When I think of a homestead, I think of a farm with acres of rolling fields. I see a barn filled with animals: a cow, some goats, a couple of pigs and of course, a yard full of chickens. I see a large vegetable garden overflowing with a beautiful variety of colorful produce and a field ripe with golden ears of corn. There is an old, 2-story farmhouse with a squeaky screen door and a weathered swing on a porch that wraps the entire perimeter of the house. As you walk into the house, you are greeted with the wonderful aroma of fresh-baked bread and dinner simmering on the stove. Everywhere you look, you see evidence of hard-work and homemade goodness. There is a shelf full of colorful jars filled with home-grown vegetables and a beautiful patchwork quilt draped over a rocking chair. I know that it sounds a lot more glamorous than it actually turns out to be. And of course, this is not always the way a homestead looks. In fact, this is nothing what my little homestead looks like. Mine is a new construction home on a 1-acre lot in a beautiful little neighborhood! Homesteads come in all shapes and sizes and no two look the same.
Today, I am sharing what homesteading means to me…
Not needing to depend on others is such a wonderful feeling. It truly gives me such a feeling of pride and fulfillment when I know that the food I’m preparing for my family is from the garden that I planted, tended to, and harvested. It gives me a deep feeling of satisfaction to know that I’m providing food and provisions for my family with my own two hands. Being independent of others makes you feel secure and confident in your own abilities.
Learning Life Skills
This topic ties in directly with the first one. I want to always be expanding my arsenal of usable skills. The more life skills you obtain, the more self-sufficient you can become. Some of the skills I have already learned are as follows: basic sewing, basic crocheting, canning, gardening, making homemade cleaning supplies, a variety of cooking & baking skills, and other miscellaneous household skills. I am always looking to expand those areas of knowledge and learn new methods. I like to try new recipes and expand the number of foods I can make from scratch. I also want to learn completely new skills. Some skills that I would like to learn in the near future are: candle-making, soap-making, seed-saving, and quilting.
Being prepared for the unexpected is never a bad idea. Better safe than sorry! Whether it is something like a temporary power outage or maybe a longer term issue. Arm your family with the knowledge, supplies, and tools that would be helpful in an emergency situation. Hopefully, you will never need to use your provisions, but if an emergency does arise, you will be so grateful that you took the time to prepare. Being prepared may include having a food storage plan, water source, first aid supplies & skills, and a wide array of tools and resources. Set up yourself and your family to be successful in a variety of emergency situations.
At the end of the day-homesteading at its core is working hard to take care of your land, your home, and your family. It is feeling fulfilled by enjoying the simplicity of life. To experience the simple beauties of nature. To endure hard physical labor and hours of work but then to enjoy the fruits of your labor.
What does homesteading mean to you? I would love to hear from you…Leave your comments below!