What is "a homesteader" to you?

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by donsgal, Mar 25, 2006.

  1. donsgal

    donsgal Nohoa Homestead

    May 2, 2005
    SW Missouri near Branson (Cape Fair)
    A homesteader to me is a person who....

    Doesn't give a second thought to waking up at 3am or 4am to care for their animals before they even consider taking care of themselves.

    Knows how to enjoy the gentle peace and quiet that comes from living in the country.

    Helps neighbors when they need it and gives of their time to the community.

    Can "put up" 250 peaches or pickles or whatever in a single afternoon!

    Has mixed emotions about Winter...

    What are yours?

  2. Yvonne's hubby

    Yvonne's hubby Murphy was an optimist ;) Staff Member

    Oct 3, 2005
    The word homesteader has two meanings to me. My grandpa, and great grandpa were oldtime homesteaders, they cleared the land, "proved up" on the place and were granted deeds to unimproved lands back in the early part of the 20th century, I grew up on the same farms they had homesteaded. Today the term has taken on a new meaning. Many of todays hoesteaders are buying land that has been farmed for generations, and for whatever reason is now for sale. They tend smaller plots usually, 15 to 75 acres as opposed to the larger commercial farms. I have a medium sized place, 37 acres, run a few beef cows, tend a garden, and strive to be a good neighbor. Sharing with them, I will "loan" tools as long as I can provide an operator (me) to operate them for the price of a meal, or a maybe a sampling of a bit of their home made adult beverages. I will borrow from the neighbor under the same agreements. To me homesteading is about living a good life, producing most of my own food, fishin with our boy down at the swimmin hole, watching him grow and learn how to live in Gods real world. Planting seeds and watchin them grow, eating up the veggies as they come in, canning up the surplus fer winter. I am hoping to have our log cabin finished this year so we can move on the land itself, sit on the porch and watch the sunsets over the hills after another fine day of country livin. When I am finished with all the livin I can do on the farm, theres a nice lil spot behind the barn where the ground is easy diggin, with any luck I can get a friendly neighbor to plant me there. :)

  3. albionjessica

    albionjessica Hiccoughs after eating

    Oct 24, 2005
    Homesteading to me is finding a piece of land, working the land to provide yourself with water, grains, fruits, vegetables, flowers, livestock, wild game, energy, shelter, and piece of mind. Homesteading is always having something to do, whether it's weeding out the garden, feeding the days slop to the pigs, fixing the tractor, digging holes for fence posts, enjoying the sound of the creek from your porch, ordering new seeds, helping in the birthing of triplet kids, or building a new chicken coop. It's knowing your neighbors, be they people or squirrels. It's being resourceful with what you have, making money working the land, selling plants and animals, or selling some useful skill you have acquired. Homesteading is hard work and long winters. It's being prepared for times when we can't use things most people take for granted: working toilets, electricity, the car that is now buried under 3 feet of snow, etc. It's living life the way we were meant to. That's what homesteading is to me, at least.
  4. MaineFarmMom

    MaineFarmMom Columnist, Feature Writer

    Dec 29, 2002
    I think Jessica said it very well.
  5. nogreaterjoy8

    nogreaterjoy8 Well-Known Member

    Feb 19, 2006
    Homesteading to me:

    Providing for yourself and your family as much as possible, rather than depending on others

    Realizing that your land and animals will provide for you, only as well as you care for them

    Realizing that while it is your responsibility to care for yourself and your property, it is also your privilege to care for your neighbors and have them do likewise - a sense of community without a sense of entitlement

    Focus on renewal rather than replacement - a love of life instead of things, being content with what you have rather than yearning for what you don't have

    More quiet and peace than rushed and trying to keep up with the rest of the world
  6. menollyrj

    menollyrj Joy Supporter

    Mar 15, 2006
    Middle TN
    To me, homesteading first starts with an attitude change, a different way of looking at the world around you. Homesteading is the realization that no one is going to provide for you, that you have to provide for yourself; the realization that no one is going to teach your children right from wrong, that you have to do it yourself; the realization that to live in a "nice" community, you have to be a "nice" neighbor; the realization that every dime you spend is a dime in someone else's pocket; the realization that your food comes from SOMEWHERE, and that somewhere might as well be your own garden. Homesteading is about being as self-sufficient as possible, regardless of where you live or what you do. If you live in town, it is being frugal and energy-conscious and container gardening. If you live in the country, it is being frugal (still) and energy conscious and keeping animals (of some sort) and gardening. It is a small country church on Sunday mornings where everyone greets you by name and all the members are related if you go back far enough on the family tree. It is unplugging the TV and turning the kids out into the yard on sunny (and cloudy) days. It is chores that the whole family participates in, rain or shine, sick or well, early or late, want to or not. Homesteading does not require you to be off-grid, sans technology, starving, or jobless. Homesteading is flexible enough that you can do it by degrees. You can start small and work your way to more independent living. And really, what it boils down to is independence. It begins with the realization that you are depending too much upon Walmart, an employer, Kroger, McDonalds, politicians, or cars, and not depending enough upon yourself...