Your homestead is where your heart is.
It’s not all or nothing. It took me years to figure that out. I wasted so much time reading, watching videos and wishing for a little cottage or a cabin with land where I could finally have my homestead. I continued to live miserably in the modern world and while I would occasionally bake bread or cook from scratch, I wasn’t doing all I could do to fulfill my homestead dream despite the current situation.
I can’t tell you what opened my eyes or when that happened. I think I just became impatient.
By strict definition I am not a true “homesteader”. Here’s the definition according to Wikipedia.
“Broadly defined, homesteading is a lifestyle of 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. Pursued in different ways around the world — and in different historical eras — homesteading is generally differentiated from rural village or commune living by isolation (either socially or physically) of the homestead.”
I always focused on the rural village/isolation part. Nope, that’s not me. I live in a relatively urban area with neighbors. I’m not free to have animals or raise acres of crops. I felt awkward calling myself a homesteader because I hadn’t staked the land in the middle of nowhere and claimed it, (Oh, I wish those days were here again) built a cabin with my own two hands, (one day) dug a well or had a plethora of farm animals to care for. However when I read it again, I focused on self-sufficiency, preserving food, productions of textiles for home or sale. Now that’s me! Even down to the somewhat socially isolating part of the definition. After looking around and seeing that I do indeed make furniture, candles, blankets, skirts, curtains, soap, grow food and even make some medicines, I allowed myself to consider my lifestyle that of a homesteader.
We homesteaders do what we do because we love it. It gives us security and a sense of accomplishment. And here’s what I learned the long and hard way. It really doesn’t matter the type of home you live in, the size of the lot you have available or the income bracket you fall into. It doesn’t matter that you weren’t raised doing this. Lord knows I wasn’t. Whatever small things you can do to be more self-sufficient, more secure and less distracted by things that don’t contribute to a life well lived, the better. In my humble opinion, that is.