Where will the next generation of homesteaders come from?

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by cast iron, May 12, 2006.

  1. cast iron

    cast iron Well-Known Member

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    There was a recent thread that discussed the issue of the current generation of homesteaders kids not being very interested in the homesteading life style. In fact the majority of the posters stated that their off-spring have not only shown no interest in the lifestyle, but have run as far away from it as they possibly could, as soon as they could.

    This begs the question of where the next generation of homesteaders will come from?

    Working farms probably have a good chance of carrying on the homesteading/farming lifestyle throughout the generations, just from the nature of the beast. But the proportion of true working farms within the overall homesteading community is probably pretty small.

    There also is the chance that the kids of current homesteaders will change their way of thinking and see the light as they mature. However, it is very possible that the current generation will die before the kids change their thinking, and the kids would just liquidate the family homestead and be done with it.

    So, where will the majority of future homesteaders come from? Could it be.... THE EVIL SUBURBAN/CITY PEOPLE!! Gasp! ;) The very people we rail against on this website frequently? The horror! If this is indeed the case, how will the influence of the next generation of evil city people turned homesteaders influence the ideas and values of the homesteading concept? Is it possible that "some" of the ideas that the evil city people bring with them will actually enhance the homesteading experience vs. detract from it?

    How will the homesteading lifestyle look a couple generations from now?

    Wayne
     
  2. turtlehead

    turtlehead Well-Known Member

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    Well, Wayne, if you count me in the current generation of homesteaders, I'm an EVIL SUBURBAN/CITY PERSON. Well, I was until a year ago (already? Where has the time gone??).

    So, in light of that, I'd have to say tomorrow's homesteaders will come from the same place today's do. :D
     

  3. almostthere

    almostthere Well-Known Member

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    I don't know, but I can tell you that we aren't even halfway there yet but we have a garden...our 6 yr old has been hunting with Daddy and has her own hunting gear...and has also been asking us(repeatedly) when we're going to move to the cabin in the woods(dont have one yet). Maybe she will be leading us.
     
  4. country_wife

    country_wife Evil Poptart

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    I think I read that thread. The consensus was that the children that were born into homesteading, or were fairly young when the family began homesteading, enjoy the lifestyle. It's generally the children that lived the easy life before moving to the homestead that resent the lifestyle.

    We became homesteaders after living the city life. Does that make me an evil city dweller? :p

    IMO, the city dwellers that are railed against are the ones that move to the country and try to impose city life on the country people, not the city people that move to the country to homestead.

    Where will the next generation of homesteaders come from? My bet would be a good number of those homesteading youngsters, even the ones that don't like all those chores, will end up back in the country, gasping for fresh air. And next door to them will be those city people with the homesteading desire, doing the very same thing. :D
     
  5. wvpeach1963

    wvpeach1963 WVPEACH (Paula)

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    It will become nessecary for people to learn to feed themselves again.
    Thats where the next generation will come from. NEED
     
  6. sancraft

    sancraft Well-Known Member

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    I have 2 dd's. One is turning 18 next month and the other 15 in Sept. They bought love the homesteading life and want to raise their children this way. The oldest wants to homeschool. THe youngest is dyslexic and doens't think she'll be able to homeschool. They love gardening and animals (not goats though). If anyone has sons wanting this life, let's get them betroved. LOL
     
  7. A.T. Hagan

    A.T. Hagan Guest

    As a boy I lived a pretty normal suburban Florida existence. Oh, my grandparents lived rural and did until they died (one grandmother left), but my parent's generation all moved to town where they could get work that paid better than farming.

    Until my middle teens when my parents bought a place west of Cocoa, likely not far from where Moopups and Fla Gal are now. Just two acres but we had a big garden, livestock, that sort of thing. They worked in town and had our two acre homestead. I had liked gardening until we got that place and expanded what had been our small suburban garden to about seven or eight times its former size.

    Left all that behind as soon as I could when I graduated high school.

    Funny thing though about ten years later I had the gardening itch again so planted a small one. I did this off and on as circumstances allowed. Some years later I was sharing a house with friends on the edge of town and realized quite a lot of folks were keeping livestock in the area, sort of a fusion between suburbia and small-scale homesteading. I had a nice file of old Mother Earth News magazines (all my childhood Organic Gardening & Farming mags were long gone by that point unfortunately) that were sort of creating a back pressure within me so I planted another garden, then an herb garden, then one day in the spring decided I had to have chickens so ended up with ten Barred Rock chicks in a cardboard box in the living room (better than television!).

    Still didn't do any of it consistently year after year, but every time we moved it was a little further out of town, the garden would get a little bigger, after having no hens for some years I'd end up building a new henhouse and getting more. Finally the place we'd been renting was sold and the new owner swept around my feet more than I was going to tolerate so we bit the bullet and did what we had to do to buy our own place. Now we're twice as far out of town as the last place, I've got fruit and nut trees out the yin yang, a new flock of thirty three chickens (smaller than my record of fifty in th flock before this one - terrible predator problem), and next year we'll be getting into rabbits for my daugher's 4H project (I had been in 4H as a child as well), and if ever I can get around to finishing the fencing we'll step up to goats. I've got a bigger operation than my parents did when I was a teenager and couldn't wait to get away from it all.

    That's where the next generation of homesteaders will come from, just like many of the current generation came from, and many of the generation from before that (who wrote the articles in my old magazines). There'll be some former farmers who lost their farms for whatever reason who still have a bit of ground to at least garden and raise a bit of stock on. There'll be those who grew up this way and kept right on when they became adults or like me who ran from it only to be drawn back. And there'll be those who had no background in agriculture or homesteading at all but who heard the wild geese and went back to the land.

    The homesteaders will come. It's a cyclical thing it seems. I've read stories about "back to the land" movements stretching all the way back to the war between the states.

    .....Alan.
     
  8. Freeholder

    Freeholder Well-Known Member

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    I remember reading something from clear back in Roman times about people going 'back to the land', to a homesteading lifestyle. It will never go away completely, though I'm afraid there's going to be at least a temporary crimp in things, with the government pulling stuff like NAIS and so on, ad infinitum, ad nauseum.

    Kathleen
     
  9. Christiaan

    Christiaan Dutch Highlands Farm

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  10. jnap31

    jnap31 garden guy

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    Homesteading will be declared archaic and true independent homesteaders will be declared terrorists and a danger to Americas continued Democracy (hold one while I go barf here) and the official position will be that soylent Green should be everyones first choice of food with a little aspartemeand MSG thrown in for sweetner and flavor.
     
  11. jnap31

    jnap31 garden guy

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    I think we need a new forum for arranging marriages for our homesteader children LOL sorry sancraft my handsome twin homesteading/farming boys are only 2
     
  12. roughingit

    roughingit knitwit

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    You forgot America's favourite additive, high fructose corn syrup! Amazing what that darn stuff shows up in :grump:

    Anyhow, I can tell you some of them will come from my fellow college students. Some not all, maybe not even most mind you, but there are quite a few future 'steaders in my natural building materials class and volunteering in the community garden. Natural building doesn't seem to pop up that much on this forum (but then again, once you have a house suppose you wouldn't be posting about different methods of building them lol), but I figure anyone that is keen on building their own home and executes that plan certainly has a good-self-reliant streak running through them!
     
  13. Maggiemoo

    Maggiemoo BunnySlave

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    I grew up in the homestead lifestyle and ran as soon as I could. But here I am back where I started. I think alot of our kids who leave, will miss it and come back "home" where they know they belong. I know at least one of mine will, probably all of them.

    ~BARB~
     
  14. beorning

    beorning Well-Known Member

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    I think that there will always be people who are dissatisfied with the status quo and will seek out things like homesteading as an alternative. They'll come from varied backgrounds and have varied skill sets. Having forums like this one is enormously helpful. It eliminates so much of the trial and error that would be neccesary without it, and that can be so disheartening to someone who knows little about rural living and the skills neccesary to make homesteading viable.

    I don't see the interest in any danger of dying out. I would approach encouraging random people to embrace it with reserved caution. I'd hate to see homesteading become a massive fad. The minute I start seeing real estate adds focusing on homesteaders and homesteading kits being sold at Wal-mart, I'm going to get very, very worried. :)
     
  15. Mel-

    Mel- Well-Known Member

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    I wonder if it skips a generation.

    both my parents grew up in a way that could be classified as *homesteading* except it wasn't by choice. both came from poor, rural families with no electricity or indoor plumbing.

    they HAD to raise their own food and once they could afford to get out of that lifestyle, they have never looked back. and don't understand my interest in it.

    3 out of 4 of their children, though, have returned to country living and different levels of raising some of their own food. so maybe it will be our grandchildren who will be the future homesteaders.
     
  16. jnap31

    jnap31 garden guy

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    Well that gives me some hope I am happy to hear that young people at your school are interested. Here is a cool thread about people discussing alternative homes they are planning
    http://forums.homestead.org/forum_posts.asp?TID=2637&PN=2
     
  17. jnap31

    jnap31 garden guy

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    I hope your right.
     
  18. MomOf4

    MomOf4 Well-Known Member

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    I did the exact same thing!!!

    I can tell you right now, 2 of mine will probably never get away from it. 1 is iffy, and the other will probably run from the lifestyle - that may change when she gets older though...you never really know.
     
  19. roughingit

    roughingit knitwit

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    Oooh, *happiliy reads away*

    I really like working with cob myself. We are making a cob oven for the community garden (for others trapped in apartments who are still in the "pre" stages of homesteading, I highly recommend looking to see if your town has one, we have master gardeners working with us and they are a wealth of info!) and working on the body of it this afternoon. As a final project we're also making a bench. Not houses sure, but I'll take any hands on I can!

    There are also a lot of people growing concerned about peak oil (well always have been, but more lately), globalization and other issues. Some of them are into the idea of homesteading and some aren't but are at least open to it.
     
  20. jnap31

    jnap31 garden guy

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    That sounds wonderful I hope to get more experience with alternative building hands on sometime. I guess My cement block and plywood house I built in th eMarshall islands does not count in that regard. I did do thatch work with people when visting the outer islands I guess that would count though would not apply to my AR situation.Glad you enjoyed the thread. And I am happy to hear I am not the only one concerned with peak oil and the future of homesteading.