19 Sep HOMESTEADING: LEADING A SELF-SUFFICIENT LIFE
The other day we had several visitors to our urban acre — people love to stop by with their children, particularly when we have baby animals like goats and chicks. Currently, we have 1 piglet, 4 ducklings, and 3 6-month old goats. As I was showing our visitors around, one of them exclaimed, “Wow, you guys are really homesteading out here!”
That took me by surprise because I’ve never considered us homesteaders. We live on an acre, yes, but it’s in the city, and we don’t use our animals for meat. We do, however, have a vegetable garden, a beehive, and goats, chickens, ducks, and a pig. We also plan to add a bat house in the back in a few weeks.
But it did get me to thinking: What exactly is homesteading? Simply put, it’s leading a lifestyle that promotes increased self-sufficiency, whether you live on rural acreage or are an urban dweller. This could include :
- Growing, canning, and preserving fruits, veggies, and herbs
- Maintaining a compost pile and possibly even a composting toilet
- Raising animals like chickens and goats for meat, milk, and eggs
- Hanging laundry on the line instead of using a dryer
- Making your own clothes
- Reducing energy by cycling to work, installing solar panels, or using wind turbines
- Employing rainwater collection systems
- Splitting your own firewood
I like to think of what we do as just living closer to the land. I like knowing where some of our food is coming from (eggs, vegetables, and herbs), and I value the cycle of nature and knowing that our choices are making a difference. Whatever you call it — homesteading, living closer to the land, or living a simple lifestyle — making good, clean, healthy choices benefits your family, your neighborhood, and the world around you.