A homesteading lifestyle a century ago meant staying on a piece of land and earning it by living there a certain period of time without starving. Because everyone had a large garden and even a few chickens in their backyards, the term was tied more to getting free land so you could hopefully get rich through farming.
Enter the twenty first century and the term takes on a whole new meaning. These days it's more of a way of life rather than earning land. Yes, you can still earn land by living on it in some areas, but homesteading today is more of a deliberate choice of living. It's a conscious effort to carry out our lives differently.
It means learning to live on less, so you don't have to earn as much, and so can maybe even one day earn an income from your land - either from raising and selling chickens or hogs, selling eggs or honey or some other form of home business.
By learning to cut down on expenses, you need less income and can break free from the nine-to-five routine.
A homesteading lifestyle includes growing your own healthy food, so you don't have to rely on processed food to survive. Most commercially-produced food is produced in a factory and loaded with chemicals, dyes and preservatives that harm your health.
But homesteaders know how to raise their own food, so that they not only have a source of food in an emergency, they can also provide their families with the healthiest, best quality food available at a fraction of the cost.
That includes growing fresh fruits and vegetables in an organic garden, cooking your food from scratch and raising your own organic meat. It means having a closer connection to the food you eat, understanding what goes into it, and raising your livestock with responsibility and compassion.
It means raising your own meat in a responsible and considerate way, providing your animals with plenty of fresh air, grass and good food for a healthy and happy homestead.
Because we know how to produce our own food, those of us who pursue homesteading aren't afraid of what lies ahead. We have food stored and know how to make our own necessities, if need be. We know how to heal our bodies naturally and live off the grid.
The homesteading lifestyle includes cutting down costs, so we can save money and get out of debt. It means having a home that serves you rather than being slave to a mortgage, choosing instead to go smaller and build your own home in a low-cost way.
It means living your life with dignity, getting out of debt whenever possible, living on less rather than more and making the most of what you have.
We are not passive in our health, waiting for doctors and other "experts" to tell us how to recover from illnesses. Instead we actively choose health in every decision we make whether it's putting lotion on our bodies or choosing the right foods.
That means pursuing a holistic approach to medicine, strengthening your immune system through probiotics and relying on homeopathic medicine, essential oils and other natural approaches to recover from illnesses.
Pursuing the homesteading lifestyle isn't always the easiest choice, but it is the more rewarding path, if you're not afraid to try new things and work hard.
But you'll find the peace of mind that homesteading brings to be well worth it.