This is Kim, editor with Black Homesteader. Homesteading can mean a lot of things to different people. There are types of homesteaders, urban and rural, and some activities some homesteaders take part in and some that do not. For example, I have been mowing over raising livestock. Since I don’t eat meat, this isn’t important to me at this point. Hence why there is no livestock posts at this time. Feel free to send me one if you wish to write for the blog.
What is Homesteading?
So what is homesteading essentially? Wikipedia defines homesteading as a lifestyle of self-sufficiency. Some skills include:
- subsistence agriculture
- home preservation of food
- small scale production of textiles, clothing, and craftwork for household use or sale.
If you have any interest in these activities, you could be a homesteader. These days, many homesteaders incorporate off grid power, and prepping/survival skills.
Brief History of Homesteading In the United States
The United States passed 7 homestead acts with one wrapped in the new deal. Under these laws, one could acquire land for very cheap or free in most cases. Land was available to men and women, White and Black alike. President Lincoln signed the original law in 1862. In 1866, a new Homestead Act was enacted in the South to Blacks and Loyal Whites. Eventually 1.6 million Whites (former Confederate, and Immigrants) were able to get access to land from these acts. Only 5,000-6,000 Blacks were given their deeds. Often times in both the North and South, hurdles were enacted to prevent Blacks from gaining access to these laws, establishing a racialized system of wealth where Black descendants of slaves were locked out of the wealth that is created through land ownership.
In 1976, the United States essentially ended it’s involvement in homesteading, with the passage of the Federal Land Policy and Management Act. This phased out homesteading in the United States by repealing the previous Homestead Acts.
Resources To Learn Homesteading Skills
Modern homesteaders are both rural and urban. Getting access to land is still an issue that needs to be addressed, however, if you are able to buy land in the country, that is great, but I am an urban homesteader at the moment.
Learning the skills can be a daunting task, but there are plenty of resources to help get your started.
Farm.com has a network of people looking to sell animals.
Prepping & Survival
Georgia Specific Sites
Homestead Blog Posts
Lastly, I wanted to list some posts of my own that could help with some specific skills to learn for homesteading.
Hopefully, this post gave you a little history of homesteading and some resources to get started. I love people sharing their journey, so if you would like to contribute, please let a comment below.