Opinion

Homesteading: An Alternate to Modern Living

BY ADAM PRESTON

It feels like nowadays your options are limited to the scope of your labor. A constant nose to the grindstone pace, combined with attitudes and societies built around being busy, the feeling tends to be exhausting. This is no different for students here at Truman, with one student describing the interior aesthetic of Truman as a “Dystopian Prison,” and another describing it as “desolate. Frankly industrial and sterile,” with “I’ve seen better but it’s not the worst,” from Alex McClafferty and, “There’s a lot of character to it,” from Jack Robertson being some of the highest endearments for Trumans interior. It should be of no surprise, especially due to two years of lockdowns and being stuck indoors—people are tired of looking at concrete, screens, and the cityscape combined with the menial labor and rising costs to live. To some, it feels as if there is no escape, but to others, it is the peak time to start participating in what is commonly known as homesteading.

Homesteading is a lifestyle practice, centered around self-sustainability and renewable environmentally friendly living. This is often done via small gardens, self-sustainable heating, and cooling, collecting rainwater, and raising small pastures of animals like goats or chickens! Gardens are especially popular since they can be compacted to be any size necessary such as a rooftop or windowsill garden. 

Too many, however, when they homestead the first thing that comes to mind is a small house in the middle of nowhere, with no running water, no electricity, and no Wi-Fi, with domesticated and wild animals being your company. While this is a homesteading form, it is certainly not your only option; especially considering we live in an era of solar power. There are many different types of homestead projects that people can do, all acclimated to whatever your living situation is! 

Maybe you live in an apartment with roof access or have a window that gets a lot of sunlight. Petition the building owner to install a community rooftop garden, or start growing small food items on that sunny windowsill: this option is fairly popular considering not many people like the idea of raising animals anyway.

 Or perhaps you live in a suburb with some backyard space or extra room—raise some chickens or rabbits in the backyard, or perhaps grow some food items that can save you a trip to the store! This option seems to be fairly popular in Independence as when Jacob Keyser, a first-year teacher here at Truman, as well as McClafferty, expressed more interest in this form of Homesteading than any other. McClafferty cited Urbansteads as, “A good balance. It feels manageable and I don’t need to give up a lot to do it,” a sentiment shared by Keyser who said he preferred this option because “If I have to kill everything I eat I would become a Vegetarian.”

 Even better, there are likely some of you who maybe want to do something like this but want to do it on a plot of land in the woods; maybe with people, maybe without. Regardless of your social ability, an Acreage Homestead could work best for you as it has been cited as “a good middle ground” by Robertson. The best part? You still don’t have to give up electricity with this option thanks again to solar power, which means you can still get things like Wi-Fi, electric lighting, and if you wish: heating and cooling.

Categories: Opinion

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