by Michael Smith (Veshengro)
Growing your own food and living the good life of a homesteader is, all too often, associated in the minds of most people with living in the country, the sticks, the boonies. This is a fallacy, however, for it is a mindset rather than being dependent on location.
True, it is easier, to some degree, to do it in the boonies, especially if you have a home with a little – or more than just a little – land. That does not mean, however, that living in town has to prevent you from living it; at least to some degree.
“Living the good life” of a homesteader, as said, is dependent on your mindset much more than it is on your location and it also does not just and only mean growing your own food.
Growing your own food, or at least part of it, while being the main stay, so to speak, of living the good life, is only part of living the life of a homesteader, whether in the boonies or the city. Self-reliance in everything, as fas as this is possible and feasible, is the name of the game, and I say deliberately self-reliance and not self-sufficiency as the latter is impossible to achieve, ever, on your own.
There is more, much more, to living the life of a homesteader, whether in the country or town, than just growing your own food.
Making do with what you have got and making things you want and need as much as possible yourself is, and always has been, a very large part of it, as was and is reusing, repurposing and upcycling things that others regard as waste, be that tin cans, glass jars, bits of paper, string, rubber bands, card or pallet lumber, to name but a few. Much more than that can be reused, repurposed and upcycled and our parents and grandparents, and not just in the country, did just that. Everyone, in fact, bar the very rich, was doing it.
It is very much a mindset and one that we must redevelop for the good of the Planet and for our very survival on this Planet. Like then it also can and will save money but it will do more than just that. It will allow us to live a much more fulfilled life and it will save vital resources on a global scale. The good life is about that too.
All too often the other aspects of what makes up homesteading are forgotten and not only when being considered for an urban or suburban environment. Too many eco-warriors are still in a consumer mindset rather than one of producer.
We have to learn once more to make and produce things for ourselves, with the resources to hand, rather than popping to the stores for everything, even if the things we look at buying are ethically produced, are “green”, etc.
An old friend of mine, now sadly deceased, was a great example of a homesteader in an urban setting. He lived in an apartment but canned all manner of things for his pantry and made much for himself, including clothes, and much more besides.
While I know that he would have much rather have preferred to live in a shack in the mountains the fact that he did not did not let it stop him from pursuing his dream of self-reliance and self-sufficiency, as far as possible, in town and that very successfully.
It can be done and do it we must.