Chapter 9.5 Homesteading

A homestead can mean different things to different people. But in a broad sense, homesteading is about living a self-sufficient lifestyle, living off the land. Homesteaders practice subsistence agriculture and often preserve their own food that they harvest to last them through the winter. They may even produce their own clothing, textiles and other crafts, either to use within their own home or to sell to generate a little bit of extra income.

Homesteaders tend to live a more independent life, and may only venture into town once a week or less for supplies or to see friends.This is particularly true for homesteaders who choose not to have a job and get all the income needed to pay for taxes and other expenses from work done on their own land.

  • Tax exemptions
  • Security
  • Pride
  • Less urban stress
  • Environmental consciousness, especially if you are looking into permaculture homesteading
  • Physical health
  • Self confidence
  • Family bonding
  • Potential to live “off-grid”
  • High up-front costs
  • Potential for financial losses
  • Isolation and loneliness
  • Limited access to public services
  • Steep learning curve

9.5.3 What might I do as a homesteader?

Common homesteading practices include: 

  • Sustainable energy generation (e.g. solar, wind, or geothermal power)
  • Keeping livestock (e.g. chickens, goats, pigs, cows, bees, etc.)
  • Preserving and canning
  • Fishing and hunting
  • Maintaining tractors and other equipment
  • Chopping firewood and forestry
  • Producing dairy products like cheese and butter
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