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A How to Course on Homesteading, Self-Sufficiency

LSU Ag Center

Homesteading is becoming increasingly popular in recent years as people look for a simpler way of life and one built upon self-sufficiency.

Long after the COVID-19 pandemic is behind us the life and business lessons learned from the ordeal stay with us to this day. And it is little wonder when you consider the widespread uncertainty that gripped the country. Such memories and fears of over-reliance on others in the future have fueled a trend toward homesteading. It’s all part of a growing lifestyle of self-sustainability.
That’s the inspiration behind a conference this Saturday – hosted by the LSU Ag Center at its Red River Research Station on Highway 71 in far south Bossier City. The event is billed as a way to bring homesteading to “your backyard.”
This trend toward more self-sustainable farm operations has also become big business. That includes the involvement of tractor vendors, realtors,

LSU Ag Center

leatherworkers and much more – more than 50 vendors in all. Planning for the conference is headed by the LSU Ag Center’s Northwest Region Director Ron Strahan. “It’s a very hot topic right now throughout the nation, really”, Strahan began. “Especially after COVID, there’s a lot of anxiety about food security, about being prepared, and I think that’s why there’s so much interest in it, you know, becoming more self-sufficient.”
While homesteading resurfaced during the pandemic, Strahan says he believes the interest will not fade away anytime soon. And he notes that the conference will have a heavy focus on food preservation, with demonstrations for stocking up on your own homegrown foods. “You know, we could have an ice storm up here,” says Strahan, “just being able to have some food that you don’t depend on a freezer for, you know, it’s in a can, or a jar that you put up.”

Vanessa Pierre in her home garden where she grows vegetables, herbs, and flowers in plant beds at her homestead in Maryland.
Elliot C. Williams/DCist/WAMU
National Public Radio (NPR)
Vanessa Pierre in her home garden where she grows vegetables, herbs, and flowers in plant beds at her homestead in Maryland.

Strahan says this conference is timelier than ever after we suffered through a very hot, dry summer and devastating drought. The eight-hour event gets underway at 8:00 a.m. and runs through 4:00 p.m.
It's important to remember that a homesteading lifestyle can range from producing all or some of your own food. That can include raising chickens, pigs, cows and so on. There’s also organic gardening, cooking from scratch, even brewing your own beer, and making your own soap and cleaning supplies. Then there’s sewing and knitting your own clothes. In all, there are multiple levels of immersion.

Originally from the Pacific Northwest, and a graduate of the University of Washington, Jeff began his on-air broadcasting career 33 years ago in the Black Hills of South Dakota as a general assignment reporter.