|Eggs from our hens|
When I started this journey as the “Born Again” Farm Girl, it started simply with a pair of chicks because my son wanted some. But what it awoke inside of me were memories from my youth growing up raising critters. I was “Born Again” to the “farm” way of life. But what I have quickly learned about myself is that it goes much deeper then a few hens….. It awoke a desire to do more ourselves for our family…. To learn the “old ways” of doing things.
I say to people “It’s not the amount of land you live on, but what you do on that land that makes you a homesteader.” And some people look at me like I am nuts….. How can you homestead on ¼ of an acre in a small town!?!? Homesteading is a large plot of land somewhere. Others view homestead as a go it alone lifestyle where you do everything yourself. Whatever your view of homesteading is…. This is what it means to me…..
|Round zucchini from our garden|
Homesteading is a lifestyle, that can be practiced anywhere. It is about growing food no matter if you do it on a balcony. We don’t raise all our own food, but we are getting better at gardening and this means less GMOs in my children’s food. We didn’t do great at canning last year (well other then my jams!) but we learned and can plan and do better this year. We can’t raise hogs in the village limits but our friend can where he lives, so we know how our meat was raised, ethically, and that the hog had a good life in the sun before it went to butcher. We even learned how to preserve that meat OURSELVES thus eliminating chemicals and other things you really don’t want in your food.
|Boiling sap to may syrup|
We have learned how to cook more from scratch. We have tapped our maple trees to make our own syrup. We have learned how to repair and reuse things. We think long term before we act. Because you see, to me, homesteading is doing more for yourself no matter where you are. It doesn’t need to include livestock. It is about TRYING to do more for yourself and a better way of life. And I know that might upset someone who says we are just “playing.” But I don’t care what anyone else says as I look at my mason jars of food, collect my eggs everyday, peek in the fridge at the bacon we made, or the country ham hanging in my kitchen curing. Heck, my Hubby butchered a turkey for Thanksgiving this year! So someone needs to tell that turkey we were just “playing.” LOL
|Curing a ham|
I know not everyone can do as much as we can. Maybe you can’t raise your own meat, but you can partner with local farmers. Maybe you stink at growing a garden or can’t fit more then tomatoes on your balcony, then visit a farmers market. It is all about TRYING new things. And not all of them will fit in your life…. We grew kale and made kale chips and I HATED them! LOL But I tried! Homesteading is about trying!
And I think what is even more satisfy then doing or living this “lifestyle” is that my children get to grow up learning these “lost” arts. Our oldest loves making maple syrup every year. He enjoys reading seed catalogs and planning for spring. He is learning, hands on, everyday….. important life lessons you just don’t get in a classroom.
So this year, why not try a little homesteading in your life. Don’t be scared, just try and who knows, you might impress yourself. And don’t worry, I’ll be here to “play” with you, share ideas and we will try new things together!