A homestead is a house and the land surrounding it. The term homesteading is often associated with living off the land by growing and preserving your own food and creating sustainability off the grid. Homestead bloggers use their corners of the internet to provide information and tutorials on gardening, raising chickens and other livestock, canning, etc. They live a way of life that isn’t for everyone. It’s hard work. So why homestead?
I interviewed 21 homesteading bloggers to find out why they homestead, what they love about it, how they make money, and any advice they would share with someone considering the lifestyle. I truly enjoyed getting to know the bloggers and can relate to their responses in so many ways. This is the first post of the interview series focusing on what initially drew folks to homesteading and why they continue to do it. Read on to find out why 22 bloggers (including myself!) choose to homestead.
1. I choose to homestead for a couple of reasons. First, I want to know where my food comes from and what went into growing it and feeding it. Second, I enjoy the connection to nature that it brings, that you cannot find working indoors behind a desk. Third, the peace of mind it brings. It is hard work, but thoroughly enjoyable to me. I now one day my body will give out before my will to keep doing it does. Four, to teach my kids all of the above, hopefully anyway! The Reid Homestead
2. We chose to homestead because we had an opportunity to purchase raw land debt free. A Table Full in the Woods
3. It’s in my genetics I think. I grew up gardening with my mom and was not a fan. Ha! But after having my own home and space, I love the satisfaction of doing things for myself and learning new skills. There isn’t much better than going out to the yard to collect dinner and making an amazing meal from things you grew or collected yourself. Homesteading But Not
4. We chose to homestead to make life simple again and be more self-sufficient in all areas of our lives, especially with growing our own food and knowing where it comes from. We also think it’s a great learning experience for our kids, as it teaches them the value of hard work, respect for the land and animals, and how to be humble and take nothing for granted. Whispering Moon Homestead
5. We choose to homestead because it is an amazing way to teach and be present with our children! We love knowing that our vegetables have been grown organically, and that the chickens that produce our eggs are happy and healthy. The Young Homestead
6. I didn’t exactly realize we were choosing to homestead. I just wanted my kids to know how to feed themselves if something ever happened to the main food supply grids or if there was some kind of financial collapse. I was concerned that all the people who knew how to actually grow their own food, like our grandparents, were aging and eventually wouldn’t be around anymore. We started dabbling in learning these skills. We got some chickens, and then some more chickens, and then some goats… The House that Never Slumbers
7. I homestead partly due to circumstances and partly due to wanting the lifestyle that comes with having a homestead. I lost my job six days after my wedding and then lost one of our dogs to heart failure two weeks before Christmas. I didn’t know what I was going to do in a small town with limited job openings and mounting bills including a $1,200 vet bill. All I knew was I had to be smart with the money I had left from my job and even smarter with my husband’s income just to keep our heads above water. I already lived on three acres. We already had a water tank, alpacas, two chicken coops with no chickens, a dam and 25 established fruit trees. We have since added six more fruit trees, two chickens and a lamb. We had everything at our fingertips to create our ideal homestead but had no knowledge of what homesteading actually was until I happened to watch “Outback House” on Netflix. It sparked this idea within me. I just knew I wanted to create a homestead from the home we already had. That’s where I got started. It became more than being smart with money, it became what I hoped it would – my ideal lifestyle. Dela Pond Homestead
8. Ever since I was a little girl I wanted to be a farmer. I would visit my cousin’s dairy farm and love every single thing about it – the cows, the chickens, the pigs, the rabbits. I would dream of a time when I would have a farm of my own. That dream sat on the back burner because, you know, life happened. When things calmed down, I started a garden. Then I finally convinced Hubs that we needed to get pigs, and the rest is as they say…history. I started a bit late but here I am living my dream and loving every single minute of it. Simple Living Country Gal
9. My husband and I read about homesteading and getting back to basics for years but wanted to stop reading and finally do it. We know where our food comes from, help grow and gather medicine that came in handy when I was diagnosed with Lyme Disease. We share knowledge with others and love this life. Melinda Kunst
10. We have chosen to homestead because we want to live more self-sufficiently. We also love the values it teaches our children. As For Me and My Homestead
11. I homestead because my family (including myself) have medical issues that are treated much better through natural remedies and foods. Furthermore, I like having the ability to be self-sufficient knowing that my hard work will provide so many benefits for my family and I don’t have to work the typical 9-5 in the city rush hour traffic. I LOVE the fact that I live in a town with no traffic and no stoplights! Minnesota Country Girl
12. We’re still trying to homestead it’s a journey! We bought some land but three years on we’re still in the planning process to get a house built, so we living in a tiny (20m2) house on our neighbor’s land. We want to live in the country, it’s our dream to build our own house, provide an outdoor and nature focused life for our little kids (1 & 3 years) and have no debt. We want the opportunity to grow food, to be self-sufficient and to make fabulous things to sell for income (we’re working on that last part). The Farmish Collective and Getting the Good Life
13. I chose to homestead to have better control of where my food comes from and help with my PTSD. Pandora Acres
14. Our attraction to homesteading was born out of a desire to be more self-sufficient and prepared for emergencies. We actually started our journey as “preppers” and the desire to grow and preserve more of our own food for our emergency storage is what opened that magic door for us into the world of homesteading. Grit and Grace Homestead
15. We chose to homestead because of political and economical reasons. We are concerned about the next economic crash because the one in 2008 hit us hard, and we’re finally moving forward this year after almost a decade of struggling. Analysts claim that crash was small, and the next one is going to be catastrophic. We began this journey as preppers, and we’ve gradually moved more towards homesteading to be self-sufficient for the long term. Rustic Traditions Homestead
16. To simply stop living like the Jones’s. My husband decided that living in town was not his cup of tea, so we moved to the cusp of town and the country. We purchased a single family home on two acres and spent the last few years converting it to a sustainable homestead. With the purchase of the property, it has allowed us to reclaim our food source and this has lead us to raising our own meat animals, selling eggs, maintaining a large garden, and preserving the harvest. Foraging and gleaning has been a huge part of our lifestyle as well, and we are currently 75% out of the market. Because of this, we were given the opportunity by Lyons Press to write a book in regards to preserving foods. The book it titled, The Farm Girl’s Guide to Preserving the Harvest and is due out April 1, 2019. A Farm Girl in the Making
17. I chose to homestead because I want to become as self-sufficient as possible. I want to teach my daughter the value of hard work and what she can gain from it. Hell or High Water Homestead
18. I love the satisfaction I get from growing and eating our own food. Too many people are disconnected from their food sources. When you plant, care for it, and harvest it with your own hands, you can’t help but be connected to it. The Hayes Homestead
19. Quality of Life. Tammy Beasley
20. We chose homesteading because though it may seem much harder, it really is a simpler and more satisfying way of life. It gives us the ability to live life on our terms and on our time table. Misty Meadows Homestead
21. I’ve always been a very “DIY” kind of person. So, I think veering towards full on homesteading was a gradual progression. It started with my husband and I being on a very strict budget early on in our marriage. We couldn’t afford a lot, and so I started learning to make more things at home. Things like meals from scratch, buying more ingredients in bulk and preserving, and generally just making things we needed instead of buying them to save on costs. Once I started really delving into this world of “inconvenience”, I found it really interested me. The more discussions my husband and I would have, the more we decided that we wanted to work to be more self-sustainable. We wanted our children to learn to be more reliant on themselves, and to learn these “old” skills. It brings us together as a family in a different way. We care about our animals and land, all together as a family. Creating things for each other, and helping each other, is a wonderful way we show our love. It’s become an important bond. Hatch End Homestead
22. Why do we choose to homestead here at Happiest Camper? Well, initially I didn’t know what we were doing had a name. We were happily living the RV life, until our camper was totaled. Then we ended up on 5 acres in southwest Virginia. Dave and I have always enjoyed keeping pets and doing projects ourselves. Some of that came out of necessity, like when Dave was hurt and I replaced the alternator in our truck. (The internet has everything you need to know!) As a few other bloggers mentioned above, homesteading has healing powers for people with PTSD, depression and anxiety. Dave struggles with all those diagnoses in addition to CRPS. (Read his story here.) Raising animals and tending the garden gives him a sense of purpose. It gives him a reason to get out of bed every day and a satisfying sense of accomplishment when a project is completed. The delicious eggs, vegetables and other end products are a bonus for the whole family to enjoy. My sewing projects and crafty ways just happen to fit right in.
It is an honor to join this list of homestead bloggers. If you enjoyed this post, you might also like New Homesteader Advice.
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