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Prepper or Homesteader?

My father carefully placed the camp stove into the trunk of the Dodge Monaco. It was the mid-seventies. "You'll never know if we might need it", mom would say. In reality, they loved to relive camping experiences year-round by making coffee or building a campfire sometimes just a few minutes from home. Our frequent picnic outings included the essentials; just in case we had an earthquake, typhoon, or an apocalyptic event. I was raised to prepare for the inevitability of stuff happening; a change in weather, an accident, and unexpected stranger who needed something or a coffee emergency to be satisfied by some Tasters Choice freeze dried granules prepared with love on the roadside.

Being prepared inspired me then and it still does.

Prepping and homesteading mean different things to different people. For some, "Preppers" conjure up images of gun-wielding characters with bunker basements full of freeze- dried food, beans, rice, shells and emergency water purification systems and alternate sources of energy. Some preppers are motivated by fear, and some by faith.

The homesteading movement intrigues me. Young families especially, find great joy in the freedom of living out of their pantries with the provision of livestock, gardens, and home school schedules. Nowadays with the ability to balance modern technology with old time skills (often the skills learned from Pinterest) I find perfect company among young bloggers and Instagrammers who have chosen a life much like I've had since I moved to the farm. I'm somewhat of a preppy-homesteader, I think. I hope I've prepared my kids like my parents prepared me.

How do we prepare future generations for the world's circumstances? I've watched as young couples in my sphere of influence balance home school life by teaching leadership skills and not pander to pandemic perspectives. They reject any notion of a doom and gloom future. They model preparedness on a small scale in a few ways; planting seeds, learning to care for small animals and livestock, learning how to cook raw food and make homemade treats, being acquainted with food preservation techniques as well as baking with sourdough. And yes, they know how to cook over a fire.

How does preparedness integrate into your everyday life? For some of you, as for me, homesteading and preparedness is a hobby and passion. There is no perfection in the right method or stress over the timing of your preparations. There will always be someone with a more colorful pantry and a bigger gun collection. I love knowing how to do things that make us self-sufficient and comfortable as well as ready to share with those in need. Perhaps a beginning for you might mean picking up a winter squash at the farmers market and considering it a goldmine of nutrition. Try not going to the store for a week or two. Buy local. Perhaps, you will consider canning some #ohnemusbeef for your pantry. Plant a few vegetable seeds and don't forget to water them. You might get a few backyard chickens or try making sour dough or kombucha (I'll provide the starter). It's all about balancing work and fun. It might even bring about a new confidence in facing a future where living with less is more.


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