Today I want to address the concept of our plant-based homestead and answer some questions about this. As usual, you can watch the video below or read the post, the information is not all the same, but there is definitely some overlap.
WHAT is a plant-based homestead?
To start off, it is helpful to consider the idea of homesteading in general. Homesteading is living with a focus on self-sufficiency and sustainability, and can look different for everyone. The Easy Homestead has a great post introducing homesteading, and shares a lot of homesteading blogs. So, can you homestead as a vegetarian or vegan? Absolutely! Once you have an understanding of homesteading in general, it is easy to see how you can live a homesteading lifestyle as a vegetarian or vegan It may even be easier in many ways for vegetarians or vegans to adopt homesteading.
A vegetarian homestead involves a focus on self-sufficiency and sustainability without using animals as a source of meat for food intake. On our farm, we do still use the eggs for food, and in the future may also add honey bees, but we do not have meat or dairy animals. A vegan homestead would not include any animal products whatsoever. Vegan homesteaders would also likely avoid having animals on the farm altogether, in an effort to advocate for animals being in their natural state and not being used as companion animals or pets. In some cases, vegan homesteaders may rescue farm animals or other animals and provide sanctuary for them; however, many vegans prefer to avoid having animals altogether, especially carnivorous animals, like cats, who need to eat meat to survive.
WHY a plant-based homestead?
There are many reasons why a vegetarian or vegan homestead might be a better option for you, For us, it comes down to emotions and our desire to have animals as companions. It also helps us improve our health by prioritizing plant-based options into our diet. In addition I appreciate the lessons of compassion that it teaches us, and will hopefully instill in our future children.
It can also be less expensive and easier to focus on plant-based production instead of meat production. There is so much diversity in a garden, and if you are using organic, no-till methods, you really won’t need to “feed” your garden often. If you compost your kitchen scraps, you can create your own “feed” at little to no cost. There are no vet bills with a garden, and you can reproduce year after year by simply saving seeds. The final harvest of vegetables or fruit is much easier, and a whole lot less painful, which is the key for us. Of course if you live in a short season like ours, you do need to get creative with what you grow, and how you store it, which takes a lot of time and a whole lot of learning. These are just a few reasons why we started a plant based homestead.
What do we think about raising meat animals?
I want to answer this question because I really want to make one point clear: just because we follow a certain set of practices and beliefs in our own lives, does not mean that we expect or hold these same expectations over others. Ethics, morals, and cultural practices are not always black and white, but I do think connection is critical. What I mean by this is that in the US, and many western cultures, we have lost a connection with the food we eat, the products we use, and even people. Homesteaders who raise meat, are thoroughly connected with the process and the food they eat, which I can respect a lot more, than eating store-bought meat from an animal whose life you do not have to acknowledge. If you cannot raise your own meat animals, but you want to continue eating meat, I encourage you to find someone local who is raising the animals, and see where your food is coming from.
Community of Plant-Based Homesteaders or Bloggers
There are only a few on this list so far, but I hope it grows vastly over time. Do you have a farm or homestead that focused on plant production over meat production? Shoot me a message and I’ll add your name to the list!
- Eat What You Sow: Cheryl lives with her husband and two children on a 1-acre property in the Pacific. They have an orchard, berry bushes, and a thriving garden, and have amazing plant-based, vegan, garden-inspired recipes to share! Blog and Instagram
- Azure Farm (Georgia): Annette and Jared have an amazing little hobby farm in Georgia. They have a gorgeous raised bed garden (it’s stunning) and they have adorable Alpacas, chickens, ducks, and mini donkeys! Website/Blog and Instagram
- JeanieGreenHens (New Hampshire): Amanda of JeanieGreenHens is best known for her gorgeous chicken eggs. She has a small farm in New Hampshire, and it is filled with colorful and unique chickens. Etsy and Instagram
- Steel Spoon Farm (Ohio): Jen and her husband Clayton have a beautiful little farm in Ohio and focus on natural wellness (yay!) They have organic veggies, herbs, and fruits, and also love DIY projects. Blog and Instagram
- Farm and Folk (Colorado): Farm and Folk create nature-inspired quilts almost entirely hand-made. Website and Instagram.
- Haley’s Daily Bread (Maine): My friend Haley may not have a homestead per say, but she and her husband live on a family pumpkin farm, she is plant-based, and makes some amazing baked goods using vegan ingredients. Check our her blog for lots of mouth-watering recipes.
Do you have a homestead that focuses on plant-based food instead of meat for food? I challenge you to share a post about what it is that you do and why you do it! I wanted to create this “challenge” because I have felt a lot of pressure to hide who we are and how we live from the community. There is a lot of judgement out there. I want to encourage people to be open about how they choose to live and eat, and be willing to support each other in that journey.
That’s all for now friends. All my best,