What made me decide to become a homesteader? That is a question we are asked often. It is not so much that people see me coming and say, "Wow, here comes a homesteader!" It is more like people learn about this lifestyle through my writing or when they hear from someone else we live off-the-grid. Let me clear up any misconceptions about the off-the-grid part. You do not have to be generating your own power or living off-the-grid to be a homesteader. I will say over and over.................there are NO rules! (Did you read that Donna? My friend Donna is in all ways a homesteader, she just doesn't think she is.)
I think what did it for me was that we were living in St. Petersburg, FL and there was a lot of crime around us. Yet if we had opened our eyes to homesteading then, we could have done urban homesteading right there on our little lot in the middle of a big city. Our courtyard was fenced in with one of those high fences and had a red brick floor. It would get so hot in there. My stepdaughter, Hollie, would try to lay out there to sunbathe, but it was even more than she could take. We could have put up solar panels and had raise beds right there in that little area. Our yard was all shaded but the sunlight would flood that little courtyard for hours.
At that time we had a cruise only travel agency and ran it out of our garage which we had converted into a home office. We had a lot of contacts down there as far as home based businesses go and was part of The Home Based Business Association. That was the wrong direction. I know that now. Too late for me.
But if you are into homesteading and living in a city.............and anxiously waiting for the day you can move into your homestead.....Don't! Don't wait, just start now:
- Just start a garden this spring.
- Or shop from your local farms and can or freeze or dehydrate food all season.
- Learn to bake bread or whatever it is you buy in the store.
- Learn to make your own condiments.
- Learn to make your own sauces and can them.
- Make your own salad dressings.
- Buy in bulk and process the foods in your own kitchen.
- Research your local area and find sources of locally produced foods.
- Study the wild medicinal and edible foods growing around you in your forests and parks. Make sure it is not sprayed or on a main route where it can be contaminated by motor vehicles.
I am sure there is something you are dying to start doing. What is it? Can you figure out a way to do it without living in the country? Start doing it now and it will lead to other things. That is the way I started doing it. Little by little.
Copyright © 2011 Kathleen G. Lupole
All Photographs Copyright © 2011 Kathleen G. Lupole