn to save seeds
- Raise backyard chickens, rabbits, or bees
- Consider a goat or a cow for fresh milk
- Learn animal husbandry
- Start a compost bin
- Make homemade cleaning supplies
- Learn to can and freeze what’s in season
- Plant fruit trees and berry bushes
- Learn to sew
- Learn to hunt and fish
- The possibilities are endless
Do what you can, where you are!
I remember when we first started living a homesteading lifestyle I had a hard thinking I needed to do it all. I had to realize pretty quickly that I had a set of skills and talents different from everyone else and they didn’t include some of the things on my wish list. I would’ve loved to dig into some DIY projects, but I am not very good with a hammer, but I am a great baker and love to can jams and jellies. Personally, I had to realize that I couldn’t spend my life doing things that I wasn’t gifted at and I needed to concentrate on the things I loved doing and did well.
Trust in your ability and don’t be afraid to be unique. No two homesteaders are the same!
I encourage you to look at what you enjoy, what you’re good at, and then let that mold you into the homesteading life you desire.
I often get asked how to start homesteading. My answer is always the same. Don’t wait for the perfect time, start right now. If you love to garden start small with container gardens if you want to learn to bake but aren’t sure you can tackle homemade bread invest in a bread machine. And if you want to start changing the way your family eats, shop at your local farmers’ market. Homesteading is a way of life; it’s about slowing down and developing healthy routines that help you return to your roots, just like the pioneers did.
Today’s homesteaders follow this simple creed:
- To honor old fashion skills
- To live a self-sufficient lifestyle
- To resist consumerism
- To be good stewards of the land
- To reuse, recycle and make do
- To shop local
- To share with others
- And to pass on homesteading skills to the next generation
Homesteading is all about taking the time to enjoy life’s simple pleasures.
Are you ready to give homesteading a try? Take a walk out your back door and see what changes you can make to start a garden, add some backyard chickens and get in touch with the simpler side of you!
Thanks for stopping by!
P.S. Do you like what you are reading?
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