When I think of a farm, I think acres upon acres of corn and big tractors and bales of hay.
When I think of homesteading, I think of chickens, veggie gardens, greenhouses, and living off the land.
But what truly is the difference between them?
After constant searching on Google and YouTube to find the difference between farming and homesteading, I decided to go back to basics and look up the definitions:
home·stead[ˈhōmˌsted]NOUN1. a house, especially a farmhouse, and outbuildings.synonyms: home · place of residence · homestead · lodging place ·[more]2. NORTH AMERICANhistorical(as provided by the federal Homestead Act of 1862) an area of public land in the West (usually 160 acres) granted to any US citizen willing to settle on and farm the land for at least five years.
farm[färm]NOUN1. an area of land and its buildings used for growing crops and rearing animals, typically under the control of one owner or manager.synonyms: smallholding · holding · farmstead · steading · grange ·
So, a homestead was actually when the government would give people a lot of land out west so that people would spread out across what is now the United States. They would live off the land, build their homes, and eventually turn their land into farms.
Obviously the government doesn’t give land away anymore, but as I was watching a video on YouTube about the ishue, the guy I was watching said it best; ‘homesteading isn’t a place, it’s a frame of mind’.
So, then what is farming? From what I now understand, farming is the growing of food and livestock with the sole purpose to make money off it.
So what is the difference? Farming and homesteading are basically the same! You don’t have to have a lot of land to be considered a farm, and you don’t need 160 acres to be a homestead. What really splits them from one another is money.. Farming is making money off what you grow and keeping a little for yourself. Homesteading is keeping most for yourself and maybe selling a bit on the side to make some money off your homestead.
So which am I? For now, I am a homesteader. I grow food for my family and I, and I keep more than I sell. But I do want to start a farm someday, and I plan on making a business off from my property.. So at what point do I become a ‘farmer’ and my land become a ‘farm’?
It’s not until I start selling most of my grown food at the local farmers market (60% or higher of my crops) with the sole purpose of making money, will I, by technical terms, become a farmer. Until then, I’m just a simple homesteader who loves growing food for herself and her family.
So, what are you? A farmer? A homesteader? Neither? Let me know in the comments! And have a great day!
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