Modern Homesteading: How Homesteaders Are Using Smart Tech to Stay Independent

Reader Contribution by Kayla Matthews
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Homesteaders value their land for more than its profitability. In the countryside, the air is cleaner, the nights are quieter and there’s a sense of calm. It’s an independent lifestyle distanced from the demands of a major metropolitan area, with its crowded streets and perpetual flow of people.

Though independence from towns and cities has its own unique appeal, it’s not without its challenges. The modern conveniences of urban living aren’t always available to homesteaders, and their seclusion only compounds the problem. It seems, at first, like an unavoidable compromise.

Fortunately for rural families and farmers alike, this is not the case. They’ve incorporated smart home devices into their properties to enjoy the benefits of technology while retaining their independence. Through the use of modern products, they’ve reached a comfortable balance.

Smart Security

Consumers can choose from a broad selection of smart home devices to protect their property against intruders. Given the isolated nature of many rural properties, this is particularly relevant to homesteaders. They can’t depend on a next-door neighbor to report suspicious activity and act on their behalf.

Through the simple installation of security cameras, a homesteader can ensure the safety of themselves and their family. Even when they’re absent from their property, an app on the user’s smartphone enables them to survey their land and alleviate any unnecessary anxiety over potential intruders.

A surveillance system also allows farmers to assess and attend to other threats that might harm their livestock, like coyotes and wolves. It’s a pressing issue that farmers have to consider, with predatory animals accountable for over 10 percent of deaths among calves. A proactive approach reduces this risk.

Motion Sensors

Navigating a rural property in the dark can prove perilous without the proper lighting. With the installation of motion sensors, a farmer can move about their property at night and depend on an automated system to keep them safe. They’re far less likely to stumble or hurt themselves in an accident.

If a farmer needs to find an item in an unlit shed and has to struggle to locate the switch, they could potentially snag themselves on a sharp object and suffer injury. Motion sensor technology can prevent these incidents and others like them, turning the lights on the moment a person steps into the room.

Motion sensors also serve as an additional security measure. Uninvited visitors who sneak into a homesteader’s property at night may feel threatened by a sudden light and decide to retreat. Both criminals and predatory animals depend on stealth, which is something a motion sensor doesn’t allow for.

Smart Thermostat

A rural property requires a substantial amount of energy to run. In maintaining the temperature of barns, workshops and outbuildings, farmers sometimes struggle with their monthly expenses. Through the installation of a smart thermostat, however, they’re able to offset costs and improve their efficiency.

These devices don’t require manual input to adjust the temperature and can learn the schedule of the user to accommodate their patterns. In heating and cooling a homestead only when it’s necessary, they conserve energy and reduce excess expenditure. They’ll gradually accumulate considerable savings.

According to the Department of Energy, turning the thermostat back 7-10 F can save as much as 10 percent a year on heating and cooling. With a programmable thermostat that regulates itself, farmers can take advantage of smart technology for both their comfort and finances.

Monitors and Controls

In the agriculture industry, success often depends on productivity. Professionals can maximize their productivity through special smart home devices designed for commercial use in farm operations. They can monitor the energy, food, water, fresh air and temperature in their facilities for peak performance.

Technology is also in development that assists farmers in tending to their crops, with devices that manage nutrient levels and irrigation. Through the automation of common duties, these devices have the potential to increase production by a significant margin. Small-scale farmers can consider expansion.

Even simple tools benefit from the integration of smart technology. Equipment that helps to monitor and manage a property is useful, but something as small as a digital smart level can take much of the stress off  of basic homesteading chores and repairs. A seemingly insignificant change can make life much easier.

Modern Homesteading

A reliance on smart technology may seem contrary to a rural lifestyle, but a balance is possible. Those who enjoy the countryside know the importance of using all the resources at their disposal, and the products mentioned here are only some of the solutions that can improve their lives.

As homesteading blogger Victoria Gazeley astutely observed, “modern homesteading isn’t about living the life of someone in the 1800s. It’s about showing appreciation for the old ways of doing things. Homesteaders can respect that tradition and still adapt to modern challenges.” With the devices detailed above, that’s exactly what they’ve done.

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