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What is homesteading? Well if you want to get technical you can follow this link to see the definition. Most people think of homesteading as a pioneering lifestyle, but in current times homesteading is becoming something a bit different. I would say that, it is more of a state of mind than anything else.
When people get tired of the “grind” and want something more, they reach out to their ancestors and the way they lived. They are craving that homestead lifestyle, where a homesteader produces the things that they need. It is very simple to go to the store and buy a pound of meat, or a gallon of milk. It is an entirely different thing to produce things of that nature for your self, right on your homestead.
I recently had the good fortune to help a friend start his first step in homesteading, and gave him some chickens. I told him that they eggs would taste better than the eggs he bought at the store. He asked why, and I told him that he would get a felling of satisfaction when he ate the eggs that he produced. The taste would be unlike anything that he had experienced before.
He is a much older man than I, and seemed to think that keeping chickens could effect the taste. Sure enough the first time he gathered eggs and ate them he called. As a matter of fact, I don’t think he was even finished eating his meal when he called to tell me. He said I was right, and he wanted more of this feeling. Giving him some chickens, and helping him get a coop set up was really trivial to me but to him it was a life changer.
What is Homesteading?
All definitions aside, that is really what homesteading is. The very felling when he bit into the first bit of food that he had produced for him self. You can not buy that kind of satisfaction, it has to be earned. It does not matter if you’re doing it because you can’t afford anything else, or if you afraid that the systems of support will crumble and you wont be able to go to a store and purchase that product. You will get the same felling of self-satisfaction, out of your self-reliance not matter what the reason you are doing it.
Why do people Homestead?
In my opinion, the reason that most people homestead, is they do not want to be dependent on the systems of support. Our society has become all to reliant on thees Systems lately. That is not a bad thing in any way shape or form, the more folks out there that can fend for them selves the better off our entire community is. I have even seen a movement from a local food bank to start giving seeds to people instead of food. Now keep in mind they still do help out with food, for people who are unwilling to try to produce food for themselves. This speaks greatly for your community. The fact that they are willing to try.
If you take someone who is reliant on food stamps and teach them to produce their own food. When you turn this person into a homesteader, you have not given this them a hand out, you have changed their life. On the other hand if you were to teach some one of wealth and privilege the same things. You may change their lives in an entirely different way.
While homesteading you will first look at your needs and then fill the basic needs to survive without outside inputs. It is very difficult to produce everything that you need on your own. You really don’t have to do it all yourself, but every step you take toward self-reliance gives your life more meaning and more purpose. The more meaning and purpose that you find in your life the more happiness you will find also.
Who can Homestead?
Anyone can homestead, they may not provide everything that they need but anyone can produce some of their own needs. If you live in a city then look into urban homesteading. You will be limited to city rules and regulations but you may be surprised what an urban homestead can produce. Just take a look at what the urban farming guys have done. If you live in an apartment you can always do some container gardening and if you are really ambitious you may even be able to set up a co-op like the one described here. Give it a try you may be surprised at that you are able to accomplish.
In closing i would like to remind every one that a homesteader is a different breed than most, and not everyone can do the same things. Homesteading might have a specific definition, but homesteaders come in all shapes and sizes. I commend anyone that makes an effort to produce things for themselves. No matter what your homestead looks like keep it up and push forward. If you have any thoughts on what homesteading is to you please share them in the comments below. I would love to hear them. Don’t be shy, what is homesteading to you?