Category: Homesteading

Introducing @Wildhomesteading – Monthly Wild Homesteading and Business Advice Newsletter

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Hello! @wildhomesteading here and this is my introduction post as a new contributor to @homesteaderscoop.

My name is Daron and along with my wife I run the website Wild Homesteading and I post here on the steem blockchain Monday through Friday. Generally, my posts focus on what I call wild homesteading which is homesteading that is focused on working with nature.

My family and I live on a small homestead on just under 3 acres of land outside of Olympia Washington at the south end of the Puget Sound about a 2 hour drive south of Seattle. Our homestead is called the Wild Ride Homestead and we came up with that name because at times our life has seemed like a wild ride.

From living in England for a year, living on opposite sides of the state from each other in order for one of us to keep a good job while the other went to school, studying sustainability in Fiji, and raising a family… it sure has been a wild ride.

But now we are settled on our Wild Ride Homestead. Which does not mean the ride is over. There are always new projects and challenges to overcome as a homesteader!

Homesteading has been a dream for us since before we were married almost 10 years ago. But we are also very focused on supporting our local environment and creating a space for wildlife. Wild homesteading is our attempt to create a life that supports both our homesteading and environmental goals and values.

I truly believe that by fully integrating the natural world with homesteading you can achieve a more resilient life that is truly free from reliance on unsustainable inputs. Nature can be your best homesteading partner if you let it.

Monthly Homesteading and Business Advice Newsletter

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So, what will I be writing about in my monthly Wild Homesteading and Business Advice Newsletter? Well the name kinda speaks for itself but here are some details.

The wild homesteading posts will be similar to what I’m writing on my own blog but with more focus on how working with nature can result in more freedom (time, food, financial, etc.) for you and your family.

Once in a while I will write business advice posts that will hopefully help you run a successful online business. Much of this advice will focus around what is working (and not working) in my own online business. These posts will also be tailored to the awesome @homesteaderscoop vendors but anyone with an online business or wanting to start one should get value from these posts.

My own business is only in its 5th month but during that time I have built an email list of just over 360 people and so far this month I have had almost 200 people visiting my site from search traffic (google, bing, etc.) alone. Last month in total I had over 1,700 unique people visit my site. In terms of getting traffic and building an email list I think things are going good for just being 5 months in!

I have been studying content marketing for a couple years now on a weekly basis and I’m happy to share what I have learned.

Thank You All!

So, I think that covers everything—I’m looking forward to contributing on a regular basis to @homesteaderscoop. The community here on the steem blockchain is really awesome and has really helped me get started. I’m hoping that by writing this monthly newsletter that I can start giving back to you all.

Also, each one of my posts on @homesteaderscoop will end with a call for topic ideas that fit within either wild homesteading or business advice.

So… what would you like to see me write about in my first full post? Please leave a comment with your idea.

Thank you all!

Calling Global Homesteaders: Are You One, And Didn’t Know It?

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Hey, it’s @riverflows here, writing from the Antipodes or down under, as some folks know it. You know, before I joined Steemit, I only had a very stereotypical idea of what a homesteader was. To me, it was definitely an Americanism, something that conjured a Little House on the Prairie type scenario or preppers with guns and big stocks of food ready to ward off an apocalypse. I’d lived in England for a while, where I got used to the term ‘smallholding’ which was the British equivalent, but still, I only had a vague idea of what either of these things meant. And one day, we bought a 5 acre property in rural Australia (not so rural we had to ride kangaroos to work, but rural enough to be cautious on roads at dawn and dusk) and people started asking me questions. Are we self sufficient? Do we have a vegie patch? Do we have animals? I realised whatever life we were trying to live – conscious of the earth, willing to gain a little food sovereignty, adhere to sustainable values – came with a kind of label attached to it.

I still don’t know what that is, but I relate to this ‘homesteader’ tag on Steemit alot. To me it’s about folk who want to live sustainable lifestyles, grow their own food, make their own herbal medicines. You don’t need to live on a ranch or thousands of acres to be one, and you sure as hell don’t need to be an expert either. You can be an urban homesteader, growing tomatoes and grapes and raising quail in inner city Melbourne. You can have a verandah on a tiny block growing plants in containers. You can have an aquaponics system in the middle of the desert or a disused parking lot. You might even just support homesteaders by buying their produce at farmers markets and taking it home to pickle it yourself, or be into wildcrafting and foraging weeds and mushrooms on the weekend. You might be doing aid work on a farm in Lombok, learning about indigenous medicines in South America, or about to start a herbal medicine course in Tasmania. You might have grown up on a farm in South Africa. You might be have an allotment seasonally in Wales. You might distil lavender oil in your shed in France.

This is exactly what @minismallholding (a fellow Aussie) said in her newsletter yesterday (did you see it?):

While the title says Homesteaders, the community branches into so many different areas. Whether you’re a backyard gardener or living on acres, interested in natural living and medicines or prepping, crafting, DIY and food preparation, interests and communities all interlink and are welcoming and I’m sure you’ll find something of interest to you and a place for you.

Anyone can identify with this tag and we’re encouraging you to join in the conversation about homesteading practices on Steemit, whether you have a huge property or a tiny backyard, an island in the South Pacific (lucky you) or raise bees the top of a high rise building in a huge city.

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Saying that, the vast majority of homesteaders on Steemit, according to @pennsif‘s lovingly compiled list released this week (which you can find here) ARE from the U.S, and a large proportion in Canada too. I’ve been having fun thinking about why this is. Perhaps it is just an identification thing, or perhaps Steemit isn’t as well known in other countries. I’d love to meet more homesteaders from Africa, from Australia or from Europe. Upon reading this article, if you’ve changed your mind about whether or not you’re a homesteader (and hey, maybe we all have at least a littlehomesteader in us), please get in touch – go look at @pennsif‘s list, befriend some good folk, and get to know us. We’d love to have you as part of this community, wherever you come from.

Of course, the eventual outcome of this is more listings on the Homesteaders Co-Op website, which would truly be amazing. I’m going to follow @quochuy‘s lead in listing some things soon, as my hops is about to be harvested and I’m thinking about putting together an E-Book on how to make your own wicking beds. I’m so excited about getting more Australian listings on Homesteaders Co-Op, and hope that many more countries follow suite!

Voluntary Exchanges on the Homesteader’s Co-op – Interview with Ben, The Liberty Hippie, of Homesteads and Homeschools

In January I recorded a podcast interview with Ben of Homesteads and Homeschools and it was just released this week. Ben is also known as @bpangie, The Liberty Hippy, here in steem. I really enjoyed the interview with Ben. He is a good guy and a smart fellow and his podcast is doing a great service. I recommend subscribing to his podcast if you like this interview.

This is the first interview that I’ve done whose audience is not folks on steem. Although inevitably some of Ben’s audience may come from steem, many do not. And so it has been a perfect opportunity for us to get our message about Homesteaders Co-op, as well as steem, to folks that may not have heard of steem yet. I believe this interview makes a good first impression not only of Homesteaders Co-op, but also of steem.

I shared more of the background story about how Homesteaders Co-op got started and how the initial idea was born. I didn’t leave much out – so you may just learn more about our beginnings! I also shared how our steem communities have inspired our project.

I’ve transcribe the interview below for anyone that would rather read than listen. It is also nice to have this message in text format that we can use in part or in whole for our outreach efforts.

This post is an update to our fundition project

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Voluntary Exchanges on the Homesteader’s Co-op – Episode #005

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Link to episode 5 on Libsyn.

Ben: Alright so today we have Noel who runs the homesteaderscoop.com. You’ll find him on steemit under @homesteaderscoop among another name he may give you here in a little bit (@sagescrub). He is out on the west coast getting this website setup for us and he’s to tell us a little bit about that today. Its pretty interesting. I think its something we can all take something from and learn something on top of the idea of community here. So Noel, welcome to the show here.

Hi Ben, thanks for having me.

Yeah no prob, thanks for coming on – I appreciate it. What are you doing now? What’s your setup right now? You got a little bit of a garden, homestead…

Yeah, so my partner and I are in Southern Oregon and we are doing a half rent, half care taking for the property we are living on in exchange for a home and garden space. So it allows us to garden while we are looking for our long term place. I grew up in suburbia so homesteading is not in my upbringing.

I grew up in the country. I’ve lived in country and city. Suburbia is one of those things I couldn’t get a grasp on it. You weren’t close enough to have the amenities you do in the city but you’re not spaced out enough where you can enjoy a little bit of quiet and solitude. Suburbia was always tough for me. So what are you guys gardening or how big of a garden do you have right now?

Well our garden is.. how would I quantify it? Its pretty decent size but its also not huge. We are in the same spot we were in last year and we grew pretty much a little bit of everything like potatoes and carrots and greens and a lot of herbs and my partner is into flower farming and I am into perennials. Looking ahead for our future property, or even just sharing with friends I am starting a lot of trees from seed because they take so long to produce. That’s my long term focus. Short term focus is growing and wild-crafting as much of our food as we can.

Very cool. Are you guys hoping to stay in that area or are you open to moving around some?

Oh yeah we love it here because there’s a lot of like minded people and a lot of older back-to-the-landers from the 80’s and 90’s that we look up to and respect. There’s a lot of modern day hippies that live around here. So there’s a whole wide range of community that we can relate to. Its kinda funny, because I went wwoofing for a few years and I was seeking out Permaculture homesteads that I could learn from and contribute to and a lot of places that I went I was used to being the weird person or one of the few that was into Permaculture or learning about that. Where I am now people don’t look at me funny when I talk about Permaculture.

Hey you know it works. That’s good stuff. I am sure there’s a bunch of knowledge that can be had from all those folks too. Definitely when you get out there and you’re ding things on your own, having people to learn from is easier to learn from someone than a book or a youtube video.

Yeah growing up I didn’t have this sense of community that I have learned now. And even outside of this community just in general I’ve found the farming and gardening communities are just really welcoming and loving. That’s what really drove me to go in this direction is connecting to people in an industry that’s just all about love and care and nurturing, for the most part. Versus working in a corporate or desk job and you’re helping the people at the top get fatter and its all about competition and greed and scarcity.

Yeah I definitely think there’s a sense of community in terms of the farming world or agricultural world. You’re relying on yourself to get the plants in the ground and at the same time there’s help there and you can help each other. There’s the self reliance and at the same time there’s a little bit more than that. Alright so moving on to the Homesteaders Co-op. Can you tell us a little bit about what that is?

Sure. And maybe I’ll just give a brief introduction how it started. And if you want any clarification just let me know, because in regard to the Steem blockchain which is a social community platform for blogging that’s rewarding cryptocurrency…

Actually I’ll rewind a little further because what my partner and I were thinking of doing a year and a half ago we were considering income opportunities for generating income on the homestead. Actually we’ve been trying quite a few. Last year we started four or five small businesses just to throw feelers out there and Homesteaders Co-op was one of them. A year and a half ago we were thinking about the possibility of doing a paid membership website where we would teach people what we are learning about homesteading coming from a suburban background. From a perspective of someone that didn’t grow up homesteading. And so we liked the idea because we had a lot of people that were interested in – just in friends and family – in what we were going through.

At the same time I stumbled across the Steem website which I had just signed on to and realized there was this really beautiful homesteading community on there. And so I thought that would be a great place to do a proof of concept and try out some ideas before going out there and building a business and a website. And so I started blogging and it was just a really beautiful experience because I was welcomed by this homesteading community and gardening community and permaculture communities on that platform that really encouraged me. Encouraged me to grow in a lot of ways, in terms of the way I communicate and communicating more from the heart, which is really beautiful in contrast to our dominant culture which encourages you to communicate from a place of fear and scarcity. After that I realized I don’t really need to create a website because here’s this blogging platform where I feel really part of the community and really encouraged to share. And I’m already being rewarded in cryptocurrency, which is not necessarily going to make a living but its encouraging me to keep sharing. And so I did.

Fast forward another half a year later, last summer, my partner and I decided to start a seed business focused on Permaculture and wildcrafting. And a long term goal for the seed business was to share perennial seeds. The short term goal was – I mean we don’t own property, and we have a temporary garden space right now, and we were in the middle of summer. But we didn’t want to let that hold us back from starting the business and just give it a shot and throw it out there and see what happens.

In terms of working with what we had and the seeds we were passionate about, we put together a small seed catalog focused on food, medicine and beauty. And we call it Seeds of Abundance because its plants that produce abundantly through food, medicine and beauty – and also seeds. And there’s a wild aspect to it. We were really inspired by Fukuoka who wrote One Straw Revolution. And just really inspired to garden more naturally. So the seed business was inspired by that. We decided to launch it and sell it for cryptocurrency for steem currency. Because we felt encouraged by our community and we felt in a lot of ways its very idealistic – its very free. There’s no transaction fees, there’s no one taking a cut of the transaction. So we thought, well, it’s kind of like mother nature and its kinda like seeds so it goes hand in hand. And seeds are meant to be free, as far as nature is concerned.

And yeah, sorry I am rambling, but just to summarize a little more and get back to Homesteaders Co-op. I started working on that website and I have a background in web design and programming before I got into homesteading. So I dusted that off and worked on a website and found a way to accept payments for the cryptocurrency. So my partner said “Hey, all that work you put in, why don’t you share that with other people?” And I thought oh my gosh, that’s a beautiful idea because not only can I share the work I’ve done and encourage other people to sell their products in this community market format, but also… So yeah, I decide to share it and went to work on expanding it to be a marketplace for homesteaders. So that’s how the idea was born. Its actually evolved so much from there.

Yeah its definitely shaped up. I looked at it a couple months ago is when it came to my first attention and talking to you. Its grown! I remember seeing a handful of vendors on there and now there’s quite a number. Do you guys… so its not just STEEM right? I can use US dollars or is it just cryptocurrency at this point?

We started with just STEEM and then we expanded to dollars. Interesting thing about that… well our vendors are accepting PayPal or credit cards through PayPal, but originally we were just using STEEM. And originally it was going to be more of a business. I was going to charge a monthly fee in order to operate. I was considering that or commissions. But at a certain point around the time we were beta testing or shortly after that I had a problem charging a fee to vendors because first of all its going to be a while before we have a lot of sales. And I know that’s going to be money out of pocket for our vendors. And most homesteaders are on a shoestring budget so its a contradiction.

I had a big ethical dilemma early on and there’s that whole part of me that was trained for greed and profit from a young age that was contradicting the ideals of wanting to share something beautiful with a community. For a little bit there I was in a really tough spot emotionally and ideologically. Finally decided that I was inspired enough to keep working on it and give it away for free without charging commissions.

I realized that I really wanted to embody sharing this with my friends and community and see where it goes and follow the inspiration and if one day I don’t find a way to make it work sustainably, I can always charge fees later. But in the meantime, I was letting that passion for sharing drive me forward.

The beautiful thing that came out of that – a lot of things but – in terms of transactions, we didn’t have to be a middleman in transactions, so our website is basically a venue and it creates a venue for customers to find vendors and purchase a product. Once the customer goes through to purchase the product, the transaction goes through directly from the customer to the vendor. That’s both with STEEM and PayPal. We never touch that money. Its a lot more private, its a lot more secure. If our website ever gets hacked, there’s not passwords or private keys to be stolen. The vendors and customers take that responsibility on themselves.

I think its a lot more rewarding and empowering for people to transact just like they do in the farmers market because when you got to a farmers market and buy some veggies from a farmer, there’s not a market manager coming in the middle saying “Hey, hand that money over and I’ll take 3%”, or whatever, before it gets to the vendor. That’s the way that e-commerce works in the case of etsy and amazon and everybody else. They take the transaction. It makes sense because they have to be sustainable, but it creates the culture of profit being the first driving priority, which eventually evolves into a money hungry company if it grows big enough, that’s only caring about the vendors or customers that are making them a lot of money.

So for example – what we are doing helps to alleviate problems, like edge case – the little guys that are being ignored, for example we have vendor outside United States that can’t use etsy anymore because etsy stopped allowing international withdrawals by paypal. And they only make a few sales a month and so they have to use a wire transfer to get their money since they can’t use PayPal and the wire transfer eats up all their profit. So its like, there’s no point. Unless, you know, they have to look at it another way – they’re forced to get bigger. That’s what everybody does, they focus on the profit because that’s what is encouraged.

And that’s one of the things that struck me about this. More acts as a facilitator between the two different parties. It lets you do your business on your own and theres nobody gets in the middle demanding that you adhere to XYZ. That’s one of the things I thought was unique and interesting. Along the lines of decentralization and the whole idea of the blockchain and make things more personal. That’s something I really appreciate, seeing that people can actually get along and do things voluntarily and not be forced into paying exhorbitant fees just to get your own money.

Yeah there’s a lot of experimentation going on just in general in blockchain and a lot of it is really exciting because without less control and less force being in the picture, we are or we can be a lot more inspired and follow our ideals without feeling fear. There’s a lot of new territory so there’s a lot of experimentation going on and we’re glad to be a part of it. Just following that model as we evolve our community, community is following that model as well and opening up to having less control in terms of the structure and how we operate. So we have contributors that are helping to run our blog and market our community marketplace and as we go along its becoming more of a community feeling and less of a company feeling.

Part of that evolution is operating in a hybrid gift economy. We will be creating more opportunities for gifting and purchasing by donating or giving gifts away for free. In terms of sustainability we’re going to be exploring ethical advertising and gifting advertising to companies that we believe offer value to our marketplace and our customers, rather than putting whatever pays the most in front of their face and saying this is what we want you to click on. I like the idea of choosing advertisers that can offer real value and asking them to contribute something in terms of knowledge or information and we can say we really believe in what they are doing and their ethics align with our ethics. Those are all things we will be exploring in terms of different ways of feeling rewarded, compensated. Its really inspired a lot by gifting that is happening on the steem blockchain. Its very much inline with what you might see in your family or tight group of friends, gifting each other things because they love each other or they care for one another. Maybe a close group of gardeners. And we see sharing seeds and silver rounds and care packages and things like that. Its not for money – its for the joy of giving and the joy of seeing the excitement of those things being received. So we want to encourage more of that, but at the end of the day people have to make a living too. So its not like we want to live in a false world where its only ideals. Obviously there’s the money aspect, so we want to encourage both sides of things and not just be in a black and white, cut and dried world where things are all about profit.

Yeah, I think that’s something there. Because you do, you have to make money to get buy. But at the same time, you fill in little holes, whether its bartering or gifts. Or things like steemit… you said earlier you’re not going to make a living off it, but its something. Have ways to fill those little holes can be really helpful. If you go buy seeds for your garden, you’re going to drop 50 bucks, 100 bucks on seeds depending where you get them from. So if you can find a way to trade for those or get them from someone else instead of a big company, corporation that does all that. I appreciate that. So why don’t you tell us a little bit about what products they have. Homesteaders Co-op, you guys talked a little about perennials seeds, what else you got going on there?

Good point, thanks for reminding me, that’s the exciting part. Oh yeah and first of all, its an international marketplace. Like a lot of the blockchains, we are opening to crossing borders. We have over 20 vendors now in 8 different countries. Roughly half of that is in the United States. And the other half are spread across countries like Australia, Canada, Mexico, Spain –

Speaking of Spain we had a couple vendors join us that started a women’s Co-op in Spain and I was really excited to hear about it because they are all single mom’s living in an eco-village living as sustainable as possible, as close to zero waste as possible, supporting each other. But they don’t have a lot of opportunities in the local market because they live in kind of impoverished area. So they are really grateful to have a place to sell to a larger audience.

So you have people like that that are selling internationally, then you have folks that are selling within their own country. And you have all kind of mixtures, so we’re just leaving it open. The vendors specify where they ship to, how much their shipping costs are and what kind of products they offer which can be virtual downloadable products – for example…

We have one vendor in Canada that has an e-book for raising chickens and its quite in-depth e-book and its only $8 and it teaches you everything you need to know about raising chickens. And we have physical products. We have like you said, seeds, people selling honey. Actually two vendors selling honey in the United States and in Portugal. And we have a couple vendors selling naturally dyed clothing using herbal dyes – and they are really beautiful. We have someone making handmade pouches and purses and a natural wreath maker from homegrown flowers. And much more than that as well.

And we have a lot of people excited to vend as well and a lot of people are signing up. So we are growing fairly quickly. But I am also just appreciating this opportunity because we definitely want to get the word out there more, for growing more. But we don’t want to grow too big because we want to stick to the homesteaders niche, because we don’t want to be the next etsy or grow in that direction of getting as big as we can. We want to find that nice balance of growing so there’s a thriving economy, but not getting so big so that that it causes us to sacrifice our ideals.

But that’s the other thing in terms of decentralizing and being inspired to decentralize into a community effort versus a top down pyramid, I’ve been inspired to want to share our website with other marketplaces. We are still building a solid base for our website, but I’ve been looking for opportunities and the right individuals to share our website with. For example I would love to see a community driven artists co-op that is enabling artists to sell their artwork. Or a handmade toy marketplace. I am sure there’s lots of opportunities. So instead of trying to be everything, it would be really cool to enable other community driven marketplaces. And being community driven, they could really have the opportunity to thrive.

Yeah, one of my thoughts going through my head – you have the homesteaders thing, but you can break that up and share it out. Because its community based – I am sure there’s communities all over.. all sorts of things that I might not be interested in, but someone else is interested in. That’s the beauty of having it be so specific. You’re passionate about this. So if I am making basketballs, you might not be that interested in it, but someone else can do it. The community and culture can build around this. That’s what I like about the idea, the specificity of it and who it speaks to.

Yeah, it would be great to see that happen and then have a distributed network of marketplaces that are autonomous by their own communities. But even those marketplaces can form a larger community that all support each other, rather than supporting the guys at the top. It could be a more – decentralized is a good word. Its interesting because, actually before I even got into this whole stuff and several years back I was gardening, before I was into homesteading. And I was swapping seeds with my neighbor and I thought there is a really big need for a peer to peer marketplace for sharing seeds online and having different opportunities for sharing seeds out there. There’s well known seed companies. There’s a few website where people can share seeds but they’re not really user friendly or even well known. I never explored the idea but recently after putting my seeds on this marketplace and another vendor started putting their seeds, and actually some really cool seeds, and getting sales. Another vendor said they want to share their seeds and it just donned on me.. this could be that website, even though it wasn’t intended to be. It could be a peer to peer seed selling and swapping website. And I am really excited about seeing if it evolves in that direction because having things be more open is cool because the community can decide which way it goes. I am sure there’s a lot of opportunities that I haven’t even thought of yet that can come up in the future.

Yeah, lots of growth potential there. That’s exiting to watch. It will be fun to watch it grow. I wish I had the time to get involved…

But you already are! I appreciate you so much!

Yeah, no problem. So before I let you go, is there anything we didn’t get to about the Homesteaders Co-op that you want to let people know?

Oh yeah, well first of all the website is homesteaderscoop.com – that’s just one word, no dashes. And check it out because there’s some cool stuff on there. If it is interesting to you, subscribe or come back. We are going to have more vendors and more products in the future. And if you really find value in it we do have a crowdfunding page in fundition. I’d be happy to share the link for your show notes. It also outlines some of our short term goals of where we want to take it in the short term, which could be interesting to read about.

Yeah, we’ll definitely get those links in there. And I was going to ask you earlier if you have a donation page or some way to help fund it. Sounds like you do.

Mmm hmm. And that is helping to fund through steem, other cryptocurrencies like bitcoin or ether and also paypal. I am not really asking for a lot of donations right now, because right now I am feeling that we need to build this and make it really thriving and see where it goes. We’ve only been online for about two months now, but already this month – and January is not over – we’ve already made a couple hundred dollars in sales for our vendors and 100% of that goes straight to our vendors like I was saying. Its really exciting to see that and I’d like to see them rewarded more for their hard work because as most of your audience probably knows, homesteaders are super hard working and always constantly questioning what ideals they want to or don’t want to sacrifice, because at the end of the day there’s only so much time and so much money.

Most of us are homesteading because we believe in the world we want to live and lead and leave to future generations. Right now my drive is empowering and supporting those kind of people – and also getting their products and messages into the hands of people that care about it. I feel that our marketplace and the economy that we are building is not just about the products, its about the message too. We have so much to learn about – I mean… its better to focus on the solutions than the problems, because there are so many problems. There’s a bunch of people here, and probably a lot of people in your audience too, are trying to make the world a better place and doing the best with what we’ve got. That’s why community is so important, because we can’t do it alone. Yeah, that’s our message.

Good deal. I can subscribe to that. Alright, thank you!

This is an update to our fundition project: Free Community Marketplace for Handmade Goods in STEEM/SBD

‐ @sagescrub

The Homesteader’s Mindset: A Key to Making the World a Better Place.

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Let’s face it, we probably live better today than we have in the last few millennia. Just a few decades ago, the guillotine was still working. While I don’t believe in the death penalty, it may actually be one of the more humaneways to kill someone, though still a very medieval and gruesome practice, that was often publicized.

We can all recognize that the majority of humans live a more comfortable life than our recent past. Medical and civil advancement made our way of life much more bearable than it could have been just a few centuries ago. There could be a lot of debate on this, but between the beginnings of agriculture and colonization, I think we can agree that there has been much unnecessary pain in this world.

While today we are not enslaved in the same sense as when people were kidnapped from Africa or China and so many other cultures, we have constructed ourselves a strong mental cage to live in. Like it or not, we are trapped and most of us chose to ignore our dilemma while others enforce it. It often feels as though only a very few can see clearly that these shackles of mental enslavement must be broken.

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What can we do when faced with this reality, what actions can we take?

With the advent of the internet, and a growing consciousness for freedom (of thought and being), we can see that accross the whole planet there are more than a handfull of folks walking the path of self-reliance. Looking into the world of modern homesteading and prepping we can find the people actually making a difference and taking matters into their own hands.

Weather you’re in a small apartment, in a caravan or you have farm land, all you need is that mindset. As @thistle-rock explains so beautifully in this post, you could be a homesteader and not even know it.

The moment you start thinking about growing your own food, or finding some sort of independance from the masses, you are in a position to make the world a better place.

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We don’t have to feed into the madness of consumerism!

When we chose self-reliance because we want to have control over the ingredients our families ingest or because it can be a more affordable life, we will always be prepared for change. We will always have the upper hand for adapting to new situations. Having this ability can really open up one’s mind to make due, everytime.

Unblinded by the images of consumerism, we clearly see the difference between preference and principle.

Having had some sort of compassion for Mother Earth most of my life, I have noticed that the majority of folks with a homesteader’s mindset often feel the same way. The respect for our selves must come with a great respect for our planet… How else could we care for one another if it wasn’t for the greater health of this earth, our home? The same goes for our own health, how can we survive as a species, if we continue this course of natural genocide we’re on? With a little practice, I think we can remember our tribal ways and help each other make the most of our natural life to include the many generations to come.

Luckily there seems to be a revival of sustainability, autonomy and self-reliance living, to me this is one of the great news for humanity!

Lead by example, my homesteader friends, and love yourselves… You deserve it!

Until next time…
@SenorCoconut

PS: We are still looking for people to join us in building that crazy Multi-Family-Artist-Homestead, with Re-Wilding and Anarchist Tendencies, so if you or someone you know may be interested, please contact me… 😁!

Who is Homesteaders Co-op?

Homesteaders Co-op is a community marketplace where homesteaders around the world offer their handmade and sustainable goods in exchange for USD, STEEM and SBD (STEEM and SBD are tokens earned through the steem social media platform).

We encourage homesteaders, small family businesses, and eco-minded craftsmen to join our community. There is strength in numbers and with our collective creative abilities, networks, and dedication, we can help each other gain more independence and economic viability.

Anyone can shop at Homesteaders Co-op. However, unlike other marketplaces, we accept USD as well as STEEM and SBD.

We are bridging the gap between conventional money and an alternative economy. In our alternative economy we, as both the producer of goods and the consumer of goods, hold economic sway. When you purchase from our vendors using STEEM or SBD, there is no reliance on credit cards or banks for online transactions. Using these alternative currencies our vendors save processing fees and have more control over their pricing.

We are not a Financial Middleman

We actively choose not to be a middleman in the transactions between our vendors and their customers. Customer payments are made directly to the vendors.

In the case of USD transactions our vendors use PayPal. We setup the transaction via our shopping cart checkout process. When it is time for the transaction to be made, customers pay directly to our vendors’ paypal accounts. The money never routes through us. Its that simple.

In the case of STEEM or SBD transactions, the trusted SteemConnect service facilitates secure transactions between customers and vendors. We setup the transaction via our shopping cart checkout process. When it is time for the transaction to be made, customers pay directly to our vendors’ steem wallets. The tokens never route through us. Its that simple.

Our Mission

We built the Co-op with three aims:

  1. to empower homesteaders through a concerted marketing effort that would support each other’s livelihood
  2. to offer more diverse choices of quality and sustainable products made by small businesses
  3. to offer more market options for using STEEM and SBD tokens, as well as USD
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How it Began

Through steem, we had the opportunity to get to know very passionate and knowledgeable people who openly share their skills and experiences gained through a sustainable, homesteading lifestyle. The value we have received in knowledge, support and camaraderie from our fellow steem homesteaders is invaluable to say the least. As homesteaders ourselves, we are inspired by such a vibrant community and we are honored to be rewarded with STEEM tokens through sharing our content, ideas and support.

At the same time, we also noticed a missed opportunity: there weren’t a lot of options for transacting with the STEEM we were being rewarded, especially in support of each other’s work. Thus we envisioned a marketplace, like a farmer’s market, where we could trade our STEEM for the things we need and love while also supporting others just like us.

With many years of web design, ecommerce and marketing experience at our back, we couldn’t think of a better use of our skills than to bring this vision to reality. We are very proud of the quality of our website, its ease of use, and the ability to accept USD, STEEM and SBD in exchange for goods and services, and we are thrilled to share this resource with homesteaders and discerning buyers!

We are just getting started

The marketplace you see at Homesteaders Co-op is the beginning. Assuming the market rewards our vendors for their quality products, we will continue to make feature improvements to this marketplace to benefit both the vendors and the customers.

Shop with STEEM, SBD (and USD) at https://homesteaderscoop.com

Calling Aussie Homesteaders!

Hey all, it’s @riverflows here, posting from southern Victoria, Australia. I’ve got a 5 acre block near the SurfCoast, enough to grow lots of vegetables and fruit trees, and a six pack of chooks. One of the most fascinating things for me since I’ve been on Steemit is the#homesteaders and #ghsc tags where I’ve read so much amazing stuff about homesteaders in America and all the amazing things they do to as self sufficient as possible. I’d love to meet more Aussie homesteaders here on Steemit – there’s a small handful I know about, but I’m sure there’s more of you making, creating and growing on your land, whether it’s urban homesteading or rural.

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Being isolated by distance, it’s hard for us Aussies to get stuff shipped out here, unless we’re willing to pay postage. That’s why I was so excited when fellow Australian @quochuy listing his Little Worm Farm on the Homesteaders Co-Op. Not only does he have a free ebook on setting up your own worm farm, he also sells those worms! When the dry heat of summer is over, I’ll be looking at doing this for sure.

I’m not sure whether you realise it yet but The Homesteaders Co-Op has vendors all over the world – Portugal, Spain, the UK, the Americas! So what I’d love to see are more Australian vendors! It’d be brilliant to support people selling their goods via the Steem blockchain. I’m thinking of listing my garlic and thinking about what other products might be viable to sell here. Of course, we need to think about our local borders (did you know you can’t ship St Johns Wort to Victoria from Queensland, as it’s classified as a weed?) but there’s plenty we can consider, like homemade ethical soaps, jewellery, e-books, and so on.

So if you know an Australian homesteader that might be a perfect match, please get in touch via the links below, and let me know as well so I can put some steem aside to get your product shipped to my doorstep!

You Could Be a Homesteader and Not Even Know it!

Good day friends… @thistle-rock here with another contribution to @homesteaderscoop

photo © Heather Johnsgaard

It’s funny, but I never really considered myself a homesteader…

…that is until I joined the Steem platforms and somehow found myself drawn into a few communities, with a some of them being eco and homestead related. Who knew, I thought to myself.

All my adult life, more so in the last twenty+ years, I had essentially been living a homesteader’s lifestyle. For me it was just my everyday existence, but I soon came to realize there was a name for it, a community for it, and a growing attraction to it.

I am now part of several homesteading groups. Each one teaching me new things, allowing me to learn and grow within my chosen way of life, and I am thoroughly embracing it.

Most members cross over and you can be sure to find many familiar names within each group, fostering that true sense of community. While I find myself trying to participate within most, I tend to be most active within @homesteaderscoop as of late. It is wonderful to be able to relate to other homesteaders who are actively seeking to increase their own sustainability through not only creating wonderful products, but also offering them for sale to the general population. Yes, you too can purchase wonderfully hand made or natural products and seeds using US dollars, Steem or SBD at the Homesteaders Co-op.

But, perhaps you are still wondering,

what is homesteading and what does it really mean?

This, is not a simple question to answer, like everything in life, it is subjective to who is asking the question and who is answering it. Every definition and each response may have a different flavour; some sweet, some bitter, some profound, some simple.

Recently, I happened to be a guest on the Discord channel “The Ramble” @ramblingradio for their Creatives Coffee Hour hosted by @ArtemisNorth. This program, with its relaxed atmosphere, is a place for creatives to drop in and chat about projects they have going on. As a guest, this episode focussed on myself.

Along the way during the interview, @ArtemisNorth happened to ask me if I was a homesteader. Thankfully as I sat behind my computer screen in complete anonymity, no one saw the blank look on my face before I quickly answered that, yes, I believed I was.

it’s just my life… no label…. just me living life as best I can

Now, here I sit, a day later going over some parts of the interview in my head, wondering if I answered the question truthfully; wondering if anyone else may have seen comparisons to their life.

Thinking on it now… I can honestly and emphatically respond to her question and say, “Yes, I am a homesteader”!

So what does it take to be a homesteader?
Do you need a farm and livestock and a huge crop growing?

My answer to this may not be the same interpretation as someone else, but I believe you are a homesteader if you try to incorporate several activities or standards into you life on a regular basis wherever you are, which may include, among others, self-sustainability, ethics, handmade, and natural.

Breaking it down, it could look something like this but not limited to it:

  1. Being conscious of your own sustainability so you are not relying on others to survive. This may include:
    • providing your own power
    • growing your own food
    • making your own clothes
    • making your own tools
  2. Fostering ethical standards in the choices you make for what you buy, use and dispose of. Such as:
    • Purchasing quality handmade over mass produced
    • Purchasing ethically sourced, sustainable, organic and natural products
    • Purchasing items which will have the least ill-effect on the environment and planet
    • Making your own natural products, including cleaning supplies or remedies, rather than buying chemicals
  3. Trying to choose organic over genetically modified foods and seeds
    • Support local farmers when you can, or from other homesteaders who foster a “caring for the earth” attitude. Their foods and seeds have probably not been sitting on the shelves for long, if at all, because they use what they sell themselves
    • When you support your local farmers, you are supporting a neighbour or a friend rather than an unknown manufacturer
    • Organic and non-GMO is much more healthy for you and your family
  4. Leaving as little an imprint on the earth as you can through reducing waste, recycling, reusing, and upcycling
    • Using reusable produce and grocery bags keeps a lot of plastic out of landfills and from blowing around in the wind
    • Choose glass containers over plastic if possible, if not, use reusable plastic rather than one time use plastics
    • Turn old towels into rags or dusters or use them for spills instead of paper towels
    • Compost what waste you can, recycle others and reuse or upcycle the rest into useable objects or decor
  5. Growing your own food sources
    • If you don’t have land upon which to grow, use pots; many herbs, spices, veggies and fruits can be grown in pots
    • If you consume meat it could include raising your own lifestock for meat and dairy or purchasing directly from organic and ethical farmers
    • Trade your abundance with that of neighbours and friends for things they grow that you don’t
  6. Storing your own food
    • Canning and preserving
    • Freezing
    • Dehydrating
  7. Crafting your own clothes, tools, accessories, crafts
    • You can make your own clothing, produce bags, reuseable bags, tea towels, pillow cases and more from fabrics you currently have on hand, recycled sheets, vintage, lace, or from newer sustainable, organic, and eco-friendly fabrics
    • Fashion home and garden furnishings from scrap wood like pallets or deadfall, twigs, rocks and pebbles, homegrown gourds
    • Dried wreaths, handmade papers, and hand dyed textiles make wonderful gifts

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As I mentioned above, I don’t like labels. Doing what you can, whether it be big or small, all in or just a little invested, we can all be homesteaders if we put our mind to it and take small steps. It can be challenging at times, but without challenge we can never grow or learn.

We can’t all always choose where we live, but we can choose how we live

I decided to see what the dictionary said a homesteader was. According to Wikipedia, this is what they have to say (take note of the last line):

photo © Heather Johnsgaard

Homesteading is a lifestyle of self-sufficiency. It is characterized by subsistence agriculture, home preservation of food, and may also involve the small scale production of textiles, clothing, and craftwork for household use or sale. Pursued in different ways around the world—and in different historical eras—homesteading is generally differentiated from rural village or commune living by isolation (either socially or physically) of the homestead. Use of the term in the United States dates back to the Homestead Act (1862) and before. In sub-Saharan Africa, particularly in nations formerly controlled by the British Empire, a homestead is the household compound for a single extended family. In the UK, the term ‘smallholder’ or ‘crofts’ is the rough equivalent of ‘homesteader’.

Modern homesteaders often use renewable energy options including solar electricity and wind power. Many also choose to plant and grow heirloom vegetables and to raise heritage livestock. Homesteading is not defined by where someone lives, such as the city or the country, but by the lifestyle choices they make..
According to this, it looks like I am right on track, and you may be too but just never knew it. If you find you are actively seeking out similar values and choices, I encourage you to look into it further, perhaps you will find yourself making changes for a more self-sustainable life no matter wherever you are, no matter how big or small.
Homesteaders Co-op has been invited to participate in the Curation Corner at The Ramble (@ramblingradio) hosted by @ArtemisNorth and @shadowspub on January 29th; founder of the Homesteaders Co-op@sagescrub will be there, and if I can make, I’ll be there too.

~Until next time this has been @thistle-rock ~