The question...A few weeks ago a fellow blogger left a comment asking me what information I could pass on to them about homesteading in Missouri. Little did they know they got my wheels turning! Quite honestly I felt very unqualified to answer her question. Before I answered her question I found her blog to "get to know" her a bit. You can find Tessa at www.homesteadlady.com. My first though was WOW... Her blog is beautiful and after reading a bit I realized she is much farther on this homesteading journey than I am. I felt even more unqualified to answer. In fact she got me thinking what makes me think I am a homesteader at all? What is a homesteader today? Who can be a homesteader?
The journey...I began by thinking where we get the word homestead. What does that mean? Basically it was a way for people to get land and create a home. The government said that if you move to this area and make a home you can keep the land. It became theirs. People moved to places previously uninhabited by people to live. Ok, to that is the grade school version but stay with me :) That version of homesteading is very rare today. So what does homesteading mean today. Modern homesteading can be simply defined as being self sufficient. (see Wikipedia) I found the The homestead bloggers network and looked through their list of bloggers. The one basic idea I found was that they all were striving to be self sufficient in some way. Common threads were gardening, building, raising animals for food, living off grid, and anything to provide for oneself. Members were at different spots in the journey and the members themselves were varied and from all different backgrounds. So...
The answer...Are we homesteaders? I say yes. When I started the blog I picked the name because I felt like a homesteader as we moved onto land that was empty of any modern touches. I felt like we were blazing a new path. Since then, I've learned we are far from alone in our way of living and I find comfort in that. That means I can learn from others and yet even then I've learned that reading about how to milk a cow, raise chickens, make cheese, can food, garden, and all the other things that come with this life are far different than the real experience. Nothing really compares to actually doing these things than when you get your hands dirty and feel the sweat, tears, fear, and triumphant of succeeding over a hurdle. The feeling of satisfaction of carrying a full milk bucket, building a chicken coop, toting a basket of eggs, stocking a pantry of home canned goods, piling a stack of firewood, or eating a meal of food all from your backyard.
Homesteading in Missouri? I believe it is a bit more popular here because we have more rural land available. The growing season is longer which means gardens can do well and food grows abundantly wild also. I have found many homesteaders here even if they don't think of themselves that way because it is simply a way of life they've had for years.
I hope you can join me on this journey and learn with me as we do our best to take care of our little corner of the world.
What do you think??