10 Homesteading Resolutions to Make for 2016
Are you tired of a full schedule that is void of substance? Do you want more Freedom, Independence and a Self-Sufficient lifestyle? Does Homesteading appeal to you?
What is Homesteading?
Homesteading is about reviving old skills, a lifestyle of self-sufficiency, joining others on the journey, sharing your knowledge to pass down for generations, turning away from a consumer culture and finding happiness with less.
Many Homesteaders, rural and urban, practice: Agriculture, Food Preservation, Textile Production, Use Renewable Energy, Preserve Heirloom Vegetables, Raise Livestock and Bees, Composting, Self-sufficient living: re-using, repairing, and recycling items.
Homesteading is not defined by where someone lives, such as the city or the country, but by the lifestyle choices they make.
You don’t have to own a farm or 100 acres to homestead. To work towards a self-sufficient Homesteading lifestyle, you can do it with what you have right where you’re at. The good news? Homesteading is a frugal lifestyle so it can fit any budget.
But where do you start? The answer is somewhere, anywhere but the key is to start.
Scott Terry, from North Country Farmer, said it best when he said today’s homesteading generation is at a disadvantage because we don’t have the knowledge that has been passed down from generation to generation teaching us the hands-on skills that we need to sustain ourselves. Now most of us are self-taught from the internet or just trial and error.
In this article of 10 Homesteading resolutions to make for 2016, Homesteaders from all over the country from all different walks of life have shared their knowledge to help get you started towards your Homesteading goals.
Homesteader Resolution to Make #1- Be a Good Steward of the Land
Homesteaders respect the earth and the land, from the dirt to the animals that roam on it. They realize we can get all we need from the land and do their best to take care of it and respect it.
How to be a good steward? Start with the 5 R’s (yes 5- not 3).
Refuse– Refuse to buy something that has a one time use
Repurpose– Whatever you do buy, try to find another purpose for it once you are done.
Reduce- Think twice before buying. Buy reusable gift bags once instead of wrapping paper.
Reuse- Buy used items that look new. Give your unwanted items to someone that would appreciate them or have a yard sale.
Recycle- As a last resort, recycle. This should be the last step you take with products you buy. Don’t purchase a convenience product with the mindset “I can recycle it later” . Remember there is no “away” , when people throw “away” it is just being relocated, so do your best at reducing the amount of items you need to relocate.
Homesteading Resolution to Make #2- Grow Food
From a windowsill to a field, growing food helps create food independence and a sustainable lifestyle. There is something empowering about sowing a seed, nurturing it to ripeness then sitting down with your family to a home-cooked meal, with food your soil and hands produced.
To help you achieve your food independence, I am sharing articles by Homesteaders who have experience with growing food.
Homesteading Resolution to Make #3- Cook From Scratch
I remember back in the day when Home Economics was taught in school, meals involved the whole family and were ate at the dinner table.
Now meal time consist of a drive-through and comes out of a box. Our children have become disconnected with their food source, hardly recognize real food and have no idea how to follow a recipe.
Take back your meal time (and your health), one recipe at a time and start cooking from scratch.
Homesteading Resolution to Make #4- Learn to Preserve Food
Because food is so important for survival, food preservation is one of the oldest technologies used by human beings.
When preserving food, you are not just canning or just dehydrating food, you are insuring you will eat tomorrow, preserving your harvest, and saving money. To learn more about food preservation, read the articles below. You can also check with your local Extension Service to see if they have any classes available.
Homesteading Resolution to Make #5- Homeschool
Everyone’s decision to Homeschool is a personal one, and they are all different. When my son was in first grade (he is now 21), the teacher bullied him, horribly. The school refused to do anything about it (he came home with a hand-print bruise on his arm), I took him out and began our homeschool journey. Over 20 years ago we had a foster child with behavioral disorders who required us to homeschool as well and now my 14 yr old daughter is being homeschooled for the first time. Our children have been in public school, private school and homeschool, each school had it’s advantages and disadvantages, you have to make the right decision for you and your child.
Homesteading Resolution to Make #6- Buy a Homestead
The American Dream (or Worldwide Dream) to own their own Homestead. The first of the acts, the Homestead Act of 1862, opened up millions of acres. Any adult who had never taken up arms against the U.S. government, could apply. Women, blacks, and immigrants were eligible. The Homestead Acts were several United States federal laws that gave an applicant ownership of land, typically called a “homestead“, at little or no cost.
Now owning your own homestead seems like a fantasy you get to day-dream about on your coffee break at work. But owning a homestead might be more obtainable than you think. Read the advice from people who are living the Homesteading dream.
Homesteading Resolution to Make #7- Tools of the Trade
It’s not the brush, but the artist. Ever heard that before? While that may be true with art, it doesn’t always ring true with the Homestead. Having the right tool for the job can help save you time and money. Read the suggestions from Homesteaders to start your tool collection.
Homesteading Resolution to Make #8- Add Livestock
Don’t let land stand in your way of owning livestock (although some laws may, so check you local laws before you buy). I already told you that you don’t need a lot of land, and it’s true. Provided that your state/county/city allows you to have livestock, there are a lot of animals you can raise for sustainability in a small area.
For instance, we live on just over 1/4 acre and have two milking goats (who are both pregnant-Yippee, baby goats!), 10 chickens and honey bees. We have fresh milk, cheese, eggs and honey. We could have meat but my livestock are considered pets with benefits at the moment. Other options to consider are pigs, fish, sheep, rabbits, turkeys, guineas, quail, and ducks- just to name a few.
Homesteading Resolution to Make #9- Make it Yourself- Learn a Skill
If you are living on a budget, learning to do things yourself is a vital part of financial survival. being able to do something yourself without calling a specialist or going to the store is not only empowering but it could also save you thousands. Once you perfect your skill or trade, you can turn it into a money-making opportunity to help support your family.
Beginners Woodworking- 5 Skills You Need to Know by Make Use of
Homesteading Resolution to Make #10- Share with Others
If you could do good things for other people, you had a moral obligation to do those things! That’s what’s at stake here. Not choice. Responsibility.
With great knowledge comes great responsibility. It is our responsibility to share the knowledge we have with others, pass it down to our youth so they can live an independent (not co-dependent) life.
Homesteaders look out for their neighbor and fellow man. They still have a cup of sugar to borrow, you can call them in the middle of the night when your goat is getting ready to kid, they will pray for you when you ask, and they will show you how to make that amazing casserole they made (without leaving out the secret ingredient!).
So start a 4-H club, offer tours of your homestead, teach workshops on how to make bread, and share your sourdough starter. There is always room at the top for everyone so take as many as you can with you.
Tracy, from Our Simple Homestead created The Homesteaders Heart Creed and I wanted to share it with you
There is a common creed that all homesteaders live by no matter where they live or what profession they work. The creed that many use to define a homesteader’s heart.
The Homesteaders Heart Creed
- To honor old-fashion skills.
- To live a self-sufficient lifestyle.
- To resist consumerism.
- To be good stewards of the land.
- To reuse, recycle and make do.
- To shop local.
- To share with others.
- To pass on homesteading skills.
Although there are not any established set of rules for homesteading. The one thing we all can count on is homesteaders across the country care about living an authentic homesteading lifestyle, not complicated by today’s fast-paced, technology laden lifestyle.