Once upon a time, long, long ago, I realized that many of the traditions of my pioneer ancestors were becoming lost and forgotten, and that I was quite ignorant about how to live a life of self-reliance like they did. I was living in a large urban city in a little house with a small yard, and was frustrated with what I thought I could accomplish on my own. I'd read about others who had these things called "homesteads," and I wanted one!!! REALLY bad! But that just didn't happen.
Back then, I thought if you didn't have at least 20 acres, you couldn't homestead. But I was determined to do what I could with what I had. So, I gardened in containers and on the edges of our lawn, began learning about how to use herbs and essential oils for healing, and started making my own body products and even medicines. Now that we have a little more land (about 2/3 acre), we've delved into raising animals for food and also having horses as a gateway to a cow someday. One day, maybe we will have a nice-sized place, but for now, it's working. Homesteading is a journey! One that anyone can do anywhere!
Over the years, I have expanded the meaning of the word "homestead" (for myself) to mean "learning to be as self-sufficient as possible with the space and time and resources you have and can afford."
Therefore, I count almost any kind of food growing (in or out), medical self-care (including knowing how to use herbs and essential oils), making your own body care and cleaning products, preserving foods for future use, and more---as being acts of the modern day homesteader.
It doesn't matter if you live in a small apartment or on a large piece of property. You can journey toward self-sufficiency no matter where you are!
I hope you will learn and do right along with me!
I believe we have lost our way in these modern times of processed...everything. I really wish I had known what I know now years ago when I was raising my children. As it was, even back then (the 80's, 90's, and early 2000's) my kids thought I was a health "nut," but now in these current times, things in our processed world have just gotten way out of hand. We learned so much by watching food documentaries like Food, Inc., Frankensteer (which has mysteriously disappeared from the market), and Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead among others, and decided to make some radical changes in the way we look at food.
We put chemicals on our skin and into our bodies that are downright poisonous (and the saddest thing is-people don't even know it!), we are surrounded by pollution and toxins, and we are no longer sure what is safe anymore. It is a fact that the general public is not educated about the dangers of the chemicals in our foods, body care products, and environment.
I have some BIG goals: Some of them are to reduce the chemicals that go in and on my body, to learn and use traditional ways of cooking and preserving foods, to treat my own health ailments, to buy less in stores and to DIY, and just live an overall CLEAN life.
My other main goal is to help other people gain more understanding and knowledge about natural ways to live... and to empower myself and help others toward greater self-sufficiency and build new or regain the old traditions with our families.
I consider myself a modern day homesteader, and you may be too! If you have even read this far, you probably are a MDH!
If you are a person who:
...then you are most likely a modern day homesteader too. You can begin your homesteading adventures and build your homesteading skills even if you live in a city! I did! And you can too!
My husband and I used to live in the very large and continually growing metropolis of Las Vegas, Nevada all our lives (and we are grandparents now). We both grew vegetables as much as we could---even if it was just a container garden (by the way, these are great if you have a small yard!) and tried our best to learn as much as we could about our own health.
Then, about three years ago, we just got fed up: with the traffic, the water limitations (you can't really grow a large garden without water---although in Las Vegas it IS possible to grow enough of some things for a small family if you plan well), the heat...the inability to do what we wanted to do on our little postage-stamp-sized piece of property in Suburbia.
So, we took the plunge and moved out to a high desert mountain village about an hour outside of Las Vegas. There are no stores. No gas stations. Nothing--except for a few wonderful neighbors, the wildlife that come calling, and the gorgeous background of the mountain range in our backyard. We don't have a lot of land--only about 2/3 acre. We still drive in to the big city to work every day. BUT we get to come home to a little piece of Heaven on Earth after we do our jobs in the city. We can actually see the stars at night!
Here, we live in a very small community (about 100 people) and have a little under an acre of our own land. PLUS, we are OFF THE GRID!!! And we just love the freedom that affords us, besides the fact that our "footprint" on our great Mother Earth is lessened. So this is where we are now on this journey...learning more and more everyday with what we have to work with.
We still don't have that 20 acre spread, but you see, wherever you are starting...it's fine! Our dream is to one day have that much space---but for now, we are learning, growing, and still have that dream!
Here is a little view of the desert area in which we live: The climate is arid and cool, with very little rainfall. The altitude is fairly high with a late spring and often an early fall, which is not conducive to a long growing season. And natural vegetation is quite sparse---except for the herb (WEED lol) horehound, which grows everywhere.
We live in a pinion-juniper belt, with lots of chaparral below, and tall pines above us. The ground is hard, rocky and dry. Although it is a harsh place with extreme temperatures and winds, it is also one of the most beautiful places (in my opinion) in the whole world. So..... we have been and continue to work hard to produce a self-sufficient life as much as possible on this (beginning to be) productive, amazing, and utterly enjoyable and challenging little piece of land we call our small homestead.
But...the struggle is real! And I think it probably is for all of us like-minded people who want to do our own thing, being self-sufficient and not needing conveniences of city living.
My education has been varied--- I am both self-taught as well as having been through many university courses and programs. I have a Masters degree in education, a variety of certifications in herbalism and education, and am currently completing an advanced course in Herbalism which will allow me to work as a Clinical Herbalist. I am also planning to begin studies in aromatherapy to round everything out.
I read voraciously, and am constantly trying out new experiments on my poor husband! :-) He has benefitted at times, but has also been in some amusing (for me... yikes!) states as my guinea pig.
In this site, I'll be sharing all kinds of things I have learned on this continuing journey to becoming chemical free and more self-reliant! My stories tell a tale of this journey.
I REALLY hope you will join me and share your own ideas! There is such strength and growth when people share their ideas and thoughts! In fact, it's pretty boring without YOU!
I truly appreciate all of you sharing your tips, successes, things you've learned, and even your failures (I'll be sharing mine too!) Your comments, shares, and emails mean so much to me, and I look forward to learning along with you!
You will see affiliate links sprinkled around my website. These will always be items I love and use regularly and feel great about recommending. If you happen to click on a link and make any kind of purchase (not even necessarily the item you clicked on), I will receive a small commission. This will not cost you anything, and you will be helping me to continue my writing! Thank you for your support!
This is the most amazing pressure cooker! It's great for creating meals, and also....you guessed it! Canning and preserving.