The term ‘homesteading’ may be familiar, but its usage can cause some confusion as its meaning has changed over the decades. For years the word referred to a free government land program and the skills necessary for pioneer living. Today the word homesteading is more apt to refer to a lifestyle that promotes greater self sufficiency.
These days at Mother Earth News, we’re using the phrase 21st century homesteading, which is all about self sufficiency — wherever you live. It’s about using less energy, eating wholesome local food, involving your family in the life of the community and making wiser choices that will improve the quality of life for your family, your community and the environment around you.
Eat Drink Better has a sister site named Insteading, and one of its writers recently described the site’s desire to share “resources for those who value self-sufficiency, sustainability, and community reliance.”
I think of “insteading” as “homesteading for the hip girl.” Despite being raised in the microwave and processed food era, I’ve found great joy in homesteading (or insteading if you prefer). I grow as much food as my small backyard (and my brown thumb) allow, (mostly) preserve what I grow or buy in season, and take an “I make my own…” approach as often as I can. (I make my own butter, cheese, bread, pasta, and the best sea salt toffee you’ll put in your mouth.)
I see that more of us are trying to experience food the way our grandparents and great grandparents did. We grow and eat locally, cook slow and from the heart, and make from scratch what could be easily bought at the local grocery store.
So I welcome and applaud International Homesteading Education Month’s inaugural program.
How can you be a better homesteader?
- Check out the Homesteading Education Month’s library of resources on gardening, food preservation, green building, renewable energy, and raising livestock.
- Find a Homesteading Education Month event in your area.
- Host your own homesteading event using resources provided by the Homesteading Education Month team.
- Win a heifer, sawmill, log splitter, incubator, bee kit, and more in the Holy Cow Homesteading Sweepstakes. (If I only had room for a cow.)
You can learn a lot more by signing up for updates from Important Media’s web sites that offer up-to-date news and information on living more sustainably.
What used to be “hippy” is now “hip.” Hooray for learning to be self sufficient and loving the results!
Image Credit: Mother Earth News