Friday, February 3, 2012


What ARE Homesteaders, anyway?

A hundred years ago they were hardy people who left their families behind in the east for "free" land in the west.  The west at that time included the midwest, and we have many old cemetaries around here filled with Civil War soldiers who came out here and got their "40 acres and a mule" after the war.

In the 70's, when I was in my...ahem... 20's, I subscribed to Mother Earth News for years, because I wanted to be a modern day homesteader.  I had a kind of white picket fence view of homesteading, wherein a tidy little garden would be just outside the kitchen door, with some happy chickens picking through it, and cats on the window sills.  Didn't happen.

When I DID actually get my house and five acres, it took lots and lots of hard work to get things going.  I was alone, and hit auction after auction to get the things I needed, because buying new just did not make sense for me. 

Guess what?

I still read this:

And they are still giving homesteading advice. 

My ideas of homesteading have changed so much in the past 30 years.  I no longer want to be completely self-suffiicient, or "live off the grid" or eat only what I raise here at home.  I DO want to eat as locally as possible, whether we have raised it or a farmer down the road did.  I want to learn to make a good batch of homemade bread... to make good farmhouse cheese... to take good care of the animals God has placed in our care... to keep ourselves healthy and happy as long as we can be.  The advice found in the article in the magazine above is good... and things I have learned to believe and accept.  "Dare to question conventional knowledge" (Deborah Nieman"...
"There are consequences for making big changes without thinking things through completely"..(Harvey Ussery)  boy, I would have to say that is a HUGE one....
Harvey Ussery says "Self-sufficient living allows us to experience magic daily..." and I have to agree with that, too... the magic of baby chicks hatching, of crias being dropped, of swallows above the door all summer, of bees buzzing in the flower garden.  So much magic all around us. 

Linking to Farmchick's Farm Photo Friday 


I love comments!