Modern Homesteading: Building Community

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International Homesteading Education Month is about neighbors teaching neighbors, building self-reliant communities.

The Internet allows us to make connections around the world, but it can also help us discover like-minded homesteaders living only a few blocks or miles from us. With the goal of building community in mind, MOTHER EARTH NEWS and our sister magazine GRIT invite you to participate as we host International Homesteading Education Month this September 2012. We can learn a lot about modern homesteading from books and magazines, but as the MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIRs have shown us, there is simply no substitute for the kind of excitement that firsthand, face-to-face interactions generate.

If you have modern homesteading skills or experience to share, please schedule an event this September and post it at our International Homesteading Education Month page so others in your community may attend. Our new Homesteading Education Web pages allow you to search the event listings by state or province, so interested neighbors will be able to find your event. You can also choose to register as a potential speaker at other homesteading events by using our new Speaker Finder. Together, MOTHER EARTH NEWS and GRIT reach more than 5 million people, and throughout the summer we will encourage everyone to visit these Homesteading Education pages to find events near them.

Consider the many ways neighbors can teach neighbors: open houses, workshops, demonstrations or even weekend Homesteading Education fairs. We know many of you have DIY projects you are proud of; seeds, livestock or skills to share; and even books or small businesses to promote. Others are eager to connect with local experts to learn how to grow and preserve food, keep bees, raise chickens, make artisan cheeses and breads, and acquire dozens of other modern homesteading skills. Our Web pages for International Homesteading Education Month can be the hub where all of you can connect.

Modern life pushes us away from the wisdom and beauty of nature, making our lives dependent upon industrial agriculture, polluting fossil fuels and distant corporations whose decisions have little to do with our welfare.

Today’s modern homesteaders seek a better balance. We wish to enjoy and use some modern conveniences, yet build lives that remain connected to the land, that protect our environment rather than pollute it, and that use precious natural resources wisely. We seek “real” food, and we refuse to accept fare produced by an industrial system that is unsustainable, inhumane and unwilling to change. We aim to create lifestyles built inside interdependent communities that tap the best of modern technology without discounting the wisdom of nature. We wish to apply our creativity to our daily living, to make art of our lives.

Please plan to participate this September to help us build stronger networks among homesteaders who seek the joys and satisfactions of living “the good life.” Register your events as early as possible at our International Homesteading Education Month pages.