Welcome to The Yardstead. Our goal here is to provide you with information about small scale homesteading. Sometimes the term 'urban homesteading' is used to describe small scale homesteading but I prefer the term yardsteading. Although there are many urban homesteaders in true urban areas, there are also many people in suburbs and rural areas who are interested in the homesteading lifestyle. Wikipedia defines 'homesteading' as follows: "Currently the term homesteading applies to anyone who is a part of the back-to-the-land movement and who chooses to live a sustainable, self-sufficient lifestyle. While land is no longer freely available in most areas of the world, homesteading remains a way of life in some parts of the U.S. A new movement, called Urban homesteading can be viewed as a simple living lifestyle, incorporating small-scale agriculture, sustainable agriculture, permaculture gardening, and home food production and storage into suburban or city living." 'Simple living' and 'back to the land' movements are sweeping across the world as people begin to realize
the consequences of our consumer lifestyles. Our constant consumption has lead to the depletion of natural resouces, loss of biodiversity as species die off, mountains of pollution, and increased alienation as we become less attached to the earth and each other. Carbon footprint has become a household word, as we realize the impact we are having on the globe. Simple changes in our lifestyles and consumption habits can bring about tremendous changes which can benefit ourselfs, others, and the entire planet.
Some of the benefits of yardsteading for the individual include, increased health from being more active and eating healthier foods and decrease cost of living and greater self reliance as home-grown food replaces store bought items. Most people experience an increase in overall happiness and well being as well. This is probably due to a combination of increased exercise, healthier diet, and other less material reasons, such as the sense of accomplishment and self-reliance experienced. As a person becomes more self reliant through food production, the risks of mass produced foods such as disease or poisoning from contamination goes down. Food safety has become a very real issue as more of our dietary staples and food components are now being produced in countries with much lower quality standards and often non-existant inspection programs. The entire planet also benefits from individual yardsteading. Most obvious are decreased consumtion of resources and decreased waste production.
These movements toward urban homesteading, simple living, permaculture and yardsteading are without a doubt growing. Our goal here at The Yardstead is to become your resouce for information on these topics. We will share our information and experiences with you, and we encourage you to share yours as well. You can contribute articles to the Yardstead and join the discussions in the forums. We encourage you to become a part of our community by registering for a free account and sharing your thoughts and ideas.