When thinking about Homesteading, my first thought was about pioneers and how they claimed their land, built their homes and began their lives. The Merriam-Webster dictionary says that Homestead is the home and adjoining land occupied by a family.
So, as a city dweller with limited land resources, what would that mean to me? What does that mean to you? Are you’re a city or country dweller? What can we do to claim our homesteads? After some thought, I considered that for me, at this time of year, homesteading means gardening and growing plants.
I have a moderately green thumb (easy plants and herbs only, please). You might have a super green thumb and lots of space. Or, maybe not.
Our technological and busy life has taken a lot of our attention away from the cycles of the seasons. There is something very balancing about getting our hands dirty and nurturing a plant in its growth.
Many of us may be feeling disconnected from our true selves and not sure of where or how to regain our balance. How does this relate to homesteading? It's all about grounding.
There are many different techniques that we can use to help us feel more grounded and stable, help us feel less anxious, and give us some exercise. Gardening in its many forms really can help. Gardening or Homesteading in today's sense involves all your senses - we can see, feel, hear, taste, and smell; gardening provides a good and healthy distraction from worries, it helps us focus on something other than our issues, and it provides physical activity.
We can have fresh herbs, flowers, and vegetables with very little space or expense. Plants, seeds, and pots can be inexpensive. There's no need to spend a ton of money to get back in touch with the earth. Gardening necessities can be purchased almost everywhere from the grocery store to nurseries to home improvement centres, or even a dollar store. You don't need a lot of space, either a few pots on a windowsill, balcony, or patio will be a perfect to start.
What does all this playing in the dirt mean? Well, for one, your hands will get dirty. For another, you will have to think about feeding and watering your green kids. If you go on vacation, you'll need to have someone come over and water the plants. If you grow plants outdoors, you'll learn about sharing with your wild friends. I got exactly 12 berries off my raspberry bushes this year. The birds were extremely happy, though.
It seems that the benefits outweigh the work when it comes to a garden. We can have fresh herbs for cooking, fresh tomatoes for our salad, and flowers to brighten our day.
The result of my little foray into city homesteading has resulted in a pots of fresh Rosemary and Lavender happily sitting on my porch and are ready to give their delightful scents each time the winds blows and lend flavour to lamb and tea. My Amaryllis bring lots of exuberant colour to brighten the dullest of winter days.
If you're inspired and maybe up for a little challenge, can I ask you to take a little trip to your local nursery, home improvement, or dollar store and see what plants call to you? Remember, there's no need to break the bank or come home with a bunch of exotic plants if you are a beginner. Just have fun.
Being in touch with the earth, whether it be pots of herbs in the kitchen, containers on the patio, planter boxes on our balconies, square foot gardening in our back yards, or a full on farm, homesteading helps us stay grounded.
There is nothing quite like planting and nurturing a seed or bringing home a new green friend from the garden store. Unless it's settling in with a garden book and seed catalogue on a blustery winter day and planning for spring. This is something I will be doing more of in the future. How about you?
I’m looking forward to connecting with you in future issues and remember, you’re welcome to contact me at the numbers below.
Rev. Shirlee Rankin has been a therapist, educator, and speaker for over 30 years and is an Advanced Soul Realignment Practitioner, Ohana Generational Healing Practitioner, Reiki Master, Crystal Practitioner, Animal Communicator, and is an Ordained Metaphysical Minister.
Through years of dedication and study in various physical and metaphysical streams, she is dedicated to helping people discover their Divine Life Purpose and assists couples and families with Soul Realignment, Relationship Readings, Healing family traumas, and performs crystal and reiki treatments for both people and animals.
Shirlee is now called to help in a new way by becoming a metaphysical minister and offering her services as a counselor, wedding officiant, and celebrates life transitions.