Just a question

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by BigRay, Dec 30, 2003.

  1. BigRay

    BigRay Guest

    What exactly defines a homestead? How does one go about getting one? I grew up in the country and I can't wait to move back. I've had quite enough of the city life being in the Air Force. I'm not sure exactly what homesteading entails, but I'm very interested.
  2. Blu3duk

    Blu3duk Well-Known Member

    Jun 2, 2002
    central idaho republic
    Homesteading today is what you make of it, you can "leave it all behind" and live as frugally as you can and make yourself sick enough to return to the city in a heartbeat, or you can go mildly into the country life and temper it with a mix of city and country style living and earning an income to support your lifestyle.

    Any way you look at it, I believe you have already started, after all you are reading this forum, and asking questions which means the lump above your shoulders isnt all "dead weight" like so many sheeple of the city today who are to busy totin wood and packin water they forget there are other things in life to learn about. Have fun at it, dont overburden yourself to much with what you are gonna do as much as you should learn how to do something. As to where to actually buy ground... the debate will forever continue, but go where you feel comfortable [N, S, E, or W or in between] prices vary so much on ground that figgering out where the "best" of the "best" is at you could miss the ooportunity by postponing your adventure to long and then it just gets to the point of "i'll doit next year" and next year never comes up.

    Search the archives for places people talk about, many topics here about different areas.... and remember ASK Questions, there are no STOOPID questions, and every answer like this one should be taken with a grain of salt as "advice is worth what you pay for it..... and this is free..... ;-)

    from deep within the "cultural hub of the universe" Good luck



    RANDEL Well-Known Member

    Dec 10, 2003
    a homestead is a little hard to define. it's as much a state of mind as it is a place, and probably more.

    your homestead is your place in the country. a lot of homesteaders follow at least an ideal of self-sufficiency, of meeting basic material needs through their own capital, labor, and ingenuity.

    a lot of homesteads might be termed "subsistence farms." they tend not to fit the mold of modern farms. homesteads are usually smaller than "real" farms, often far too small to make a go at farming in the conventional way.

    but a lot of homesteaders are not conventional people. you'll find a streak of independence in them and confidence in themselves that they can make their own decisions and solve their own problems.

    homesteads can be a lot like the diversified small farms that started disappearing after the great Depression. but there's no hard and fast rule about it in any dimension at all.....hope this help a little
  4. When we talk about "homestead" we don't mean land that we staked through a program and got for free. Sometimes that confuses people. To most of us, what we call a "homestead" is rural acreage that we live on and value for its natural beauty as well as its ability to produce some or much or even most of what we need to survive.
    But the definition of a modern homestead can be anything from a city lot to a huge remote acreage. The main thing that defines a homestead is the people on it and their love of nature, independence, innovation, self-sufficiency, old crafts and skills, privacy, and dealing directly with the important realities of where food and water come from. Look at the topics on this forum...livestock, gardening, farming, family...loving such things- cultivating a personal relationship with the land we live on- is what makes a homesteader and a homestead.
    A modern farmer would look at 40 acres of steep hillside covered with large trees and boulders and call it worthless. A real estate investor and a land developer look at the property and see massive bulldozer work, 40 subdivision lots, and maybe a big profit. An environmentalist would see habitat of the lesser speckled termite and put a world-class public boardwalk up the hill, with interpretive signs. A homesteader walks slowly over the same land, notes the direction of slope and the wind, and sees opportunity for a small house behind a knoll, a little pasture for goats, a terraced garden, maybe discovers a grove of apple trees gone wild and a bubbling spring, and lots of woods to explore and cherish...hopefully for generations to come.
    The best way to understand homesteading is to subscribe to Countryside and/or Backwoods Home magazine, and look for Carla Emery's Encyclopedia of Country Living and any books by Gene Logsdon.
    So to go about getting a homestead, probably the first thing you'll want to do is find land. Since you grew up in the country, think about what you liked about where you were, what you didn't like, etc.
    Maybe you want livestock, crops, the whole nine yards. Maybe you just want to live somewhere without visible neighbors. If you get your goals clear first, it's a lot easier to look for what you really want.
    Anyway, read up on the subject...hang out here on HT and read the threads...ask anything...maybe you'll decide you've found your tribe. Best of luck!
  5. Shrek

    Shrek Singletree Moderator Staff Member Supporter

    Apr 30, 2002
    North Alabama
    SYLLABICATION: home·stead
    NOUN: 1. A house, especially a farmhouse, with adjoining buildings and land.
    2. Law Property designated by a householder as the householder's home and protected by law from forced sale to meet debts.
    3. Land claimed by a settler or squatter, especially under the Homestead Act.
    4. The place where one's home is.

    Here in Alabama, definition 2 above is the basis of our homestead exemption statutes that protect your primary residence and reduces property tax liabilities.

    Some on these forums like to use the romantic descriptive in describing their progression toward self reliency and reduced dependency to established social structure.
  6. Hoop

    Hoop Well-Known Member

    Jan 1, 2003
    Northern Wisconsin
    Homesteading is generally recognized as "living off the land" via some sort of subsistance farming. The Romantic image of the homesteader, who was given free land, is part of the American physche. The time frame is loosely based on the period of America's westword expansion 1830's - 1890's.
    If a person worked the land for a given number of years, the property became theirs, free & clear.

    Homesteading continued in this country up until the 1970's or 1980's.

    The "illusion" of living off the land in todays economy is just that, an illusion. Property taxes, health insurance, and a myriad of other factors have long since made living off the land impossible.

    The Romantic illusion of "living off the land" lives on, even though everyone knows it is impossible.
  7. bumpus

    bumpus Well-Known Member

    Jul 30, 2003
    Right Here
    Homestead: :)

    Is a place you live instead of some where else. :eek: :no: :haha:
  8. ajoys

    ajoys Well-Known Member

    May 12, 2002
    I started a thread about this topic "living off the land" in the general chat forum. Interested in everyones thoughts.