Thursday, April 16, 2009

The accidental homesteader

Recently I have been wanting to have a garden and because of that I've been doing a lot of reading and research. One word keeps coming up that I find intriguing. That word is homesteader and in my case urban homesteader. Loosely defined it can be viewed as a simple living lifestyle, incorporating small-scale agriculture, sustainable and permaculture gardening, and home food production and storage into suburban or city living. I didn't realize that many of the life choices I've made were so in line with the homesteading mindset. These were purposeful choices I made because of how I want to live, but I not conscious of embracing any one idea. It's ironic that I didn't get it because the essence of my life and who I am is "home". I love being at home and pursuing simple domestic arts. I try to think about my impact on the environment. I try to cook from scratch, I try and reduce, reuse and recycle every day. In my mind it's just how things should be. Don't get me wrong...I love gadgets, technology and stuff! I like to eat out occasionally or buy something new. But, apparently and overwhelmingly I homestead.
So, what does it take to be a homesteader you ask? Well I can list some activities I do and while not all encompassing or inclusive it gives you an idea of what it means to be a homesteader in my world.
Baking Bread
Cooking from scratch and using whole ingredients
Sewing clothing, crafts, household items and useful things
Knitting useful items
Growing own kitchen garden whether indoors or out
Canning and Preserving fruits, vegetables, meats, soups, stocks
Making my own cleaners
Shopping thrift
Reusing, reducing and recycling

I would also like to try my hand at candle making and soap making but, haven't gotten around to it yet.
None of the activities I listed above are hard or particularly time consuming. I look at it as just something I do. If you're reading this and you're hardcore homesteading you probably think I'm not doing enough, but I guess my point is that we can all make small changes in our lives that move us closer to the earth. Happy Homesteading!