Category: Sustainability

Earthship Chronicles eBook by @eco-alex – Making this world a better place

I am honored that @eco-alex has joined Homesteaders Co-op as a vendor. He has added so much value to the steem blockchain and in his communities offline as well. Alex has brought his book to our marketplace which chronicles his adventure in creating his own Earthship. He shares his knowledge and lessons learned about natural building and living self-sufficiently.

It is quite fitting that @eco-alex is selling Earthship Chronicles in Homesteaders Co-op, because he is helping empower people to be more self sufficient, resilient and re-connecting with their natural environment through their living space.

@eco-alex is also the founder of @ecoTrain, a Steem Community dedicated to making the world a better place through positive actions, sharing knowledge, inspiring others via a weekly online Magazine. You can learn more about ecoTrain here.

@eco-alex now accepts STEEM, SBD and USD for Earthship Chronicles

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In his own words (borrowed from their Homesteaders Co-op store):

The magical tale of a man who self built his self sufficient luxurious earthship home with no experience or training.

If you are thinking about one day building your own eco-home or want to live off-grid and be self-sufficient, then this book is written for you! Welcome to the start of this journey and sharing.

This Book is about many things. It is a fantastic learning opportunity as I explain the most important concepts and ideas you need to know so you can understand how Earthship Biotecture works, and how Earthships are able to perform so well with little to no maintenance or bills. I also cover the thoughts and considerations that I had to make whilst building Earthship Karuna; including the technical aspects of building with my own pictures and of course many wonderful stories!

I share what I have learned through my own experiences of eco-building. I have learned a lot during my first and subsequent builds and will offer you my best advice and ideas for you to be able to fulfil your eco-building dreams. Anyone who has embarked on the journey of self-building will know that it is a long and often challenging journey. Whilst it may not be easy, it has taken me on a new path that has gifted me with so many things, not least real security and a truly comfortable home and lifestyle for a lifetime!

As this story unfolds, you will come to know that living in an Earthship or self-sufficient home is about many things. It is not just an ethical choice or a building type choice, it is also a lifestyle choice. When you start to live off-grid, and self-sufficiently, you embark on a break out from the matrix/zeitgeist. You start to unplug yourself from the normal, dependent, vulnerable, and highly controlled way of life that many people are used to in cities and highly developed countries. When you are truly self-sufficient and out of debt you take away some of the main sources of stress: buying food, paying the bills, covering the mortgage or rent, and needing to work full-time to allow this to continue. We can also look at environmental issues and great need to build smarter and in a more connected way, especially in the face of climate change. Our global population is rising and with it the poverty level and inequality of wealth in all forms. To compound this issue, the cost of living is also hurtling up! We are moving toward a very unsafe and unsustainable future if we continue to build and live in the same way that we have been doing.

You can browse @eco-alex‘s products at: Alex Leor’s Homesteaders Co-op Store

@eco-alex is based out of United Kingdom and his eBook can be downloaded anywhere! (Homesteaders Co-op is an international marketplace)

Recipe for Success: Tell the world about your passions…

Imagine a world where everyone can follow their passions without fear of being shamed. A world where people don’t have to shy away from doing what they truely like to do, because there would be no judgment. Imagine a world where no one says that a life of art or music, or any other kind, is near impossible.

I see it as a world where happiness is the norm. Where competition is only existant to further grow our spirit. A world where people are free to think.

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We have normalized an extremely boring way of life. Though there has always been the exception of a few marginalpeople here and there, the packaged lifestyle that seems to become main stream on every continent, with the same programing coming out of the soap box, has a newly awekened competitor!!!

This competitor I’m talking about is this wave of folks finally understanding (myself included) that happiness lies in being free to let your passions play out.

Maybe… Don’t quit your day job just yet!

I love to hear stories of people dropping out of their current life to follow their passions. They typically give it everything they’ve got and the stories are almost always full of joy and ease. While these stories may exist, I would be more inclined to believe that most go through hardships, failures and many a plans gone wrong along the way!

It is very challenging to let go completely of one way of life for another. But when passion is the main source of power pushing that change, it can be used as a very good place to start from.

We ourselves our going through this very same challenge. As much as I admire the ones who can drop everything to kick-start their new life of passion, we decided it would be better if I kept working part time. I can assure you, there already has been a few difficult obstacles along the way!!!

Working part-time, I am making less money, but keeping our health coverage, one of the shackles in the Unites States I have hard time breaking! That being said I’m very greatful to have found the kind of job that lets me come and go as I please and keep a full medical insurance plan that costs me close to nothing.

But keep dreaming!

As we are traveling at this very moment through Costa Rica we visited a community that has been building a life from their passion of community, homesteading and sustainability. They are a perfect example of success from having followed their dreams and passions! If you get a chance to check it out, here is their info: Rancho Mastatal

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Over the course of 18 years, they have come accross quite a few obstacles but they never stopped reaching for their dream and here they are now a world renowned Sustainability Education Center.

I will soon be posting about our stay at Rancho Mastatal on my personal page @SenorCoconut, it was very inspiring and really confirmed that we’re not completely crazy, to follow our dream of building something similar in New York state!


My point is, don’t be afraid to tell EVERYONE about your passions and your dreams, this is how you can connect with others who share the same mindset and who will encourage you to continue on.

Just like the community around @homesteaderscoop, you too can follow your heart and make your passions and dreams a reality. Everything is possible and don’t forget it.

Until next time…
@SenorCoconut

PS: If you, or anyone you know would like to join us in building the kind of tribal lifestyle in self reliance I mentioned, please get in touch with me 😁!

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… 😁!

Sustainability, Self-Reliance: What Does It All Mean?

There seems to be a trend to pursue a more sustainable life, especially out here in the western hemisphere. We can see plenty of internet pages and videos referring to projects or lifestyles exploring (and exploiting) the world of sustainability and self-reliance. I have heard words like homesteading, off-grid, survival, autonomy, sovereignty, self-sufficiency, sustainability, permaculture… you name it, they have been increasingly thrown around for well over ten years.

The variety of slightly different meanings can be heard across the web without a doubt. As @MondoShawan said in this challangeA Viewpoint Is Always As Unique As The One Having it.

We can take everything out of a dictionary to define the meaning of each one of those words mentioned above, but some of us will still have viewpoints that differ from one another. And I think this is because we all read from different perspectives.

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Looking at the root of a few words:

AUTONOMY (One of my favorite words in this sphere).

Its roots come from Greek, auto meaning “self” and nomos meaning “custom” or “law.”

In other words, “self-law” or “self-governance”. For me this one word, Autonomy, says it all… A word that really says Let me live my life how I want to live it.

I can definitely get behind this word, especially when we can create more food sovereignty on the homestead and it even suggests a hint of anarchy! With autonomy, we alone create and abolish our own regulations and restrictions as we see fit.


SUSTAINABILITY (I find this one to have a broad range of meanings).

From its Latin root sustinere, sustainability literally means “the ability to hold up from below”. It has been widely used as the word to suggest “long term (perhaps unbreakable) support systems”, especially in a space where our environment is increasingly becoming dangerous for human survival.

I used to call what we are building today, a place of self-sustainability. While the idea of an unbreakable sustained system is very attractive, I wasn’t so sure we wanted to go down that road. For me a fully sustainable life entails not only growing your own food but also making your own clothes and cheese and everything! Once I start bartering for something we need we’re no longer self-sustainable.


SOVEREIGNTY (Perhaps the most powerful word in its class).

It holds roots in Latin and Old French, literally meaning “ruler above all” or in more modern terms, “supreme power or authority”.

Breaking it up into two parts, we get super-reign. The old Latin superanus means “chief” or super meaning “over” or “above”. On the French side of things we have reign (from latin regnum) meaning kingship!

I really like this word, I find it very powerful and I believe is very event specific, for example Food Sovereignty (Don’t forget the food sovereignty challenge that is still going on, there are just a couple days left to enter). Our beauty product could be one of those events, the Self is another or even the way we communicate, maybe? Eitherway it can be applied to so much, as long as it’s none violent, I’m all for Sovereignty.


SELF-RELIANCE (This is a choice bundle of words for preparedness and goes hand in hand with modern-day homesteading)

To RELY means “to depend on with full trust or confidence”. From Old French relier meaning “bind together”. We can easily see how its original sense “gather together” later became “turn to, associate with”, and than “depend upon with confidence”. Dependence is like glue, it is binding.

So self-reliance than should be self-dependance; depending or relying on oneself for anything one wishes. Achieving Self-Reliance seems much more attainable than other terms in this sphere because it can be completely customized to each individual as they please.


Researching the definitions and origins of the above terms was a pretty eye opening exercise for me. I have been on a mission to define this multi-family-artist-homestead, with re-wilding and anarchist tendencies. I would like to be able to describe what we want to build with one or two words, but perhaps our lauguage isn’t yet equipped with the right tools. We need more words 😁!

Sources for this post are from several dicrionaries such as Webster and Oxford, Wikipedia/Wiktionary were used as well as Dicionary.com, Vocabulary.com, Etymonline.com and my own knowledge of latin bases laguage.

I hope you’ve enjoyed reading and that you’ve learned a little something today, I sure have! And please don’t feel discouraged to use the word in your own sense, but knowing its origins may help all of us communicate better in the end.

Until next time…
@SenorCoconut

PS: If you, or anyone you know want to build the kind of tribal lifestyle I mentioned above, please get in touch with me 😁!

Food Sovereignty Challenge – Highlights & 6 days left

I was pleasantly surprised to see a lively discussion on the topic of Food Sovereignty spurred from this challenge:
Challenge: What are you doing to claim food sovereignty for yourself or your community, and why?

If you are interested in participating you have about 6 days left. See the link above for the full details of the Challenge which is rewarding one 10 steem prize and two 5 steem prizes to 3 winners.

This topic is near and dear to my heart and imo one of the most important issues of our time. I was so glad to see many folks that I respect come out and voice their opinions about food sovereignty and also providing examples and proof that it is possible to claim food sovereignty for ourselves.

I am also really appreciating the entries from those individuals that are just starting down the road to claiming independence via food – it is not an easy road but it is a worthwhile and very fulfilling endeavor. Thank you all for your efforts, your stories, thoughts and wisdom.

Here are some excerpts from the entries that we have received so far!


A Revolution in Dirt and Seeds: Answering @Sagescrub’s Challenge on What We Can Do to Increase Our Food Sovereignty.

by @riverflows

I live in a rural area that was once a big wool production area and at the edge of a wheatbelt too. There’s a lot of farming folk around here, but there’s also a lot of people with small acreages or at least big blocks of land where they have the capability of growing food for their own table. It’s been fantastic to share inspiration, seeds, plants and knowledge, and we’ve been having monthly food swaps. So succesful has this been that the town over from us has started their own group and also do swap meets, and many members are in both groups.

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Is Food Sovereignty Possible in a Harsh Climate?

by @minismallholding

At the moment we have mains water and access to chicken feed. We are able to supply ourselves with eggs, most of our fruit and vegetables when in season and some meat. All our herbs come from the garden and excess is shared with neighbours. It’s not much, but it is a way of reaching out to the community and making those connections. For such an introvert, I was actually quite surprised to realise that I now know more of the people on our street than some of our chattier neighbours.

Community is essential when things get hard so cultivating that is important for me. Most of my neighbours aren’t particularly interested in growing their own food, but the fact that we are doing it has started a seed of thought within some of them.

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A Challenge: What are you doing to claim food sovereignty for yourself or your community, and why? My Response…

by @porters

We have coal oil lamps and the oil to go in it plus we do have a small solar system set up on our camperized van which we could bring to the house if needed.
Sad to say, but we have prepared for the internet no longer being available, which it very well could be, with a good library of books and music plus a tight local community.

We have a good supply of grains and seeds, pulses and rice in a storage room that keeps cool and dry.
We know how to cook things from scratch, can and preserve our foods and have a diet that we are happy with and are not reliant on the stores to maintain it.

This past year we took our gardening one step further and began our indoor gardening project.

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The (non)Violent Gardener: My Feeble Attempts at Food Sovreignty

by @nateonsteemit

Our efforts here to establish our own food forest and a tree-guild-based sharing garden are just the start. A big part of the sharing garden is going to be my marketing attempts to spread information about permaculture and home food production to everyone I am blessed enough to serve. When people come to pick berries and food, I’m going to greet them with a hug (I’m a hugger) and a small book or brocure of permaculture information.

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Homesteaderscoop Challenge: What are you doing to claim food sovereignty for yourself or your community, and why? Stanmr’s entry

by @stanmr

Food security is something I’ve been working on for years now. I guess we always think about taking care of our own first. Food sovereignty is a newer concept for me. I’m the kind of person that usually thinks, I can do this all on my own. It was part of why I became interested in gardening in the first place. I used to dream about feeding my large family from our little garden plot. We ended up with a few good meals in the summer. Or sometimes we were able to supplement some peppers and tomato’s for part of a meal. Then a big haul of winter squash and other end of the season bounty. I was content with that for many years but was, and still am concerned with how much we put in the pantry every fall. How to stretch the growing season. Or how to convince my children to eat healthier.

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My Response to – Challenge: What are you doing to claim food sovereignty for yourself or your community, and why?

by @wildhomesteading

One of my current sites used to be a homestead but was abandoned years ago – now I’m restoring it for wildlife habitat. But there are a lot of old and amazing fruit trees growing wild on the property. The above picture is one of these trees.

This site will be opened to the public in the future as part of what we are calling the Inspiring Kids Preserve. It will be a place for kids, families and the community in general to come and learn and reconnect with nature.

But I also want them to connect with the idea of growing their own food.

So to help with that we have teamed up with a local fruit tree group to run free workshops to teach people how to prune and take care of their own fruit trees by practicing on our wild fruit trees.

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HomeSteadersCoop Challenge: Salt sovereignty for myself, my community, and my Queen…Why?

by @yestermorrow

Which all the furor about various means of attaining food for all people’s, and caring for your community in the centuries to come after Lili takes her revenge upon mankind… Nobody seems to be speaking about Salt…

I won’t go into the particulars of it, (in fact, you should ask the folks @steemstem) but salt is an absolute necessity for all Earthly Life.. If even the children of Mama Evie need it, then you can damn well bet that Aunt Lili’s children need it… It’s just physics… If you had access to every possible resource, but no salt… You would die…

HARD…
Normally, Salt is harvested from the Sea… It’s quite easy to get it from there, and nobody even makes a fuss about it anymore… But inland.. Folks who don’t have access to salt-water, need take a different approach. How does one manufacture table salt with no Sea-Water?


Challenge: What are you doing to claim food sovereignty for yourself or your community, and why?

by @ligayagardener

I got the first ‘Grow Free’ cart established in Gawler and that lead to 4 more being started These carts are part of a rapidly growing movement and are for folks to leave and take produce as needed. If you have surplus, you leave it. If you are in need, you take. It’s a really simple Idea that works.

We are part of the local Saturday morning food share. This is where like minded folk catch up every week or when they can and we swap and give any excess from our gardens. Really, anything garden related is OK at these swaps.

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UndaNatural – Natural Lovemade Skincare, Cosmetics from an ecovillage in Spain

@purplemoon has opened a store called UndaNatural on Homesteaders Co-op. UndaNatural is offering handmade skincare, sunscreen and cosmetics made in an eco-village in Granada, Spain and shipping worldwide! In fact UndaNatural is part of the Weave to Empower single mother women’s co-op that our very own @trucklifefamily also belongs to!

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UndaNatural’s products are made with natural ingredients and lots of love and care are put into each one. @purplemoonlives her ethics in an off-grid ecovillage and makes an effort to have little impact on the earth in her life and business and follows a zero waste philosophy as much as possible, and also supporting local and handmade when possible.

@purplemoon now accepts STEEM, SBD and USD for Natural Cosmetics, Sunscreen and Skincare

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In their own words (borrowed from their Homesteaders Co-op store):

Single mum, living off grid in an eco village in Southern Europe, with a big passionate for natural cosmetics and aroma therapy. It all started 5 years ago, when my kid was born and I decided we will only use natural products for our skin 🙂

All the ingredients from UNDA NATURAL are natural and most of them are organic and ecocert certified. The oils and butters are virgin, unrefined and cold pressed. Some of the plants I collect on my own (calendula, chamomile, carrot, lavender, arnica, aloe vera) and the others that don’t grow around, I buy from safe sources (shea butter, coconut oil, etc). Some of the floral waters I use for the moisturizing are local made from a small farm in northern Romania (rose, lavender, basil water). I choose to use glass recipient for protecting the environment. The only compromise I made is for the sunscreen, that comes in the fantastic recyclable plastic, a very handy to use bottle that ensures that no sand will go inside. Everything is handmade with lots of love and care inside. Enjoy! 🙂

You can browse @purplemoon products at: Homesteaders Co-op

@purplemoon is based out of Granada, Spain and ships internationally! (Homesteaders Co-op is an international marketplace)

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Learn more about UndaNatural and browse their products: https://homesteaderscoop.com/store/undanatural/

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

Beautiful Handmade Paper from Bulgaria!

@bghandmade has joined Homesteaders Co-op to sell their fine handmade paper products from 100% recycled paper. The result of their work is beautiful! In case you know @bobydimitrov from #homesteading and #ghsc, he and his wife run @bghandmade.

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The b & g handmade family is dedicated to growing their own food in their garden, sharing the joy with their kids and participating in community gardens. I hear that they will soon be adding some of their saved seeds to their Homesteaders Co-op store to share!

@bghandmade now accepts STEEM, SBD and USD for Handmade Paper products

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In their own words (borrowed from their Homesteaders Co-op store):

We are a family fond of nature and all things handmade!

At our day job we create custom printed promotional materials. So we end up with lots of paper for recycling – mostly quality papers, acid free, FSC certified, cotton thread… Looking for an artistic way to use some of the lovely paper scraps, we started making paper in 2008. Thus began our journey into handmade paper!

Our paper is 100% recycled and 100% handmade at home – smoke and pet free, by us… and recently with the help of our two kids, aged 6 and 3 in 2018!

We try to spend as much time as possible outdoors. Be it in our family vegetable and flower garden, camping at the seaside, trekking in the woods or having a picnic with some friends by a river, in a picturesque meadow. All those places are an inspiration to us and a never ending source of amazing organic decorations we collect and use in our handmade paper!

Most of our work is local and bespoke. We do paper goods for weddings – invitations, envelopes, gift tags, plantable gifts, photo albums, wedding guest books, the whole lot. We often work on custom business cards and tags for art shops and fellow artists, and we also love to make lamps out of bamboo and our handmade paper!

You can browse @bghandmade‘s products at: b & g handmade on Homesteaders Co-op

@bghandmade is based out of Bulgaria and ships internationally! (Homesteaders Co-op is an international marketplace)

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Learn more about b & g handmade and browse their products: https://homesteaderscoop.com/store/bghandmade/

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 ~

Pepper Family Homestead Offers Seeds and Handmade Goods

@papa-pepper family homestead has joined Homesteaders Co-op. It is very special to see the entire family, kids included, in the homesteading activities with big smiles on their faces. It is so exciting to see the kids contributing to an effort if self sufficiency both in terms of food but also income.

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I am excited to see that they are offering seeds for sale to gardeners in the United States. Pepper family homestead has put a lot of love and effort into growing and saving their own seeds over the years. They go to great lengths to ensure quality in the seeds that they offer first by choosing only seeds of plants that offer great value and joy into their lives and second by offering only seeds that pass their germination tests.

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@Pepper Family Homestead is offering more than seeds! They are already starting to offer some of their handmade knit items. You can pick up colorful knit scrunchies made by the oldest daughter of the Pepper family. There will be various other items for sale throughout the year including artwork and decor.

@papa-pepper now accepts USD, STEEM and SBD for seeds and handmade goods!

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Consider supporting the Pepper Family Homestead by purchasing some quality seeds that will bring your family joy in the garden 🙂

In their own words (borrowed from their Homesteaders Co-op store):

After having a personal exodus out of the rat race, Papa-pepper and family moved out into the Ozark Mountains in an attempt to drop the cost of living in order to increase the quality of life. By growing more of our own food, we not only decrease the grocery bill, but we have a trustworthy, healthy source of nourishment for our family.

We want to not only raise our children up to understand how the natural world works, but also to inspire others to live a life that is more connected to the real world.

We have been saving our own seeds for years now, and often never have to purchase them again. Even the smallest of our children like to help in the entire process from planting the original seeds to saving some for the next generation of crops. It is our hope that you will be able to do the same and grow food for years to come.

You can browse @papa-pepper products at: https://homesteaderscoop.com/store/pepper-family-homestead/

@papa-pepper is based out of Arkansas, USA and ships within the United States! (Homesteaders Co-op is an international marketplace and our vendors are worldwide)