Have you ever thought about the word “homesteading”? It is a word that conjures up images of lovely farmhouses and paddocks full of every type of farm animal. There is usually a dairy animal of some sort, free range chickens complete with their tractors, a barn, and of course the massive vegetable gardens and orchards. For most who have a yearning to live a natural, homesteading life, it remains a dream to be achieved either much later in this life, or maybe even in the next one! What about “suburban homesteading”? Not very romantic sounding is it?
But, have you ever really thought about the word? Homesteading. HOME steading. What part of that word dictates that homesteading must take place how and where the internet says it does? Why is it considered a way of life that must take place on a farm or acres of land? Why has any attempt to homestead in a standard sized home been relegated to the sections of the internet reserved for the lesser thans? “Suburban homesteading”, “small scale homesteading”, “container homesteading”, etc.
Ok so I’m unlikely to change the homesteading (or suburban homesteading) world here
Now, I realise that the word homesteading has cultural and historical roots that will forever tie it to larger land parcel living. I guess it is a bit of a useless endeavour to try to change the meaning of a word. So I’m not. But neither am I going to any longer call my lifestyle by a term that makes it lesser than. I love my cottage life. But I certainly don’t love it being called something as impersonal as “suburban homesteading”. I don’t wish I had a dairy cow, or acres of orchards. Our cottagesteading life is one that would’ve been the norm for generations of cottage dwellers, with many of the same homesteading activities that our larger landed friends would’ve enjoyed.
But I can sure make up my own world! Who’s in?
I’m sure not missing out by being a cottagesteader instead of a suburban homesteader. I just see that we do things differently. They can have their cow, Ill have my farmers market. They can have their home made preserves, and I will too! I’ll also have honey & wax from my own hives, eat my home grown tomatoes, home made pasta, home canned organic meats, fruits & vegetables. I can sew, knit & darn. I make my own soaps and mix my own lotions. I’m walking barefoot through my little veggie garden with my apron on, saying hello to my bees and picking the passionfruit from the vine growing over my chook house. And while I’m doing it, my sourdough might be baking in my cottage kitchen (maybe soon in my wood stove!), or my home made yogurt might be setting in my Instant Pot.
So join us as we rediscover the old-fashioned ways of humble cottage life. We aren’t suburban or small scale or container any more. We are the Cottagesteaders!
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