Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Sustainable Living - Homesteading 101: Getting Started On the Path to Self-Reliance

We're back!  Many apologies for the lack of posts last week - after moving into our new house, we discovered our new internet service did not work, so we've had a couple of frustrating weeks, but we're finally back in action!

A popular topic that some readers have asked about lately is sustainable living, and the idea of homesteading is very trendy lately. Over the next couple of weeks, we will address this topic, so for those of you who have been interested in exploring homesteading, now is your chance to learn more! Our own attempt at homesteading begins now, as my husband and I settle into our new home on 5 acres, and try to figure out what we want to do with it all! I will keep you posted on our progress here and on our main New Holistic Living blog, as we install a geothermal system, water collection system, orchard, garden, chicken coop, and more over our first few years here on our little homestead.  :-)

So let's get started....

Do you have what it takes to live a life that is sustainable? Are you interested in becoming self-sufficient and relying on your own two hands to grow food and essentially live off the land? If that sounds intriguing, you might be a future homesteader.

What Is Homesteading and Why Is It Growing In Popularity?

Home farming: Bill Stagg turning up his beans,...
Home farming: harvesting beans by hand.  Wikipedia)
Homesteading is the practice of growing your own food, raising animals for produce, and even providing your own energy. Some homesteaders also make their own clothing and strive to live completely dependent upon their own resources.

It’s a lifestyle choice. You don’t have to live in the country to be a homesteader. You also don’t need tons of land. You can grow some of your own food and provide your own energy even living in the city.  In fact, many urbanites raise chickens and grow food.

Why Do People Homestead?

Many people have made this lifestyle choice for a number of reasons. Raising your own food and practicing environmentally friendly farming is good for the planet. It’s sustainable. In fact, homesteaders often use rainwater and other water conservation practices to irrigate their crops.

Homesteading is also financially friendly. Imagine if you could get your eggs, dairy, and even some of your meat and produce from your own labors. You’d save money. You can also take advantage of renewable energy tax credits.

Finally, many people embrace homesteading because they find it to be a rewarding lifestyle. It’s true that food tastes better when you grow it yourself. And there’s tremendous pride in learning how to take care of yourself and live off the land.

Of course homesteading isn’t an all or nothing lifestyle. You can choose the pieces that appeal to you. You can start small or buy a farm and dive right in. Next time we’ll take a look at the three primary components of homesteading, so be sure to check back on Thursday.

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