I’m not a homesteader…but I have a milk cow.
I’m not a homesteader…but I raise and harvest my own meat.
I’m not a homesteader…but I have a garden and grow my own produce.
I’m not a homesteader…but I cook most of my food from scratch using whole ingredients.
I’m not a homesteader…but I live in a remote location, 60 miles from anywhere significant.
I’m not a homesteader…but I homeschool my children.
I’m not a homesteader…but I’m part of many homestead communities.
They put us in a box.
They create prejudice.
They bring expectations.
No two individuals are exactly alike. Each one of us is called to live a unique life. And while we share in a lot of similarities, each of our lives is custom designed by God.
As soon as we put a label on someone, we set a standard of expectations. And when that individual doesn’t meet those expectations, things tend to go downhill. Judgement and disappointments can set in…
Because perspective is the eye of the beholder. To the person living in the city, working in a cubicle, eating meals “on the go”, they might see me as this wildly independent “homesteader”. Yet to the off grid family that has been homesteading for years and is extremely self-sufficient, they might see me shopping at the grocery store from time to time, shuttling my kids to activities & sports “in town”, living a more social lifestyle, and think I’m an embarrassment to the homesteading community.
So let’s THROW OUT THE LABEL, and just start living our best lives…
Because a label may deter the individual striving to live a more sustainable, independent lifestyle because they feel they can’t live up to the expectations of the “homesteader” label.
Because a label may cause disappointment to the hard core, dedicated homesteaders when others within the community don’t follow a list of rigid homesteading expectations.
I was incorporating homesteading skills and techniques into my life 9 years before I ever even knew there was a "homesteading" community. I was just living life the way I believed it was supposed to be lived.
The choices we have made to raise & grow our own food, cook from scratch, and be more self-sufficient do not stem from a desire to fit into a labeled community. Rather, we do so because we enjoy this lifestyle, because we believe in the health benefits, and because it is a path we have chosen for our family.
To me, it was just LIFE, not HOMESTEADING.
I AM a part of several homesteading communities. I love the homesteading tribe. It’s a space where I find encouragement, motivation, and increase my knowledge. It’s my happy place. There are several wonderful mentors that I glean from. Do I do everything they do? Absolutely not. My life is not theirs. And their life is not mine. Parts of my homesteading life will look like theirs, and other parts won’t. And I’m ok with that.
Ultimately, labels lead to disappointment.
Let’s instead, just live life.