Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Homesteading, Survivalist, Prepper, Environmentalist... just a name...

It seems like those names are bounced around a lot now-a-days.  Everyone has an image in their mind about them.  And frankly I find it hysterical... I guess it depends on who's definition you are going by as to where I fall and honestly I am not sure any of them really apply.

When I put up my canning after a great growing season does it make me a prepper?  Because my family will have food that I have grown and carefully preserved to insure they are fed healthy food.  I didn't do it because I am worried about the stores running out of groceries or anything else.  I do it because I love to garden and I hate waste!  I mean why would I waste my time growing a garden to just toss it in the compost pile.  And I love to share with my friends and family.  I believe that is how a community is built.

And while I am talking about gardening, is that a homesteader trait or an environmentalist?  Because when I garden in my raised beds I am very cautious about what I put in the soil and I use compost that is organic. I buy non-gmo seeds and usually only plant heirloom varieties.  Do I do this for an environmental reason?  No... I do it for my taste buds and my conscience.  The heirloom varieties have a flavor that man's meddling cannot compete with and when I don't try to grow things that shouldn't be grown where I live, they grow so much better. I simply don't want my veggies to be genetically altered, kind of a God's way kind of gal.

I am fairly sure that enjoying making my own wash cloths and soap doesn't make me a homesteader, although I could be.  I enjoy knowing that my soap is not full of things I cannot pronounce and that my skin is softer and feels great.  As for washcloths... nothing better than the feel of soft cotton and I don't have to worry about the quality.

I remember back when my daughter was born, I insisted on cloth diapers, mostly because I am not a trusting soul and I will admit it, I AM CHEAP!  I don't want to pay more for sub-quality or to worry and wonder.  I know that my time has value, and I know that it is more convenient to just go shopping.  I also know that I enjoy creating the things that make life better.  I know those cloth diapers that often dried on a line provided my baby's bum with softness and no chemicals against her skin, it saved me money (have you priced those things) and I knew in my heart I was doing good by her.

Back then I searched for like minded souls, people that believed in doing the same things that get you labeled now.  There were very few, the internet hadn't grown up and we hadn't found each other yet.  Now more than a few years down the road we are all connected.  Some go by labels, some not so much... me... I am still just me.

Sometimes I am prepping for a the winter months when my garden is sleeping but we are craving fresh green beans or wanting to remember the flavor of those crisp pears. Sometimes I am protecting my environment when I am cutting up cotton fabric scraps to put into my compost bins so nothing goes to waste and I have rich soil to fill my garden beds.  Maybe I am creating my homestead when I make my dish cloths, wash cloths, soaps, detergents, cooking a dinner from scratch, or making my animals treats.  And just maybe through it all I am a survivalist, because in doing all the things that make me feel valuable and allow me to care for my family, in a small way I am insuring just a bit of the bad stuff that greed and carelessness can create does not come near my family or my fur babies.  Who knows... I do know I am not a big fan of being labeled... I am who I am... and it's okay.