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What is homesteading

A word with 1,000 different definitions…what is homesteading?

Depending on who you ask.

But, when it comes down to it there is only one formal definition.

Wikipedia defines homesteading as:

 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 craftwork for household use or sale.” 

But what REALLY is homesteading? What does it look like?

Again, the answer really depends on who you ask. To me, homesteading is becoming self-sufficient and it can be done wherever you live. A common misconception about homesteading is that you have to have tons of land in order to do it. You don’t. 

People often ask me why and how I got started in homesteading. I was actually interviewed by Jess at the 104 hoestead answering those questions. You can read about it here.

Why and How We Started Homesteading

We started homesteading after a family scare from cancer. My dad asked my mom’s Oncologist why he thinks cancer is so prevalent these days. His response was to take a look at our food system and the ingredients in our food.

I was completely baffled at his response.

Baffled.

What could possibly be in our food supply that causes cancer? The short answer- A LOT. After researching and educating myself, our family decided we needed to rehaul our lives- if not for us at least for our kiddos.

And so we started our homesteading lives.

The first thing we did was buy chickens. They say chickens are “the gateway” livestock. Well, that statement is the absolute TRUTH. Chickens turned into more chickens– then a huge hoop house– then ducks- then meat chickens {twice a year)- and now the latest…goats.

Each and every animal that lives on our farm serves a purpose.

We make 99% of our food from scratch. We can, freeze, dehydrate, and preserve. We ferment food and drinks. We fish and hunt. We grow and raise our own food here on the farm.

It’s a homesteading life. And a good one.

What is Homesteading to Other Homesteaders?

I asked five homesteading bloggers what homesteading meant to them.

Jenna from The Flip Flop Barnyard: “For our family homesteading means doing what we can where we are, raising as much of our own food as we can, and being as self-sustaining as possible. It is about utilizing the space and resources available to us. It is also all about providing our family opportunities to grow and learn that they wouldn’t have in another type of lifestyle.”

Andrea from Little Big Harvest: “The word ‘homestead’ can sometimes bring up a mental image of sprawling acres and log cabins. Idyllic, certainly–but actually, homesteads come in all shapes and sizes. Any piece of earth, even if it’s a little urban lot, can be tended and nurtured to grow food, awareness, and more independence.”

Tracy from Our Simple Life: “The smell of fresh mowed hay, the sound of a rooster crowing, the sight of alpacas grazing, and the feel of freshly turned soil in my hands is what makes my heart beat with a homesteading passion. I still have to pinch myself when I look out my window to see all we have accomplished in just five short years.  It wasn’t always easy and the daily tasks outweigh the time on the clock, but I go to bed dog tired with a smile on my face!”

Nicole from Little Blog on the Homestead: “Our homestead looks pretty much like every other house you would see on the block (other than our raised garden beds full of veggies in our front yard) we live in a typical suburban neighborhood, both work typical suburban jobs and other than our enormously spoiled furbaby we don’t have any animals. Homesteading to us is more about a frame of mind. A desire to live as naturally as possible, to learn all that we can to be self-sufficient and working towards that goal. We garden, can as much as possible, cook almost all of our meals from scratch and are saving up to buy property. But until then we’ll continue to homestead right where we are now.”

Amy from Tenth Acre Farm: “Homesteading is the act of creating a productive home, which can be done no matter the size of the home or the property. While modern culture encourages us to be consumers, we reduce our consumption by growing some of our food (mostly in the front yard!), cooking all of our food from scratch, forming relationships with local farmers and fellow gardeners, and flexing our home economics muscles. All of this on 0.10-acre in suburbia! Breaking free of debt is the best thing we did to jumpstart our homesteading lifestyle

Homesteading Blogs

I have compiled a list of some of my favorite rural and suburban/urban blogs for you to check out. See- homesteading can be done anywhere!

Links to Rural Homestead Blogs:

The 104 Homestead

Little Country House

Grow a Good Life

Montana Homesteader

Homestead Honey

Timber Creek Farm

Our Simple Life

The Flip Flop Barnyard

Links to Suburban/Urban Homestead Blogs:  

Franger Farm

One Acre Farm

Pint Size Farm

Ever Growing Farm

Fabulous Farm Girl

Little Big Harvest

Little Blog on the Homestead

Tenth Acre Farm

Happy Homesteading Wherever You Are!

-Jen

Heads up: while I always try to do my research for my articles, these are for entertainment purposes only. If you are reading this for the purpose of making major financial or life decisions, please consult a professional before doing so. By reading and using my website, you are agreeing to my terms and conditions. Thanks y’all!

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