I think you would get as many definitions of homesteading as people who were asked. I’ve participated in several forum conversations about the definition of homesteading and it always ends the same – it depends on who you ask. Originally, homesteading was the act of claiming public land and farming it. After a certain period of time, the person occupying that land could legally become the owner of it. This is no longer the case in the United States. As a result, I don’t think there really are any “official” homesteaders left in this country – at least not in the sense of claiming public land for farming. But homesteading does exists in the spirit, heart, and daily lives of many in this country.
If a single definition of homesteading can not be agreed upon, I think everyone would agree, at the very least, that homesteading involves claiming your small section of this earth and using it to provide a level of self-sufficiency. Whether that small section is an apartment, a home in town, or acreage in a rural area. Self-sufficiency is key to homesteading. It’s the comfort of knowing that no matter what happens in this world, a person can take care of and provide for her/him self.
I don’t mean to go all “Websters” on you. I’ve gotten several emails lately from people wanting to know how they can get started in homesteading. That’s a really tough question – it very much depends on a person’s individual situation and circumstances. So I thought I’d just throw out there that I believe anyone can homestead, anywhere. Learn to be as self-sufficient as possible. Spend some time considering those things you can not live without, and then figure out how you can provide them for yourself. I don’t mean to over simplify this. This is simply the best advice I can give.
And speaking of homesteading…. what homestead is complete without a dog or two to protect it? Just look at this vicious puppy:
And how about this one?
They are even well trained, and wait by the gate to go on their daily walk through the woods
And when mommy lags behind, this ferocious pup will wait until she catches up
And then he’ll zip across the log and blaze a trail
But everyone deserves a break now and then – even if it involves taking a moment to just look too darn pretty
But then it’s back to business and making sure daddy knows he’s being well protected
Ahhhhh. Homesteading. It helps not to take yourself too seriously.