I ran across these two posts from Simply Quaint Homestead: 20 Ways to Be More Self-Sufficient and What is Homesteading Anyway? and they got me thinking. If homesteading is a lifestyle of self-sufficiency and I do a large number of items listed on 20 Ways to Be More Self-Sufficient...does that mean I homestead?!?
I always thought of people who were homesteaders were people who lived off on a bunch of land way out on farms and have whole herds of cows and goats and grow all their food and live off of it all year round. And there are plenty of homesteaders that meet that criteria, but seeing Simply Quaint's blog I realize that I too am homesteading, I'm just at the beginning of my journey.
Here are some of things from that list of self-sufficient items that we do:
- We have a garden! We are really enjoying our first garden. It has been fun to see what grows and how some things flourish and take over while others hardly budge. So far the amount of food we've harvested is more along the lines of a hearty meal rather than a year's worth of food,but we are learning more and the soil is improving.
- We also have an herb garden. Well it technically is two large pots on our front porch, but it is filled with basil, dill and oregano (the parsley didn't make it).
- We have a dehydrator, and even used it to make some dried basil. I never realized how much basil it takes to fit in a spice jar! I've heard that dehydrating tomatoes is delicious so I want to try that when we get some more of them.
- We have stuff to can, but haven't done it yet. My Mother-in-law cans, so Hubby is pretty well versed in it, but I have not canned before. Our garden isn't producing enough food to can yet, and it seems a little weird to buy food from people to can, but hopefully our garden will give us an abundance of food where we will have to start canning.
- We have chickens. They have been very easy pets to have. I can't wait until they start laying eggs. I'm thinking it will be in the next couple of weeks!
- We also tend to be pretty frugal and manage our debt (only mortgages) well. Personal finance is another hobby of mine.
- We have a compost. While it's not that great right now, I'd love to start vermicomposting.
- We generally cook from scratch. In all honesty Hubby is the one who cooks the most. He enjoys it and is good at it. Where I am like, "Dinner again?! Didn't we just have it last night?"
- I have made my own butter, and considered only buying milk/cream and ditching all store bought butter and yogurt. However I lived in Hawaii at the time and the cost-benefit just wasn't there. I haven't really looked into it now that we are back in Florida so I may.
- Don't use a dryer. This is one I was better about it Hawaii. The washer and dryer were outside so it was so easy to put them on the line. Besides it also was less humid.
- I also haven't really made my own cleaning products yet, but I think that is only a matter of time. In the past I have made my own laundry detergent and have tried no-poo shampoos (baking soda and apple cider vinegar). Right now, however, I am liking using a shampoo bar* and have some conventional laundry detergent to finish up.
So while I don't currently do all 20 acts, I have, or will, or at least want to. I guess we are on our way to becoming self-sufficient and homesteaders. So here it is: SkipTheBag is a homesteader. :)