I’m sure many of you have heard me use the term “half-steading” in many of my articles or on the podcast but have wondered; what exactly is half-steading? Well, wonder no more!
Half-steading simply put is where you are either a new homesteader or someone who is trying to transition into becoming a homesteader. In other words, you are a half-homesteader. Personally, I identify as a half-steader because I am nowhere near the point of self-sufficiency, yet I strive to inch ever so close to that goal. Homesteading and prepping to me are interests at this point, things I’m enthusiastic about, but am in no-way close to being an expert in nor commited to on a full time basis. With that being said though, I do eventually wish to be at the point of complete (or near complete) self-sufficiency and reliance and I like to use this site as a way to share what I learn as well get reader and listener feedback as to what I can improve.
From what I’ve gathered through research, I would say most homestead enthusiasts fit into this category as many (if not most) of us still live in a suburban or close to suburban environment and have job and family lives that may not be 100% conducive to being full homesteaders. However, through the beauty of half-steading, we can learn, improve and collect new skills every day, while reaping the rewards of our hard-work through the learning process (aka fresh ‘maters and green beens!). Half-steading likewise gives us the opportunity to look for ways in which we can eventually make the transition into full or near homesteading on a time table that suits our needs and lifestyle. But that’s not to say that everyone’s goal is to become a homesteader. Others may just find that they would rather stay half-steaders permanently instead of homesteading, whether it be because they simply want to keep it as a relaxing hobby (like most gardeners) or because they’re in it more so for the personal benefits than anything else. Not everyone has the same reason to half-stead, yet those of us who do it all experience some wonder benefits from it.
If all of this sounds good to you, what I would recommend doing is the following;
- Read as much as possible! Sounds pretty ‘duh!’, right? Well, it is! There are many good homesteading and prepping sites and magazines available to you out there. One of my personal favorite magazines is Backwoodsman Magazine . It’s easily the best $5.50 you’ll ever spend. I’m also quite fond of the information in Georgia Outdoor News and the Old Farmer’s Almanac.
- Don’t overthink things. I cannot stress this enough. With the vast amount of information available at your disposal, everyone is going to have a different opinion, technique or gimmick. Whether you’re trying to improve your gardening, fishing, hunting, or animal husbandry, everyone has something to say about it and a lot of the information may contradict. What I say, is if you’re trying to learn a skill, find sound advice that doesn’t violate the basic laws of stupidity and try it. Just make sure that you follow whatever instructions given properly and learn when you need to call an audible (especially with gardening, because perfection is never a guarantee).
- Don’t be afraid to make mistakes or get dirty. Both are going to happen and you might as well get used to it.
- Think low-tech/high-effect. People online or in person are always going to brag about the latest toy they have for gardening, fishing or hunting but you really don’t need what they have, especially as a beginner. I dig every inch of soil with nothing more than a spade headed shovel, a hoe and a rake. I make all of my garden beds with recycled railroad ties and bamboo stakes. It’s hard work, but it’s rewarding. You don’t need half of what you think you need to garden or be successful in any door venture.
It is work. Any endeavor that involves the elements, food production or surviving is work. But the benefits of half-steading are innumerable and transcend more than just a simple hobby, as I’ve written previously. Even in the short time that I’ve been on this half-steading journey I’ve noticed increased vitality, motivation, weight loss, stress relief, better moods, etc. This, in combination with the previously stated rewards (you know, fresh ‘maters and green beans!) make it a lifestyle that I would recommend to everyone. . .especially y’all city slicking yankees.
Okay, okay. . .I’m not that guy. . .yet!
But I will be one day!
God bless y’all,