The Craving For Homesteading
Most dictionaries don’t acknowledge the modern homesteading movement and refer instead to people “settling” the land. I would argue that modern homesteading is not about settling the land, but rather about settling ourselves.
In a world where we are led to believe that we must outsource everything in our lives (except for our paid employment), adopting homesteading tasks is REVOLUTIONARY! However you define modern homesteading, it means we are taking our power back – whether that involves knitting our own sweaters, raising our own sheep or just making our own fermented foods.
Many of us have turned to this type of lifestyle out of dissatisfaction with lives tied to desks and computers.. We want to create things with our hands. We need interactions with plants, animals, soil and the weather. We crave this more active participation in our own lives.
Sound like I’m speaking from experience? Yes indeed! I grew up in the suburbs (Charlotte, NC), fled to the city (Paris, France), and since have made my home in a couple of different rural areas (NE Utah and SW Oregon).
While living in Paris I started getting sick all the time. I found myself plagued by migraines, insomnia and stomach cramps. With no help from the conventional medical community, I realized through trial and error that my health issues came from an unhealthy living environment and food sensitivities.
I studied in Building Biology to learn how to deal with environmental sensitivities, Native Plants Studies to learn more about nature, Permaculture to learn better gardening practices and Fermenting to help heal my gut.
And then I met my husband, Chad, and remembered that having a trusting, supportive, & loving relationship was also a key ingredient to a healthy life. In marrying Chad, I also got my first taste of living on a farm.
Chad and I try to grow as much of our own food as we can, and for the things we can’t grow ourselves, we try to give our business to local farms. We keep sheep and donkeys and dogs and cats. The sheep are great for wool and manure, the donkeys are great for therapy, and the dogs and cats are part of our family.
I admire the courage people show when undertaking Homesteading projects – whether it’s fermenting on an apartment countertop, raising chickens in a backyard, or starting a multi-acre farm to live off of the land.
Here’s the thing though, we can’t afford to do it the wrong way. Understanding what nature is going to do anyway is a necessity. Protecting ourselves from the things nature never intended is essential.
Home Page Artwork
Pierre Auguste Renoir – Young Woman Standing Near a Farmhouse in Milly – Public Domain
Hanna Pauli – Breakfast Time – Public Domain
Childe Hassam – The Fisherman’s Cottage – Public Domain
© 2019 – Kristina Hicks-Hamblin – The Healthy Homestead