Friday, May 30, 2014

Define the Word Homestead, Please

The word homestead is pretty popular these days.  It is the latest buzz word in certain circles.  I know it is in mine.  When you hear the word, visions of a small farm may come to mind with chickens gleefully pecking at the ground in search of their daily protein.  The family cow is waiting to be milked at 6 AM and the garden is a half acre of every fruit and veggie needed to carry the family through the winter. 

This is a lovely vision, but not everyone lives in a rural area and has the gas money to travel to their job five days a week to larger areas where work is available- after they have fed the chickens, milked the cow, and removed pests from the watered garden.  The money for the water to keep the plants healthy may not be there as well.

This type of home was the dream of my husband.  Before he passed he got his dream.  A little ranch on four acres in the country.  And a John Deere.  How he loved that John Deere.  But, for him it was a dream.  For me it was happiness because his dream was fulfilled.  I lived it with him in peaceful coexistence.  About a year after he passed, I realized it was his dream, not mine.  Not mine to be so isolated, especially during the harsh winters in upstate New York.  I loved doing the homesteading tasks, not the loneliness of spirit I had being alone.  I left.

I now live in the South surrounded by half our family and other people.  I live in a townhouse with a beautiful woods in my back yard - just behind the fence of my little garden.  It's in a small city, with no high rises.  The feeling is that of a spread out suburb.  Beautiful landscaping throughout the area and grocery stores five minutes away, if I need them.

This is now my homestead.  I still cook and make jam.  I have a small garden and I crochet in the winter.  I still practice frugal hacks.  I still have a close network of friends and family who enjoy the same things I do.  I could even have chickens if I wanted them.  I have a dog instead.  I get fresh dairy delivered to my door every week, instead of saving money for a cow to go out the door to gather fresh milk.  I'm still me.  Just in a smaller capacity.

Homesteading is in your heart and spirit.  It's not a geographic area.  It's a mindset.  It's in your heart.  It lurks deep in your spirit.  You can cook good healthy meals in the middle of a city.  Or make your Christmas gifts.  Craft supplies exist everywhere.  If you want chickens, find out about your city ordinances.  Ours allows up to six per homeowner.  I could even have a cow, if I named it and said it was the family pet.  Read about self reliance and watch videos.  Educate yourself to get a feeling of accomplishment.  As my son in law would say, 'Prepare for the worse, expect the best.' ( Or something like this.)

Homesteading is possible - wherever you are.  What are your desires in this area?  Do you do things that make you like the idea of homesteading?  We'd love to hear from you.

Stay safe.

Angie  Here's another take on what homesteading means.  Enjoy.  I think you may fall in love with this family.  I did!

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