Homesteading, Wherever You May Be
What comes to mind when you think of the word “homesteading”? An abundant vegetable patch, rolling green hills, a cottage and chickens pecking the ground? You probably don’t envision a tiny apartment balcony or a shared community garden or a suburban kitchen, but all of these places can be the locus of a thriving homestead. For us, homesteading is more about a set of principles, ideals, and practices than any perfect location. We think it’s important that you feel encouraged to adopt them without feeling discouraged by your resources, because every small effort can add up to something truly impactful! Let’s discuss, shall we?
The Principles of Homesteading
Use what you have…
Mend what you can...
Grow what you are able to..
Learn, Learn, Learn...
Putting The Principles Into Practice
Use What You Have
Time and time again you will hear us reminding you to use what you have before you make any new low waste swaps or invest in new tools or supplies. While plastic gardening tools may not be the prettiest accompaniments to your gardening days, make the most of them until they are no longer truly useful. This principle applies to nearly everything: find a way to make the most of your food scraps, dump every last drop out of your hand lotion container, use that old bucket for catching rainwater, etc. Have a patch of backyard? Consider putting it to use with a small flock of chickens. Homesteading is thrifty and practical, but it’s also all about creativity!
Mend What You Can
Once those well-used items start to wear out, take a long, hard look to see what can and cannot be repaired. Sometimes you can do the mending yourself, like darning a pair or wool socks to last another winter (YouTube can quickly teach you how!). Other times, you may need to call in an expert and invest a few dollars into finding a fix, rather than tossing out the item only to buy another piece of equipment.
Grow What You Are Able To
Did you know that a single head of lettuce needs only 6-8” of space to grow? Or that radishes and some varieties of carrots and beets don’t need nearly the depth of soil you might imagine in order to flourish? Whether you have six square feet of balcony, a cement stoop, or an entire grassy yard, you are capable of growing a hearty portion of your own veggies at home! If you are able to grow a selection of kitchen herbs on your window sill, go for it. If you are able to grow rows and rows of bountiful veg, do it. We promise, the initial hard work is worth the pay off.
Learn, Learn Learn
This homesteading principle is really the one that we hope sticks around in your mind for days, months, and years to come. The truth of homesteading is that it can appear daunting to rely more on your two hands to make life a bit more respectful of Earth, a bit more connected to food sources, a bit less reliant on big box stores. But the beauty of it is in discovering your own capability, your own grit, perseverance, and innate desire to learn. Pick up a book on making preserves, a book all about darning socks and give yourself a little credit for your ability to learn - and become really proficient at - just about anything!
No matter what your home looks like, you can embody and practice the principles of homesteading in some of the simplest and most practical of ways. We truly hope that as you endeavour to learn more and make adjustments to your daily habits that you will consider us a trusted resource for your journey. Feel free to stop in or drop us a line and let us know how we can best support you!