Have you been hearing the phrase “modern homesteading”’popping up lately, but you aren’t sure what it means? I’m sharing what it truly means to be a modern homesteader in this post.
If you’ve been scrolling through Instagram lately, then you might have noticed that modern homesteading is having a major moment right now. Individuals and families are choosing to pursue a simpler, more intentional lifestyle through homesteading. Whether it’s starting a backyard farm, moving to the country, or simply choosing to purchase food from local farms, people want to know exactly where their food comes from. With an increased focus on health, hard work, and having a connection to their food, families are becoming more interested in homesteading.
But what is this whole “modern homesteading” movement, anyway? The answer is a bit more complicated than providing a simple definition, but here goes…
So, what exactly is “modern homesteading”? Well, perhaps we should start with a more general term – homesteading. According to Mother Earth News, “For years the word referred to a free government land program and the skills necessary for pioneer living. Today the word homesteading is more apt to refer to a lifestyle that promotes greater self sufficiency.“ Kinda vague, right? Clearly, the term “homesteading” doesn’t really have a concrete definition. Rather, one can definite their own homestead in a way that fits best for their family. Homesteading truly refers to a lifestyle choice rather than something that adheres to a specific set of principles.
Perhaps the easiest way to describe the modern homesteading movement is by focusing on the purpose and intention behind our own homestead. From our perspective, homesteading is living off the land to one’s fullest ability. I firmly believe that one can approach homesteading through countless different ways. It can be as simple as collecting eggs from backyard chickens or as complex as living off the grid and running a full fledged farm. Homesteading isn’t defined by absolutes; rather, it’s more of a spectrum term. It’s a lifestyle that focuses on one’s intention and purpose, whether that’s living a more sustainable lifestyle, feeling more connected to the ways in which food is grown and produced, or anywhere in between.
So what’s “modern homesteading” then? Well, modern homesteaders don’t really fit into a “one size fits all” category. Once again, modern homesteading is driven by a lifestyle choice to live more sustainably in any capacity that works for the individual or family, but it’s also more than that.
Modern homesteaders appreciate the traditional values associated with homesteading, but also attempt to integrate such traditions with today’s modern day approaches. Although I’m grateful for the societal conveniences we constantly have at our disposal – whether it’s having access to an abundance of grocery stores or simply having the ability to hop in the car and drive to such stores within minutes, I also recognize that these conveniences have the ability to take us further away from a connection to nature and our food. When we have the luxury of purchasing food from a box or bag, we often times forget where that food came from in the first place. How was the food produced? What type of treatment did the animals receive? What’s even in it? Does the item contain whole foods, or just a combination of unpronounceable ingredients? That’s a discussion for another day.
Don’t get me wrong – in no way am I speaking negatively about the modern conveniences within today’s society. Quite contrary – such conveniences give individuals the ability to make various choices for themselves and their families, and we all have the right to make such choices. But for us? Our choice is modern homesteading, while your choice might be something different. And that’s okay. Actually, that’s more than okay.
Becoming a Modern Homesteader
What does “modern homesteading” mean for our family? Well, it means a whole lot. Becoming a modern homesteader allows us to enjoy and express gratitude for modern day conveniences, like swinging by the grocery store on the way home from work, while also having full control
of how we grow and produce food on our homestead. Modern homesteading means making more intentional decisions – like purchasing meat from stores that source small farms when possible. Better yet, it means making plans and starting the process of raising our own meat.
Homesteading has limitations, especially when you live in a climate with periods of extreme cold temperatures. Despite the challenges, modern homesteading accepts the limitations while still setting goals to “do more”, whatever what may be. Right now, that means farm fresh eggs, raw goat dairy, and a large vegetable garden. (weather permitting!) In the future, hopefully that means continued expansion and producing as much of our own food as possible. …All while expressing gratitude for modern day conveniences.
So what is modern homesteading, exactly? Well, that’s a loaded question without a concrete answer. Becoming a modern homesteader means something different for each individual, but that’s what makes this homesteading community so amazing. Isn’t it?