What is a Homesteader?

The first post I wrote for this blog was “Do what you can with what you have (where you are)“. That is my favorite quote and I live by it on a daily basis. The post also brought me my first comment “What is a homesteader?”.

I have seen many discussions on what the difference is between a farmer, a gardener, and a homesteader. But it really comes down to this, What are your goals for your property, home and life?

I believe that a farmer produces quantities of fruits and vegetables for the purpose of selling. A gardener produces fruits and vegetables to eat and give to friends and family (I love gardeners!). A homesteader does everything possible to live a more self-sufficient life. That includes gardening, caring for livestock, making their own medicines, baking their own bread, spinning yarn from the wool they sheared from their own sheep, building it, cooking it, canning it, growing it, culling it, processing it, fermenting it …………….I think you get the picture.

Most people aren’t lucky enough to be born into a completely self-sufficient homestead. It takes time to build it up. It is a never-ending process. There is always something else that can be done. There is always room for improvement.  Whats important is that every day, you make the most of what you have.

This is our first summer on our homestead. I had so many plans that I wanted to accomplish (summers not over yet!). But things happen. Life happens. Priorities shift. I wanted a huge fantastic garden this summer. Oh, I was gonna can all those beautiful tomatoes and peppers. My pantry would be filled with rows of beautiful glass jars, filled with delicious food. Oh, and I would have to build that pantry to keep it all in too. Well, the garden has been a failure so far. Improper placement of the beds meant not enough sun for the plants. The soil isn’t supporting their growth. Over all just a big FAIL!

But I’m ok with it! The plan changed. Next year will be the big harvest. This year I will focus on our actual home. There is still a lot to do. Lord knows we all have those projects sitting on the back burner. I want to get as much done as possible this year. Because next year I will be too busy gardening and canning. Do not interrupt me!

The point of my mini-rant is this; you always have to make the most of your situation when you are a homesteader. The goal is to be as self-sufficient as possible. A living factory of necessities and natural bounty. You don’t have to have it all at once because the most important aspect of being a homesteader is your DESIRE to do better.




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