Living “Off the Land” in Africa: Finding Homestead Inspiration in an Unlikely Place


My homesteading journey traces its roots back to Africa where I learned first-hand what it meant to live off the land and make do with few resources. I didn't know it at the time, but this experience would put me on the path that would lead me into a life of self-reliant living that I never would have dreamed of when I booked that ticket all those years ago.I was recently interviewed on a podcast about why I started homesteading, how I learned the skills I know and use now and what advice I have for other homesteaders just starting out.

At first when I received the list of questions I would be asked, I glanced at them and thought to myself “this will be easy.” After all, they were intimate questions about myself, my life and my reasons for homesteading.

And who knows me more intimately than I know myself?

But as I pondered over my answers to these questions, I realized that I didn’t actually know myself as well as I thought I did. 

Why did I start homesteading?

When was the defining moment when I decided I wanted to embark on this journey?

Was there a defining moment?

The answer I wrote down in the end sort of surprised me.

I had thought I would say something about how I had always longed to live out in the country even though I was a born-and-raised city girl. And that’s definitely one reason. But that wasn’t quite it.

Then I thought I might talk about this time I went to visit friends out on their rural property and realized how at peace I felt staying with them as they lived the simple life, away from the rat race. That was definitely an “aha!” moment for me and I remember returning home inspired to live a simpler life. But that wasn’t quite the moment that changed me.

Maybe it was when I started watching homesteading reality shows like “Alaska: The Last Frontier” and “Live Free Or Die,” along with Netflix documentaries about people going back to the land. That is when the term “homesteading” started resonating with me and I started putting it all together that this was the umbrella term for the lifestyle I was after. 

But even though I didn’t know it as “homesteading” until this point, I knew already that I was on the path toward a homesteading lifestyle.

So then, when did I decide I wanted to live this way? What was the catalyst? When was that defining moment in time that changed me?

 

Related: Why I Homestead

 

I’ll admit even now I don’t know if I can pinpoint an exact moment or event that set me down this course I’m on now. But since I felt I needed to come up with some sort of a real answer, I said that it began when I was living abroad in Africa and was first exposed to the concepts community, of cooking from scratch with local, seasonal ingredients and of making do with whatever we had to work with.

 

Travelling helped make me a homesteader

This answer surprised me. I had never really considered how much this trip had affected my future life choices. In fact, I had never considered how any of my travels (and there were a lot in my early twenties) had affected my decision to start homesteading. (Well, actually, I did consider it, as evidenced here in my very first blog post. But I hadn’t really given it too much weight).

After all, when most of us think of homesteading we think of an agrarian lifestyle that is centered around the home, not a nomadic lifestyle that evolves out of travelling the globe.

And yet, I now realize the effect that travelling (and especially that trip to Africa) did have on my decision to embark on this very different type of incredible journey:

  • To start homesteading
  • To take an interest and active role in where my food comes from
  • To go back to the land and appreciate what my local environment provides for me
  • To make do with what I’ve got and be grateful for it

And so I wanted to talk a little more about this piece of my background that has helped shape who I am and where I’ve ended up today. Because I didn’t grow up homesteading. I didn’t learn the skills I know today from my mom or dad or even my grandparents. 

I sort of ended up here by accident (or perhaps by divine intervention). I don’t know that I ever “chose” this lifestyle. Moreover it found me, and I found it, much the same as two soulmates find each other. And we grew fond of each other over time, and now I can’t imagine my life without it, and I feel safe in its arms.

 

Related: The Difficult Path to the Simple Life

 

So, how did a trip to Africa set me on my homesteading path? I’m glad you asked:)

When I was 21 years old I had recently arrived back home from a study abroad trip in Europe. I had just spent 6+ months living in Vienna, Austria and travelling all over Europe. I had officially caught the travel bug, and at this point in my life all I consciously wanted to do was to see and experience as much of the world as possible.

My homesteading journey traces its roots back to Africa where I learned first-hand what it meant to live off the land and make do with few resources. I didn't know it at the time, but this experience would put me on the path that would lead me into a life of self-reliant living that I never would have dreamed of when I booked that ticket all those years ago.And so when I came across an opportunity to apply for a volunteer program in Madagascar, I applied without hesitation.

The position was with the World Wildlife Fund, an organization that I respected and that aligned with my values and belief in environmental conservation (a value I still hold dear and that informs my homesteading endeavours to this day).

In the end I was one of 6 volunteers accepted to the program. I was beyond excited. Madagascar! Like, who goes to Madagascar? I was officially about to go way off the beaten path for the first time. Little did I know how “off the beaten path” this trip would take me.

To make a bit of a long story short, I didn’t end up going to Madagascar. A civil war broke out and we were advised to cancel our trips until further notice. But I couldn’t cancel my ticket due to restrictions on the airfare I had purchased. I could only change my ticket. So I changed it and flew to South Africa instead.

Only one other volunteer did the same thing. A girl from Australia who I ended up meeting at a market in Johannesburg, and who would go on to become one of my best friends to this day.

My homesteading journey traces its roots back to Africa where I learned first-hand what it meant to live off the land and make do with few resources. I didn't know it at the time, but this experience would put me on the path that would lead me into a life of self-reliant living that I never would have dreamed of when I booked that ticket all those years ago.

My Aussie friend Sian (left) and me (right) posing for a selfie in Senegal.

As we waited to hear news about when it might be safe to fly to Madagascar, we enjoyed travelling around South Africa together, bonding over wine and new adventures.

Finally after a few weeks we were told that it was still unsafe to travel to Madagascar, and that our placement had been changed to Senegal. Senegal? I had no idea where that even was.

We looked on the map and located it on the coast of West Africa. Dakar is the capital city. The only thing that rang a bell was the Dakar Rally. Everything else was completely foreign to me. But we happily seized the opportunity for adventure and booked our tickets. And we were off to Senegal.

When we landed in Dakar, culture shock hit me like a brick wall. (And I had already been to some pretty intrepid places). But this was next level. 

My homesteading journey traces its roots back to Africa where I learned first-hand what it meant to live off the land and make do with few resources. I didn't know it at the time, but this experience would put me on the path that would lead me into a life of self-reliant living that I never would have dreamed of when I booked that ticket all those years ago.

Shoeless children with tattered clothes held buckets up to our taxi windows as they begged for anything we were willing to give.

Women with bright coloured clothing and head scarves carried fruit and other merchandise on their heads as they competed with each other for our attention. And African men yelled back and forth at each other in a mixture of French and Wolof, the local dialect. It was all incredibly overstimulating, to say the least.

On top of the standard culture shock of being dropped in a third world country, Senegal is mostly Muslim, and we really didn’t have a clue what that meant before we got there. 

But we learned quickly that the Senegalese people were warm and accepting of us despite our clear ignorance of their culture.

I gained a great deal of respect for these people and their culture while I was there and encourage others not to believe everything you hear about other countries, cultures and religions from the media and from others who perpetuate misinformation. When you get a chance to travel and to meet people face-to-face you truly do realize how much more alike we are than different.

But I digress…

Dakar was not to be our final stop (and thank God, because I don’t think I could have handled the overwhelm of that city for our entire 4 0r 5-month stay). 

Instead we were stationed in a small fishing village called Joal-Fadiouth where we were tasked with uncovering the environmental challenges in the area and developing an environmental eduction plan for the local school system (at least, that’s what we ended up doing. As for what we were actually supposed to do there, no one ever really told us. To be fair, I don’t think anyone really knew).

My homesteading journey traces its roots back to Africa where I learned first-hand what it meant to live off the land and make do with few resources. I didn't know it at the time, but this experience would put me on the path that would lead me into a life of self-reliant living that I never would have dreamed of when I booked that ticket all those years ago.

But here we found ourselves, for better or for worse, on this incredible, once-in-a-lifetime adventure. And some days were better and some days were worse than others.

The work itself wasn’t difficult. We were both educated young women with passion, motivation and resourcefulness to spare. But dealing with daily life and navigating our way in this new world was both challenging and overwhelming at times.

One of the biggest challenges for me was living with limited resources, little to no modern conveniences, sketchy access to electricity and running water at the best of times and, above all else, learning to cook and survive off of ingredients that were foreign and intimidating to me (with no refrigeration and nothing more than a single propane burner).

 

Living without mod cons: Making do or doing without

My homesteading journey traces its roots back to Africa where I learned first-hand what it meant to live off the land and make do with few resources. I didn't know it at the time, but this experience would put me on the path that would lead me into a life of self-reliant living that I never would have dreamed of when I booked that ticket all those years ago.

This was our kitchen for almost 4 months while living in Senegal. At first I was intimidated but by the end I had learned that with a little resourcefulness and creativity, it was possible to create healthy, satisfying meals from scratch using only local, seasonal ingredients and a small, single propane burner.

You see, up until now I was pretty used to my modern, western, urban/suburban lifestyle where I had access to pretty much anything I could ever want at all hours of day and night, including food.

I was used to eating out and being able to go to the grocery store and buy microwaveable food in packages and a few fresh ingredients that were familiar to me.

But here in Senegal, most everything was foreign. And nothing was processed or pre-packaged. It was a violent shove into cooking from scratch and making do or doing without.

And I failed miserably at it. In fact, for the first month or so I pretty much survived off of bread and butter with Maggi powder seasoning that I would sprinkle on top for flavouring. I’m pretty sure if it weren’t for my Aussie friend who had some basic food and cooking knowledge, I would have returned home sick with scurvy, or worse.

There were no grocery stores. Only the local market. And most of the ingredients at the market were new to me and were unlabelled (or labelled in another language), so I was totally intimidated by the thought of going shopping.

 

First experiences with the local cuisine

I do remember making an initial trip to the market with our caretaker who gave us a quick tour. Then I remember “helping” her prepare the national dish “Thieboudienne,” which consists mainly of stewed fish, tomatoes, root vegetables and rice and is eaten day in and day out in Senegal.

While it is really quite a tasty dish, watching her throw the entire fish in (head, eyes and all) made my stomach turn the first time I saw it. I was definitely not used to this type of cooking that made use of the entire animal and I admit it freaked me out. 

* By the way, I do not use fish heads in my own version of this dish. But all the power to you if you want to try it the authentic way!

So I stuck to my bread and butter and seasoning for a while. I gained weight and I felt sick. I joked regularly that I was probably the only person who had ever travelled to Africa and gained weight. But my diet was extremely poor at first so no wonder.

It took some time getting used to eating the local dishes that were made with all fresh, local ingredients that were new to me, like tamarind and cassava root, and others that were killed the same day as they ended up on my dinner plate like goats and pigs. 

[perfectpullquote align=”right” bordertop=”false” cite=”To be aware of the sacrifice an animal had to make for me to eat it made me appreciate its life just that much more.” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””][/perfectpullquote]

Hearing a goat scream as it had was being slaughtered was not a sound I was used to, nor one that I could easily forget. But I was grateful for goat meat after nothing but fish for days on end. And as I became accustomed to life in Senegal I began to understand that not only was this simply the way of life here, but it was really a positive thing to be so connected to the food that I ate. 

To be aware of the sacrifice an animal had to make for me to eat it made me appreciate its life just that much more. To know we could only get certain ingredients or foods at certain times when they were available made me grateful for those foods when I could get them.

 

Food is so much more than a meal

The way food connected people here was so intimate and almost spiritual. Most often when you enjoyed a local dish you enjoyed it with many other people and ate from the same plate and even drank from the same cup that was passed around. This was definitely strange and uncomfortable for me at first, but it truly was amazing how everybody shared and made sure that everyone ate and drank and no one went hungry. 

In the west we are so used to being greedy. What’s mine is mine and what’s yours is yours, when it comes to food, shelter, money, things… In this little community in Senegal, everybody lifted each other up. No one let anyone else do without.

Now it wasn’t perfect. It’s still a third world country and there are human rights violations there that you wouldn’t believe. But on a community level, it really opened my eyes to how everybody can contribute to the greater good of many instead of letting others go without so that those with the means to do so could have more. It was a deeply inspiring show of humanity to say the least.

And it taught me a lot about cooking from scratch with local, seasonal ingredients and making do with what was available. Even though I didn’t do a lot of the cooking while I was there, I observed intently as others did. I went to the market with my friend who was savvier than I and learned how to buy a cut of meat and some veggies, cube the meat, chop the veggies, season them and throw them in a skillet to cook over a small flame and that this could be a tasty, healthy and satisfying dinner. 

 

The simple beauty of eating seasonally

I remember when the tides went out and the local women marched out on the mudflats, babies tied to their backs, and dug for clams. I had just never really considered how people could just go out into nature and harvest from the Earth or the sea!

My homesteading journey traces its roots back to Africa where I learned first-hand what it meant to live off the land and make do with few resources. I didn't know it at the time, but this experience would put me on the path that would lead me into a life of self-reliant living that I never would have dreamed of when I booked that ticket all those years ago.

In my experience you just bought your ingredients from the store and they either came from commercial farms or perhaps professional fishermen with licenses. But watching these women harvest claims and feed their families and communities right from the land… it really was a new concept to me at this time.

My homesteading journey traces its roots back to Africa where I learned first-hand what it meant to live off the land and make do with few resources. I didn't know it at the time, but this experience would put me on the path that would lead me into a life of self-reliant living that I never would have dreamed of when I booked that ticket all those years ago.

I remember we had “linguine con vongole” that night. My Aussie friend had the idea to procure some of those local clams and turn them into this favourite Italian dish. It sounds so strange now, but I was really in awe that she could take local Senegalese ingredients and turn them into an Italian dish. It was such a treat and a break from the norm while we were there. I remember that moment being really inspired to get creative and start cooking from scratch and empowered because I now knew it was possible to take whatever local ingredients were available and turn them into a satisfying meal.

The journey home 

I came away from this trip really motivated to start cooking from scratch at home. After all, I figured if it could be done with limited ingredients in Africa then it could be done in Canada. And so I started… Slowly at first. I learned a few basic dishes like pizza and different types of pasta and roast chicken. I began experimenting with different ingredients and just having fun playing around in the kitchen.

At the same time, this draw of leaving the city and living a simpler, more rural life began to take hold of me. But it would be a number of years and another trip abroad (this time to Australia to see my friend) before I would actually make the move. 

My homesteading journey traces its roots back to Africa where I learned first-hand what it meant to live off the land and make do with few resources. I didn't know it at the time, but this experience would put me on the path that would lead me into a life of self-reliant living that I never would have dreamed of when I booked that ticket all those years ago.

 

In the meantime I worked on my cooking skills and took more of an interest in where my food came from and how it was produced. I started making a conscious effort to eat as locally and seasonally as possible.

I grew a small herb garden and a few tomatoes. I started foraging for blackberries and wild apples and learning about other local edibles. The homesteading journey (although I did not know it quite yet) had officially begun.

And the more I sourced ingredients locally, the more of an interest I took in preserving them so that I could enjoy them year-round and avoid buying certain ingredients at grocery stores. At first I just learned to freeze fo

 

ods. Then I started preserving fruits in alcohol. Eventually I began canning and the rest is history.

When we finally made our move out to the country a couple years ago, one of the first things we did was to build a greenhouse and some raised beds. Now we produce much of our own veggies and supplement what we don’t grow with ingredients from local farms and other sources. We cook and preserve and now I have started baking my own bread and making as much as possible from scratch.

This love for making things from scratch has also spilled over into other areas.

I make my own:

 

There is still so much we want to do. One day I want our own chickens and ducks and goats. I want a garden big enough to produce all of our food for the year. I want to learn to forage mushrooms and seaweed and other local edibles. I want to learn to fish and hunt. I want to get better at sewing and knitting and crocheting so I can make my own clothes…

There is so much more I want to do with this crazy homestead dream, but looking back on the girl I was when I first arrived in Senegal, eating my bread and butter and seasoning powder and not having a clue how to cook or care for myself with real food… Looking back on how far I’ve come, I can say I’m really proud of myself (and my husband who has come along with me for this crazy ride). 

 

Some advice for the beginner homesteader

  • Start now, wherever you are
  • Start small, one step at a time
  • Don’t be afraid to try new things
  • Don’t wait for everything to be perfect
  • Enjoy the learning process

If I had one piece of advice for that girl with her bread who was afraid to cook with strange ingredients because she had never tried it before, I would tell her to take the chance.

Get creative! Enjoy the learning process. If the food sucks you can always start over with a new dish. But don’t be afraid to try something new. Food is an adventure much like travelling, and cooking gives us a first class ticket to experiencing it all.

And if I had one piece of advice for anyone aspiring to live their own homestead dream, it would be to start now, wherever you are. 

Whether you live on 10 acres in the country, a condo in the city or a hut in West Africa, do what you can with what you have right now. Don’t wait for everything to be perfect.

You might not have the space to do everything you want right now, but you can work on building some of your skills. Cooking from scratch with local ingredients (whether you grow them yourself or buy them from your local market) is a great place to start.

Chances are you have a kitchen. And if you don’t, go out and get yourself a little one-burner propane stove. I promise it’s all you need to get started on your own self-reliance journey right now:)

As-Salaam Alaikum!

“Peace be with you,” friend.

The House & Homestead

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ABOUT ANNA
Hi! I’m Anna, and I’m a city girl turned modern homesteader who’s passionate about growing, cooking and preserving real food at home, creating my own herbal medicine and all-natural home and body care products, and working toward a simpler, more sustainable and self-sufficient life each and every day. 
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I don't know about where you're from, but around here the Christmas decorations have been on store shelves since August and the first carton of eggnog I saw at the grocery store was in September! ⁣

I'm all for celebrating the season, but I think it loses something when it becomes Christmas all year long (or at least when it spans 2 or even 3 seasons!)⁣

I like waiting until December to decorate and put on Christmas tunes, and I definitely won't take my first sip of eggnog until the advent calendar comes out!⁣

That being said, when it is time for Christmas, I enjoy savouring every bit of the holiday season, and that means that when it comes to eggnog, store-bought just won't do. Instead, I whip up my own homemade eggnog, which is way tastier in my opinion, and has less added and unnecessary ingredients, thickeners, etc. It's just eggs, sugar, milk and cream, some liquor if you choose, and a little nutmeg and a cinnamon stick to garnish!⁣

It's also super quick and easy to make yourself.⁣

Grab the full recipe via the ink in my bio @anna.sakawsky or visit https://thehouseandhomestead.com/old-fashioned-homemade-eggnog-recipe/ ⁣

Do you like to start celebrating Christmas as early as possible or do you prefer to wait until December like me?⁣

Let me know in the comments 👇
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What’s in your bug out bag??

Yesterday I was in my Stories sharing a bit about emergency preparedness and what I’m doing to get prepared for whatever the future holds.

I also asked YOU what emergency skills or supplies you recommend having in your back pocket “just in case,” and one of the responses I got was to have a bug out bag packed and ready to go.

This got me thinking it was high time to pull out my bug out bag and go through it because it’s been a couple years since I last did so. I decided to share it with you here and show you what I keep packed and ready to go and go through what needs updating and what I’m missing.

If the concept of a bug out bag is new to you, have a watch through this video and check out this article on 15 Emergency Preparedness Items You Need to Have Packed and Ready to Go: https://thehouseandhomestead.com/15-emergency-preparedness-items-you-need-packed-ready-to-go/

Also, if getting more prepared for anything and everything from a power outage to a natural disaster to a medical emergency to a man made disaster like a war or a cyber attack is a goal of yours, be sure to check out the latest issue of Modern Homesteading Magazine, which is packed with great advice on emergency preparedness for any situation. (Link in bio @anna.sakawsky or visit modernhomesteadingmagazine.com)

I’d also love to hear from you!

Do you keep a bug out bag packed?

What do you keep in it?

What types of emergency situations are you preparing for in your area?

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Do you have what you need on hand to take care of yourself and your family in the event of a worst case scenario?

With everything going on in the world these days, we’re getting more and more serious about equipping ourselves with the tools, supplies and skills needed to handle emergency situations if the need arises.

Between growing nuclear tensions, the ongoing threat of pandemics, cyber attacks and a looming energy crisis, medical staff and supply shortages, and general “everyday” medical, financial and other miscellaneous emergencies, we’d all be wise to be prepared BEFORE the next emergency happens.

One of our neighbours passed away very suddenly last week (just 50 years old 😔) and it reminded me of just how quickly things can go sideways. As far as we know he suffered a heart attack, and while his wife did everything she could to save him, by the time the ambulance arrived it was too late. It was a wake up call for me, that not only do we need to be prepared with supplies on hand, but with knowledge and skills too. I’m definitely looking into booking a refresher First Aid course and highly recommend everyone reading this do the same if this is a skill you need to brush up on!

This is all part of being more self-reliant, and these skills are becoming more and more important in the world these days.

My hubby @ryan.sakawsky covered many emergency scenarios and how to prepare for them in detail in the latest issue of Modern Homesteading Magazine. If you haven’t had a chance to check it out yet, you can subscribe and read the latest issue via the link in my bio, or by visiting https://modernhomesteadingmagazine.com/subscribe/

I’d also love to hear from you! What are you doing to prepare and/or what skills and resources would you recommend that everyone acquire now before it’s too late?

Comment below 👇
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“I held in my heart an overwhelming level of optimism for the 2022 growing season… I couldn’t have been more wrong and could not have possibly prepared for what awaited me in the upcoming months that paved the way into summer,” he begins.

To read the full story, click the link in my bio @anna.sakawsky or go to modernhomesteadingmagazine.com to subscribe or log in and read the latest issue 🍁

(Quote in the reel by Mike Fitzgerald, “Rolling With the Punches,” Modern Homesteading Magazine | Issue 29 | Fall 2022).

#homesteading #homesteadersofinstagram #selfreliance #gardenersofinstagram #humanswhogrowfood #modernhomesteading
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The world is changing faster than ever.

We’ve barely had time to adapt to the “new normal” and still things are continuing to shift, change, and in some cases spiral more each day.

From rising inflation and persistent supply chain issues, to a looming recession and food shortages that are expected to get worse after a very tough farming year, to a war on European soil and the threat of cyber attacks and (God forbid) a nuclear attack, to the future of digital IDs and increasingly pervasive government control over every aspect of our lives, it’s no wonder more people are looking for ways to escape the matrix and “opt out” of the system.

I consider myself an optimistic realist: I hope for the best and I live fully and freely in the moment, but I prepare for the future accordingly based on what I can see unfolding in our world. And honestly, I find this “sweet spot” to be incredibly empowering.

This is why I do what I do and why I share it with you on a regular basis; I WANT TO EMPOWER YOU TOO!

That’s why I created The Society of Self-Reliance: A private membership that connects you with the resources, support and community you need to reclaim your independence and become more self-reliant in every aspect of your life.

From growing and preserving your own food to crafting and using herbal medicine to life skills like how to manage it all and stay calm in stressful situations, how to prepare for emergency situations and much more, if you’re ready to learn invaluable skills that will help you take control of your family’s food security, health and wellbeing, time, finances, and ultimately over your own future, The Society of Self-Reliance was created for you!

I’m excited to announce that I’ll be reopening the Society doors for a limited time starting next week, and wanted to give you the heads up NOW so that you can get on the waitlist and make sure you don’t miss out when enrollment opens.

To learn more or get on the waitlist, click the link in my bio @anna.sakawsky or go to thehouseandhomestead.com/society

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It’s no surprise that in this day and age, more and more people are ready to leave it all behind and move to a property in the country where they can grow their own food, live a simpler life and become more self-sufficient and less dependent on “the system.” But as romantic as it sounds, it’s definitely easier said than done.

In the latest issue of Modern Homesteading Magazine, I sat down with Ann Accetta-Scott of @afarmgirlinthemaking to talk all about what people need to know about buying and selling a homestead property.

Ann and her husband Justin recently moved from their two-acre homestead outside of Seattle, Washington to a 40-acre homestead in rural Tennessee. Ann and I sat down to talk about the realities of buying and selling a homestead, moving across the country to pursue your homesteading dream, what to look for when you’re searching for your next property, pitfalls to avoid (if you can!), and what you can do if you’re not ready or in a position to make your move just yet.

Whether you’re looking to purchase your first homestead or trying to sell an existing homestead and upgrade to a bigger property, Ann had some great insights to share that can save you time, stress and money when you’re ready to make your move.

Check out the full interview in the fall issue of Modern Homesteading Magazine: link in bio @anna.sakawsky or visit www.modernhomesteadingmagazine.com to subscribe, login to the library (if you’re already a subscriber) or view a sample of the current issue!

#modernhomesteading #homesteadersofinstagram #escapethematrix #selfsufficiency #selfreliance #selfsufficientliving
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This is why people don’t trust our medical system!!!

I very rarely go on a rant about current events but this has me feeling really fired up…

My husband and I each got an Amber Alert on our phones the other night along with millions of other British Columbians, informing us of a child abduction in Vancouver. It made the suspect sound like a dangerous kidnapper and said “do not approach. Call 911.”

As it turns out, it was the mother of the child (a 3-year-old boy), who had refused medical treatment without getting a second opinion and follow up blood tests, so the Ministry of Child and Family Services was called, she was arrested and her son was taken from her and was administered medical treatment in the hospital without consent and without a guardian present.

There’s a lot more to this story than I’m able to share in this video or this caption, so I’ll post some links below where you can hear directly from the mom what happened, and check out other IG accounts that have been in direct contact with her and the father. But the point is this was a GROSS misuse of our Amber Alert system, a GROSS abuse of power (turns out the boy wasn’t sick in the end anyway), and has now traumatized this family for life.

Doctors are not gods and as mothers we do not co-parent with the government!!!

This hits close to home for me because I too have been through the medical system and had my concerns dismissed, was misdiagnosed and given wrong information, and was treated with obvious contempt when I got a second opinion.

In this day and age of rampant medical coercion and the erosion of bodily autonomy over our own bodies and over those of our children, this story highlights the dangers of the very slippery slope we’re on.

As parents who only have the best interests of our children at heart, this could happen to any one of us. We can’t let this be normalized. Remember “first they came for (fill in the blank), and I said nothing. Then they came for me and there was no one left to speak for me.”

Check out my stories for the full video that the mom, Wiloh made explaining the details of what happened or check out the comments for links to learn more & support this family.
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I’ve hesitated about posting this reel over and over because I know I’ll probably get backlash, hate and vitriol from some people in return. But I wouldn’t be being true to myself if I didn’t speak the truth that’s on my heart and mind…

If you haven’t noticed, there are currently thousands of Canadians sharing their stories and using the hashtag #trudeaumustgo on their social media posts right now in response to the divisive rhetoric and actions of our prime minister over the past few months. But our media has downplayed the issue and has attributed most of the hashtags to “bot” accounts and foreigners trying to influence our politics.

In response, real Canadians are making videos and sharing their stories to show that we are not bots, but real people who have been negatively affected by the words and actions of our leaders, particularly our leader at the top.

I used to consider myself a lifelong leftist and have supported the liberal government and Trudeau over the years, but after what I’ve witnessed over the past few months; After how he has spoken about Canadians who have made a different medical choice or who have protested mandates (which have done nothing to stop the spread of you-know-what anyway); After the hate and division that has trickled down from the top and infiltrated our communities, I can no longer stand silently by.

While I am 💉, a few months ago when I voiced my support for those who stood up against mandates and against the division being pushed on us by our leadership, I suddenly found myself among what our prime minister called the “small fringe minority” of citizens with “unacceptable views.”

I lost followers, friends and even a couple family members. I was told I’d been “radicalized,” although my views have never changed.

So today I’m adding my voice to the chorus of real, everyday Canadians who are taking a stand against tyranny and division in this country. As the saying goes, if we do not stand for something, we’ll fall for anything. I stand for freedom & autonomy, and against division & tyranny.

#trudeaumustgo

(Special thanks to fellow 🇨🇦 homesteader @meggarlandd for inspiring me & giving me the courage to post this:)
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What would you do if the grid went down?

Imagine not just the lights going out, but all power, all digital communication and information. Would you be prepared?

A lot of us THINK we’re prepared for a grid down situation, but unless you’re already living off grid, you might not realize how dependent on technology we really are!

In the fall issue of Modern Homesteading Magazine, contributor Ashley Constance of @dirtypawshomestead and @alittleselfreliant shares her experience voluntarily going without power for the day, and what she and her husband, Shawn learned from their grid down experiment.

You might be surprised at the things they discovered and missed on their prep list, and it might prompt you to reevaluate whether you’re ready in case the grid goes down, or even just Google 😱

Check out the full story in the latest issue of Modern Homesteading Magazine!

Link in bio @anna.sakawsky or visit www.modernhomesteadingmagazine.com

#modernhomesteadingmagazine #homesteadersofinstagram #homesteading #modernhomesteading #prepping #nationalpreparednessmonth
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The other day when I had a few minutes to spare, I was out in the garden doing a little work when my neighbour said hi over the fence.

I lamented to her about how busy we’ve been and how hard it’s been to keep on top of this year. Very sincerely, she replied “wait until you have another one,” referring to our baby on the way.

“You’ll be moving back to the suburbs so quick, mark my words,” she said.

Now, I don’t for a second think there was any ill intent behind her statement, but still, it took me aback.

“We’ll never move back to the city or the suburbs,” I replied with a laugh. “This may be hard work but we love it.”

She then repeated her statement and followed it up with “just you wait and see.”

I decided not to continue the back and forth. After all, I told myself, it doesn’t matter if she or anyone else knows what’s truly in your heart. It doesn’t matter if she understands that there’s no amount of difficulty that would make me run back to the suburbs and leave this life behind. In fact, our dream is to upgrade to a bigger property someday where we can grow an even bigger garden and add more livestock to our homestead!

Likewise, I visited the city last weekend for a family event and as always, I had at least a couple people ask me “so when are you moving back to the city?”

Seven years later, and still we have friends and family members who think this is just a phase we’re going through, and eventually we’ll come to our senses and move back.

I used to get offended by these questions because I felt unseen; I felt like nobody took this life that I’m so passionate about seriously, and thought it was “cute” that I was “playing farmer” for a bit, but eventually I had to grow up and become part of the “real world” once again.

Now I just smile and reply “never:)”

Can you relate? How do you (politely) respond when someone questions your lifestyle choices or implies that you’ll eventually come to your senses and come back to “reality”?

Let me know below 👇
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The fall issue of Modern Homesteading Magazine just dropped!

In this issue you’ll find:

• Preparedness tips, tricks and advice to help you be ready for anything on the homestead (and in life!)
•The ultimate guide to growing garlic at home and it as both food and medicine
• Drool-worthy recipes that feature garlic as the star!
• Expert advice from A Farmgirl in the Making’s Ann Accetta-Scott on what to look for (and look out for) when buying or selling a homestead property
• Advice on how to learn and grow from perceived homesteading “failures”

And more!!!

Go to modernhomesteadingmagazine.com or click the link in my bio @anna.sakawsky to subscribe or login to the library and read the latest issue if you’re already subscribed!
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