Let me ask you this: Have you considered WHY you really want a homestead? Or why you farm?

Is it because you want to improve your health? Connect with the land? Experience personal freedom? Sure, it’s likely all of the above, but at the core of any reason is that you want to feel good.

So, I’m going to introduce to the idea of the Holistic Homestead, and how this will be the single most important piece of homestead or farm knowledge you can learn.

holistic homestead

Do you see what’s here? Surrounding the homestead are ALL of the aspects of a holistic life – it’s the centerpiece for all the parts of a happy, healthy and abundant life.

It’s the home, the source of the food, the place for family and relationship. It’s the foundation for a sustainable or conscious business, the source of connection with nature and meaning, it’s where you laugh and play.

Your homestead is the cornerstone of the life you’ve always dreamed of living.

You see, there is a growing trend – one where people defining new ways to live their most ideal life. They are defining the new meaning for success and happiness. A definition that comes from growing your own food, being self-reliant and living more simply.

Gone are the days where the dream life was to work a secure 9-5 job until retirement, have a white picket fence and 2.75” tall lawn.

No, there is a great shift happening.

Folks everywhere are realizing that the promise modern society touts as “the good life” just isn’t actually producing happiness in our lives. They are standing up to say, “I know there’s a better, more fulfilling way to live and I’m going to make it happen.”

permaculture garden homesteadAnd if you’re reading this, I feel confident you’re among those change-makers. You’re wise to the unhealthy nature of our food system, the toxins in everyday products, the ecological destruction consumerism causes.

For each person, there’s often a catalyst, something that opens their eyes to a deep unhappiness or unfulfilled life.

Maybe it’s the desire to stop feeling sluggish every day, so they start to get their health and diet in order. Though explore this, they discover a farm-to-table, organic and minimal processed food diet, that sent them down a path of better living.

Or perhaps it was the grueling feeling found in trudging through their 9-5 every. single. day. One day they wake up to realize the problem isn’t anything in particular – it’s everything! The job, the people, the place, the food, the consumerism!

It’s from here that this person feels alive and awakened to make a great shift in their life. Often, this change in lifestyles just might be the gateway to their homestead.

What I am describing is a global shift, a global awakening to a better way of living.

It’s a revolution of the freedom lifestyle.

It’s a resurrection of land-based life. It’s a redirection towards happiness, compassion and caring for other humans and of course this totally awesome mother of ours, earth.

Do you feel this too? Maybe you are just starting to see and feel what I am talking about. Or maybe you are already totally immersed in this way of thinking or being.

Either way, you are in the right place.

But how does all this relate to your homestead or farm?


homestead solar install How I see it, is that the key to finding a healthy, meaningful, fulfilled life can be found on what I call, the Holistic Homestead.

So let’s explore what the heck that means. First, let us start with defining holistic.

By definition, holistic means to look at the whole of a system or concept. It recognizes all of the parts of something are intimately interconnected, which together make something whole.

That last word there is the key – the WHOLE.

So think about your life, does it feel whole? Does it feel like all the parts of your life are functioning at their highest? Do you have health, happiness, abundance (of any type), passion, time etc?

I think that is the key to a good life – every day trying to do something a little better than the day before. Even just one thing.

If you’re the average person, you might not define your life as holistic. There are probably aspects that don’t feel in alignment with one another.

BUT the key here is recognizing where you’d like more balance or happiness in your life and working toward finding that whole picture of the life you desire.

Queue, the homestead.

The Holistic Homestead

permaculture chicken homesteadOf course, there is more than one way to skin a cat. You can certainly work towards a holistic life without the homestead – but you’d be missing one integral part.

The homestead is key to sustainability, self-reliance and the livelihood of future generations.

If a home or homestead (even an urban homestead) can generate its own power, produce a good portion of its own food, and reduce or remove the need to rely on the grid or other societal systems it can have a major impact on future generations.

Every step you can take to become more in alignment with your mind & body, having an abundant life, and tending to relationships – the more holistic and likely fulfilled your life will feel.

The homestead is the fulcrum for all of the health oriented activities such as gardening, raising animals, wild foraging and herbalism to name a few.

Homestead Mindset

No matter where you are on your journey, every homestead starts with a mindset change. Whether you’re just learning about what homesteading is or if you’re already out there on the land living it, the holistic homestead is all about being an open-minded student again. It’s about having the curiosity of a child.

It’s about asking “what if?”

What if I tried something new today? What if I stopped doing some bad habit today? What if I thought about my impact on future generations today.

The new paradigm homesteader needs this explorative, curious, open, student-like mind.

Change, newness, and variety are some of the things that keep life inspiring! Bringing this energy of open-mindedness to the homestead is where we can start creating some very epic things.

Homesteading life is beyond all the articles that tell you how to can the best vegetables or raise your chickens. It’s choosing to live a more simple, holistic lifestyle and that begins today, with even the simplest actions like asking yourself, “what food do I want to eat today?”

It’s about recognizing the whole – the homestead, mind, body and you are all integrated. But how do you begin? Where do you start?

You take your first step by choosing to start your holistic homestead and improve your life today. You allow yourself to become apart of that revolution of people that are taking back their life through daily actions like choosing where your food and medicine come from.

Your homestead is not as far away as you think, trust me on this, because I have seen people start homesteads and revolutionize their lives in short amounts of time.

The Big Takeaway

If you get any one thing out of this – understand that the things we desire, health, happiness, and abundance are all centered around the want to feel good.

In order to feel good, we need to be open-minded and capable of shifting our mindset to more positive, helpful and uplifting beliefs.

Your upgraded mindset will then allow you to tap into inspired action – and these actions are the ones that will bring things like your dream homestead or better health into your life.

Make sense?

The holistic homestead is like a container that holds the possibility for our best self, our happiest self, our richest self  if we so choose it.

So, how do we create a totally badass life?

Start your homestead is how. Be open-minded is how. Take inspired action to do the great things you want to do in life, like learn herbalism, or natural building!

What’s something you can try today?

Look at the infographic at the top of this article – are there aspects of your life that you want to bring into balance?

Can you identify which parts of your holistic homestead you’d like to tend to more deeply?

Let me know in the comments below!

About Bret James

Hi, I’m Bret James. My family and I have created a recession-proof, sh*t-storm proof self-sustainable life. We grow a low-work garden, have an abundant food forest, raise animals holistically, have a stocked pantry of home grown-foods, harvest fresh rainwater, and live in an energy-efficient passive solar straw bale home - all in alignment with nature. And it doesn’t take all of your time, in fact, we run a business and even homeschool our son - all while living a life as outside of the system as possible.


  • online says:

    You can definitely see your expertise in the article you write. Linnell Forest Noma

  • kesintisiz says:

    Good blog post. I absolutely appreciate this website. Keep writing! Geralda Boycie Ailene

  • Linda says:

    Looking forward to taking a class.

  • Kimberly Groome says:

    One thing I can start doing now in the city is composting. Thats how my homestead will start, because I know I have at least two years before I can create something more. Small steps lead to the biggest impacts. Your articles help keep the flame alive when I feel bogged down by the 9-5 city life. Thank you for your inspiration.

  • Kelly Correia says:

    Absolutely AWESOME !!! This is exactly what I need and I do believe it totally fits what I have been looking for ..for years. I did a in home correspondence course in 2003 and received a certificate for Herbology in preparation and uses. Over the years I have dabbled and actually at one point sold some of my creations etc. but never got beyond that and have wanted to for so many years. I want more to life than just the 9-5 its getting old and well so am I lol I read this and I know this is exactly what I want..and to answer your question ..well Food, Herbalism, Permaculture, Nature, Income and sustainability and to be honest I think the entire list above but I tried to narrow it down to the top 6 haha thank you for this blog and all the great info. Looking forward to the class today.

    • Bret James says:

      Kelly – that so awesome you dabbled in it and even sold some because that is a huge step that most have yet to take! I would encourage you to keep going forward with your earth-centered, people-centered herbalism business 🙂

  • Terri says:

    So yes! This speaks to my soul. Thanks for writing this. It has fanned the flames in my heart.

  • Allison Barrett says:

    Beautifully written! After my mother died 7 years ago from drugs at the young age of 51 it woke me up. It put my life and health into perspective. Hate that it took losing her to wake me up but so grateful for the lesson it taught me. Since then we started the journey to healthy eating, started doing yoga, meditating and then pranayama to help me through my grief, built my first raised garden bed in our townhouse, studied Ayurveda and the rest was history. Two years ago we made the big leap to change our lives even more so after my husbands father died unexpectedly from a heart attack at the young age of 69. His father did not live a life of happiness. He wanted to farm which he grew up doing yet he stayed 30 years in an unhappy marriage in the city until he passed away renting an apartment. This was my husbands wake up call. At this point we saw the “writing on the wall” it was time for us to stop surviving and start living. So we made the decision to sell everything, mo e from the big city in Florida to the mountains of North Carolina and move into a camper to find our homestead. Your Roadmap course has given us hope and inspiration that we are on the right tack even if we are resting a small bungalow for the next year and a half. You’ve shown us that this is the tune for us to educate, explore and dig deeper into our next chapter. I know our parents would be so proud of us for taking risks to be happy and healthy in this one precious life we have been given. Thank you Bret & Beth for sharing with us all your experiences through this journey you are on! You guys are truly a gift.

    • Bret James says:

      Hey Allison. Wow, thanks for being vulnerable and sharing that part of your story, which I did not know. I respect you two for working so hard, being so committed, to creating a better life. It’s kinda like the butterfly effect, you know? You have to wonder, all of the changes you are making in your life, how many generations will they trickle down to? Will the amount to a societal change in a generation? I think so. Thanks for being apart of the change to make this world more human, kind, healthy and balanced 🙂


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