When many people hear the word homestead they think of pastures and large fields with the occasional chicken crossing a gravel road. It is true the chicken does cross the road just to get to the other side. And sometimes if he meets a truck before getting to the other side he also make chicken soup. To add the word apartment in front of homestead seems like a complete contradiction to the very idea of homesteading and to a point it is. It’s a different type of homesteading all together, with constraint because of limited resources namely space. Space for gardening, livestock, bees (I really want bees) orchards and anything else you might want on your homestead.
Growing up in Southern Indiana I lived for the most part of vegetables grown in the family garden and wild game from the random hunting seasons. . We had massive vegetable gardens, wild game, fish, fruits and anything else we found around the country side. We didn’t maintain livestock because we didn’t need too. We lived in the county and had friends with chickens and for the most part hunting kept us in meat for the year. Until recently I couldn’t stand the taste of beef and preferred deer burgers or chili. I laugh when I hear someone say deer taste gamey or they don’t like the taste when for years that’s mostly what I ate along with chicken
Now day’s I live in a midsize town (by Indiana standards) and rent an 800 sf apartment with a beautiful parking lot that surrounds the whole building. It’s a far cry from how I grew up skinning deer , working in the garden but I guess that’s what progress brings. I now work 45 to 55 hours per week at a job that I enjoy but can quickly consume more time just because of the scale of the projects. I felt as if I was losing touch with my past and focusing more on the future. I had stopped fishing and doing a lot of the other things I enjoyed. After spending a lot of time thinking about my childhood and the stories from my grandparents I decided it was time to make time for the things I had lost.
I started slow as I regressed from the modern world and actually for a while gave up my smart phone. It later came back because in the end my job does pay the bills. I started fishing again and expanded into fly fishing which has become my preferred type of fishing. I had tied flies for years for people earning a little money now and then. It was a good next step to finally make them for myself. I use hair and feathers collected from my hunting trips to make my flies and the hooks I buy online at reasonable cost. I seldom purchase bait now and catch just as many fish as I did before, but with less wasted costs.
I also went back to cooking for myself and question now why I ever stopped. I love knowing what’s in my meal and what it does for flavor. There is a reason homecooked meals at places never taste homecooked. Now after spending 7 years living like this I’m starting to understand why. I’ll get into that later in another post. Overall I’ve now considered myself and apartment homesteader for the last 7 years. What that means to me is I produce what I can from the most basic ingredients possible, I put up food when it’s in season, and I experiment with home based crafts to generate a little money to support what I enjoy doing. This blog will include all of my projects, gardening, baking, and hunting that I have introduced back into my life. This past year I did have a moment of realization just how reliant I have become on my annual deer and other wild game I put in the freeze. I wasn’t able to make the annual hunting trip and didn’t end up with a deer. I’ve already made the time available in my schedule to make the annual opening day of gun season so I can fill my freezer once again with ground deer and deer tenderloin (personal favorite)