At the very foundation of Rootsy is simple living and homesteading. We interviewed eight homesteaders around the United States who are striving for a simple life for various reasons. Maybe you’re thinking about homesteading too. Read each of their stories and learn why we homestead.
Why We Homestead
Homesteading is a lifestyle of self-sufficiency. It is characterized by subsistence agriculture, home preservation of food, and may also involve the small-scale production of textiles, clothing, and craftwork for household use or sale. Over the years it has been pursued in different ways, and in days past it was usually thought of an as a rural venture. Today, the modern homesteader lives in any setting – rural, suburban and even urban.
We’ve asked eight homesteaders living in various places around the United States about their passion for homesteading. We asked them to tell us: why we homestead
For me, homesteading is about self-empowerment, connecting with the natural world, and living a creative life that is truly aligned with my values. Growing my family’s food organically, generating solar electricity, preserving food with traditional methods, caring for livestock, knitting woolens, homeschooling and creating home-based businesses are all part of my homesteading path. It’s not always easy. I’ve made many, many mistakes along the way, but the feeling of empowerment that comes from sitting down to a meal that I’ve grown entirely on my property, or involving my children in the daily work of the homestead makes it all worth it. My desire is to share the skills, information, and resources I’ve learned over 17+ years of homesteading with Rootsy members so they too may feel empowered to create the life that they most passionately want to live. ~Teri of Homestead Honey
For me, simple living boils down to just living intentionally as much as possible. There are things life requires. I have to pay property taxes for example, but I work intentionally to pay that rather than getting stuck in something that steals my soul. A simple life allows me to focus on the people and priorities I’ve deemed most important. It allows me to truly be aware of how I’m spending time, money, and personal energy. I fall short, plenty of times, but this simple life means I focus on relationships and nature rather than stuff that needs care and maintenance (and more money). It’s not glamorous or even easy most of the time but it is so very worth it at the end of each and every day. ~Kathie of Homespun Seasonal Living
I started homesteading out of necessity. We needed to save money and learning homesteading skills did just that. Now I choose to live simply because it makes me feel good. There is pride in cooking from scratch and growing my own food. There is excitement (sometimes good and sometimes bad) owning livestock. Every day brings a challenge and every day brings a sense of accomplishment. This is why we homestead, and I can’t imagine living life any other way. ~Jess of The 104 Homestead
At any given point, Alaska has enough food for only two days. What organic and natural foods that are shipping up are extremely expensive and it’s rare that fruit is ripe. The hubby and I hated the idea of being so reliant on someone else. With so much turmoil in the world, it only made sense to change that, so we started hunting, fishing, gardening, backyard chickens, and now also have an orchard and vineyard. Being independent is a huge part of why we homestead. Living simply, being good stewards of this beautiful land that is Alaska is the other part of it. The more I learn about simple living, the more I realize we don’t need so much stuff in our lives. To “quote” one of those Facebook memes, “We weren’t born to just pay bills and die.” This is why we homestead. ~Amanda of IdlewildAlaska
Ever since I was a kid I have loved to grow things. I started with plants on my windowsill and it blossomed from there. Now that I’m an adult, it has become second nature for me to have a garden and grow my own food. It gives me peace of mind knowing that the food I grow is fresh and organic. It also saves my family a ton of money. We preserve, dehydrate, and freeze as much as possible. Our 11.33 acres in Central Texas are growing into the simple living homestead we have always wanted. What’s next? Chickens and rabbits are on the horizon and an orchard is being planned. The possibilities are endless my friends! This is why we homestead. ~Shelle of Rockin W Homestead
We call it life
When my husband and I foraged our first wild dewberries and made jam, we had no idea what we were doing or where it would lead. Now, 25 years later we are pretty immersed in what many people call a simple lifestyle, we just call it life. Over the years we’ve learned how to grow and preserve food, keep chickens and bees, and make and repair things that we need. One of the benefits of learning these skills is that we’ve been able to teach them to our children and others. We remember how hard it was reliable information when we were learning these skills and feel it’s important for us to share our knowledge with those who want to learn. ~Angi of SchneiderPeeps
My personal journey wasn’t so much of, “I want to be a homesteader”, but more along the lines of realization. You see, I was raised on a farm where livestock, gardening, preserving, and cooking from scratch was simply a way of life. It wasn’t until years later that one of my friends pointed out that I was truly a modern homesteader as she listed to my stories of what was happening in my urban backyard. I, myself, am amazed at what is possible. Backyard chickens? Yep. Urban beekeeper? You betcha. Gardener? Of course! Composting? Goes hand in hand with gardening. Canning? Great way to preserve the abundant harvest. Scratch cooking? Just like mom. Recycle/repurposing items? It helps us stretch our dollar. We practice organic and sustainability daily. Life is lived deliberately and deliciously. ~Connie of Urban Overalls
As a lover of nature and animals, I’ve wanted to be a farmer since I was a little kid. I’ve been homesteading in some fashion since childhood, but really took it to the next level when I met my husband and we moved in together. He had the same hopes and dreams as I did. Together we built our first chicken coop and raised beds in the backyard. Our homestead has grown every year since then. We were driven to this life because we wholeheartedly believe it’s of the utmost importance to know exactly where your food comes from and have some hand in its production. Now we love knowing that our eggs are from happy chickens that roam our backyard. We love tossing a salad with veggies picked from our garden. We love the safety and satisfaction of taking our food into our own hands. ~Meredith of ImaginAcres