Why Homesteading May be Right for You


GretchenSo, have you heard the hype?  Homesteading is the new 'in' thing to do.

Perhaps you've seen a magazine with a headlines about homesteading, backyard farming, micro-farming, urban farming, or hobby farming.

Maybe a co-worker mentioned she's keeping backyard chickens.

Possibly you've been seeing those signs for the local farmers market popping up everywhere you go. 

All around us, people are making the choice to live closer to the earth, to re-connect with the food chain, to take charge of where and how they spend their money, to engage in the process of making food, clothing, and home goods, and to make conscious choices about how they live.  Some people see this as the latest craze, but for many of us, choosing to homestead is a way to step backwards and reclaim our lives.  It is not a fad or a craze, it is simply a choice about how we live.

Choosing to homestead does not mean that you are turning away from all modern conveniences and looking for a piece of rural land in the boonies.  For some people, this is the dream, but for most of us, modern homesteading means finding a balance between new and old.

There are so many reasons that people are choosing this way of life, and most people are making their decision based on several reasons.  Here are several reasons people are choosing to homestead.

The Romantic Vision of the Country

In our modern world, the rural, farming life is constantly romanticized.  Movies, ads, books, music, and even blogs idealize what life is like for the farmer, but they also offer an alternative vision of life for people who don't have the opportunity to spend their days shoveling out animal poop and weeding their gardens.  For people caught in the rush of busy lives, the idea of homesteading provides the opportunity to step back and simplify life. 

Homesteading is hard work, but it is also rewarding.  If you are looking to slow down, homesteading may be just what you're looking for.

The Joy of Self-Sufficiency

Being able to provide food and other items for you and your family is a simple joy itself.  Many people choose to homestead for the ability to become self-sufficiency, whether they want to be prepared to survive in case of an emergency or just value sitting down to a meal they've grown from scratch.

To Teach Family and Community Values

Homesteading is a wonderful way to share values with your family.  Homesteading teaches responsibility, the importance of hard work, compassion, and the benefits of authenticity.  Sure you don't have to homestead to share these values, but the basic work and emphasis that occurs on a homestead lends itself to these values.  Sharing the experience of raising your own food with your children or other family members takes the experience one step further.

A Love of Animals and Gardening

For many people, the joy of spending time with animals and getting their hands in the garden is reason enough to choose a homesteading life. Whether you choose to keep animals for the eggs they produce, for the wool you harvest, or for the companionship, keeping animals can enrich your life.  For those with a green thumb, or for those who want to have a green thumb, spending time in the garden is soothing and can be a wonderful hobby, or can become even more.

To Provide Healthier Food for Me and My Family

There are many concerns about the quality of modern food and the entire food industry.  Many people choose to homestead as a way to provide healthy, chemical-free, non GMO, organic food for their families.  Concerns over  how animals are raised and slaughtered is a leading reason many people choose to homestead.  The food you buy in the grocery store is not as fresh, healthy, or tasty as what you can grow in your own backyard,

5/3/2013 4:39:28 PM

Linda, My husband and I are in total agreement with you. "Life on the farm" may not always be easy but it is fullfilling and healthy. We raise bees, garden, have an orchard,a berry patch and grapes. We also have chickens for eggs and meat as well. He hunts and we enjoy the game he brings in.

Laura K
1/14/2013 2:50:41 AM

Yes to all the reasons above. I used to love visiting my aunt's farm up by Peoria, IL when I was a kid. I loved being outside and planting potatoes and corn. I felt useful and important when I helped plant their tomatoes and squash. I loved it without understanding the "why" of it. It just was.

Linda Dicks
1/11/2013 6:18:17 PM

I am not sure my life has slowed down but I do enjoy the fresh eggs from my backyard chickens (15 of them) and produce from the garden that I am able to can, freeze or eat fresh. We feed the wild birds, plant natural habitat when adding new plants. My husband hunts wild game and we feel the food we eat is much healthier for us that all store bought. It has been a joy to enlighten our neighbors to the delights of fresh food. There are only a few in our immediate area who are actually using their acre of land as a homestead.

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