Need a Change? Homestead Your Home

homestead your homeThankfully, our society is moving away from the constant consumerism and 'me first' mentality that defined the last 30 years and are looking for ways to replenish not only our souls but our surroundings as well. The most significant lifestyle change has been a movement to educing waste and generating food for our tribes. There are articles galore about moving off the grid and setting up a natural lifestyle out in the country but in reality, that isn't a requirement. You can simply homestead your home where you live right now, regardless of location. Whether it is a third floor walk-up in Brooklyn of a suburban ranch-style in Oakland.

Homestead Your Home

homestead living
In order to homestead your home, the greatest piece of advice I can share is to do it slowly and methodically. Rushing into a massive and encompassing lifestyle change will not only wear you out but cause a distaste for the change. A few little things at a time coupled with one larger adjustment such as switching to solar or building a barn will give you time to not only complete the project, but the comfort zone to learn how to do it well and how it incorporates with your life.

To begin, do a little research on homesteading. Check out books from the library or dig into YouTube. Are you looking to increase the amount of food you grow yourself? Is off the grid living your ultimate goal? How about raising livestock for milk, eggs and meat? Does the idea of keeping bees intrigue or frighten you?

What is a Homestead

What is a homestead? In a broad sense, a homestead, and by association homestead living, incorporates a philosophy of self-reliance. The focus is to reduce the consumption of material goods and simplify the act of living by creating, growing and planning for your own needs. Homesteading is very Buddhist in practice, with a mantra of moderation running throughout. Instead of having the most stuff in the neighborhood, the goal is to have just enough to live a comfortable life. Happiness comes from satisfaction while unhappiness comes from desire. You aren't unhappy because you don't have a Lamborghini but instead because you desire a Lamborghini and what it says about you to complete strangers. To homestead, remove yourself from material desire and focus on what truly is important in your life.
what is a homestead

So, what is a homestead? It can be a loft apartment with a window-ledge herb garden or an off-the-grid twenty acre spread off the beaten path. The commonality is the drive to make it happen. To homestead your home, look at your environment and decide how to incorporate self-reliance techniques into your life. A small container garden could reduce your dependence on salad greens and perennial herbs grown on factory farms half-way across the country. Using laundry soap you made yourself removes chemicals from drinking water further down the water chain. Having a flock of six chickens in the backyard is enough to provide plenty of eggs for not only yourself but your neighbors as well. It's all about small steps, taken one at a time and in moderation.

Why Homestead Your House

why homestead your houseSo, why homestead your house? If you have the income you can always purchase organic foods that don't pollute the earth. You can belong to a farm CSA where you can buy shares in ethically raised and slaughtered meats. You can buy non-caustic bathroom cleaners and high-fructose-free cereals at the super market and still be making an impact.

So why homestead your house? You can do all of these things, but by deciding to homestead your home to produce these things yourself, you are taking personal responsibility for your consumption and reducing the carbon footprint. Homestead living is a way to reconnect with the environment and raise the next generation of stewards on a planet that desperately needs change if it is going to survive. By removing the yoke of consumerism you will spend less by default, taking steps to remove yourself from the credit-based economy that is causing havoc and isn't leading us anywhere good.

Homestead Living

Dedicating even a portion of your life to homestead living creates an immense impact on our environment. The old saying was to think globally and act locally. By taking a step on the path of self-reliance, no matter where you live, you are saying to yourself and your community that you can do better. There is plenty of material out there on how to take these steps and all it takes is the curiosity and drive to make change happen.

I'd love to hear what tips you have for homestead living and ways to homestead your home wherever you live.