Questions and a few answers..........

I had an interview yesterday that really got me to thinking.  I was asked about the Homesteading Conference that Deborah Niemann-Bohle and I did on Saturday for Illinois Valley Community College.

The reporter asked me about the differences in homesteading and a hobby farm.  

Hmmmm? Its easy to explain the differences.... but what are we???

From my point of view, homesteading is taking virgin land, building a home and creating a world on 40 acres with a mule.  Hobby farms, on the other hand, are rural plots where animals may or may not play an important role but CPA's aren't looking at your profit margins.

So where and what are we???

Few people derive their major source of income from their homestead/hobby farm.  Try as we might, Honey can not quit his job to weed for me every day.  It could work if we could guarantee that we would never be sick,  the REC doesn't want to get paid and if we could make that 15 year old truck run another 15 years.  And the IRS would finally (after my countless letters!) accept green beans instead greenbacks for tax payments. (Hey ... it worked at 4-H House!)

I am not so self-sustainable oriented as many out there.  I think I base homestead/hobby farm/life off the ability to take care of myself..... but I also nod to my neighbors and friends in the community. Supporting my friends and their talents and their dreams of a successful business.

They are not Wal-Mart!  They don't own stores in the mall!  They are small businesses in "the neighborhood" doing something better than I can.  Sometimes .... the neighborhood is 2 miles away.......... sometimes its 200.

Most of the businesses I support are women-owned and operated businesses. My flower garden needs markers................ I could write markers with a stick and a Sharpie marker.  But Rebecca makes cooler ones!!  Really cool ones!! Ones that will make you drool!!!

I always painted my own signs before ........... but Jen's signs are. in. credible.  (Yea ... two words .. in. credible.  They are that special!)

So what am I ?  Am I homesteader with sense of community spirit?  Or am I a hobby farmer that insists I can live off of a flower farmer salary?

I'll just go with a one word answer .................happy!


Kelly Bartels said…
What a lovely post! I think you answered that question perfectly.
What are we, if we can't be a "family" of like-minded folks doing the things that make our hearts sing?
Anonymous said…
I always thought homesteader was the "by George, we're living completely off the land" and hobby farmer was someone who had a job on the side. But that's me. I couldn't be a homesteader, according to my definition, 'cause I like my job and I need to support my Kindle habit. :-)
I always thought a hobby farm was where you had more money going out then you had coming in! LOL

I love your finally answer though "happy" and really, isn't that what matters most?

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