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Discussion Starter #1
Sister asked me if I was a homesteader, but I really don't know, immediate response was 'no'.

So, what makes someone a homesteader vs a hobby farm??

Would I have to have an animal I breed for meat, for pelt, for milk and for money? Would I have to make cheese from the milk? Make yarn or clothes from the wool/pelt?

I have sheep, I sell them for breeders, pets, wool growers, meat. I sell their wool raw, never make anything from it myself. I keep them for some cash flow, for helping with the pastures, rare meat and for general nice pets.

I have rabbits, I sell them for breeders, pets, sell meat. I sell pelts or sometimes tan them, but never make anything from them.

I have pigs, I sell them for meat, pets, breeders. I eat them, nothing else.

I sometimes make my own hay, very small amounts for personal use.

I garden, I sell some to family. I feed it to my animals, keep seeds to grow next season, to make my own food from it.

Would I qualify as a "homesteader"?
Do I need to also make my own clothing from them or similar? Do I need to make my own hay on a larger scale where I didn't have to buy any?
 

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According to some here you can't be a homesteader unless you got your property in a government homestead program. And you must live the life people did 200 years ago with no modern convenience.

I am not a farmer though. Part of what I do is farming part ranching but I am neither. Thus I classify myself as a modern homesteader. But it becomes a pretty heated debate it seems.

I'd say choose what label you want and feel suits you and to heck with what anyone else says. :D
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Yea, same here. I hate to label myself, but sometimes it helps with people like my sister. I guess it's more of a general name for what she understands.
To me, I'm just a girl trying to grow as much of my own food as I can, wish I could make my own clothes, but I'm a bit too modern for that bit...Maybe 'modern, natural farmer' fits me best....

=)
 

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I call myself an urban homesteader, because even if I don't have a lot of land I

- grow my own food
- can, freeze, and preserve what we are unable to eat
- make our own yogurt and cheese
- make our own bread
- use thrifty and frugal ways to live - eg, secondhand clothes
- recycle, resuse, and upcycle
- sewing and crafting
- try to stay local and organic
- make most of our food from scratch
- do emergency prepping
- make the transition to renewable and natural energy

I think of homesteading as a lifestyle or philosophy where one does what they can to live a sustainable (both environmentally and safe), healthy, organic (in that it is earthy and connected, not necessarily the label on food) and natural life. I think of homesteading as a disconnect from modern thinking in living in that it promotes a type of land stewardship and independance that I don't think we get a lot of anymore in modern society. It's a call to connection, with both history, humanity, and nature. So in that way, I call myself an urban homesteader. When I come home, there's so much more work to be done that it seems never-ending, but it's work I take pride and joy in.
 

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The first thing comes to my mind about 'being' a modern homesteader is self sufficiency by relying as much as possible on your own sense of resourcefulness. Then all else falls into place about how you proceed with that lifestyle. For me, personally, that includes a country rural setting living 'with' your land, but not necessarily 'living off' the land totally. It's a mutual stewardship with your chosen environment and what animals, plants and wildlife you harmonize with to fulfill your own sensibilities.
 

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One pickle short of a peck,
a screwdriver off from a full tool kit,
a squirt away from a gallon,
two nickels short of a dime,
a few degrees shy of true north,
1/2 inch from dragging bottom,
a hard head, and...
faith and hope that next year will be better.
 

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I don't have my own Land but I am in hopes to own eventually. My Dream of Homesteading is something I was taught as a child I learned from my Mother what she did and when she and My father owned before they diviorced. She taught me How to cook from scratch, bake, Can, Sew and much more. From there I taught myself things she wished she learned and took that in consideration. I understand it will be hard work and I teach my children the same values she taught me with my Husbands values as well.

So Homesteading to me Is Living with the values, Lessons, and able to move forward in life with hard work and passion for what you Believe in.
 

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This is asked a lot. I think it is fair to say, from responses over the past while to this question, we all have a bit different take. It is pretty near what you want it to be. There is no wrong answer.

My opinion is not popular. I am a homesteading act kind of guy, cuz my grandparents went through that, so it is fresh in my family history. But it is not wrong. Well, to some it is, but that is neither here nor there. ;) Your opinion is not wrong either.

Tell your sis you are a homesteader. I think you fit the definition that most make!
 

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Lately some say all you have to do is move to the country, not change a thing. Me I think you can do it anywhere but you do a little something, to be more self reliant. Can a jar full, grow a garden, raise animals for food, have a pantry, a few meals for tomorrow. Everyone starts somewhere....James
 

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If you want to be a homesteader......no matter where you live, you can be or are already. There are no rules. I live a homesteading life but don't raise any livestock for food. I do a lot of other homesteading or self-reliant type of activities and besides, it is my heart's desire. So I am.
 

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Being a homesteader is both a state of mind and a state of being. We live in a very populated area but are always striving to be more self sufficient: we garden, can, raise chickens, cook from scratch, heat with wood when needed and are always prepared to take care of ourselves during natural disasters. No one can be 100% self-sufficient, but we are always finding ways to do things for ourselves or asking other like minded people to work together. They help us and we help them, but I don't think any of us are depending on people in an official capacity to help us. For me, homesteading is being self dependent first. We also strive to pass these useable skills on to our children and anyone else eager to learn. You are a homesteader if your heart says you are.
 

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I think everyone is making this too complicated. Do you got a crinkled up old straw hat you wear when you are working outside??? Then your a homesteader. Without the hat, you are just a guy outside.

Kinda like people asking me all the time why I wear a welding hat when I am welding. Without the hat, I could not strike an ark. It is all about having the right hat for the job.

I have never tried it, but I bet if I put on one of those fancy pilots hats I could fly an airplane!!! Anybody want to go for an airplane ride???
 

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There is no hard definition anymore so its really kind of an open term. Originally it meant a person who claimed land as part of a government homesteading program. But now its usd in a lot of different ways. My state gives me a "homesteading exemption" just for living on my land. People on this forum have different definitions and standards but it generally means somebody who tries to gain some level of self reliance from the land.

Personally, I would consider somebody a homesteader if they had multiple ways of gaining produce from the land or some certain volume of production. Sort of a small farmer with a greater variety. I wouldn't consider a gardener to be really a homesteader unless he/she is also raising some animals or cutting wood to heat their home or some other such thing too. I think you move from hobbyist to homesteader when you realize a certain significant profit from the land, not necessarily in money but in goods as well.
 
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