Homestead Inspiration Inspiration for the small homestead Homestead inspiration in the suburbs What is your homestead inspiration? Nutrition? Sustainability? Independence? Simple living? With homesteading dreams, but practical constraints, it can be hard to focus on living a less consumerist life in the here and now. Let’s live within our means. Let’s produce more of our own food and keep our homes from being filled with a bunch of “stuff” without function or lasting value. Finally, let’s cultivate free time, and spend it doing more than just watching TV. Yes, I love a good movie night, but I want to keep up skills and learn new skills. Photo by Davyd Bortnik Homestead vs. practicality Not everyone can up and move to the country, as many of us are still dependent on our jobs. Country living homesteading (in the sense of having land and livestock) is a daily, time-consuming commitment that can take up a lot of time, effort, and resources. It is worth counting the cost and making sure you want to do the work. Living less wastefully We live in a highly consumeristic, materialistic society. All too frequently, we buy things new and then send them to the landfill a short time later. Planned obsolescence defines the lifespan of too many products. Still, many items can be bought used (cell phones) or repaired (laptops) and a modern way of life enjoyed without fully buying into the production stream. Use it up, wear it out, make do, or do without.American proverb from the Great Depression era Homestead inspiration for the small garden Start small! You can do it. This is all supposed to be fun. I believe that with life, homemaking, gardening, and even working, it is supposed to be fun. Without fun, something is not right. I believe that in family life there is supposed to be fun in our day-to-day lives and interactions. Without fun, our relationships are out of balance. Photo by Caroline Feelgood Currently, I live in a suburb with a front yard and a backyard garden. In our neighborhood, we get more wildlife than you might expect, which has been the primary barrier to food production. There are also a lot of trees, which are beautiful and stately. They provide a lot of shade. Placement of plantings has to be very strategic to work around all that shade. Now a few years into this, we are getting a few more berries, a few more squash and tomatoes, a lot more hickory nuts and just a couple of hazelnuts. It is exciting to see our novice efforts at permaculture gardening starting to bear fruit, literally. Here are a few of my sources of inspiration Tenth Acre Farm – Permaculture for the Suburbs Mother Earth News – 1-Acre Dreamin’Homestead.org – Permaculture PrinciplesAtitalan Organics – Mapping Zones on Your PropertyTenth Acre Farm – How to Develop the Permaculture Homestead in PhasesMother Earth News – 9 Permaculture PracticesFood Tank – 16 Successful Projects Highlighting Permaculture Use Whatever else is going on out there, when we’re on the homestead… Let’s keep it cozy.