Thursday, December 5, 2013

What is Modern Homesteading?

Welcome to the first post in a brand new series: The Ultimate Guide to Planning Your Modern Homestead.  I hope you'll join me over the next few months as I explore and encourage conversations around planning your homestead.

These winter months are the perfect time for reflecting on what's working, what's not, and looking ahead to the next warm season.  Whether you are a seasoned homesteader or a beginner, taking time to think through your homesteading dreams and goals is well worth the time and effort and can mean greater success and satisfaction.

Over the next few months, I will be exploring the opportunities available to the homesteader and offering thoughts on how to set goals and gain a focus on what you want on your homestead.  Many of these thoughts are already available in my ebook: The Modern Homestead, but I invite you to follow along here and on my Facebook page for a deeper look into ideas and thoughts on creating your dream homestead.You can also find a wealth of information at the tabs at the top of the blog about gardening, raising animals, and learning new homesteading skills.  If you're looking for experience and examples, check out the Homestead Highlight series for first hand accounts from homesteaders.

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What is modern homesteading?




Today, the vision of homesteading as strictly a self-sufficient, agrarian lifestyle is being revisited by
people everywhere. All around us people are connecting with the earth by redefining what it means to
homestead. For some, homesteading is as simple as growing a few herbs in their apartment and choosing to buy their eggs at the local farmer’s market. For others, homesteading means cashing it all in and heading for the nearest piece of rural land. There are countless ways you can embrace the idea of self-sufficiency while still maintaining a modern lifestyle. Simple actions such as raising (all or some of) your own food, choosing local products, and supporting renewable energy are just some of the ways you can achieve the dream of homesteading.

When you homestead, you live your life in a way that best connects you with the natural world using the space, time, and resources available. Whether you are choosing to homestead for environmental reasons, financial reasons, emotional reasons, family reasons, or for no good reason at all, you are choosing to live simpler. A modern homestead is more than the place you live - it is a way of life.

When we think of homesteading from this perspective, we suddenly open the door to all the possibilities available to us. In order to be a homesteader; you simply need to think and act in a way  that better connects you to the natural world. At the heart of homesteading is the idea of raising your
own food through growing plants and raising animals. But homesteading is more than this. It is recognizing the choices we have in energy usage, relearning skills in the kitchen, using basic home skill techniques (such as knitting, sewing, and basic woodworking), and simply living your life conscious of the impact of your actions.

Here is what a few others think about Modern Homesteading:

Finding a balance that works with modern day conveniences and distractions, yet lets us listen to our hearts on the way to accomplish things on our homesteads. - Janet Garman from Timber Creek Farm

Jill Winger from a Prairie Homestead says you can get your homesteading dream:

By embracing where you are at in life at this very moment in time–whether that be an apartment, or a suburb, or a teeny 1/2-acre lot on the outskirts of town–and making THAT your homestead. - See more at: http://www.theprairiehomestead.com/2013/11/dear-city-homesteader.html#sthash.BHfL5ImX.dpuf
"By embracing where you are at in life at this very moment in time–whether that be an apartment, or a suburb, or a teeny 1/2-acre lot on the outskirts of town–and making THAT your homestead."
By embracing where you are at in life at this very moment in time–whether that be an apartment, or a suburb, or a teeny 1/2-acre lot on the outskirts of town–and making THAT your homestead - See more at: http://www.theprairiehomestead.com/2013/11/dear-city-homesteader.html#sthash.BHfL5ImX.dpuf
By embracing where you are at in life at this very moment in time–whether that be an apartment, or a suburb, or a teeny 1/2-acre lot on the outskirts of town–and making THAT your homestead. - See more at: http://www.theprairiehomestead.com/2013/11/dear-city-homesteader.html#sthash.BHfL5ImX.dpuf

"I think the modern homesteading movement is largely a coping strategy. We're told our food supply is the safest in the world, yet food allergies are rampant. We're told we must lower our carbon footprint but clothes, food, fuel and kitsch from all corners of the globe still flood our markets. We've finally understood the "news" is largely propaganda and we want to live in a place where the only lies you hear come at the end of a long day's toil and are tall tales about long ago days or what really became of the varmint that's been harassing the stock. In the process, we've discovered hard labor and dirty work is immensely rewarding and the food we raise ourselves is better than anything we've ever tasted before. Is it sustainable emotionally, financially, and physically? Not a clue."  - Robin Simoni -  Apriori Farm

Heidi Hunt from Mother Earth News says: " It's about using less energy, eating wholesome local food, involving your family in the life of the community and making wiser choices that will improve the quality of life for your family, your community and the environment around you."

What is your definition of modern homesteading?

4 comments:

  1. Beautifully said, Gretchen, I could not agree more! I'm so pleased to see you posting again - I'm looking forward to reading more.

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  2. I'm really looking forward to this series! We moved to a new homestead a few months ago and are using these cold winter months to plan for all the projects we want to do on our new homestead come spring.

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  3. looking forward to more on this topic. It needs to be redefined to be more inclusive of the different types of homesteading as you are doing with this series

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  4. I too am looking forward to this series! I love my gardens and everything about preserving what I grow. I grew up sewing, canning & "making due with what we had" I thought for a few years that I needed more than that but for me I am much happier simplified!

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