By Lauren at Modern Self-Reliance
For me homesteading is about taking care of my family in the most healthy, environmentally friendly and efficient way possible. I see the trend for processed foods in plastic packaging shipped halfway around the country as a great risk. There is the risk of unknown chemicals and ingredients in those processed foods. There is the risk of contamination along the supply change. There is the major waste produced in ensuring perfect products, testing those products and getting them to market before soiling.
There is major waste in the packaging and transportation of those products. Mass-scale shipping also strengthens our dependence on oil (or coal for electricity) for energy to transport by truck or rail or plane. This complex system also becomes vulnerable to disruption; if a city relies on a food truck once a day and if that truck doesn't come your city will run out of food in a matter of days.
Homesteading is a way to bring those necessities back into the home. Soap is a great example. My sister and I used to love Bath and Body Works products, enjoying all the great new scents every year. But over time, these products started to give both of us bad rashes. I get occasional eczema, and these products would cause it to flare up, erupting in red scaly rash all over my legs. These soaps and lotions are filled with unknown chemicals, dyes, fragrances and obvious to us, we were allergic to them. In learning to make my own soap, I can choose the oils that work best with my skin. I can reduce the need for packaging and reduce the dyes and fragrances included.
Gardening is the same, I can reduce packaging and eliminate pesticides. While I don't own my land, I am learning through a plot at the community garden the joy and satisfaction of growing my own food. My produce tastes better and lasts longer. My indoor garden also compliments my learning and brings me joy.
Homesteading is also about being more self-sufficient. I totally recognize there are some items I don't plan to make myself. I still plan to buy razors, chocolate, coffee (for Tim), lye, coconut oil, pepper, cumin, sugar, etc. But I want to strive to make things at home first, and buy what I can't make. It's about fostering a sense of resourcefulness; can I make this myself? Can I make it cheaper, healthier, easier than the store? Sometimes the answer is I can make it healthier but not cheaper and that is okay with me. Sometimes it may be easier to just buy salt from the store in bulk with minimal packaging rather than boil it out of the ocean.
We are losing these homesteading skills, my grandparents didn't own a farm. I asked my grandmother once if she ever made her own soap; she said yes, once as a girl-scout over a fire pit. Once! My grandmother was not wealthy and even she only made soap (hot processed) once as a side project on a girl scout camping trip. The internet knows all things, but the knowledge of some things is leaking out of society. I aim to learn these skills and share my knowledge with others too.
I am passionate about homesteading because it is about returning to a healthier life. It's about taking pride in your work, taking responsibility for your effect on the environment and respecting your body. I don't expect it to be easy, but I expect it to be worth it. We only have this one Earth, and I love it.
Why are you passionate about homesteading or learning "old" skills? Thank for stopping by!
----- Why Am I So Passionate About Preparedness -----