Oftentimes the homestead ideal is pictured far off in the country – away from the congestion and noise of city life. This could be accurate for some people, some families and in some fashion. However, the homestead begins wherever you are, and with your decision to make intentional decisions about what happens in your house. 

The homestead is idyllic in many renderings, but more clearly, it is a result of intentional decisions, considerations and the employment of household practices that support the fulfillment of natural needs. It is the Catholic Homestead then that not only satisfies the natural pursuits of appropriate bodily nourishment, but of spiritual progress and satisfaction, as ordered, by the Catholic Faith.

Where is the homestead? Is it defined only by the proximity to the nearest grocery store or neighbor? No. It is defined by the your intentionality to foster an environment that fulfills bodily and spiritual needs – those needs, however, must be ordered unto eternal salvation. Otherwise, the homestead is nothing more than vanity. 

I recall living on the westside of Cincinnati in a small home with a small yard. That yard was characterized by dedicated space for the children to play and also for produce to be grown. Filled grow-bags abounded throughout the yard with all types of produce. The garden held corn, flower, spinach and more. The space for what can be grown is often limited not by the physical landscape, but by our internal desires for abundance.

Build your homestead where you are now. This does not prohibit you from pursuing acreage, a relocation from the city to the country or any other manner of embeddedness in agrarian practices, but it does encourage a recognition that you have time today to make decisions and implement practices that are intentional and important – do not waste them pining for something else that may or may not occur in the future. You have today – do not let is pass in vain. Build your homestead, right where you are, today. The skills are transferrable, the time is not. 

– Mathew Winters

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