Homesteading is a practice that has recently started to gain popularity in the U.K. and America again. Homesteading also goes by other names such as back-to-basics, independent living, self-sufficient life, simple living, farming, and more. But what is homesteading really?
The Homestead Act Of 1862
In 1862, Abraham Lincoln, the president of that time, signed the Homestead Act. This act permitted any person (that never took up arms against the U.S. government) to file for an "application" for land (up to 160 acres) outside of the original 13 states. The main requirements of this were that the applicant would need to make improvements to the land, and would need to work on it for a minimum of five years.
If they met these requirements, they would obtain this land for free. This is where the term "homestead" came about to reference "a parcel of land" that a person took ownership of through this Homestead Act. In 1976, they reversed the law for most parts of the U.S. except Alaska where they still permitted individuals to make an application for a maximum of 80 acres of land. Eventually, Alaska also stopped giving away land, and since then nobody has been able to apply for land for free since 1988.
What Is The Modern Definition Of Homesteading
Today, homesteading means any property or house that practices the skills discovered from the earlier homesteads like growing food, canning, keeping livestock, preserving and drying food, and producing clothing and basic furniture at home. In many instances, you may hear of people describing their lifestyle as "basic" or "simple", but what they actually mean is homesteading.
Reasons Why You Should Practice Homesteading Today
Many people are aware that the overall economy is pretty poor. Politicians and financial experts are always showing us graphs and statistics to indicate how bad things have gone. However, this doesn't mean anything when you visit your local grocery store and discover that the price of bread or milk has gone up again, and you no longer afford products like meat every day of the week anymore.
Homesteading is a solution to some of these problems and is one of the ways to return to the basics, and this means remembering what it means to distinguish the difference between wants and needs. It can help you to start learning ways to care of yourself and your family, and when and if things start going from really bad to really worse, you will be very grateful for your self-reliance. Homesteading is an excellent way to save money and will teach you ways to survive when times get really tough.
What Should You Be Doing First?
The first step in becoming a homesteader is to do your research. Watch YouTube videos, read books and articles, or visit websites that cover this subject. Plan to plan before doing anything else. And lastly don't worry about whether you have bought the correct supplies or you have enough space, many people have started their journey from apartment buildings or with very limited resources.