The Government & Home Steading

Is the government still home steading?

When many of us hear the word "homesteading" we think of our history classes where we learn of the process by which the government gave away acres of land to those who were willing to work it. Well, we all know the governent doesn't "give away" land anymore, yet we are still hearing the word. Today, "homesteading" has taken on a somewhat different meaning.

The homesteading movement is about getting back to the simple life. Not the "easy" life, as there is nothing easy about it, but the way of life in which a person or family sustains themselves. To many it is living on a piece of land and providing their needs from that land.

Homesteaders that live off the land do not necessarily farm it to make money. They farm the land to sustain themselves and their families. They grow their own crops, raise their own livestock for meat and milk, etc. Many learn and practice crafts such as weaving and spinning. They also learn needed skills such as food preservation. They preserve the bounty from their gardens to keep through the long winter months and beyond.

Some people homestead to save money on everything from groceries to utilities. They long to return to the idea of a "real" existence. Homesteaders often rely on alternative sources of energy also. It is common to see woodstoves for cooking as well as heat, yet you may also find intricate systems along the landscape that harness water or wind power for electricity.

Homesteading can be done anywhere, not only on a piece of land. It can be done in the middle of a city also. It depends more on a frame of mind than a way of life. A homesteader is one who is looking for simplicity in life, from growing their own beansprouts on a windowsill to making their own braided rug as opposed to buying one from the store. It is a life that focuses on self-esteem and self-sufficiency.

The "home" is the central aspect of homesteading. It is quite common to hear of homesteaders using "home" birthing methods or "home" schooling their children. The home and family return to the function of being the most essential part of life. It is a lifestyle we all should incorporate to some degree.

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