Homesteading has made a tremendous comeback over the last couple of years, blossoming into a movement that encompasses more than just farming. It’s a philosophy, a way of life that prioritizes sustainability, self-reliance, and a deep connection to the natural rhythms of the earth.
In this episode of the Trailblazher Podcast, Hadleigh Burch dives deep into what homesteading means to her and her family and what those skills have opened up for her. Her lifestyle offers insights into the profound joys of living closely with the land. Through her story, we glean a modern interpretation of homesteading and its myriad implications for personal fulfillment, community building, and environmental stewardship.
Homesteading is more than just a trend, it’s a preservation of long held traditions that are slowly making their way back into homes around the globe. Hadleigh speaks poignantly about each season’s demands, from prepping gardens to gathering harvests and tending to the bees. Every task is intrinsically linked to the time of year:
“In the wintertime, it’s hard. Everything’s covered in snow… In the summertime, we are raising these animals… we’re outside, we’re exploring,” she describes. This intimate connection to the seasonal ebb and flow not only shapes the homestead’s activities but also instills a sense of purpose and fulfillment.
Hadleigh’s testimony reveals a responsive lifestyle, not just to the clock or calendar, but to the needs and nuances of the seasons and environment around her. Her attentiveness to the seasons is a hallmark of modern homesteading, differentiating it from the relentless pace of urban living.
“In spring, we’re continuing just because of our growing season… Summer kind of has a bit of a lull, we’ll call it,” Hadleigh recounts.
Such a lifestyle calls for proactivity, adaptability, and an ever-present awareness of the environmental context—qualities that engender a rich and fulfilling existence.
Homesteading has evolved from subsistence farming into a holistic way of life that resonates with many seeking a deeper connection to their food, the land, and the pace of their days.
Hadleigh’s experience reflects a modern take on an old tradition, where “it didn’t all come in the first year or the second year… it just takes time.” This gradual integration is at the heart of the movement, allowing individuals to embrace self-sufficiency at their own pace.
Modern homesteading encapsulates more than just the tangibles of food production or animal husbandry.
It’s about “taking back what could be ours and just knowing that we can provide and we have that security.”
In a world that’s increasingly complex and volatile, homesteading offers a beacon of stability and resilience, grounded in the fundamental acts of growing, making, and preserving.
Despite its idyllic appeal, the rural homesteading life can sometimes foster isolation, especially in the colder months or when family isn’t close by. Hadleigh Burch opens up about the challenges of remoteness in this conversation, stating that,
“It can definitely feel hard on days and feel like we were kind of alone out here.”
However, she also highlights the importance of community building, mentioning a book club, playgroups, and online support as critical lifelines that offer companionship and shared experiences.
The story converges on a significant aspect of human nature—our need for connection. Even in a self-sufficient lifestyle, the social fabric remains vital to personal well-being. Hadleigh’s involvement with a variety of community groups reveals the adaptability of the modern homesteader—cultivating not just the land, but also relationships. This balance between solitude and society exemplifies sustainable and enriched rural living.
The themes that arise from Hadleigh Burch’s recount of her homesteading life—seasonal living, modern homesteading, and the need for community—paint a picture of a lifestyle deeply connected to nature yet responsive to contemporary realities. It’s a narrative of growth, learning, and fulfillment that challenges and rewards in equal measure. As we seek to understand the implications of this movement for our collective future, Hadleigh’s insights offer us a window into a way of life that’s both timeless and entirely in tune with today’s quest for sustainable living.
Make sure to check out the full episode with Hadleigh Burch below and if you liked this conversation, make sure to snag a copy of the 2023 Winter Issue of Trailblazher Magazine to see Hadleigh’s full article feature.
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