Homesteading, Urban Homesteading, and Modern Homesteading.

You may have heard one of these terms or all of these terms over the last few years. Homesteading is making a comeback and more and more people are jumping on the bandwagon. The great thing about modern homesteading is you DON’T have to live on a farm, ranch, or any kind of expansive land. You can homestead in a small apartment in the middle of the city if you want or need to! So, if you can do homesteading ANYWHERE, what exactly is it?

Modern homesteading is the idea of living a simplified life, practicing self-reliance as best as you can (to an extent because it is extremely difficult to be SOLELY self-reliant nowadays), and trying to create a more sustainable environment. The BEST part of homesteading is you have the ability to tweak it to fit YOUR needs and wants.

There is no true right or wrong way to homestead in your home! :)

Here is a quick breakdown of the common “basics” of modern homesteading:

  • Living within your means and limiting debt so you can more easily support yourself and family
  • Respecting the land, animals, and community
  • Working towards becoming more self-reliant (in a personal sense and within your community)
    • Striving to be self-reliant should be out of love for your surroundings and well-being, not because you are fearful of whatever COULD happen in the world
      • Yes, self-reliance IS great if some catastrophic event occurs BUT the possibility of a catastrophic event occurring should not be your only reason for becoming more self-reliant
    • Self-reliance is also not for selfish reasons- you should be thinking of the community as a whole not just your own well-being
      • This is a great plus if you have several neighbors who are also into homesteading as you can work off each other and pool resources
  • Developing useful skills so you can make repairs, complete projects, and barter for other services and goods
    • Basic construction skills
    • Wood working
    • Metal working
    • Plumbing
    • Cooking
    • Sewing/Mending
    • Manage personal finances
    • Among so much more
  • Trying to save energy by simply limiting usage or even using alternative energy sources such as wind or solar
  • Limiting your use of ‘outside’ producers
    • Growing your own fruits and vegetables
    • Having animals such as chickens for eggs and/or meat, goats for milk, other small animals for food products or meat
      • If you have ample space and the ability, you can also have your own dairy cows and cows for meat
    • Even if you don’t want to or can’t grow your own veggies or have animals, BUY LOCAL! Support your farmer’s markets and other local merchants
    • Making your own products- household cleaners, beauty/health products, etc.
    • Storing, canning, and dehydrating the food you grow

The above list is the most common building block of homesteading. Like I said before, you can tweak each and every part of homesteading to fit your desires. You may want to just have your own garden and grow your veggies and fruits. You may want a garden AND animals. You may want to buy your produce at the local farmer’s market but be energy conscious in your home and install solar panels.

The possibilities are endless and it is all in YOUR hands.

Start small and steady.

Don’t jump in and do too much all at once. You will be overwhelmed, spend more than anticipated, and be more likely to  become frustrated and give up.

Look at homesteading as a journey. Enjoy it, have fun, and share it with others!