Modern Homesteading

Modern homesteading is a lifestyle and a set of practices that combine traditional principles of self-sufficiency with contemporary technologies and sustainable living practices. While the term “homesteading” historically referred to the process of establishing a home on land obtained through the Homestead Acts, today’s modern homesteading is often characterized by individuals or families pursuing a more self-sufficient and sustainable lifestyle, whether in rural, suburban, or urban settings.

Anyone can be a modern homesteader by becoming self-sufficient, being aware of the impact you have on the Earth, and using the land you have to the fullest.

Practicing Modern Homesteading

Growing food or raising livestock are great ways to become self-sufficient. However, if you live on less than an acre, it’s not always easy to raise poultry or livestock. – Quail are ideal for small properties. They don’t need a large area to roam and their enclosures don’t take up a large footprint.

Having quail will provide you with fresh eggs and fresh meat! As a bonus, raising poultry keeps you in control of what they eat, so the eggs and meat will be so much healthier than what you can get at the store.

Quail - modern homesteading

Gardening is another great way to become self-sufficient. Gardening can be done in apartments as well as you can grow anything in pots or planters.

Also Read: Sustainable Water Filtration

Hunting and fishing are also ways to become self-sufficient.

Hunting I know is not for everyone. I never thought I would become a hunter! If you’re curious about hunting or want to see why I became a hunter read my post about Why I Hunt.

Just because I hunt and grow my produce doesn’t mean that I don’t go grocery shopping. – We grocery shop once a month. We buy the essentials that we can’t / don’t grow, hunt, or raise in bulk. This has drastically helped our monthly expenses and gives us more free time to do things we enjoy.

Making meals at home rather than going out to eat is another form of self-sufficiency. It’s also so much healthier and using the food you grew or raised is so rewarding. – Don’t feel bad on those days when you order take-out. I do this on occasion as well. Someday you just need to…

DIY and selling homemade goods

When you start becoming more self-sufficient, DIY skills become the new normal. You’ll start finding creative ways to fix and use up items you already have, rather than buying new ones. It’s rewarding to make something with your hands.

Make your land work for you and sell what you’ve made. Fruits, veggies, eggs, honey, plants, trees, and handmade items can all be sold at farmers’ markets, on your property, or online. This is a great way to make a little extra income.

Preserving food, learning to sew, making laundry detergent and cleaners, using solar panels, using a wood stove to heat your house, and doing projects around the house yourself instead of having it done are all ways we become self-sufficient.

Why you should consider Modern Homesteading

Knowing where your food comes from is a huge advantage! Teaching your children where their food comes from is one of the best life lessons you could teach.

Using our hands is becoming a lost art. This modern age has spoiled us with so many conveniences, it’s nice to tune out and make something ourselves.

Working outside is a great stress reliever and you feel a great sense of accomplishment when you’ve been working on your projects.

Common Myths about Homesteading

“If you’re a homesteader, you don’t use electricity”

Some who homestead live off the grid, but not all do. There are no set rules for homesteading. It’s based on living with nature in mind. It’s really difficult in modern days to live without electricity. That’s why we practice Modern Homesteading. It’s the homestead mentality for the modern age.

“It’s all work and no play”

While it’s true that homesteading can be a lot of hard work, don’t burn yourself out. Each level of homesteading will bring its own set of challenges. Make sure to take time to “play” and do what you enjoy.

“You have to have grown up on a farm or have the farming experience to homestead”

This is a common myth. I didn’t grow up on or work on a farm, and neither did my husband. You don’t need farm experience to homestead, you just need a willingness to learn and a desire to take control of your life.

“You have to be completely self-sufficient”

In this modern age, it’s difficult to be completely self-sufficient. The good news is that it’s not a requirement for modern homesteading. I have running water, use electricity, have two cars that run on gasoline and we go to the grocery store. we are not completely self-sufficient and that’s okay. Don’t feel bad if you can’t keep poultry or livestock, not all homesteaders can.

“Homesteaders are homebodies and don’t interact with the outside world”

Yes, I enjoy being home away from the world, but I still go shopping. I still go out to eat. I enjoy visiting museums, watching movies, and seeing plays and symphonies. Everyone is different, so there probably are homesteading hermits, but we’re not all like that.

“You have to live in the country to be a homesteader”

This is not true. Sure, it makes it a little easier but you can homestead in urban areas and suburban areas as well.

You don’t need to do it perfectly, but homesteading is very rewarding and gives you a deep sense of satisfaction along with drawing you closer to nature.

Whitney Stokes

Whitney is a naturalist who started in 2018 to encourage natural and sustainable living.

This Post Has 15 Comments

  1. Lisa Lombardo

    I grew up on a farm and wanted to return to that lifestyle for most of my life. We have a small homestead and I love it! Wonderful post! I saw this on the Simple Homestead Hop and would love to have you share your posts on Farm Fresh Tuesdays too! Hope to see you there!

  2. Megan

    I love the idea of homesteading. It’s not in the cards for us at the moment but we try and implement as much as we can!

    1. Whitney

      Glad you found this helpful!

  3. Christy

    Your definition and examples of modern day homesteading seem totally doable! We have a small farm with cattle and a garden. I never thought of that as homesteading, but in the modern world, I think it counts. Thank you for sharing!

    1. Whitney

      It definitely counts!

  4. Connie

    Great post! Very balanced view of homesteading. I live in town, but I enjoy growing fresh fruit and veggies, hanging out my laundry and taking the time to create. I’d love to be able to have animals and do more, but as the saying goes…Bloom where you are planted.

  5. Dawn

    I love your attitude towards homesteading, that not everyone has to be completely off the grid or self-sufficient to be a homesteader. Anything we do to be more self-sufficient and to be better stewards of the earth is valuable, no matter how much or how little we do! I LOVE my vegetable garden (and it gets bigger every year! LOL). I would also love to have chickens and bees, but hubby’s not on board with that yet, so I’ll just have to be patient for now. I’ll keep working on him though.

    1. Whitney

      Thank you for this comment! Maybe your husband would be on board with a bee house? They are great for the native bees and require little work from you. Just set them up in March and put them in the barn or garage during the winter months. They help grow the native bee population. Just a thought 🙂

  6. Lisa

    Love your ideas and encouragement! I miss having chickens. Your post made me want to raise them again. Thanks for the post.

  7. Maria

    I love the idea of raising chickens or having a bee hive. Unfortunately the area I live in won’t allow that but maybe some day!

  8. Nikole

    I grew up where homesteading is the norm. I have always been excited to buy my own land & house to homestead with a partner on. The fresh life is the good life.

  9. Nikole

    I grew up around an area where probidingfor your own family is normal-we chopped down our own wood for our wood stove to keep warm, grew our veggies in a garden, had fresh farm eggs and so on. I have been impatiently waiting to get a better job, to buy a house with land to homestead on. I love the fresh living life!

  10. Suzanne

    This was very interesting! I think I would have to start with baby steps like a small garden. It does sound appealing to do less shopping and more of the things I would rather do though.

    1. Whitney

      A garden is a great place to start!

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