There are relatively few people who dream of gardening as a primary food source, raising animals that they will butcher and eat, building an alternative house that save an enormous amount of materials and energy over something “conventional”, and generally living closer to the rhythms of the Earth.
Why? Because the majority of people have the image in their head that the above description equals farming. And farming is damn hard work. My mother grew up on a dairy farm by Berlin (WI, USA) and does have fond memories of her childhood there. But, once she left for college she never wanted to return to that lifestyle (well, to live in the country, but not to farm for a living).
Modern agriculture may be a bit more efficient now than 100 years ago, but the average farmer still finds themselves working 80+ hour weeks. How can this be an improvement?
In short, looking at the land in more of a partnership arrangement, instead of an extractive one, is referred to nowadays as homesteading (with an eye for permaculture). NOT the same homesteading that our ancestors 100+ years ago did. Modern homesteading is a very different perspective on living with the land.
The commonality I see between those people who dream and DO homesteading is a very can-do independent attitude coupled with an affinity for the country setting. Not all homesteaders are in rural settings, but urban homesteading is becoming more popular. So being in a rural setting is no longer a prerequisite for having a homestead.
What are some of your reasons for wanting to homestead?
A Very Inspiring Video:
“A Farm For The Future” by Rebecca Hosking