From The Memsahib: On Being a Modern Homesteader

You may have concluded by now that while my husband is a “guns and groceries” style survivalist, I can more accurately be called a homesteader. A modern homesteader is a person who tries to live self-reliantly on their own land. Our satisfaction and peace of mind come from growing our own food, heating with our own fuel, and even knowing how to make our own clothes if necessary! Happily survivalism and homesteading dovetail nicely.

My homesteading mindset was developed early in my childhood as I listened to parents and grandparents talk about living through the Great Depression. My father’s parents were town people. His Dad soon lost his job at the newspaper. They had meager savings. My father said after that they ate potatoes–just potatoes. At harvest time each year they found a bit of work picking fruit. Then they ate whatever fruit they were picking, and only that fruit. Then it was back to potatoes again. And forget about money for new clothes, or gas for the car, or doctor’s bills, or anything else.

Meanwhile, my maternal Grandpa worked in town as a machinist, but they always lived out in the country on a small farm. Grandpa cultivated a large garden and orchard, had a few milk cows, raised a couple of hogs, and Grandma raised 100 chicks every year to sell as fryers. My mother’s father lost his job during the Depression too. But they had fresh milk and butter from their cows, eggs, chicken, and beef and pork, fruits and vegetables in season, and lots of canned produce. (Plus my mother’s family still had a small income and a ready source of barter from the farm produce.) It so happened that their house was next to a church on a rural highway. And many times Grandma fed “poor folk” who had come to their house thinking it was the church parsonage. And she could–because of the bounty of their farm!

My Dad had a miserable youth through the Depression. He suffered a profound change in quality of life as they experienced extreme poverty. My Mother on the other hand, did not experience much of a change because her parents were self sufficient on their farm. I intend to emulate my self sufficient grandparents. And with God’s grace, my family will have a good quality of life–no matter what the economy does.