Tired of the rat race, fast food and feeling out of touch with your world? These days people are becoming more self reliant, depending on themselves for what they eat, what they wear and even how they light their homes and run their appliances. Here are ten reasons why people return to homesteading.
Inflation A year go at our local supermarket, a bargain loaf of bread cost about a dollar. Today, that same loaf of bread costs almost twice as much. As the dollar decreases in value and the cost of food increases, more people are turning to growing a garden, raising chickens and even keeping goats for food, eggs, meat, milk and cheese.
The Economy The recent loan crisis, the recession and the housing market have a lot of people concerned. Many believe there is a very real possibility of another great depression. During the last depression, those who had their own land and a big garden were able to avoid the soup lines and starvation. A return to homesteading is insurance against possible tough times ahead.
Disaster Insurance Likewise in the face of disaster, it’s wise to be self-reliant and to be able to produce or have on hand sufficient food, water and even energy. Few cities have more than a few days worth of food on hand. Should we face a terrorist attack or another natural disaster like Katrina, self-reliance is a good way to be prepared.
Foodborne illnesses Salmonella in our peanut butter, e coli on our lettuce and tomatoes and even beef, and poison in our pet food. People these days are growing more concerned about what is going into their food – and looking for ways to prepare that food themselves instead.
Chemicals in Food Even when they don’t have salmonella or e coli, most of the food we buy is processed, loaded with chemicals such as MSG and preservatives. When we return to homesteading, we begin eating simple, whole foods that truly nourish our bodies.
Concern For The Environment Homesteading is a saner, more balanced approach to food production. With organic gardening, you don’t just take from the earth; you also give back by composting. Many homesteaders also use solar and wind energy to power their homes – clean, cheap and safe for the environment.
Pesticides By growing organically, we not only eliminate dangerous pesticides from our food, we also eliminate it from our patch of land, cleaning up the earth one small patch at a time.
Health Benefits Homesteading involves chores outside and lots of fresh air and exercise. We raise our own food, which means we have a more whole and natural diet that strengthens our bodies.
A Yearning For Simplicity Modern society is fast-paced, complex and exhausting. Most people are too busy earning that four-car garage to actually enjoy anything. Many return to homesteading for the slower pace and the chance to actually enjoy life.
Reconnect With Family When we weed the garden or feed the chickens, we can get the children involved to help. We can turn to our parents and grandparents for advice on how to pluck a chicken or grow tomatoes. Homesteading connects us to family in a unique and powerful way that an office job never will.
So take the first steps toward self reliance today. Plant a garden or even get a chicken or two. That way, you can begin your return to homesteading and face the future with confidence.
Sue Merriam is author of the website, Organic Gardening and Homesteading.