The wonderful folks at Dog Island Farm have challenged their followers to blog about homesteading today. And to be completely honest with you, I had no idea what that term meant up until this past summer. My husband and I are asked quite often why we moved from our nice little lake community life to a rural farm. And the answer is simple... we wanted to become more self sufficient. I am by no means saying that you can't live in a subdivision and be a homesteader. Sarah at Knotty Oak Homestead does a great job of proving that you can live in a townhome and still homestead. But for what we wanted to do, we felt that moving further out into the country and acquiring land to farm was the best thing we could do.
I certainly still go grocery shopping, and I still purchase goods from stores, but I am looking at where things come from, and how they are made in a whole new light. And I am trying make as many things at home as possible as opposed to purchasing them elsewhere.
For example, last night I made eggs, bacon, and pancakes for dinner. The eggs used to make the pancakes and to scramble were fresh from our coop from our hens, and the butter I used to grease the pans was the butter we made the previous night. It's a small step. But it's a step. And now that we have chickens, we have this wonderful fertilizer for our garden, and the cycle just keeps continuing.
I don't think homesteading means you have to live completely off the land, or you can never go to a restaurant again, but I do think it means that we are to at least try to be somewhat self sufficient. It could be as simple as making your own laundry detergent, or having a small garden, or making brownies from scratch as opposed to using a box. In this homesteading process we are saving money, we teaching our children life lessons, we are showing them where food comes from, we are teaching them the value of hard-work, and we are filling their time with things other than TV and video games. And a benefit that we weren't anticipating, is that we genuinely love farming. I mean who else can say they bottle fed a 2 week old goat in their living room?