We wanted land. We wanted to grow real food, and raise animals for real milk and real meat and real eggs. We wanted to sit at our dining room table without a goat jumping from chair to chair. I had enough of a background in historic agriculture (to say nothing of a full-time job doing historic agriculture) that I was willing to take the leap out of the suburbs and into hobby farming. My husband quickly jumped onboard. We are the ones who are actively resisting the industrial food systems of the twenty-first century. Are we radicals? Absolutely. Are we rabid? No. We've just simply assessed the way things are going locally, nationally, and globally, and chimed in with Bartleby the Scrivener: We would prefer not to. We are not alone.
This is Offbeat Home's archive of homesteading posts.
Nowadays, homesteading is a cool new trend for city folks to "get back to nature." I want to encourage those of you interested in homesteading to give it a go! I spent my whole life on a homestead, before it was something trendy. Here are the things I learned from growing up on a homestead farm…
Now, most people are used to grandma sitting over a stove making strawberry jam in jars covered with gingham fabric. I really didn't want that. Looking online, I discovered something amazing about jam… alcohol makes it better! Strawberry Margarita Jam, Peach Fondue Jam, Black Forest Jam: you better believe I make the best jam going!
I'm gonna give y'all some city vegetable gardening tips that might help you save some cash and beef up your summer dinner menu at the same time. You see what I did there? Food pun!
Let's look at some truths.
We moved into our homestead back in 2006 when it was just a blank canvas of lawn, with a couple old rose bushes here and there. After six years of major landscape changes, it’s about time I got around to making a decent planting plan of the homestead. Using AutoCAD and Illustrator, I came up with a pretty rad (and full-color!) homesteading map.
When I was in Seattle for the Offbeat-empire-weekend-of-awesome, I commented to Ariel about how impressed I was at the public compost bins. I'm a big believer that one of the best things we can do for the earth is to compost. Then I casually mentioned that I had ordered a Bokashi composter to try out and she was all "Offbeat Home post?" Then I told Cat and she was all "Yes! Please!" Then we became adults again. I swear.