Modern Homesteading: It’s not just for pioneers
Posted February 17, 2019 in Special Features
The concept of homesteading has changed quite a bit since the bygone era of Ma and Pa Ingalls and their house on the prairie. These days homesteading is not so much a necessity as it is a lifestyle choice. There are many reasons the idea of homesteading may be appealing. For some people, it’s a desire for self-sufficiency by growing your own food and raising animals. For others it’s about a simpler lifestyle, or leaving a smaller environmental footprint.
The biggest stumbling block people face in their dream of a homesteader’s life is not having any (or much of any) land. But you don’t have to own acreage to get a taste of the homesteading life.
Farm fresh fruit and vegetables are so delicious you may like the idea of growing your own. Before buying acreage and planting real crops, perhaps start with a windowsill herb garden or raised garden bed. All you need is a sunny spot to grow flavorful herbs indoors and many varieties of vegetables will grow in even the smallest patch of yard.
If you don’t have the space for large farm animals, even city dwellers can keep chickens. Urban chicken farming has become “a thing” in recent years. Chickens are the easiest livestock to raise and there’s nothing like farm fresh eggs. First make sure your city laws allow you to keep chickens, then get started on your research. There’s plenty of information online and in libraries to get you started.
If unplugging is your goal, but going completely off the grid isn’t a practical option for you, there are ways to reduce your home’s energy use. Energy efficient appliances, LED lighting, and weatherization are the easiest ways to do this. Solar power is another option. There are many advancements in PV (photovoltaic) technologies that will allow you to harness solar energy to power your home or at least offset some of your electricity use. The U.S. Department of Energy (www.energy.gov) has information on how to assess your home’s energy use and determine which solar option would be best for you.
If buying land is a priority for your homestead lifestyle, it doesn’t have to be 40 acres. You can do quite a bit with small acreage property, and just a couple acres will suffice.
To get a glimpse of acreage properties with homesteading potential see inside today’s Columbian Homes section or go online to www.columbianhomes.com.
– Krista Cunningham
Columbian Advertising & Marketing Guru
Hobby Farmer & Country Girl