Day in and day out, I - along with most people who wish to live in a homestead type of environment - encounter the "secular" families or individuals who look at me and pose various questions about why we do what we do, live how we live or lift up ideals of living that are foreign to them.
Various people explain to me the reasons living as modern and secularly as possible is the only way that works (I always wish, as I am sure you do, to ask how it is that a lifestyle so very old and successful can be found wanting juxtaposed to the recent and modern way of life they think they prefer) and is the only way to live a fulfilled life.
I often get the questions about the animals. . . Why? What for? What good are they?
Folks who ask this. . . if the economy goes where I suspect it will, do not beg milk, eggs or meat of us ;) I will ask you some of those questions above.
Regardless, inside I do a mental eye roll and move on, most of the time. Tonight, I would like to briefly and quickly address why we do what we do and what we do not like about the alternative.
Homesteading or methods of living found at the heart of a homesteading life are not new, they are aged and weathered methods of living that have stood the tests of time and continued to prove sustainable.
The ideals surrounding a homesteading are not those that also chase wealth, affluence, notoriety, secularism, fads, titles, bigger and better or likewise. The ideals circle around family, sustainable living, often around God, a higher purpose, nature, a quest of historic knowledges and morality.
The homesteader finds being able to actually live happily is not intertwined with money, succes in the a secular manner or prestige. What matters is found at home and being able to surround your home with as much of what you have produced, raised and nurtured as possible.
Sending children out to a "village" to raise them is not only often considered absurd by those with homesteading ideals, but it is rarely something these people will partake in. Raising and caring for your children yourself is expected and enjoyed.
Living to work in a job away from the farm might be necessary, but it is not desired.
Building a career outside of a homestead could be seen to prevent the building of a life
within the homestead.
Buying all or most food sources day in and day out from mass production is not acceptable on moral, health and even the most basic life standards. Humane living is always the only choice. One must try to get as close to it as possible. Humane living is as beneficial for the human being as it is for the creatures that move the machine on.
This isn't to say the we would want to lock ourselves away on the farm or have achieved any of the ideals above (we aim for it, however). It isn't to say we hope to do nothing of outside importance, but as our founding father, George Washington, a true farmer/homesteader extraordinaire said,
"I know of no pursuit in which more real and important services can be rendered to any country than by improving its agriculture, its breed of useful animals, and other branches of a husbandman's cares."
- George Washington
When we forget this truth, I fear we will have truly lost any sense of really living.
President Washington also said:
"I had rather be on my farm than be emperor of the world"
- George Washington
No matter what path you choose to lead or espouse to heights of great importance, those of far greater knowledge than we can assume to have, those who came before us felt that,
"The farmers, therefore, are the founders of human civilization."
- Daniel Webster
Be thou diligent to know the state of thy flocks, and look well to thy herds. For riches are not for ever: and doth the crown endure to every generation? The hay appeareth, and the tender grass sheweth itself, and herbs of the mountains are gathered. The lambs are for thy clothing, and the goats are the price of the field. And thou shalt have goats' milk enough for thy food, for the food of thy household, and for the maintenance for thy maidens
- Proverbs 27:23-27