When some people think of homesteading, "Little house on the Prairie" comes to mind. Big fields, lots of animals, no running water..... But that is not all that it is. Everyone has a different way of homesteading.
Eric and I have been trying to change to being more self sufficient and green. The past few years we really haven't done too much to get to that point. I always made the excuse of not having time to can, not having time to bake bread, not having time to do much of anything besides business stuff. Which is farm related but 90% of the stuff we were producing was being sold.
This year however, things have changed. And funny as it is, the real drive finally came when the article about Mcdonald's "Pink sludge" came out. Eric Sr just could not handle it. He started researching more and we are now trying to cut out any products that might contain any GMO's and any processed foods.
Our long term goals are to get some solar or wind energy going on up here. I hope to can enough fruits and vegetables during the season to not have to buy them from the store during the winter. We have rabbits and chickens that we raise, we plan on raising some sheep and pigs this year as well as turkeys and ducks. So our meat will be covered.
I have been reading lots of books getting ideas, inspiration and good advice. There are 2 books in particular that I think everyone who is thinking of trying to change in some form to a greener lifestyle should read.
The very first one is....""Your Custom Homesteading" By Jill Winger. This book to me was very inspirational. She states that,
"Modern homesteading does NOT have to be an all or nothing lifestyle. Even if you can implement one or two aspects of this way of life into your current situation, that is progress, and you should be proud of it."
This was inspirational to me. This made me think that no matter what people thought of the way we were living, what we are trying to accomplish, be proud of what we have accomplished and not to let their perception stop us from creating a healthier, sustainable life for my children and family.
In the book she talks about how no matter where you live (apartment, farm, 1 acre property) you can still change and manage ways to become self sufficient. She talks about growing your own stuff in pots, doing sprouts, or just buying from your local farmer's market. No matter the way it is all about living healthier and greener.
She includes a 21 step process that she took a long the way to get her to a more self sufficient lifestyle. She includes lessons she learned, advice she had been given and lots of inspiration.
I highly recommend if you are trying to change in any way even if it is just to learn how to can or to plant your own garden to have fresh vegetables during the growing season to save some money.
The other book I read was "Homesteading Journey," by Kathleen Lupole. Kathleen lives in Oxford, NY. Close to home which for some reason makes it more real I guess. Knowing that someone in our area can do this then we can.
There is also a paragraph in her book that was inspirational to me as well.
"It's so much different than the days of the pioneers. Look at all the conveniences we have, even as homesteaders. For me I do not think of it as we are living in the past, or old fashioned, as people will imply, when they learn of our lifestyle. My husband is always quick to correct them, that we are the ones living in the future. For we have combined the best of both worlds. The energy system use is modern tech, so is the computers, the truck the chainsaw, etc. But we also have the manual tools."
Kathleen lives in an off the grid house. She has no refrigeration and gets her water from a hand dug well. She has a wood cook stove as well as a gas stove. They have solar energy to power all of their electronics. Which is not much at all. No TV. But a loving relationship and the love of the way they are living.
No I don't know that I want to do all those things. I would love a wood cook stove though. Eric jokes that he wants us to be Amish, but I don't think I want to go as far as having a horse and buggy. I do love my car. But something I took from both books is we are all different in our own ways and it is our dreams and our way of life to make it what we want. Whether that be going full fledged "Off the grid," or just to help cut costs and save money. It all is based in the same virtues of living off the land in a round about way and saving money.
I do want to state that neither one of these authors paid me to write this article. I have had writers block and have been reading to get inspiration. And after reading these 2 books I knew I had to write about them. They bring everything back to buying local, supporting community and helping to sustain OUR economy.