ADSactly Homesteading - What is homesteading?
Most of us have seen the word homesteading trending on the internet but don’t know what it entails and willing to learn and understand it. Even Steemit is not left out as the homesteading tag is trending daily. People think of it as farming, although it is a form of agriculture it does not stop at farming as it crosses all aspect of life.
Homesteading originated from the homesteading acts of the United States in 1862 where adult people where awarded land grants to live on for five years before taking full control of the land.
Later, it was associated with Back to the land movement where people migrated from the urban cities to their rural areas to engage in farming activities.
Then what is homesteading?
Foremost, a formal definition from Wikipedia.
Homesteading is a lifestyle of self-sufficiency. It is characterized by subsistence agriculture, home preservation of food, and it may or may not also involve the small-scale production of textiles, clothing, and craftwork for household use or sale.
Then, my interpretations
- It’s an enjoyable yet time and commitment taking-path to self-sufficiency.
- It’s a lifestyle, i.e., the whole life of that particular person practicing it.
- It's a medium to getting the feeling of self-reliance.
- It is a mindset. It is first a mindset before an act or activity as it builds upon self-sufficiency.
- It is a crude or basic method of farming as it involves you using what you have to produce what you want.
- It is producing agricultural products, agricultural related and food products by you for yourself and in some cases for sales.
- From combining the definition of home and steadings, it is the act of using your dwelling place for farming by constructing a farmhouse and its associated buildings like barns, cattle sheds to achieve self-sufficiency.
Lastly and joining my interpretations together,
It is a life that revolves around anything that involves you using anything to achieve self-sufficiency.
The definition of homesteading differs amidst people but these words (Self-sufficiency and Home) are essential and core to defining homesteading.
Image Source: bioprepper.
People pressure Day-by-day, the food, power, consumer economy and employment sectors, despite them possessing limited answers and solutions. Self-sufficiency was and is being employed by people as an escape route out of this menace. It is the act of fending for you by yourself.
Yeah people like me who craved for freedom from this faulty system. So I needed an escape route and Homesteading, my love was there to help. This is what homesteading is built upon - SELF-SUFFICIENCY.
Here is what an ancient philosopher, Epicurus said about self-sufficiency
Self-sufficiency is the greatest of all wealth.
Homesteading is a form of subsistence agriculture which main aim is self-sufficiency. People go into homesteading due to several reasons like retirement, unemployment, and experiences with the failure of the food system and food ingredients but it all points to achieving self-sufficiency. Self-sufficiency is the basis of every homesteading activity.
Self-sufficiency is a mindset because it will be revealed in your decisions thus translating into you using what you have to produce what you what and showing forth creativity. It allows you to see things out of nothing. It will be your primary drive during the homesteading life because it should be the primary reason you venture into homesteading.
My desire not to use any of the products or support of the pressurized system yielded great decision and in turn higher production.
So I can smile like the woman below seeing my chickens growing in size and say I am self-sufficient.
There are this feeling and joy that comes with what you prepare or produced by yourself (picture above). There is also that sense of self-achievement in creating things by you. Self-sufficiency is the path to all these.
Home is one of the core values of homesteading in the form of closeness/availability to the farm and the love of home (a phrase I coined). Homesteading requires all your time and attention with no or little distraction because you will do most of the work. Entertaining diversion which will be hard to ignore if you farm is not your home will hinder the production and efficiency of your farm.
Your homestead doesn’t have to be a massive expanse of land, a part of your dwelling place can do, e.g., Balcony gardening. All that matter is your availability.
My chicken coop is constructed between the walls supporting the water storage tank in my home. Yeah. So your home is even too big for you not to start homesteading
The value of a home in homesteading is not limited to availability on the farm but also to the warmth and love of home. There is a usual feeling when we are at home compared to when we at our office or markets, the love and warmth are usually there.
There is always a high craving for me to return to mine homestead when I go visit a place. These do not indicate that I am taking things extreme, it just a desires for that comforting place and heaven of love. Oh the love of home, do you mind experiencing it. Moreover, it’s my lifestyle, why can’t I make it extreme.
The love of home comes from people or things around us. Thus your homestead should host family and friends as they will be a source of love and motivation when the path becomes rough and discouraging.
My siblings help me anytime I want to carry out tedious works or activity that requires extra hand which they always enjoy as we get our hands dirty.
Image Source: thepaleomama.
However, humans should not be the only source of the love of home, your plants and animals are not exempted. On sighting them, there should be a love feeling within you.
For instance, on hearing my turkey call, there is an atmosphere of love I experienced. I was filled with joy on getting home from a visit when my turkeys heard my voice, and all ran towards the gate like they were to welcome me. OOLULULU can you hear them.
It should be noted that homesteading is not all about comfort it requires some essential skills and principles with no exemption of hard work to be successful which will be discussed next time.
Meet my Chickens and Turkeys
My chickens are an example of the Nigeria Indigenous Breeds or popularly called the Local Breeds. They have a wide range of mixture of colour which makes them beautiful as you can see in the picture which is based on genetics. They are rugged because they adapt to the harsh weather conditions and adverse environmental condition of Nigeria. They are also less susceptible to disease compared to the broiler breeds. I had about 20 broiler chickens then but lost five to diseases despite taking care of them, but these locals hardly fall sick. Their meat is also lean (low fat) and tasty. My turkeys are also local breed thus most of the above features applied to them too.
I started with three; two hens and one cock which I got from an elderly friend who is also a homesteader. They are on free-range thus they eat all kind of things ranging from food wastes to grasses sometimes etc., although I also give them the industrially prepared layer mash to supplement their slow growth. I don’t have names for them, but I know each one of them due to me being a good homesteader. The two hens engage in intercourse within the house with the male and outside with other free range local chickens. One of the two hens has hatched twice now although she lost some chicks, she has produced five chickens so far with the latest two(chicks)being with her in a locked chicken coop. Although they could be highly prolific, they tend to lose them to the hawks and carelessness. The second hen has hatched once producing three chickens, hoping it will hatch again soon.
Just recently I got another cock from another homesteader friend making a total of 12 chickens in my homestead. He got a name- Young because he is always at the receiving end of the old male oppression; I settle their fight most times (i.e., herd dominance).
Just like African mothers discipline their elderly kids for beating there younger ones, I had to lock up the senior cock for a while.
My turkeys consist of two males and two females. They mate amidst themselves in the pen as they are not on free-range because they utterly destroyed all the plants in my home the last time they engage in free-range. They also consumed the layer mash of my Isa Brown Layers. Most importantly I love them because they inform me when anyone is at the gate through there lovely vocalizations.
My turkeys say oolululu