Just What Is a Homesteader?

homesteadingYou may have noticed that I often refer to my family as “homesteaders”.

I will admit that it has raised some questions.

Most people think of a homesteader as those brave souls who took up the “free” land offered by the government in the 1800’s.

They lived in tar paper shanties or earthen dugouts while they  “proved” up their section. They survived freakish blizzards and grasshopper plagues while settling up the mid-section of our great country.

That’s not us. (Although some of last winter’s weather was a bit freakish! 🙂 )

Neither are we farmers – or ranchers – or pork producers – or cattle producers – or dairymen. But I think the world of this people (and you should too if you ate anything today!) Some of my closest friends and many relatives would fall into these categories.

Even though we both live in rural America – those folks all have lots of land, big machines, large flocks or herds and they feed the world.

It’s their job and they do it well.

But it’s not us.

We’re homesteaders. We have some land, miniature tractors, a few animals and attempt to feed ourselves.

We don’t make a living from our land – but we try to live off our land.

We raise a few chickens for their eggs and their meat. We may have a few cattle or a few pigs – all with the intent to butcher them for our own needs.

We have a large garden and orchard so we can enjoy fresh fruits and vegetables. On a good year we even have some to share.

Webster’s dictionary defines a homestead as “The home and adjoining land occupied by a family”.

That’s us. We’re living on the land and making it a home.

We’re homesteaders.

2 thoughts on “Just What Is a Homesteader?

  1. Glad to know another homesteader. We do have dairy animals along with meat animals as well, but we are really poor gardeners. Wish we lived next to each other because we might be able to swap some things 🙂


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