homestead

From growing a garden and raising chickens to going off grid and living a self-sufficient life, homesteading means many things to many different people. And the reasons why people choose the homestead lifestyle come in all sorts of shapes and sizes.

Whether you’re trying to get back to your country roots and grow your own food, or you’re trying to break free from a suburban lifestyle, everyone has different homesteading experiences, and at Insteading we are all about celebrating that! With the help of some real-life homesteaders, were able to share their stories and encourage others to give homesteading a shot, too!

Recent Homestead Stories Posts

  • pineapple lillies

    Homestead Stories: Pineapple Lilies

    “Are those pineapples?” asked my friend. “Nope,” I replied (admiring the newest addition to my spring garden). “They’re actually called pineapple lilies.” “Fragile, I expect.” “Very,” I said. “They don’t tolerate frost at all. I’ve tried to start the bulbs for a few years now.” “But it’s indoors in a pot. Have you tried growing […] More

  • brown bear in tree

    Homestead Stories: The Burglar Bear

    We were living down the canyon in a big, round house with a 45-minute drive one way just to get to the grocery store. So we grew some of our own produce and raised chickens (and a duck) for eggs. Living out in the woods with gardens surrounding your house and a small flock of […] More

  • white oak tree

    Homestead Stories: The Mighty Oak Tree

    The arborist was following me around the property. It had been a hard winter with several damaged trees and a lot of large limbs downed. Rather than use the chainsaw to clean up the mess, I preferred to bring in a professional. He knew the trees better than I did, and could tell me what […] More

  • saffron crocus bulbs

    Homestead Stories: How Does It Grow?

    I use a lot of cinnamon when baking. I love the smell it leaves in my cupboard, the aroma that wafts through the house when I’m baking, and of course, the flavor. That said, cinnamon is expensive. I think my last jar cost close to 15.00 USD. I use so much that I always buy […] More

  • poison garden

    Homestead Stories: The Poison Garden

    There are a lot of beautiful plants in the world. Some have medicinal purposes, others are edible, and there are those that are purely decorative. There are also many plants that are dangerously poisonous, “look, don’t touch” garden beauties. So what about planting a poison garden dedicated solely to them? While doing some recent research […] More

  • forget me not flowers

    Homestead Stories: Forget-Me-Not Flowers

    I have a special affection for the tiny blue wildflower that appears every spring. Forget-me-not flowers, the state flower of Alaska, is known to have special meaning and reflect compassionate sentiments. For me, it is a symbol of connectedness with my husband of 38 years. As a recognized symbol of true and undying love, it […] More

  • christmas plants

    9 Of The Best Decorative Plants For Christmas

    Have you started decorating your house for Christmas? Hung a holly wreath? Dangled some mistletoe over the entryway, decorated a Christmas tree, and bought your poinsettia? Are they all real? Or plastic? Personally, I prefer real. There’s nothing like the smell of pine from a real tree to set the mood for the season. Or […] More

  • monkey orchid

    Homestead Stories: The Monkey Orchid

    If my Insteading readers have been following the orchid stories, you’ll know how much I love this charming plant. There’s my general, informative article on orchids, the unusually-shaped bat flower, and the swaddled babies. I keep finding more orchid varieties as I browse the local nurseries or share my discoveries with friends. I want to […] More

  • nasturtium flowers

    Homestead Stories: A Colorful Mosaic Of Nasturtiums

    “I love my nasturtiums,” Mom declared years ago as she led me on a walk through her extensive garden. The nasturtiums were everywhere. Every color imaginable — from solids pinks, reds, yellows, and oranges, to multicolored mixes. The long stems wove through and around the other plants, cushioned by the large umbrella leaves that served […] More

  • purple passionflower

    Homestead Stories: The Purple Passionflower

    “Did you know there are hundreds of varieties of passionflowers?” I thought I was talking to my husband, but he had wandered off to another part of the nursery while I studied the array of color in front of me. Glancing around, I realized I’d been talking to myself with others giving me wary looks. […] More

  • outside of cabin

    A Guide To Organizing A Log Cabin

    After moving to our mountain cabin, it took us over a year to find the best ways to organize it. We had to learn how to get creative with our space and think about storage in new ways. How you organize the space is key. If you do it well, you can maximize small corners, […] More

  • brazilian grape tree

    The Brazilian Grape Tree

    I had spent another morning doing battle with the proliferous wild grape that grew across my rock wall border. I had nothing against grapevines, especially when they bore fruit (which these vines did), and I’d collected bunches to make into jelly. But once they climbed my rock wall, took aim at my lush tree line, […] More

  • mourning dove

    Homestead Stories: I Love My Birds, But…

    Several years ago, my daughter informed me (with great excitement) there was a mourning dove nesting in my hanging fuchsia on the front balcony. “No way,” I declared. “Come see,” she insisted. Sure enough, in the center of my prized fuchsia was a mourning dove, packing things down to make a nest. I wasn’t too […] More

  • baby in cabin loft

    5 Tips For Raising A Baby In A Tiny House

    Raising a baby in a tiny house has both challenges and benefits. When we moved to our tiny house, I was seven months pregnant and incredibly nervous about how we would fit into the space! The Stuff Our first challenge was fitting all of our new baby items into our home. When you add a […] More

  • spider flower

    Homestead Stories: The Spider Flower

    “You know I don’t really like spiders.” I scowled as my friend led me around her garden. Large or small, spiders really do give me the creeps, and sometimes they bite. Yuck! I do know they have a purpose. Just as long as that purpose does not include me. My friend stopped in front of […] More

  • cabin off in the distance

    Lessons Learned From Our First Year of Cabin Life

    Last year, my husband and I moved from Austin, Texas to a little log cabin in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. We changed our entire lives over the course of 20 days: quit our jobs, sold most of what we owned, and moved across the country. Not to mention, I was seven months pregnant at the time. […] More

  • glass gem corn

    Homestead Stories: Glass Gem Corn

    “Oh my! That is colorful. And it’s really corn?” I was flabbergasted. I loved growing and eating corn on the cob. Usually the standard yellow corn or the peaches-and-cream which is a combination of a deep yellow and a pale yellow. I have eaten, though never grown, white corn, loving its tiny, sweet taste. I […] More

  • tulip tree

    Homestead Stories: The Tulip Tree

    “Oh my! The flowers on those trees look like tulips.” I was taking a walk with my grandmother along a country road just north of Lake Erie. It was spring and the weather demanded some outside activity. “That’s why people call them tulip trees,” Gran said. “They’re also called poplars. In fact, other than in […] More

  • green rose

    A Green Rose for St. Patrick’s Day … Why Not?

    “What’s wrong with your rosebush?” I asked. We were standing in front of my mother’s profuse garden of rosebushes. She loved her roses and was always adding a new color to the collection. “That’s a new one, isn’t it? Why is the flower all green?” I was convinced there had to be something wrong with […] More

  • michelle's homestead

    Moving from City to Country: The Long-Term Transition

    When we moved from a city of 200,000 to a homestead in a hilly, Ozark town of 2,000 residents, my husband and I fully anticipated there would be an adjustment period. As I wrote in my first article for Insteading, there are many moments of “culture shock” that could affect this urban-fled, aspiring country bumpkin. […] More

  • morel mushrooms

    Morel Mushroom Hunting

    It’s spring in Minnesota when the trees are sporting their new green leaves and the ground is warm and damp. It’s also time to get into the woods and look for morel mushrooms. Morel hunting has become one of my favorite springtime traditions. My husband Adam, introduced me to morels several years ago. I still […] More

  • yellow jackets

    How To Get Rid Of Yellow Jackets

    My young son was playing with some rocks and sticks nearby while I was pulling weeds from our perennial herb garden. I kept his small frame in the corner of my eye while I worked, smiling to myself as I saw him lean close to the ground in curiosity. He was apparently studying something fascinating. […] More

  • balloon flowers

    Homestead Stories: The Balloon Flower

    “It’s a balloon flower, Mom.” My youngest jumped up and down with glee. “A what?” I asked. I have to admit, I’ve heard some pretty strange names for flowers but balloon flower was a new one to me. “A balloon flower,” my oldest confirmed. “That’s what the flower looks like when it blooms. A balloon.” […] More

  • outhouse flower close up

    Homestead Stories: The Outhouse Flower

    I have fond memories of the outhouse at the family cottage. Years ago. When I was a youngster. Dad had built it far enough from the cottage that it didn’t project its noxious odors into the place where we ate and slept. Mom planted tall, bushy flowers around the outhouse in an attempt to beautify […] More

  • bee balms

    Bee Balms Or Bee Bums?

    “Mom,” my six-year-old called from the front walk where he had been riding his bike back and forth. He had paused in front of my display of red and purple, firework-like flowers and admired them. At an age where he wanted to know everything, it wasn’t unexpected that he would ask about the different flowers […] More