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Sunday, July 11, 2010

Homesteading

Hello TNW readers! As my dear wife mentioned about four weeks ago, I am joining her here on TNW to write a bit about our homestead. For a while now we have been thinking about starting a new blog about homesteading, but since she renewed TNW, we decided just to do it here. To start with, I will give an overview of why we homestead.

Initially we wanted some measure of independence from the modern food supply system, and from the broader economy in general. We are not far along with that, but even the fairly minimal progress we have made is very satisfying. It is also about living more simply. By providing for ourselves, on our own land and by our own labor, we know there are few things that are under own power to provide, and what ever happens to the value of the Euro will have no bearing on them. To my mind, that brings a little bit of sanity to an insane world. Simple living is also antithetical to consumerism. Being committed to that life style means that we live with less stuff, we have fewer gadgets, machines, and trinkets that demand our attention. By using and having less, we reduce our bills and thus reduce the income that we need.

There are also spiritual advantages to working the land (to whatever extent you can). When you grow or raise your own food you are working directly with the system God made for us. You see first hand how His creation works, and you even participate in it! You have to pay attention to the rhythms He established in the seasons and in the weather. There is even a kind of liturgy to it. Indeed there are many facets of the Church's liturgy that dovetail with agricultural activity. There are Rogation Processions and Embertides, and various rites of blessing in the Roman Ritual. Soon you find yourself paying more attention to the work of God's hands, and less attention to the works of men.

Finally, homesteading is also a great education for children. They see where food comes from, the work that goes into it, the value of good food. They learn some measure of self sufficiency. They learn how to make do with what is available. They learn a little about the animal kingdom, and learn how the natural world works. It also prepares them for modernist twaddle about human oppression of animals and that kind of nonsense. As a good example, my daughter was reading a silly book about giants the other day. In one part of the book the nice giant tells the little girl in the story that humans are the only beings that kill their own kind. Giants don't, and neither do animals, according to this large fellow. Well, tell that to the rooster we had last winter who got dethroned as king of the roost.

In short, homesteading isn't just a hobby for us. It is part and parcel of our lives. To some extent is even part of how we live out our Catholic faith. Hopefully it will not be long until I can write more posts about the specifics of what we do here.

1 comments:

Francis X. said...
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