What is homesteading all about? Nowadays, when people talk about modern homesteading, it’s a very different picture than a woman in a bonnet churning butter. So exactly what is homesteading? If you’ve ever wanted to try it, keep reading! Below we’ll talk about homesteading in all its forms, so you can see if it’s a lifestyle you’d like to incorporate into your day-to-day.
What Is Homesteading & How Can You Get Started with Simple Living?
A Brief History
In 1862, the Homesteading Act promised land to families who agreed to work properties in the west for a minimum of five years. The idea was to encourage people to slowly settle in the western United States. However, life was challenging for those who took the government up on its offer. These families had to learn how to start homesteading from scratch, building their own homes and clearing their own fields before they could begin planting. Nowadays, homesteading is simply a lifestyle choice for environmentally and sustainably conscious people.
Trends in Homesteading
Today, the notion of homesteading conjures up an idealistic image in people’s minds. They imagine themselves picking their own vegetables from their gardens and the smell of fresh bread in the oven. This view has become increasingly popular in recent years, which has been echoed in the growth of personal gardens. An estimated 35 percent of households in the United States grow food either at home or in a community garden, a number that is up 17 percent in just 5 years. Millions of people across the United States find the idea of modern homesteading to be intriguing and want to incorporate some of the principles in their own lifestyle. Here is what they should know:
What Is A Homesteading Mindset?
The homesteading mindset describes a ‘can-do’ attitude. The people who venture down this avenue are willing to put in the work because they believe the reward will be worth it. The concept of backyard chickens and home gardens to provide them with fresh food appeals to them on a very fundamental level.
Those who decide to become homesteaders want to be as self-sufficient as possible. These families want to grow their own organic food. They believe strongly in the health benefits of eating foods they grew personally. You can actually watch tons of homestead videos on the Internet showing what homesteading is all about.
What Is Homesteading?
Homesteading can occur anywhere on a continuum, which can make it difficult to define for many people. Some homesteaders will be nearly entirely self-sufficient, running a family farm where they produce all or most of the food they eat and even generate their own electricity. Others live in more urban environments, where they supplement the family diet through a summer garden. Many homesteaders will start small. They then gradually expand their goals as they become more confident in their ability to provide food for their family.
To understand what is homesteading, people must look at the end-goal. People who participate in the movement are generally interested in securing a more trustworthy and healthier source of food for their families. Many are also concerned about the environment and related factors, such as pesticide use. Creating compost piles to reduce waste and growing organic vegetables or raising free-range animals for meat, therefore, become important aspects of the movement.
What Skills Are Used in Homesteading?
Since homesteading can take place along such a wide continuum, so to do the skills people cultivate. Many people will learn about various forgotten skills as they progress. People often find themselves researching tasks such as canning fruits and vegetables, fermenting foods, or skinning rabbits as they learn more. They often develop a greater appreciation for their food and their environment as they take a more hands-on approach to making these ideas materialize.
The more deeply people participate in the homesteading lifestyle, the less they rely on outside parties to help them live a comfortable life. They produce a considerable amount of their own food, which reduces questions surrounding the quality of the food they might purchase from other sources. Additionally, if they process their own meat, the homesteader can be confident about what the animal ate during its lifetime and its health. Many homesteaders will also begin to venture into traditional crafts, such as sewing. Others may even work to remove themselves entirely from the grid by producing their own power through solar panels.
Know more about the realities of homesteading in this video from Weed ’em & Reap:
Homesteading can be a rewarding lifestyle to many people who want to lead a simpler life. Understanding what homesteading is, however, requires grasping that the lifestyle exists on a continuum, with people falling across a wide spectrum. Each person interested in the lifestyle should find the level appeals to them most. Then, they can set the appropriate goals based on their own values and needs.
Have you considered homesteading? Where do you fall on the continuum? Let us know in the comments section below!
Up Next: Why People Choose Organic Living