Homesteading

When we first started raising birds, we played around with the idea of what we would call our little project. We thought of Big Bear Farm, Big Bear Ranch and so on. But none fit like Big Bear Homestead. Naturally, I wanted to know what Homestead really meant. With a little bit of digging, I found out that the term came from the Homestead Act of 1862, by which people were granted federal land to live on and cultivate. So that got me thinking….We live on the land and cultivate it. Yeah, we could be a homestead!

But it wasn’t until years later, that I realized there is so much more to homesteading. It’s not just something you do, it’s something you are defined by. Homesteaders that I know don’t buy laundry soap, they make it. They don’t buy bread, they make it. They don’t get their salad out of a bag, they go pick it.

Homesteading is an art in my opinion. And just like in art, people express themselves differently in the way they homestead. Some people are LIGHT homesteaders. They just do a little bit on the side of their busy 9-5 life that makes them feel better about the things they consume. They might have a small garden, or knit their own blankets. You get the idea. Then there are the REGULAR homesteaders. These are the ones who have a garden, make some of their own wares and occasionally chose homemade over store bought. These first two groups DO homesteading.

Then you have the ULTRA ┬áhomesteaders. This last group doesn’t just do it, they live it…DAILY. These are the people that trap animals for food and fur. The ones who use the animal fat from their processed livestock to make candles and soap. The ones who find their dinner in their yard.

When we first started this journey, we didn’t have a destination. We started down a path that led us to homesteading. We used to buy all of our wares from the store and throw countless resources in the trash. Now, we don’t even have a trash service. Our food waste either goes to animals or compost. Our plastic containers are reused for storage. Cardboard is used for weed barriers and we very seldom purchase anything made of glass unless the container can be re-purposed.

My point to this page is that anyone can do it. You can start out LIGHT and choose just how far you want to take it. Check out more of our pages on homesteading to see why homesteading is a great way to live and how to get started!