A quite a while back in the social media world there was a bit of a dust up about the definition of homesteading. I crafted the blog post below of my two cents, for all it’s worth. It’s a debate that keeps coming around like a bad penny, and no surprise, it’s back…and so is my post. *grin*
“You’re NOT a homesteader!!”
Yes, I’ve heard that and no, I’m not. I don’t fit into the homesteader mold nor do I fit the prepper or survivalist molds either.
While many things I do are popular in these lifestyles, I kind of have my own thing going on. I have a totally different philosophy and goal than most others. I kind of like being different, but I also like connecting with people who share some of the same interests.
Making slippers for Christmas gifts, just like mama did.
I’ve always been on the frugal side. Sometimes more frugal, sometimes less. Much of what I do is just what I had learned growing up. I’ve always been interested in the outdoors, gardening, camping, hiking, farming etc. Growing up in the city didn’t give me many opportunities for them, but I really enjoyed any chance to be outside with nature and camping/hiking became and still is one of my favorite activities.
Celebrating my birthday with my great-grandmother…a homemade cake and homemade party hats.
I heartily understand the philosophy behind prepping and I agree with most of it. I don’t feel like I need to live barricaded in militarized zone with 30 years of food and supplies put up in my hidden armored bunker. If you do, that’s fine. I do feel, however, that as the manager of my home I need to be as prepared as possible to care for my family in what ever situation comes our way. We live in crazy, fragile times. But I firmly believe that the extreme form of prepping goes against what the Bible teaches. The Bible tells us to love our neighbors, to take care of the orphans and widows, feed the hungry, visit prisoners. It doesn’t say only do these things when times are good and stop when “stuff” hits the fan. I will do my best for my family, but together we serve God first.
Canning grape jam.
There are so many ideas of what a homesteader is. To some it’s living completely off grid and to others it is simply adopting a more self sufficient lifestyle where ever you might be at. Living off the land is hard, hard work, but can also be rewarding. We live in a small town on a small lot, and while I do a lot of things that homesteaders do, I wouldn’t classify myself as a homesteader. But again, a lot of these things I do I learned growing up. For example: I learned gardening…organic gardening…from my grandfather. In the big city. I learned to make things by hand from my mother and great-grandmother. I learned to be frugal from my grandmother…like using old clothing (read: underwear) to mop the floors and putting left over bread that is starting to stale in the freezer to use in the future for stuffing. When I moved out on my own, I appreciated the farmers market that was right across the street, and I found out first hand how practical being frugal was.
The garden goes all the way to the wood fence.
All these things became very real for our family when my husband lost his job a while back. This area of Indiana suffered a great blow with many automotive, trailer and RV manufacturers laying people off or closing. Hubby’s company closed and sent the work elsewhere. Not being burdened by lots of debt and having a well stocked pantry with a garden got us through the hard times when many others were going under. Not only were we able to keep our heads above water, but we didn’t have to rely on any assistance, food or utility programs. And even then, we were able to help out others when they needed it. I’m not saying it didn’t hit us hard because it did. Only now are we starting to get caught up on things that we had to put off during that time (like getting our roof fixed, replacing appliances that stopped working etc.) But being frugal, prepared and doing as much with our land as we could, we made it through when many others didn’t.
Curing onions in the garage.
So I guess you can classify me under what ever category you would like. I’m not prepping for any zombie apocalypse, but for real life circumstances for my family and those around me. I’m not living on an off grid homestead with livestock, but we are trying to live more sustainable where we are. If you asked me what I would call it…I guess I would call it living Proverbs 31. I’m a homemaker. Regardless of what circumstances arise, my main responsibility is to God first, then my family and my home, and then helping others as I can.
What about you? Do you fit the mold, straddle it, or are you an outlier like me? Do you have a totally different opinion about what it means to you? Let me know!
Until next time – live simply and love abundantly! Grace and peace…
Matthew 25:34-40 – Then the King will say to those on His right hand, ‘Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.’
Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink? When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You? Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.’