Sunday, January 19, 2014

What does "Homesteading" mean to you?

This is a post that I have been wanting to do for sometime now. I have had some people tell me that I can not possibly homestead where I am. I beg to differ. So, what does homesteading mean to you?

The definition of a homestead is:

  1. a house, especially a farmhouse, with adjoining buildings and land.
  2. Law Property designated by a household as the householder's home and protected by law from forced sale to meet debts
  3. Land claimed by a settler or squatter, especially under the Homestead Act
  4. The place where one's home is 
I have a home and I do have a little land and one outbuilding (a storage shed). So, according to the first one, I have a homestead.

I live in a mobile home (a home is a home regardless of what it looks like and we own it outright, so no mortgage). I do live in a small mobile home park, but because it is small, each home here has a decent sized yard. Our park is just two streets. The side that I live on has nothing but a stream and a tree line behind it. Our park owner said that our lot is the biggest one in the park. He also doesn't care what we do as long as it is kept neat. 

This is the stream behind our house. This was taken in late spring before the stream was overrun with wildflowers and weeds. You can see a tree that fell in the upper left hand corner. That is the "bridge" that Matt uses to get to his fort.

This was part of the garden last year. You can see the tree line behind it at the edge of our yard. Matt has cleared out a little area in the "forest" to make a fort.

We are not allowed to have outdoor animals, so that limits us. We can not have the chickens or goats that I want. So no eggs and milk to make cheese. The hubby wants to get bee's but I am not to keen on that idea. I would love the honey, but not the risk of getting stung. A neighbor not that far from us (not in the park) has a few hives, so we saw lots of his bee's in our yard last year, just not as much as the year before.

Most of the blogs that I read here have what some people consider true homesteads. They have acres of land, animals, large garden, etc. This is why I think most people consider what I am doing is not homesteading, hence the name of my blog. 

So how do I define homesteading? To me, it is a way of life. I grow my own veggies and preserve them in a few ways (canning, dehydrating, freezing). I am frugal in the way I shop (I coupon, price match, use thrift stores, meal plan). I am also eco friendly (I use cloth bags when I shop, use a clothes line in the summer, use cloth pads for my period, rags and towels instead of paper towels, we recycle and compost). I also cook from scratch. Not many prepackaged things are found in my house. I think the only things that I have are some boxes of cake that I got cheap.

To me, this is homesteading in the 21st century. A life style of self sufficiency. Granted I will not be totally self sufficient, but I do what I can to lower our footprints. 


  1. Hi, Heather. You sound like a 21st Century homesteader to me. Not everyone can do everything, but every little bit you can do to be as self-sufficient as possible is a step in the right direction. I live in a manufactured home which is located in a manufactured home community. We are quite restricted on what we can and can't do with our yard, but I am able to do some container gardening. If what you are doing is working for your family, keep doing what you are doing. : )

    1. We started gardening with containers years ago. We managed to grow quite a bit of veggies this way. Once we moved to where we are now, we were able to have the big garden we wanted.

  2. Hi Heather! I LOVE THIS POST! I recently wrote something very similar... there are a lot of people out there like you and I... we don't own farms, but we are still homesteaders! I often feel left out because I don't have acreage or livestock. But I still consider myself a homesteader. That's the beauty of the definition of the word itself. So lovely to meet you! I found you via the Homestead Barn Hop! :)

    Have a lovely night!

    1. Glad I'm not the only one! I too feel left out. I would love to have acreage, a mini farm, but am happy with what we have.

  3. Homesteading is definitely a way of life, and bravo for you doing what you can where you are now. Someday when you are able to move to your own farm you'll be glad you learned some skills like gardening beforehand. Good post!

  4. Stopping by to visit from the Farmgirl Friday Blog Hop. This is a true and appropriate post. I love your garden, Heather!

  5. Thank you for sharing your homestead with us at the HomeAcre Hop! Your garden is beautiful! We'd love to have you back again tomorrow!


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