Farmstead or Homestead – What’s the Difference?

Farmstead or homestead? How do you decide what you want to call your more self-sufficient lifestyle. It’s completely up to you in the end. I consider our farm to be a farmstead because it just feels right.

The Definition of Farmstead

When deciding whether you are a farmstead or homestead, knowing the definition of farmstead vs. the homestead definition should help you decide.

A farmstead will have a house that the family lives in. It will also have some animal enclosures and possibly a barn, but not always. These animal enclosures can be rabbit hutches, chicken coops, goat shelters or hog pens. You might even consider yourself a farmstead if you have a pasture that you graze livestock on. A farmstead doesn’t have to make money as a farm. It just has to have some self sufficient aspects beneficial for the humans who live there.

Meat is raised for the family to consume. Some meat may be sold off to pay off the cost of raising their personal meat. For instance, if the family who lives on the farmstead raises 2 hogs for pork, they can put one in the freezer for themselves and sell one right from the processor or butcher’s shop. This way the family can recoup the costs of raising the meat and paying to have it processed. Sometimes, they net enough from the sale of the meat that it doesn’t cost them anything for their own pork.

A farmstead will most usually have a garden of some type. It could be raised beds for growing tomatoes and peppers or containers for growing a portion of their own lettuces and other fast growing greens. Some farmsteads may have an acre or more garden that they maintain each year. It all depends on what can be handled as a family unit.

What is the Difference in a Farmstead or Homestead?

People can homestead anywhere. Even in a more populated area. Homesteads can be big farms, but it’s not a necessity to be considered a homestead. Even households with small lots can consider themselves a homestead. They may raise rabbits in hutches or quail for meat and eggs on a smaller scale homestead level. They likely have a garden where they raise a portion of their own vegetables and greens each year.

Gardening on a homestead doesn’t mean you have to have a large garden that gets tilled every spring. It can be tomatoes grown in buckets or lettuce grown in pots that contributes to the family’s meals.

People on a homestead usually do DIY projects for their animals. They may utilize reclaimed lumber and other building materials to accomplish these projects.

More Information About Starting a Homestead

The following book has 40 projects that most homesteaders will find themselves building at one point or another. You can use the Internet to search for plans for chicken coops or other animal enclosures but many homesteaders are also preppers of some sort who want to have a paper book copy like this one on hand. When it comes to farmstead or homestead owners, you will find that most will be doing lots of DIY type projects.

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