Homesteading. A word with broad meanings, depending on who you talk to. A word with historical meaning that is quickly becoming popular again. Homesteading is no longer linked to the 1800 Homesteading Act. Living in a modern, local lifestyle now includes much more.
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THE 1862 BUDGETARY ACT
According to the US National Park Service, which is the Homestead Act of 1862 "Recognized as One of the Most Revolutionary Concepts for Public Land Distribution in American History", This legislation would transfer a whopping 10% of the US country to individuals … that's 270 million acres!
The eligibility for this "free" country was to be 21 years old, pay a registration fee, and "prove" (keep the country). Settling the country for a period of five years meant proving yourself. build, improve and manage a house.
This law remained in force until its repeal in 1976, with an addendum to Alaska's settlement until its repeal in 1986.
DEFINITION OF HOUSEHOLD
What is the exact definition of the word "homesteading"? According to Wikipedia Homesteading is:
"homesteading is a lifestyle of self-sufficiency. It is characterized by subsistence farming and food preservation, and can include the production of textiles, clothing and handicrafts for home use or small-scale sales. "
The key word here is self-sufficiency. Self-sufficiency is probably the main reason why most choose the homestead path. It was definitely for us. The need to know and teach our little daughter where our food comes from, how it was grown and what it is made of. That a carrot doesn't come out of a plastic bag. The need to remove ourselves from the mindset of mass consumption and to know that we can take care of ourselves no matter what.
HOMESTEADERS DEFINE HOMESTEADING
Curious what other homesteaders like me think about homesteading, we turned to a couple of our friends. Here are her thoughts on what homesteading means to her.
Lisa, out The self-sufficient HomeAcre describes what homesteading means to them in the following ways;
“With all the modern conveniences and distractions that surround us today, many people feel a strong desire to return to a simpler way of life. Dropping the artificial and embracing our natural world just feels Law! It calms our minds and bodies, knowing where our food comes from, and takes a deep breath and tastes the fresh air. Seeing the sun rise and set and live in harmony with the seasons brings a feeling of peace and joy that we all want, but few seem to achieve it. You don't have to live off-grid in the wild to be a homesteader. You can reduce your waste, cook from scratch, make your own bath and body products, and live a more natural lifestyle no matter where you are. I grew up on a farm and spent most of my life working as a homesteader on urban, suburban and rural properties. These experiences have shaped who I am and how I live my life! "
Teri, a new Englishwoman from the Homestead honey describes homesteading for them in the following way;
"The definition of modern homesteading is very personal – for me homesteading probably looks very different than for you (and homesteading for me now looks very different from 5 years ago!). For example, my family lived 5 years ago in a tiny house in rural northeast Missouri, without electricity or running water! We built an off-grid homestead from scratch, worked from home, taught our kids, and raised Jersey cows. We also grew a large percentage of our food. Today we live in an apartment in Vermont, grow a large garden and raise chickens, my husband works outside the property, and our children attend a local Waldorf school. But we still embody the lifestyle of locals. At the heart of homesteading is a mindset. The desire to do and to do, to work together and to create community, to learn and to grow. I am convinced that homesteading can take place anywhere. It's just about adapting a can-do resident's mindset and expanding their skills to live a version of a simpler and more sustainable life. "
WHY & HOW WE BEGIN OUR HOME TRAVEL
Over 16 years ago, we set out for a sustainable, local lifestyle. Why? It all started with my EBV diagnosis at the age of 38. Through my healing efforts, our life has turned more to an organic lifestyle, namely a self-sustaining one.
Preserving yourself depends on your connection to Earth and how we deal with it. It is about loving ourselves and not only considering what we consume, but also how this product was made and at what cost to the earth, the environment and our physical body. It quickly became clear that we had to make changes to lead a self-sufficient lifestyle. And big changes.
Take a step, build our home from scratch, imagine (with a few wonderful mentors along the way) how we grow and maintain nearly 90% of our organically grown and produced grocery stores, chickens for eggs, broilers and Raising pigs For meat and local procurement, the additional 10% needed was all used here on the farm. As our slogan says … "one season at a time".
THE MODERN HOUSEHOLD MOVEMENT
If you look back a few decades from the original Homestead Act, you will find a movement of individuals who recognize this Homesteading can be done anywhere, Regardless of your living conditions, your apartment, city, town or a large cultivated area, we all have the opportunity to incorporate skills for settling our homes into our lives.
Modern homesteaders have it easy in many ways compared to those of our ancestors. Today we can still be a homesteader and have a working inside toilet if you want. Just say: "We can add and buy any additional groceries that we couldn't successfully grow ourselves at our local farmers market." We can install and use alternative energy sources such as sun or wind to enable life outside the power grid.
The ease of getting information and homesteading information is accessible to everyone. Just look at the information on this website that could start your process!
There is no stereotypical homesteader at the present time. You can live practically anywhere and still have a homestead. The type of homesteader you want to become or already are entirely up to you!
Living in an apartment with no real estate worth mentioning? Think of gardening on a small scale and grow fruit, vegetables or herbs in containers or pots. Do you have access to a balcony or a roof terrace? Even better! Add a small greenhouse to extend your growing season (s)!
Grow vertically! If the light is right, small rooms can be converted into large areas! If this is not the case, take a look at the following options for the surface light! Here are a few vertical ideas …
Not buying one? Intervene in the domestic way of thinking and think about how you can tinker yourself! Reuse or upgrade items and create one. Are you thinking of pallets that you can find for free, or how about wooden shutters on windows or old gates? Everything you can "hang" a pot on.
How about grow light options to extend your indoor growing season all year round, or just throw extra light on an area that may be missing? Many systems are available from a simple single grow lamp (see below) to larger systems.
Look for a local community garden Get your hands dirty and learn from each other while taking advantage of your growth! Learn to preserve food through the season by freezing, canning, dehydrating, fermenting, and storing. Check out how you can do something amazing Preserved salsa or how about simple options Keep fresh herbs or how to do it Fermentation in mason jars for inspiration!
Check your city ordinances for small-scale husbandry laws and regulations. If allowed, consider having a pair of laying hens or possibly rabbits growing if you have access to the outside.
Learn to cook from scratch by buying in bulk. Create your stock mixes and staple foods like pancake and biscuit mixes and even home remedies like ours Fire Cider & its many advantages or Elderberry tincture, Take a look and visit us Natural life Section here for a full list of home and herbal remedies that you can easily make yourself.
Learn compost! Yes, you heard it right. 🙂 Composting is available everywhere … with odorless composting systems such as Bokashi System or larger systems like the following. Check out a roadside pick-up service or speak to your local farmers market builder to find out how to drop off your compostable items. Keep an eye out for our upcoming article and e-book on easy composting!
Are you in an urban or suburban area? One that has a small amount of land, back yard, or front yard that can be used? The same options are available to you as an apartment house … only on a slightly larger scale! Contact your city ordinances again to keep small cattle. Chickens, rabbits, ducks and maybe even a goat!
SMALL OR LARGE BUDGET
To qualify as a small or larger homestead, you usually have access to more than 2 hectares. This larger room offers innumerable possibilities for the accommodation of private individuals. We are on approximately 7 hectares and consider ourselves a smaller farm.
We currently have a large vegetable garden with several raised beds, a separate herb garden, a small orchard (apples, plums, pears), berry beds (black and red raspberries and elderberries), grapevines, apiary, laying hens and husbandry (pork, chicken & turkeys).
The only disadvantage of a farm on a smaller scale is that we cannot grow our own feed source (grain / hay) to feed animals during the winter months. The larger farm offers complete sustainability for the feeding and rearing of farm animals (dairy cows, cattle, horses, etc.).
No matter where you live
As already mentioned, homesteading can be carried out regardless of where you live, from small to large rooms. Before you get to work, we strongly recommend that you consider the following and set some goals:
- What are my nutritional goals? Do I want to grow most of my food or learn how to grow only a few items?
- Can money be saved when buying food? How?
- I want to raise animals Is it allowed where I live?
- Before buying, do you keep asking yourself whether I can do this or can learn to do it myself?
Hopefully, if you start with these simple questions, you can set a few goals (start with 1 or 2), set them, and then move on to the next ones!
HOMESTEADING FOR BEGINNERS
Start small no matter where you live. Homesteading can be overwhelming! No matter whether you imagine yourself completely detached from mass consumption and live a completely self-sufficient and self-sufficient lifestyle, slow down,
Add 1 or 2 of the priority goals to your list and look for mentors. Collect advice from websites like this one. Watch YouTube videos with instructions. Make a plan. Every aspect of homesteading has a big learning curve, and burnout is real! By giving yourself the time and permission to fail … yes, fail, learn what works for you and create success.
DEFINE YOUR BUDGETARY GOALS
If you take the time to define and outline a few initial goals, you will save time in the long run, avoid mistakes, and create a solid foundation.
- Define goals – What does homesteading look like for you? Are you looking for a supplement or do you want to become completely independent? How does it look?
- inventory – View your available areas, plots or acreage that you are currently working with. Make a note of the layout and the functions available. Where are your buildings positioned, how should your final rooms flow and what is the purpose of the individual rooms? These are all good questions to consider. Do you know where you want to position your garden to recognize that the full sun is best for the vegetable garden?
- Prioritize realistic goals – Arrange your goals according to their importance Start with what you love passionately. Concentrate on your most important goals and start planning with these goals in mind. Do you need further training? How does it look?
- To plan – What kind of equipment, materials and accessories do you need based on your original goals? What daily tasks have to be done to achieve these goals?
- begin – do not hesitate! Start by loving first, master it and then expand to the next one!
OLD FASHIONABLE SKILLS
Name the skills you need to build a homestead the way you like it, old-fashioned, old-fashioned, or just plain certain that you need to learn a few. The list below is just a few that we learned along the way.
In the initial phase of building your own home, we strongly recommend that you invest time and energy in the infrastructure to make the many daily tasks as easy and convenient as possible.
If you think of the following infrastructure, it can mean complete success or an immediate failure. Some to focus on are:
- shelters – Do you need shelters outdoors? Do you already have them Where are or would be placed? What are they best used for?
- water – Do you need to install water pipes to facilitate access to barns, outbuildings, or gardens? How should they be installed (depending on the warm or cold living climate)?
- Paths & sidewalks – Do you have easy access for agricultural vehicles (tractors, carts, etc.)?
- fences – Do you need to install fences? Which type (powered or not)?
- camp – Do you have a convenient storage space for your garden and agricultural machinery? Feed storage?
There are no fixed rules for homesteading. Do what you think is right. Embrace it, enjoy it. Realize that sometimes "simple" life is not that easy! It can be physically and emotionally demanding. At the same time, the advantages of this sustainable lifestyle are numerous.
Do you already have a homestead? Take part in the conversation and tell us how!
Love, light & laugh ~
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