The term homesteading might lead you to envision living on a farm in the middle of nowhere. While that type of living most definitely can be homesteading; it isn’t the only way to have a homestead. Homesteading is basically a life style of self-sufficiency.
Of course, the degree of how self-sufficient you want to be will determine what your homestead looks like. If you want to be self-sufficient in food then yes, you will likely need a farm with animals and a large garden. However, even a person living in the tiniest apartment can have a homestead. Homesteading can also include container gardens, canning or preserving foods, and chickens, all of these you can do with very little land or space.
Now that you know what homesteading is, let’s talk about the reasons why you’d want to homestead.
Gives Awareness of Where Things Come From
The culture we live in today has very little awareness of where our food comes from. We have kids growing up who couldn’t tell you what a real tomato looks like or where honey comes from! Homesteading clearly gives you an awareness of where food comes from because you are the one in charge of that food. You are the one planting the seeds or feeding chickens.
Builds a Strong Work Ethic
You can’t really say that homesteading is easy work. Going to the grocery store is definitely the easy way out when it comes to buying food. However, do not let the hard work deter you; hard work and knowing that your way of living depends on you doing your part is a great way to cultivate a strong work ethic. It’s also a great way to instill a good work ethic in children.
There are few things that taste as good as food that you helped grow or raise. Produce tastes amazing picked right off the vine, meat tastes so much better when it’s be raised in pastures instead of small cages. So go ahead, decide to homestead just so your food tastes better… it’s a completely valid reason!
Yes, I know the thought of freedom doesn’t seem to fit homesteading too well… at least not when you think about the work it takes. However, there is a freedom that comes with knowing that when others are facing a milk shortage, your own kitchen is well stocked because of “Betsy” grazing out in the fields. Homesteading often means having a surplus of food that you’ve preserved so you also have freedom from worrying about what to do about food when you are faced with hard times. Homesteading is hard work but that hard work rewards you with freedom.
When you are the one in charge of producing your own food, you get to know exactly how it is grown, exactly how it is raised, if chemicals were involved, or GMO’s, or cages. You can find this info on food you buy but it’s often a lot of hard work and even when you do get the information it can sometimes not be the whole truth. Homesteading allows you to rest easy knowing that your food is just the way you like it.
It’s hard to appreciate eggs when you just run to the store and pick some up. However, if you are the one feeding and taking care of chickens then suddenly those eggs are greatly appreciated. This fact ties in greatly with the awareness reason I mentioned before. Sure, we can appreciate our food and where it comes from but I don’t think you can really understand the reality of all the work that goes into producing food until you do it yourself.
Homesteading has so many benefits. I’m sure there are many I have not included in this list. As I mentioned before, it doesn’t matter if you live on acres of land or in a tiny studio apartment; anyone can homestead!
This post is a part of the Going Natural – One Month at a Time. Check out the full info post to learn how you can make natural changes each month so that you are living more naturally by the end of the year!