What is a Homestead and what does Homesteading mean to me?

What is a Homestead and what does Homesteading mean to me?

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Dictionary.com defines the word “homestead” as:

Old English hamstede “home, town, village,” from home (n.) + stead (q.v.).In U.S. usage, “a lot of land adequate for the maintenance of a family”(1690s), defined by the Homestead Act of 1862 as 160 acres. Hence, theverb, first recorded 1872. Homesteader also is from 1872.

 

I like the bit about the maintenance of a family and that is really what it means to me. A home and a bit of land where you can grow at least some of your own food and maybe have a few productive animals. Whether you have 160 acres (I wish!) Or an urban homestead in your backyard, it is somewhere you can be at least a little bit self-sufficient.

Kale in the homestead garden
Kale and nasturtiums in the homestead garden

We didn’t always have the vision of wanting to homestead. I mean, I always grew up thinking I would have a small farm with horses and a garden (the horses being the main part of the equation!) But the whole idea of homesteading for sustenance didn’t really come about until I read a couple of books.

I can’t even remember where I got the idea to read The Dirty Life, but once I did, I was hooked. Then came Depletion and Abundance and Independence Days and that was it, I wanted to not only grow our own food but also to take back and learn some of the “old ways”.

The canning and preserving of homegrown food, the experience, and knowledge of growing a chicken from a day old chick to the point of it sitting on your table cooked into a delicious meal for your family; the hanging of laundry on the line, the making of products such as soap and candles etc.

How to make Garlic Scape Pesto

Lucky for me, my husband was on board with my plan!

We chose to move to our current little homestead (we have one acre of property) as it was a nice and sunny (south-facing) mostly flat (almost unheard of in our area) and had a smallish house and that’s about it. It has been our blank slate to mold and shape as we please. Mostly that is good and sometimes it’s a pain (but that’s a discussion for another day). In the last 4

In the last 4 years, we have done some of those things I mentioned above (gardens and chickens and line drying) and I can’t wait to jump into learning more about the other things too. I’m excited to hopefully get some goats and maybe pigs next year as we/I have more time to plan out housing/fencing/feeding all the critters.

Anyways, I will stop rambling on and on via writing and instead ramble on in-person as today I am sharing my very first video/vlog. Please be kind as I am definitely a novice and didn’t really have a plan, I just had the idea yesterday and ran with it. So here I am…

One day I plan to do a more in-depth tour, hopefully when the weather is better.

Thanks for stopping by today and letting me ramble on. If you have any comments, questions, concerns, or constructive criticism about my little video, please as always feel free to share in the comments.

Have a lovely day!Dabbling in homesteading, gardening, chickens.



5 thoughts on “What is a Homestead and what does Homesteading mean to me?”

  • Very cool little homestead! I love your big rooster. We had Buckeye roosters at one time, and they were mean. I’m not sure my daughter will let us get any more roos, but we look forward to getting back into chickens in the springtime!

    • Thanks Jamie! We originally had 5 hens and 5 roosters and Henry was the only one to make the “cut” as he is quite docile around us humans (even with our kids) but also protective of his hens. The other roos were just mean! Chickens are a delight aren’t they?

  • Our own agricultural efforts have been mixed. We’re great at growing our own herbs…in pots on the patio. Everything else, the deer have gotten. Even apple trees. We’ve decided that next year we’ll try fruit trees again, but with more fencing. Or else we’ll start “farming” the deer.

    • Deer are a problem for us too. We have a 6 1/2 foot fence around our garden, which they stay out of but the rest of the property is fair game and unfortunately they’ve gotten a few of our fruit trees. And “farming” the deer is not a bad idea….I like venison. 🙂

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