Homesteading vs. Farming

Finding the Harmonious Blend

"This is not an 'alternative lifestyle', it's the traditional lifestyle, and it's not dead yet," Peter Dodge.

Folks sometimes ask us why we don't have this-or-that item for sale, even though they can see we're producing it somewhere on the farm.    The answer is that  we primarily  consider ourselves homesteaders, so  not all of our  activities are intended to be commercial.

(Due to the recently enacted "Food Safety Modernization Act", we are reevaluating the production and sale of products meant for consumption.   Click here to read  Why we have suspended our Dairy/Cheese Plans. )

The term "Homesteading" is sometimes associated with the 1970's back-to-the-land craze that ended rather abruptly, like a passing fad.  For some folks the term  suggests a life of sacrifice and deprivation. For others it's pie-in-the-sky nostalgia for an old-timey world that never really existed.

We decided to homestead because we wanted to achieve maximum self reliance through home industry, small-scale farming and mixed husbandry. We also could not bear to hear any more news about how horrible the food we were buying in grocery stores is, and so we decided to stop supporting that with our dollars and  to grow our own. 

We first heard  the term "pastoral economics," from Gene Logsdon, in his book  "The Contrary Farmer." Gene said that small-scale family farming requires a different set of values than those demanded by the capitalist economy. These values define success not by how much money we have but by our real, day-to-day satisfaction with our lives.

Our goals is to strike a balance between monetary income and the benefits of our own direct labor.  We strive to  avoid unbridled consumerism. We homestead so we may live well, eat well, commune with nature, work hard and relax deeply

On the Hut on the Hill Blog, we will also be sharing ideas and encouragement for others who seek a similar, agrarian lifestyle. Over time we will be adding details about our learning curve, stories about what worked and what did not. We'll list our favorite books and resources, and few cautionary word-pictures of our biggest belly flops....

(Many thanks to Pauline of Dirt Road Duds for her beautiful art work , above.  Visit her site to check out her great original T-shirt designs.)