Have you felt it yet?
The pull to start cooking more foods from scratch, and less from a box…
The sudden urge to get dirt under your fingernails…
The longing to watch your kids run around barefoot and collect eggs…
If you’ve been feeling any of those desires lately, you’re definitely not alone.
There’s an awakening happening right now, and it’s sweeping the country. People want to be more aware of what they are eating and what they are putting on their bodies; they are fed-up with how disconnected our society has become.
And that’s a good thing folks… A very good thing.
With this new found awareness of what they are eating, drinking, and slathering on their body, people are also feeling the pull to get back to a simpler way of life.
Now, this doesn’t necessarily mean they’re throwing away their iPhones and washing all of their clothes by hand, but many folks are finding massive amounts of satisfaction by weaving time-honored skills into their modern-day existence.
And I’m one of them.
I was raised in a typical suburban home, but as a young adult, I found myself fascinated by the idea pursuing a slower way of life. And here I am, 10 years later, living on a 100 year-old homestead in the middle of the Wyoming prairie milking a cow, planting vegetables, and chasing chickens.
Now, I realize that most people probably don’t want to go to that sort of extreme, but if you’ve been feeling the pull to get back to basics, there are many different things you can do, regardless of where you might currently live.
How to Get Back to Your Roots
Believe it or not, it’s easier than you might think!
1. Grow Something
As a modern-day homesteader, food production is truly the foundation of everything I do–just as it was for my great-great-grandparents. Thankfully, you don’t have to have hundreds of acres to enjoy the satisfaction that comes from growing your own food. Practically anyone can grow something–even if it’s just an herb garden in your apartment windowsill.
Interest is growing in backyard gardening, and more and more families are digging up a patch of lawn in favor of growing their own carrots, squash, and beans instead. There are a myriad of options if you are limited on space–planting in containers and the Square Foot Gardening method are two of my favorite options for small-space gardening.
2. Become a Backyard Farmer
You might not be able to have a milk cow right now, but that doesn’t mean keeping smaller animals might not be an option– especially as more and more cities begin to allow backyard farming.
Some of my favorite backyard animal options are:
- Chickens (for eggs, meat, manure (for fertilizer), and entertainment)
- Rabbits (for meat and manure (for fertilizer), and entertainment)
- Bees (for honey and pollination)
Some city ordinances even allow for a couple goats, but be sure to check your local laws first.
3. Learn How to Cook
Not only does made-from-scratch food taste better, it’s almost always better for you as well. Plus, there’s just something deeply satisfying about creating a meal with your own two hands, rather than simply opening boxes and bags.
Learning how to cook from-scratch goes hand-in-hand with growing your own food. And I can tell you from experience–there is nothing quite as empowering as preparing a meal from ingredients you grew yourself.
4. Learn How to Preserve Food
Confession: For the longest time, I thought canning was for little old ladies… Boy, was I wrong! If you are eating homegrown food, or even just food that is in-season, it’s likely that you’ll have more than you can consume at one particular time. Canning is one of my favorite preservation options, although freezing and dehydrating are also excellent choices, depending on what you are trying to preserve.
If you’ve never canned before, don’t be intimidated–it’s easier than you think!
5. Hang ‘Em Up to Dry
I don’t know why, but there is something so charming about hanging clothes on a clothesline–it’s almost therapeutic. If you can’t have a clothesline, consider a drying rack instead. You’ll save money and keep your house cooler in the summertime.
6. Get to Know Your Farmer
Regardless of whether you live in the suburbs, a high-rise apartment, or on the outskirts of town, I encourage you to support the local farmers in your area. Plus, an added bonus of purchasing eggs, milk, meat, or produce from local growers is that you can often visit the farms and see where your food is being grown. It’s a wonderful way to show your kiddos the importance of understanding where our food comes from–plus being on a farm is just good for the soul.
So you might not have a milk cow… And you might not live on even an acre… But there are still plenty of ways to channel your inner Laura Ingalls Wilder and get back to your roots.
Your turn. What simple homesteading activities are you doing where you live? Share below!