Instead of focusing on our differences homesteaders can all agree on many things. Here are 15+ things we have in common.
I think we can all agree that the world is a little crazy right now, right?
Back in 2020, we have seen the biggest increase in homesteading in decades! People are checking out and taking part in the mass exodus from the broken food system and broken health care system. We saw tens of thousands of individuals coming to the Homesteaders of America organization, joining us for our online event, and taking part in our online community platforms. It was a crazy year!
Now that we are in 2021, it is interesting to see the spillover from that. And certainly no matter which side of the spectrum you’re on, there is some fear that is driving people into homesteading.
Because if there is one thing homesteaders can agree on, it’s that we can all be a little more self-sustainable and self-sufficient.
I want to share with you some encouraging things I’ve discovered being the founder of this organization and being a part of the homesteading community.
Listen instead to find out about The ONE Thing We Can All Agree On! Check out the Homesteaders of America Podcast!
It’s no secret that I’m very outspoken about my beliefs online regarding religion and how we live our homesteading lifestyle. I’ve always tried to do so in a very inclusive way. I’m going to do me, you do you and that’s ok. I don’t judge who you are or what you believe or anything like that.
When I founded Homesteaders of America I wanted to stay neutral in all things and I think we’ve done a pretty good job at that. I am so encouraged, even with all of the mess that’s happening in 2021, we represent people from all sides of the spectrum, whether liberal or conservative, democrat or republican, whether Christian, Hindu, Buddhist, or Atheist. It doesn’t matter. The one thing I can consistently count on is that we all, our podcast listeners, the people who join our organization, the people that interact in our online communities, we all have one thing in common… And that one thing is homesteading.
We can disagree on everything else, hopefully in a kind and respectful way, but there is that one thing homesteaders can agree on and it’s that maybe we need to grow our own food. We need to raise our own livestock in a sustainable and clean way.
You know I can have conversations about gardening, raising goats, or making cheese with anyone. I don’t ever have to stop and ask them what their political affiliation is. I don’t have to stop and wonder what their religious beliefs are because none of that matters. What matters at that moment is that person and the topics you’re talking about.
There are things that we can all agree on and they all have to do with homesteading! Whether it’s if you should get a milk cow or not… whether it’s coming together and finding the best seed company for this year, we can all agree on some things. So let’s dive into it and I think you’re going to realize you have more in common with people than you know. And when you start thinking about the things you have in common, the things we don’t have in common seem a little less stressful.
15+ Things Homesteaders Can ALL Agree On
The Food System is Broken
We can all agree that the food system is broken. It’s not breaking, it’s broken.
There is so much corruption within businesses and corporations and we’ve been trying to put a bandaid over it for far too long. Too many hands are involved in different deals and different things and our food system is broken.
For example, Virginia used to be a huge dairy state but now our milk gets shipped off to California. And yet, last year, Virginia experienced a milk shortage. Why is Virginia’s milk going to California? Why isn’t Virginia’s milk staying in Virginia and feeding families here? These things don’t make sense. Our food system is broken because we have become dependent on corporate agriculture. I truly believe that homesteaders, small hobby farmers, and small family farms can regenerate and save farming. We can save our food system!
A few months ago, I had a farmer call me out when I made that statement. He was asked, “What do you think about homesteaders?” He replied that he thought they were fine as long as they didn’t think they could save the world and the food system. I thought, “HA! Jokes on you because what if we do?”
We can all agree on this: If we are building our own food systems within our communities, why do we have to depend on a government food system? Why do we have to depend on a corporate food system? I don’t think that’s too far off. Some of us are already doing that. Some of us are already buying all of our produce, all of our meat, all of our dairy from local farmers or homesteaders if we are already growing it ourselves.
So I think we can all agree that the corporate food system is broken and maybe a new system, a more local agrarian food system could replace it. We’re not actually fixing the old system, we’re just making a new one.
Learn more about the broken food system and homesteaders.
The Health Care System is Broken
Likewise, I think homesteaders can agree that our health system is broken.
This is something that has gone on for years. So many people go into homesteading because they want to be healthier. They want to get off the 25 medications they are on. They want to eat healthier so they can be healthier. Far too often, we see doctors and health care professionals prescribe medication to mask symptoms without ever wanting to get to the source of the issue.
And so we can all agree, our health system is broken. We can all agree that eating real, good, homegrown food contributes to better health. We can agree that natural living is a better way of living. It doesn’t matter how you slice and dice it. Living a more natural lifestyle is simply a better way to live. We can agree on that.
Learn how to start your own medicinal herb garden!
Cows Are Cute
We can agree that cows are cute.
Cows are cute! I can’t wait to have a family milk cow. We can also agree that cows are beneficial. Cows aren’t necessarily contributing to a deteriorating ozone layer. We know that, we’re homesteaders, right? And if you believe that, that’s fine too. Maybe I’m wrong. But we can agree they’re cute, right? They give us really great milk. And if you’re a vegetarian, that’s ok too because we have so many amazing homesteader vegetarians out there doing some legit homesteading. And they eat a lot of vegetables and they’re really awesome about it. I have a friend and she’s a vegetarian who homesteads. She grows an amazing garden that I’m very envious of.
Want to get a family cow too? Check out our Family Milk Cow 101!
Gardening is Hard Work
Speaking of gardening, we can agree that gardening is hard work. But it’s good work.
I spent a lot of time in the garden last year and it was hard! Oh man, if you follow my personal journey of homesteading, we have a larger garden on 5 acres about a mile up the road from our house. Originally, we were supposed to build a house on that acreage last year but with the pandemic that didn’t work out and now we’re not really sure if we’re going to build over there or not. We might have some other plans in mind but we have a garden over there with no running water. Last year we had to haul water from the creek to water our garden. Yeah, I know we could put together a barrel system or we could put a pump in the creek but for some reason, we like to be hard on ourselves. And it was hard work! But that garden taught me so much, not just about being a better gardener, but about being a better steward of the earth. So gardening is hard work, but it’s good work. Homesteaders can all agree on that!
Homesteading is a State of Mind
We can agree that you can be a homesteader even if you only live on a half-acre, a quarter acre, a third acre, or a postage stamp in the middle of the city. Or maybe you don’t even have a postage stamp. Maybe you have a garden in a community garden or a rooftop garden. Whatever it is, you can be a homesteader when you decide to be more self-sufficient, become more aware of your place in the food system, and grow your own food.
It’s amazing what a big difference even a small raised bed can make to claiming some food sovereignty!
We Don’t Know it All
Homesteaders can agree that we don’t know it all. I hope that we can! We don’t know it all. If homesteading has taught us anything, it’s this. We don’t know it all.
I was talking to a friend recently and she was telling me she lost her dairy cow. She owns a big dairy farm and the cow just passed away. There was nothing she could have done. There was nothing really wrong with her. She had just calved a calf and looked fine but the next morning she got up and the cow was gone.
We don’t know it all. We are learning every single day in homesteading and we should probably give ourselves a little more grace than we do.
Homesteading is Anything But Simple
Likewise, we can all agree that homesteading can be difficult. We talk a lot about living a simple life. I get this a lot because I encourage simple living on my personal homesteading page. Actually, simple living can be the most complicated living in a lot of ways. We can agree on that. Homesteading and simple living can be very, very difficult.
There are basically two ways to homestead… the easy way and the hard way. Learn the difference and discover which way you should choose.
You Never Get Used to Mud
We can agree that you never get used to mud. And you never get used to poop. It’s still gross. If you get it on your hand or your face or in your house and on your floor, it’s nasty. Homesteaders can agree on that. Mom’s, especially, can agree on that.
We Have Too Many Seeds
We can all agree that we have too many seeds. Yeah, I’m talking to you. We can also agree that we probably plant those seeds way earlier than we should. Don’t do it. I know you’re thinking about it. Especially if you’re living up north or on the east coast, you’re thinking about putting those seeds in the ground and it’s not quite ready yet.
You can know exactly when is the right time to plant those seeds with the Seed Starting Calculator in our Homestead Management Printables. Enter your last frost dates and the calculator will tell exactly when to start seeds indoors, harden off and transplant seedlings, or direct sow your seeds! It even includes a calculator for herb seeds and the fall garden!
Homesteaders Dream Big
We would probably all agreed we have not reached the level of homesteading where we would like to be. I haven’t. I have big goals and big dreams and you know what I want to share those big goals and dreams with people and I want them to tell me, “You can do it!” (Even if I can’t do it, I want them to tell me I can do it, right?)
We can all agree that homesteading is a journey. It’s not a destination. And we will never be exactly where we want to be. We’ll just keep growing and want to do more and new and different things.
Regenerative Agriculture is Where it’s At
We can all agree that regenerative agriculture and rotational grazing are the best options. I think we’ve reached that level in homesteading where that is pretty much the norm. We understand that rotational grazing reduces the impact of parasites, it helps the gut and microbiome of your livestock that are rotationally grazing. It helps offer a more healthy pasture. It’s good! And we can agree that you can implement it in almost any situation. Even on a very small homestead.
Learn how to implement rotational grazing on a homestead (and why you should!)
Chickens are the Gateway Livestock
We can agree that chickens are the gateway animal to homesteading. Show of hands! How many people got chickens first and then two weeks later had a cow or goats or a 5,000 square foot garden?
Now that you’ve been warned, learn the basics of raising chickens for beginners.
Homemade Food Tastes Better
We can also agree that homemade food tastes better. It just does! Our tastes have changed so much since we started homesteading! We can go out and say, “Meh. You know I could make it better at home.” We have a couple of places that we like with food I’ve never tried to recreate, but for the most part, we can agree that if we can cook, which normally, homesteaders learn how to cook, then homemade food tastes better.
And what better way than around a table to talk about building a community and how many seeds you have and starting those seeds too early…and never getting used to mud!
We Love Fermented Food
We can probably all agree that we love fermented food but actually there’s a girl in the Homesteaders of America community that she despises fermented food. And we all tried to coerce her into trying different recipes because we were all like, “Really? You don’t like fermented food?” I thought it was so cute because her transparency was great. I’m one of those people who really doesn’t like kombucha. I like certain flavors but it’s not something I could drink all the time. Whereas my friend Ann can drink kombucha all day, every day and I wonder, “How?” But I think for the most part we all kind of have different fermented foods that we like.
Not sure what the difference is between pickling and fermenting? Learn more here.
Homesteading is Satisfying
We can all agree that there is no greater satisfaction than growing your own food and providing for your family. And that has nothing to do with politics or the craziness that’s going on in the world today. We are all growing food and providing for our families. If nothing else that is a reason for us to come together. That is a reason for us to have a community around homesteading and self-sufficiency. That is reason enough to be kind because when all the dust settles we still have that in common. We still have no greater satisfaction and no greater want than to provide food, grow our own food, and provide for our families. That’s probably one of the biggest things homesteaders can agree on.
Homesteading is Political
However, we can probably all agree that politics and homesteading go hand in hand. And you’re like, “Nope. Gone. See ‘ya.” No, don’t go! Homesteaders of America was created so we can encourage people to fight a good fight. It’s not a Democrat versus Republican fight. It’s a fight for freedom.
Let’s raise those backyard chickens. Let’s challenge the community standard that says can’t have those chickens. Let’s fight for our right to grow our own food. Because there are some places where if you don’t have more than a certain amount of land you can’t grow your own food. You can’t grow a raised garden bed full of food in the front yard. That’s ludicrous! Why do we have rules like that?
So politics and homesteading go hand in hand. We have to show up at the courthouses that say raw milk is illegal. We have to show up at the courthouses that say we’re going to implement these new livestock ordinances. We have to show up at places that say, “Hey, you’re not allowed to have livestock on your land because it’s not zoned for agriculture.”
And now listen, if you buy land and you didn’t already know that, that’s on you. But it doesn’t mean it can’t be changed. Why can’t it be changed? And so we can agree that if we don’t show up, we can’t hide in a hole. Those are the politics homesteaders can agree on. And it’s both sides. And it’s encouraging that people from both sides show up. People from both sides fight for food freedom and the right to live a simple life.
And that’s more encouraging than anything.
We’re All Weird
And while there are thousands of things we have in common, but the last thing I want to talk about is that we’re all a little weird. We’re all a little weird and we go against the grain of “normal” society.
No matter what you believe, no matter what your political beliefs are, no matter what your religious beliefs are, no matter those things, you and I? While we might differ in opinion on many things, but after going through this list, we’re pretty normal, right? All this stuff is normal… to us. But to an outsider looking in, to somebody who isn’t homesteading, and there is a large percentage of people in the world who have no intention of growing their own food, they think we’re weird. They think that we are just these crazy pioneer people. We have that in common.
So it turns out that we have a lot more in common than you might have thought. And as you are conversing online, especially in the Homesteaders of America community groups, I want you to really think about it. Choose to set aside all of the crazy that is heightened right now and let’s remind ourselves that we all have a little bit more in common than not. Especially, if you are truly living a homesteading, agricultural lifestyle. Especially, if you are truly wishing for an agrarian society, as so many of us talk about.
We can do this.
We can create a system and a lifestyle and a community that can differ in opinion on a hundred different things but come together and realize that we have thousands of things that homesteaders can agree on rather than disagree on.
I want to encourage you as you go about the rest of your week, the rest of your month, the rest of this year, let’s dive into homesteading and natural living and simple living a little bit more. Let’s dig our feet into that. Those are the places that we really start within our communities of making changes for the better. I understand that it’s very, very easy to get caught up in national news and international news and national politics and those things are important too. But here’s the thing: those things are already happening. Those things are already in place. What affects you most is what’s happening to you on a local level. It’s connecting with our community and showing people that there is a better way to live no matter what they think.
And that we can all agree that homesteading is truly a wonderful way to live and there are truly wonderful people on all sides. In fact, could we even stop saying sides? Because ultimately if you are in this homesteading community we’re all on the same side.
Founder of Homesteaders of America. Author, blogger, podcaster, YouTube, and entrepreneur over at The Fewell Homestead — www.thefewellhomestead.com
This was AWESOME & so inspiring!!
Thank you, this is just what I needed today. I chose to listen to the podcast and you have a very soothing and encouraging voice. And thank you for the reminder that homesteading can happen on a postage stamp in the middle of the city. We lived in a small house in Los Angeles (until last summer) where we kept chickens, a small orchard, and had extensive vegetable and herbs. Never thought of it as homesteading but I do now.
Thank you Amy for this wonderful article and reminder that there are so many like minded people still on this earth. We need more leaders saying these things to bring us together and focus on the things we can all agree on. God bless you and your family!
I love this!
Thanks for this effort at recognizing our unity. I agree that “sides” is a silly and fear-based way to look at ourselves, and dividing ourselves serves powerful political and corporate interests, getting us no closer to the world we need. I commit to connecting with the light and beauty in everyone.