Aren’t we all Homesteaders

>> Thursday, December 30, 2010

Homesteading brings to mind the great American land grab of the late 19th century. It was a federal program that allowed if anyone lived on an abandoned piece of land for a given length of time and as long as they improved that land, it would become theirs.

Urban Homesteading is the term to describe the back-to-the-land movement, indicating, quite accurately, that some people have drifted away from ‘the land’ and are just now beginning to return to it. It is an endeavor that should be applauded, especially in light of the fact that there is no ‘free’ land to be had.

The definition I found on Path to Freedom website says this about urban homesteading: a suburban or city home in which residents practice self-sufficiency through home food production and storage. They refocus the movement away from the sole property of urbanites to encompass those of us who have been getting back-to-the-land long before it came into vogue.

These days the definition has been upgraded to mean social responsibility. Carrying the idea of self-sufficiency a step further to include reducing one’s carbon footprint, we begin to see how much more important being a ‘homesteader’ is. By adopting an off-the-grid sustainable lifestyle we ‘homesteaders’, urban, suburban and rural, can collectively make huge strides towards protecting our planet and our way of life.

Gardeners, no matter where they live, are self-sufficient to some degree by the very fact that they grow their own food, and that’s gotta count, right?. Baby steps will lead us to eventually adopt more self-sufficient ways which in turn will lead us to even more self-sufficiency and then to less reliance on huge power plants, mega super-markets, and massive transportation routes, resulting in less pollution. Gardeners, whether we call ourselves homesteaders or eco-warriors or simply gardeners, are among the vanguard of protecting our planet.

In this regard, we are all Homesteaders. It’s a label we can all be proud to wear.


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