What is Homesteading?

I've often wondered what we'd be considered...a farm, a homestead or neither?  I dove in to some research to get my answer.

What is Homesteading?

Wikipedia defines homesteading as:
a lifestyle of simple, agrarian self-sufficiency. It is characterized by subsistence agriculture, home preservation of foodstuffs, and it may or may not also involve the small scale production of textiles, clothing, and craftwork for household use or sale.”
But what REALLY is homesteading? What does it look like?

Again, the answer really depends on who you ask. To me, homesteading is becoming self-sufficient and it can be done wherever you live.  And you don't have to have acres on acres of land to do it.

Why and How Did We Begin Homesteading?

I grew up in a little country town with parents who were either raised on or around farms.  All my life, I've heard stories of farming and living off the land.  Even though they were explained further as hard work, the stories always made my mind drift away.  Throughout that, and honestly feeling it was just born into me, I've always had a strong desire in my heart to live off the land.  

In the Spring, you could always hear the familiar puttputt of our 1939 John Deere H making it way out of the garage.  Y'all have no idea how many hours I spent standing on that plow.  We would plow, mark, plant, water and weed our garden all summer.  And in the fall, my Mom would spend hours in the kitchen canning.  That was just our normal.  Once I got married and moved into my own house {right next door}, it was only natural to do the same.  

A few years ago, after a medical issue, I was able to fully retire and become what I've always dreamed of...a stay-at-home Mama. 

And so we began our homesteading lives.

One of the first thing we did was buy chickens. They say chickens are “the gateway” livestock. Well, that statement is the absolute TRUTH. Chickens turned into more chickens this year. With a new, bigger coop on the way. And now serious talks about goats and perhaps pigs {sorry Mom}.

I make 99% of our food from scratch. I can, freeze, dehydrate and preserve. The beginning years of just spaghetti sauce have now turned into canning everything I can get my hands on!  Including being obsessed with making my own stocks {chicken, beef and ham}.  This year I'm going to give making my own "cream soups" a whirl.

It’s a homesteading life. And one I sure do love.

What else is Homesteading?

The beauty of homesteading is it can be whatever you want it to be.  It can be on as much or as little land as you have.  It can be canning the vegetables that you buy at the farmers market or preserving the peaches you buy from the Amish man down the road.  It can be having chickens in your tiny backyard in the middle of the city.  

It's simple living that is hard work.  It takes time and energy to homestead, however, it’s about consuming less and producing more. It’s about cherishing real things such as animals, fresh eggs, fresh milk, vegetables growing on a plant and through it all seeing His mighty creation and knowing that He’s real.