Homesteading is best described as a lifestyle of self-sufficiency. This lifestyle has continued to gain popularity due to an increase in the survivalist movement, as well as greater exposure through television and media coverage. While “living off the grid” might be appealing to some, the life of a homesteader is not easy and not for everyone. Let’s discuss some of the basics and benefits of the homesteading lifestyle.
The Basics of Homesteading
If you like hard work and enjoying the fruits of your labor, homesteading is the perfect lifestyle for you. Homesteading involves the preservation of food items, care and processing of animals for consumption, acquiring skills that allow you to live off the land, subsistence agriculture, and oftentimes, production of goods to use for bartering with other homesteading families. While many individuals enjoy gardening as a hobby and a way to supplement their diets, homesteaders rely on their skills in cultivating their land and preparing their own food sources as a means of survival. Oftentimes, homesteading communities live without electricity or running water and need to utilize the resources available (wells, decontaminated ground water, natural springs, etc.) to provide for their families. In addition to preparing and processing all of their food items, homesteading communities are also responsible for tending to their land and surroundings.
Homesteading communities are often isolated and not easily accessible to the general public. The primary goal of a homestead community is to provide for yourself and your family with advanced preparation. A homesteader will spend the summer months chopping firewood, canning food and filling the pantry and freezer with enough food to sustain a family through the long winter months. The lifestyle is cyclical in nature and there’s very little time for lazy days.
The Benefits of Homesteading
Although the homesteading lifestyle is not easy, there are many rewards to maintaining a self-sufficient lifestyle. Homesteaders have very little, if any, reliance on the outside world; they eat what they grow, catch or shoot, and they live a simple life with little interference from society. The ability to provide for yourself and your family is critical during times of global crisis or unexpected chaos. A homesteader has the ability to create an organic and sustainable living environment through hard work and diligence. Homesteading allows you to “reap what you sow” through careful cultivation of seasonal gardens, tending to and butchering animals that have been cared for by your hand and enjoying other resources that the earth provides. These resources include fish, fowl and other small game. A homesteader is the ultimate resource for everything organic.
The homesteading life is simple; hard work and advanced preparation will provide a lifestyle that is incredibly rewarding. Neighborhood crime, utility bills, weekly grocery shopping and other mundane events are not concerns of the homesteader. A homesteader enjoys the basics; nature’s bounty and a peaceful and serene existence.