I few days back I asked a question on this blog. What is your definition of homesteading? I wanted to know what people thought. My first stop was at the dictionary, Google version. lol.
Homestead- any dwelling with its land and buildings where a family makes its home.
Then I looked up Homesteading.....
Homesteading-an act or instance of establishing a homestead.
It seems straight forward. So why do I have a problem calling myself a homesteader? I almost laugh when I do! To me homesteading is living off the land. Working from sun up to sun down. Sweating and bleeding on the "homestead." Swinging large bales of hay up into the hayloft while I wear a flannel shirt tied at the waist, a straw hat and worn blue jeans. Don't forget the piece of hay that is sticking out from my mouth as I chew on the end. Homesteading, to me, is also being in the garden in a flowing sun dress with a cute little sun hat as I gather the tomatoes and peppers in my apron. Hanging clothes on the line because I don't like using the dryer and they come out all light and fluffy with not one spot on them. Homesteading, to me, is making homemade bread everyday to feed to the family with pot roast, potatoes, carrots, and apple pie. All of which came from me canning and preserving food from the garden in beautiful Mason jars. Don't forget milking the Jersey cow as it stands still and munches on it's hay. And then, going in and making cheese and butter from the fresh milk. Homesteading, to me, is going to gather the eggs and the chickens coming over to see if I have anything for them to eat. The coop is clean and sparkling. The chickens are of all different shapes and colors. The rooster sits on a wood fence post and crows for all to hear. Homesteading, to me, is butchering your own animals and giving thanks to them for giving their lives so that you can have substance for your body. It's part of their life cycle. Homesteading, to me, is white wooden fences, white washed barns with horses sticking their heads out of the top halves of doors and whinnying when I come near. Not because they are hungry, but because they want me to pet them. Homesteading, to me, is flowers on the front porch that I have groomed to look and smell wonderful that way when I set there in the afternoons, I can sip my sweet tea in bliss. This is what my idea of homesteading is.
Now for my REALITY.
I live in a half finished house. We actually live in the basement. We have no insulation in the top half so we are lucky to get the temperature in here above 60. To stay warm I wear t-shirts with sweat shirts over them. Sometimes more than one, okay, sometimes more than two days in a row. I get up late. There I said it. In the winter I just can not get out of bed. I see no reason to. I don't want to go outside in the dark. My animals are still sleeping. Why would I wake them up just so they can be fed? Let them sleep! I don't throw bales of straw up into hay lofts. Heck, we don't even have a hay loft. We have round bales of hay that Hubby moves with the tractor. He wont even let me drive the tractor with a bale of straw on it because he's afraid that I'll kill myself. LOL! I do have 8 square bales of straw in an out building that I use for animal bedding. I transport it with my four wheeler. It's easier that way. I do put the clothes on the line. But, it's mostly miss matched bedding, t-shirts with holes in them, and some horrible looking underwear. Yes, I do put it out there for the world to see. I'm not fond of putting my clothes out on the line because I usually end up with a bee stuck somewhere in an article of clothing. Or, it will look like birds were having target practice as they were flying over. It does keep the electric bill down some and it helps keep the house cooler though if I do put clothes on the line. So if it's not TOO windy, I'll do it. I do make homemade bread on occasion. It's just faster and easier to buy it. Maybe down the road when I do actually get a routine I'll make it more. And, maybe try some different recipes. I do garden. Not in a pretty sun dress. It's usually in some miss matched clothing that is covered in sweat and dirt. My garden, it usually ends up looking like a weed patch instead of those Home and Garden pictures. Some years I have been known to not have much productivity from the weed patch. Then I'll go to the Amish and buy some veggies so that I can can some. I would like to can different varieties of veggies, but Hubby doesn't like a variety of veggies. Tomatoes and potatoes are his staples. He doesn't like peppers. I'm trying to gradually get him to like more. It's not going very good though. Our potatoes get eaten by the Colorado beetle EVERY YEAR. So I usually go down to the local small grocery store and buy a bag of red potatoes for $8 for 50 lbs. That's right folks $8 for 50 lbs. of RED potatoes. I can't buy seed potatoes that cheap. I don't have a milk cow. They poop on you when they get milked. lol. I have a milk goat. She is a handful. I also milk outside because I don't have a place inside to milk. I have milked in the rain. It's not fun. Hannah, my goat, isn't to fond of it either. I have never made cheese, but I would like to learn to this summer. I have made butter, but it tasted like goat, so I threw it out. I do have chickens that give me eggs. They are different breeds and different colors. Some of that color is mud from their old coop. They do run to me when I go up to their coop. But, it's because they are psycho and they want to attack the person holding the feed. Ask Hubby, he has had a few scuffles with the rooster. You know, the rooster that is suppose to sit on the fence post an crow for everyone to hear. Remember me saying I sleep late? Well, enough said. We do butcher some of our own meat. Rabbits, chickens, a deer or two. But, I don't thank them for giving up their bodies for my nourishment. Heck no! Usually they have tried to bite me or peck me or eaten my crops in the garden, so it's more of a revenge thing. And yes, revenge does taste good. And the part about the white wooden fence? Well, we have barbed wire. Yes we do. It's cheaper and easier to put up. Plus if some drunk decided to take a joy ride down these back roads and would happen to go through our fence? Well, it's just easier to fix. The white wash barn fantasy is just that, a fantasy. We have a few out buildings that I use for the goats, rabbits and chickens. The barn that you see on my header is our hay barn. There is no room for stalls. There is a lean to on the side for the cows and horses to get in out of the rain. It's muddy right now though. I do get to pet my horse every once in a while, but it usually is because she wants a snack. I do give her snacks every so often. That's just so she will come to me if she is not too far out in the field. Oh, and sitting on the front porch surrounded by flowers and drinking sweet tea? Well, we don't even have a front porch, yet. Oh, and to top it all off...... I like to eat out. Oh the HORROR!!!!!! That's right folks. I do.
So you see, I've come to the conclusion that homesteading means a lot of different things to a lot of different people. Let's support one another in the "Community of Homesteading." What might me homesteading to one, may not be the definition of homesteading to another. So let's just embrace the simple definition of homesteading........ To make your house a home.
So until next time.
Small Farm Girl, homesteader.