What Modern Homesteaders Really Want

The idea of homesteading is not a new one as many newly minted “modern homesteaders” will point out.  After all, as a species we humans seemingly mastered the art of living off the land long ago. We mastered fire, clothed ourselves, and even preserved the food we figured out how to grow so it could later nourish us.

These were remarkable advancements, but we didn’t stop there.

Mankind continually “evolved” to become more “leisurely.” We abandoned hunting skills, opting instead to crowd tens of thousands of animals into small yards and houses. Then, we dosed the animals’ feed with antibiotics so they would live long enough to reach slaughter weight.

We traded fire for HVAC systems to the point where most people today have trouble starting a fire. We abdicated growing and preserving food at home to mega-farms and large corporations. Those vital skills have become near extinct for most citizens.

If you don’t think so, ask yourself this: when was the last time you made soap or operated a pressure canner?

modern homesteaders

4 Reasons Why We Eat the Animals We Love

Sorry PETA, eating the "right" meat is best for people, the animals and the environment

Of all the decisions we contemplated when we began farming a decade ago, choosing to farm livestock was the easiest. That meant we would care for livestock, and then eat animals we cared for.

There were four reasons why this path was so clearly right for us then, and continues to be today.

Tim PollyThe first reason is that we love animals. All animals. One of the things we joked about when we first bought our sprawling acreage was that we could have as many pets as we wanted. Here I am holding one of our dogs back when we lived in a suburban HOA (when our clothes were always clean and I had an awesome head of hair) 🙂

My wife, Liz, is attracted to pet stores the way Winnie Mandela is attracted to shoes, so it was easy for us to dream of raising chickens, cows, pigs, sheep and any other animals we could get our hands on.

But if you love animals, you can’t eat them…can you?

eating animals

Season 1: Episode 30: Farming/Homesteading as a Retirement Strategy | Homesteading | Farming [PODCAST]

When people think of retirement, they often think of golf or travel. But what about homesteading or farming as a retirement strategy? In this final episode of season 1, I’ll share with you how we and many other farmsteaders are thinking very old-school about  retirement.

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Season 1: Episode 29: Farmstead Update: Shaking the Winter Blues | Homesteading | Farming [PODCAST]

Spring has sprung but the grass ain’t ris, and we can’t find where the flowers is. This week, Liz joins me as we shake the winter blues and share an update of what’s happening on the farm.

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farm update

Season 1: Episode 27: 23 Questions to Ask Before Buying Rural Land | Homesteading | Farming [PODCAST]

When you search for rural land you’ll find all sorts of places that look promising. But how do you know if you’ve found your dream property? Today, I’ll share what we’ve learned and cover the 23 questions you should answer before buying that rural property.

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Season 1: Episode 25: Why “Can I Make Money Homesteading?” is the Wrong Question | Homesteading | Farming [PODCAST]

A lot of folks have asked me if they can make money farming or homesteading, but is that even the right question to ask? This week, Liz and I will share why it may not be and what we’ve learned about the financial side of a self-sufficient lifestyle.

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Setting Up a Homeschool Room

This is the pictorial post of the homeschool room that Liz set up last year. We discussed this in episode 23 of Self-Sufficient Life. The slideshow will play automatically, but you can mouse over any image to pause the show.