We get asked this occasionally.. what’s the difference in farmsteading and homesteading? In a lot of ways each of these is married to the other, but they are also different from each other. We’ll make a fancy schmancy Venn diagram to show you the difference (and cause it’s cool).
Let’s start with some definitions….
What is Farmsteading? Farmsteading as living on a homestead, but running a small business of the homestead where you raise your own food, but raise enough surplus to pay for what you eat yourself and possibly make some profit along the way. (Think farmers markets.)
What is Homesteading? Homesteading characterized by subsistence agriculture, home preservation of food, and it may or may not also involve the small scale production of textiles, clothing, and craft-work for household use or sale. (Think Little House on the Prairie.)
Do you already see how the two are married a little?
Farmsteading – This is what the Clucking It Up Farmstead is modeled after. We are on a mission to feed the people of our surrounding communities. In that mission, we (Mr. Clucking It Up and myself) both have jobs off of the farm. Farming is a “side job” until it can be a full-time job. This is often how many “farmsteaders” begin. Farmsteading is a business model that begins with a great desire to be more sustainable. As with conventional farming, a farmstead would be ran like a business. You would run animal/vegetable operations as a professional would (using professional methods and equipment), keep separate bank accounts for home and farm, track your costs and develop a relationship with your customers. As a homesteader, none of these things are necessary. There are lots of books and videos available on how to get started. We love Joel Salatin for this type of thing!
Homesteading – The typical homesteader is more concerned with providing for the family and being sustainable than with the business side of the farm. Most people would now refer to a homesteader as a prepper. Grow your own, raise your own, create your own. A homesteader will want to grow and preserve as much of the harvests as possible for winter usage. They will also raise as much of their own meats as possible and preserve these by dehydrating, freezing, canning, even drying. A homesteader will do their best to create their own power (solar, wind, water etc), they will do their best to “disconnect” from the outer world. The Self-Sufficient Life and How to Live It is a fantastic beginner book.
So, what’s the difference in farmsteading and homesteading? It really depends on what you want it to be. We happen to be hormsteaders. ha ha I totally made that up! We are a little of both. We grow our own, raise our own and try to create some of our own. As a little ice cream dairy in southeast Texas would put it, “We eat all we can and sell the rest.” Thank you Blue Bell Creamery (if you’ve never had Blue Bell ice cream….you are missing the best ice cream in the country!).
What’s the difference in farmsteading and homesteading in your opinion? We’d love to hear what you think!