Modern Homesteading and More
For people who are vaguely or only mildly familiar with the concept of homesteading, it can be difficult to understand exactly what it is, why some people find it appealing, or how it could possibly fit into a modern lifestyle. In the most general sense, homesteading is living in a way that is natural and self-reliant. This traditionally involves people living off of the land, which includes growing or raising their own food. People who homestead try not to create non-degradable waste and will often compost, repurpose, or reuse items when possible. Additionally, they also use basic skills such as sewing and woodworking. Often, homesteaders also live in a rural environment, but this is not a rule of modern homesteading.
In modern homesteading, people live a sustainable lifestyle but in an urban area versus a rural one. Modern homesteaders will typically grow fresh vegetables or fruits by planting gardens and fruit trees in their backyards or in garden boxes on their apartment balconies or patios. Other forms of food can be difficult, particularly for people who live in apartments or condos. Raising chickens in one's backyard for fresh eggs is an increasing occurrence for people who own a house, but it is not an option for people who live in apartments. In general, people who plan to raise chickens in their backyard should verify that it is legal to do so. When raising chickens, homeowners will need to invest in the materials and the time to build a coop to both house their chickens and to protect them from predators. Additionally, one will need to buy bedding and feed for the birds. Another option for buying food for their chickens is to learn how to make the feed themselves. Prior to purchasing chickens, it is also important to establish their purpose, as this will affect the type needed. Some chickens, for example, are predominately raised for their meat, while others are better for eggs. Because modern homesteaders are most likely to raise them for their eggs, one should consider breeds such as the Rhode Island Red, Golden Campine, or White Bantam Brama.
Sewing is another useful skill for any homesteader to have. People who do not know how to sew can take classes, teach themselves using online videos, or ask a friend or family member who knows how to sew to teach them. When a person learns how to sew, they are able to mend and make their current clothing last longer, which is particularly useful in families with growing and active children. They can even learn to sew new outfits for the entire family or things for around the house, such as draperies. By sewing their own goods, people are able to save money, as they can shop less or not at all for these items. Other skills that are useful in modern homesteading include preserving food that one has grown in their garden and preserving seeds for future use. Modern homesteaders are also eco-friendly and will also make their own soap, shampoo, and cleaning products such as laundry detergent from natural ingredients. Improvements around the house can also minimize or reduce one's waste of water or use of energy.
Gardening, Composting, and Home Improvement