Homesteading has no rules. You can be a homesteader and live in NYC or Los Angeles. You can be a homesteader and have absolutely no livestock for food or work. You can be a homesteader and buy all your produce from local farms and farmers' markets. It is more a mind set than anything else.
Local Farmer's Corn Field
But.....you have to at least try to be self-sufficient, self-reliant, independent or something. Can't just sit there and do nothing, of course. Homesteaders love the land, love the work, love the way of life. It is a different way of life. Now farming is a whole different thing. I have known many farmers and they are just completely different and I am not sure why. Maybe the difference is that farmers are in it for a business. And homesteaders are in it for providing for themselves and their family. Tell me what you think if you are a homesteader or a farmer.
Home Grown & Canned Green Beans!
Usually "modern homesteaders" grow a big garden or at least grow enough produce to can, freeze, dry and store for the future. We are most proud of our shelves of canning jars full of food. Our root cellars brimming with cabbage, pumpkins, apples and whatever else we can store. The pantry of a homesteader has the makings of many, many meals for a family of whatever size you have. Our tables often times, have 3 or 4 loaves of homemade bread, along with a cup of homemade butter. Maybe a cast iron pot simmering on the stove with homemade stew or chicken and dumplings.
The idea behind "modern homesteading" is not to "homestead" land. That is not what we are about. And if that is what you are thinking.........you are way off track! We know that the homestead act is long gone. To read about that, here is a post I wrote about it last year, Homesteading The Modern Way. The idea is to be as self-sufficient as much as possible in this crazy mixed up world we have here.
Now that food and gas have both gone up, it is more important than ever to be self-sufficient if you can. There is bad times ahead of us all and the sooner you get started providing some of your family's needs, the better. If you have children, you can make your garden a family project. Children love to see things grow. Teaching them this while they are young may instill in them, a love for growing their own food. Something they may pass on to their children in the future. A legacy from you!
Copyright © 2011 Kathleen G. Lupole
All Photographs Copyright © 2011 Kathleen G. Lupole