What is Homesteading?

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If you have a home, you can homestead. That’s my philosophy anyway. If you’re a city girl (or guy) like me, homesteading in apartment living was a lifestyle that I thought was out of reach–so I never even tried. What a shame! It’s time to redefine what it means to homestead, particularly for all you city dwellers in tight spaces and small places!

Whether you live in an apartment, farm, mansion, boat, igloo, condo, house, pod, or tree house–if you have a home, you can homestead.

City Homesteading terrarium
City Homesteading making a terrarium

There are many different lifestyle movements designed to promote self-sustainability and simplicity including: tiny living, zero waste, minimalism, and of course homesteading. While each of these lifestyle adaptations share common threads such as promoting eco-friendly habits, healthier living, and a more purposeful lifestyle, each movement targets a unique objective. Unlike minimalism, tiny living and zero waste, homesteading is somewhat nebulous in how it’s defined and adopted by practitioners. So what exactly is it?

City Homesteading pot with herbs in an apartment
City Homesteading pot with herbs in cozy modern living room

Homesteading is a mindset

Most people associate homesteading with farming. Indeed, farming can be a major part of a homesteading lifestyle but it doesn’t have to be. I, for example, have zero desire to farm, raise cattle, or clean up farm animal poo. My no poo rule doesn’t mean I can’t homestead. If you shift your mindset toward implementing the principles of homesteading, you can still live the lifestyle…in your own way.

Homesteading is different for everyone

City homesteading picture of Central Park
City Homesteading

I always ask people, “what does homesteading look like to you, in terms of your current lifestyle”? Very few people say I’m going to sell it all and become a hermit in the country. Instead I hear bits and pieces of lifestyle adjustments and habit changes such as:

  • Growing my own veggies and herbs
  • Making my own toiletries
  • Reusing grey water for plant irrigation
  • Knitting blankets or making quilts
  • Preparing my own food
  • Raising chickens
  • Composting
City homesteading sewing fabric on a sewing machine
City Homesteading sewing

Each and every one of these lifestyle adjustments align with the principles of homesteading: sustainability and self-reliance. As a homesteader, your ultimate objective is to rely less on society, and more on your ingenuity, grit, and drive to build your life on your own terms. That’s why I support the theory that homesteading is different for everyone. My definition of self-reliance can be completely different from yours. So, how do you determine what homesteading means to you? Good question!

The challenge is to take a good, hard look at your current lifestyle, daily habits, consumables, and values to determine how and where homesteading fits.

If you follow my blog, over time we’ll explore how homesteading might fit into your lifestyle. In fact, we can enhance each other’s lifestyle by sharing tips and life hacks we discover on our journeys. In the meantime, take a few minutes to jot down what homesteading means to you and begin to identify the small life changes you can make to live a more purposeful life.

Until next time, city homesteaders…

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