What is Homesteading Anyway?
Today, a person hears the word “homesteading” and might immediately think of a house on lots of land, a barn, chickens, cows, pigs, huge gardens, tractors, hay bales, and people doing lots of work to tend all those animals and gardens. That is an awesome example of a homestead but so is planter box full of herbs in an apartment window.
Wikipedia's definition of homesteading is:
“Homesteading is a lifestyle of self-sufficiency. It is characterized by subsistence agriculture, home preservation of food, and it may or may not also involve the small-scale production of textiles, clothing, and craftwork for household use or sale.”
Wow, that sounds intense. I am supposed to make my own clothes, raise meat and dairy, grow grain and preserve enough to make it through winter. All while maintaining my solar and hydropower systems and trying to teach my kids how to be decent people. I am exhausted just thinking about all that.
Well, I guess I am not a homesteader with all those regulations. Wait a minute, heck with all those rules!
Homesteading to me is more of a mindset of doing it yourself. Doing what we can in hopes of severing—or at least loosening—our ties to the big chain supermarket, the power grid, the consumer economy.
Here in North Dakota, everyone has to learn to be at least a little self-sufficient because in the winter snowstorms and blizzards are pretty common.
You don't need a farm or hundreds of acres to homestead. It is just about doing what you can with what you have. If you live in an apartment start a herb window box or try some new made from scratch recipes.
Also supporting other homesteaders is essential. Visiting farmers markets can not only get you amazing products and produce but you can gain so much knowledge from other homesteaders. We want to chat with you about gardening and canning or whatever is it that we made. It is a loved part of life and we want to share it with you!
So please don't wait till you buy that perfect piece of land or till you retire to start on your homestead journey. Homesteading is not an all or nothing thing. It is a progression that will never end. So wherever you are you can homestead.
All you have to do is Just Start!
One last Quick Tip: Chickens are considered by many as a gateway animal. It just starts with a few chickens and before you know it you are trying to figure out how to get a calf home in the back of the family Subaru.
Let me know below how it is that you started homesteading or plan on starting.