The Backyard Homestead

"No man but feels more of a man in the world if he have a bit of ground that he can call his own. However small it is on the surface, it is four thousand miles deep; and that is a very handsome property." 


What does the word "Homestead" mean to you?

According to Merriam-Webster dictionary, a Homestead is a house, especially a farmhouse, land and outbuildings.

In the earlier decades of the 20th century, most of the U.S. was rural, and the word Homestead always meant just that, a house, barn, silos, etc. on acreage.

Mother Earth News Magazine, 1st Edition

However, the 1960s and 70s brought about a "back-to-the-land" movement in the U.S., complete with it's own journal (Mother Earth News).

In the 1990s and 2000s, concerns about our economic future as a nation prompted a general "self-sufficiency" movement. This helped move the self-sufficiency and survival philosophies to not only rural acreage, but also into suburban and even urban settings. 

A catchall term for this movement is "urban homesteading", or as we call it "The Backyard Homestead". Although this term implies that you must have a "yard" in order to homestead, that is not the case.

More and more urban apartment-dwellers and inner-city residents have found ways to live in a more self-sufficient and ecologically-responsible manner. (Such as community gardens and cooperative small livestock holdings).

It is not where you live, but how you live that makes you a homesteader.

Our homestead is called Buck Hill.

We live on 3 acres in a National Forest, so have plenty of room for all our projects. Read about some outdoor homestead accessories and equipment we use and recommend here.

According to Wikipedia:

Homesteading is a lifestyle of self-sufficiency.

Neighbors working in a homesteading cooperative garden.

Most proponents of homesteading practice at least some of the following:

  • Home grown vegetables, herbs and fruits (often including heirloom vegetables)

  • Preservation of foods by canning, cold storage, fermenting and dehydration

  • Composting to make productive use of vegetable wastes

  • Raising of small livestock like rabbits, chickens, goats, bees (often heritage livestock)

  • Home production and/or recycling of clothing and/or craftwork to use or sell to support the homestead

  • Self-sustainable energy sources such as solar panels and windmills; line-drying clothing

  • Water conservation, including the use of rain barrels

The Backyard Homestead
Books To Get You Started

Ultimate comfort for your porch! Sky chairs rule! 

 Squirrels driving you nuts? Get a squirrel-proof bird feeder! 

Build our survival greenhouse for peace of mind. 

  1. [Gadgets HOME]
  2.  ›
  3. [You Are Here (Homestead)]