This week, Greg Burns, my friend Jay and I finish Homesteading for Beginners two part series by discussing the Definition of Homesteading. This is the last part of a 2-1/2 hour conversation that focused on the start of our own individual homesteading journeys. This is a philosophical discussion about the definition of homesteading, how to build experiences and how to cultivate people while building community.
If you are new to Small Scale Life or missed Part 1 of the Homesteading for Beginners podcast, I recommend that you take a listen. In that podcast, Captain Lumbersquatch Greg Burns, my friend Jay and I discuss starting our own Homesteading journeys by asking why.
- 1 Introduction to Definition of Homesteading
- 2 My Recommendation and Appreciation….
- 3 Definition of Homesteading – Topics
- 4 Homesteading for Beginners Links
Introduction to Definition of Homesteading
In case you missed the Part 1 of the Homesteading for Beginners podcast, my friend Jay and I were about to purchase properties in our respective areas. We were pretty excited about it, and we wanted to discuss starting our homesteads with someone with more experience. That person was Greg Burns.
For context, our properties are completely different than the other:
- Greg’s homestead Nature’s Image Farm is made up of 15 acres on two parcels in Ohio; he has been homesteading for 3 years
- Jay purchased a newly constructed home with 1.5 acres (mostly wooded and sloped) in a rural area in an Eastern part of the United States
- I purchased my father-in-law’s urban home on 6,300 square feet (a city lot) in North Minneapolis
I am sure if you asked 50 homesteaders about their definition of homesteading, you would get 50 different responses. In my own mind, I figured homesteading was a combination of gardening and maintaining some kind of livestock on your property. I figured it was about living a sustainable life by being more self-reliant and having a dash of prepping for bad times.
I wrestled with my own definition of homesteading, however. What if I didn’t have livestock like chickens, ducks, quail or rabbits? I mean, I could have them in North Minneapolis as long as I am blessed by the City (i.e., have a proper permit, have an inspection and pay a fee), but what if I don’t have livestock? What if I just have an awesome garden and a full pantry? Am I still a homesteader?
Believe it or not, these are the thoughts that weighed on my mind as I rolled into this podcast. I even had conversations with Jay and Greg before the podcast about the definition of homesteading. The response I got from Greg and from both of these gentlemen really stuck with me, even after drinking a bottle of homemade wine.
My Recommendation and Appreciation….
I recommend you listen to this podcast and take a few notes. Marinade on the content, and then listen to it again. There are some huge truth bombs in this podcast, and they struck home as I listened to it and edited this podcast for today’s show. It is time to stop talking and start doing.
I appreciate these two gentlemen and their thoughts on the definition of homesteading, building community, cultivating humans and starting our world. I have made promises to both of these men, and I intend to do the work and invest my time with them.
Thank you Greg and Jay, and now without further ado, here is Homesteading for Beginners: Definition of Homesteading – Part 2!
Definition of Homesteading – Topics
In this Part 2 episode of Homesteading for Beginners, we discussed the following topics:
Establishing Small Communities
- Just do it, don’t just talk about it
- You are not all by yourself
- Be together; make bonds for when times are tough and even when they aren’t
Definition of Homesteading by Greg Burns
- Live in Nature
- There is no scale to Homesteading
- All about getting real
- Personal resilience – financial and food
- Find Your Happy Place
“One Straw Revolution” – Masanobu Fukuoka (https://www.amazon.com/One-Straw-Revolution-Introduction-Natural-Classics/dp/1590173139/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1534994842&sr=1-1&keywords=one+straw+revolution+by+masanobu+fukuoka)
Why We Build Community
- Cultivate human beings – we need to put time and work into humans
- Mother Nature wins
- Lessons we learn about what we do and what we take away
What is Missing Today
- People are splintered and are seeking something
- Self-help books are popping up everywhere
- We are all chasing connections to others
Homesteading ISN’T for Everyone
- Not all by pictures
- Not all by vacations
- By accomplishments
- By connections to people and family
- Making soil vs. building soil
- Making memories vs. building memories
- Invest in people; put time into people
- Cultivate and build memories
- Same with gardens, livestock, family and spouse
- What are you doing when no one is looking?
Reoccurring Theme in Life: Everything Builds
- Main events – based on building those memories
- Friends come and go with seasons in life
- Things build on each other year after year
- We have to put the time into it
- We have to show up and put the time into these things
- We need to build on experiences and lessons learned
- It all takes time; we need to do the work; no shortcuts
- Give to others and give back
- Be a place to gather; cultivate other people
- It’s your own individual path and journey
- Share failures and lessons learned
- Free your mind; the rest will follow
- You can buy an education
- Everyone has a different way of approaching things. We don’t get their specific context and know what is behind the curtain
- Disaster for those who don’t understand the context
- Profitability and reality vs. the dream
- Learning is part of the journey
- Homesteading is not cheap!
- It is expensive to put in systems
- However, time spent is not time wasted
What does it mean to be a Homesteader?
- Do not do what others do
- Do you! Be you! Do what you like to do!
- Be at the right place at the right time
- You know when you have arrived: you keep that moment to yourself and don’t share it
- Reject society’s norms
- Build those moments
- Get in tune so you have those moments; we are all tuned differently
Homesteading is a nucleus inside an atom
- Small scale
- Applies to everything
Be honest with the why
- It’s your life now; what is it going to become?
- Get it in the ground! Start your world!
- “There is no arrive until you start!” Greg Burns
Homesteading for Beginners Links
The following links were discussed on the Homesteading for Beginners podcast:
Links for Greg Burns
Small Scale Life Podcasts with Greg Burns
Greg has been on the Small Scale Life Podcast before, and we had a great conversation about community and homesteading. Check that podcast out using the link below:
Contrarian Beekeeper Podcast
I am pleased to announce that Greg has a new podcast coming out this week! The Contrarian Beekeeper Podcast is rolling out this week on a number of platforms, and you can find it here:
If you like this Homesteading for Beginners Podcast, I bet you will really enjoy the conversation between three beginner beekeepers from Ohio talking bees, apiaries, mead and a host of other topics. Check them out!
Small Scale Life Podcasts with Jay
I started the Small Scale Life Podcast on January 2015, and my first show had my friend Jay as my guest. He has been on a few more times since the start of the show. It is interesting looking back and listening to the shows: you can see the progression of his (and my) journey to developing a Small Scale Life. You can catch the shows with Jay using the links below:
- Homesteading for Beginners: Start with Why – Part 1
- Congratulations Jay and Andrea!
- Jay: Practical to Tactical Skills – S2E9
- Tribe, Ritual and Debt – S1E18
- Debt and Real Estate Part 1 – S1E17
- How to Lose 70 Pounds – S1E8
- Cowbells and Kettlebells Part 1 – S1E7
- Three Questions for 2016 – S1E3
Small Scale Life Podcasts with Daniel Bokros
At the end of the Homestead for Beginners Podcast, we talk about Daniel and Christie Bokros. They are part of the Ohio GSD Group and close friends of the Burns Family. I interviewed Daniel recently, and you can find out more by using the following link: