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diaryofanegress

Observations of an Invisible Woman

Creating a Black Homestead No Matter Where You Live

 

 

What is a Homestead exactly?

 

The legal definition is:  A person’s permanent home or property that includes the land on which the home stands on and other adjoining building or property.

My simple definition is: Living independently (as much as possible) by doing for self.

 

Growing up in the islands, we had a homestead that included sugar cane fields, lots of livestock, coffee beans, cocoa bushes (chocolate), coconut trees, mango trees, green banana trees and so many fruits you didn’t know which one to eat first. We never heard of one person starving to death because food literally seemed to grow EVERYWHERE. One morning you’d wake up and go in your backyard and see calaloo (African Water Spinach)

 

growing out of nowhere.

 

We’d pick a few things for breakfast while my father, brother and uncles ventured to the marketplace for fresh fish. My aunts, a professional candy maker and a seamstress, began their day at 5 am hurrying to meet their deadlines. My one uncle rendered lard and tallow to sell it to local candlemakers and soap shops.

Being little, my mother assigned me with the task of picking eggs from our dozens upon dozens of chickens. We sold fresh eggs and freshly de-feathered and de-boned chicken to “city folks” with almost no yard at all. After school, we’d watch my aunt cook down sugar cane til molasses was formed. Then she’d make taffy and pull it herself! Her biceps were huge and I felt sorry for the poor soul who picked a fight with her.

I loved our homestead.

I loved our simple yet comfortable, happy yet tough farm life.

Coming to America, however, proved to be a challenge to duplicate that life. Astronomical taxes EVERYWHERE. Realtors claiming that certain places in which we chose to live were “unavailable”. Cold climate that killed our crops by November and ZERO sense of community. Gone was the “I’ll watch him til you come back from the market.” An “Every man for himself” attitude was replaced and it left me feeling uneasy and isolated.

Keeping this blog and reading all your letters and comments, proved to me that the desire for a homestead is not lost…we just don’t know how to begin doing it again. Make no mistake about it. Homesteads are not and cannot work for those that are:

Lazy

Corrupt

Fickle Minded

Squeamish

Apathetic

 

Getting your hands DIRTY and working ALL DAY are the norm. So is going to bed early and rising early. What does that mean? No more:

Late night partying

Drunkenness

Sleaziness

Staying up late to watch TV, porn, surfing the net, talking til 3 am

Consistency and dedication is the key to making it work. But how do you do it? And how do you “Do for Self” in a tiny apartment? Or on a tiny patch of grass jammed up next to another neighbour?

 

 

 

  1. Learn a skill. I cannot stress this enough. I’ve had a love/hate relationship with sewing since childhood. I used to watch the countless hours my aunt bend over her tiny machine turning bits of shapeless fabric into stunning dresses for weddings and preppy school uniforms. My task was to help her cut the cloth. I hated it. I wanted to run and play at the beach and learn to spear fish with the boys. I went back to sewing a few years ago after a bad experience shopping where I was followed throughout the store. Now I make my own dresses, nightgowns, robes, shirts, pants and oven mittens! Sewing is surprising easy but requires A LOT of patience and hard work. If I can make my own clothes, anyone can.

 

 

2.  Make your own laundry detergent and fabric softener and SAVE HUNDREDS! Washing clothes is a must so this will keep some money in your pockets. I will share my own simple recipe for fabric softener:

A. A large pot of hot, boiling water

B. One cup of baking soda

C. One cup of vinegar

D. Essential oil of your choice

 

Add baking soda and vinegar SLOWLY into the hot water. It will bubble like a volcano. Stir til fully mixed. Add a teaspoon of your favourite essential oil and let cool. Transfer to a jug with a tight lid. A 1/2 cup of this mixture per load will soften your clothes and smell fantastic. AND it’s natural and will not aggravate allergies.

Do this for all your household needs and save. Vinegar and Lemon juice make excellent cleansers and will save you money.

 

 

3. Grow your own food ANYWHERE you can. Last year at the farmer’s markets, I sold planter after planter of herb gardens from my own seeds and roots. I added a bit of basil here, peppermint there, a dash of oregano, a smithering of lavender til it was full. My customers ate it up and loved the fact that the planters were tiny enough to put on their kitchen windowsill. Do you live in an apartment with a fire escape? Then this is what you need:

 

 

It is possible to have fresh vegetables and herbs in a tiny apartment complex.

For those of you that live in a house with a yard, you have ZERO excuses why you’re not feeding your spirit, mind and body with fresh food. Is your yard too small to grow a lot of food? Look what this person did along his fence:

 

 

Ingenious!

 

 

 

4. Have a source of income. YOUR WAY.

This is the most adaptable yet the most difficult. Why? Not many people know what to do or do not have the funds to make it work.

My one friend sold all the excess “junk” in her basement and used the money to “get serious” (her words). Can you bake? Maybe you have great carpenter skills? Look at what this man did:

 

He picked up old pallets off the street and turned it into pretty and functional furniture. FOR FREE. I can attest that this type of look sells extremely well at craft fairs and people will pay top dollar for a custom piece.

 

Use your imagination and PRODUCE something. That way you are in control of your finances.

 

 

 

5. Organize with other blacks who WANT THE SAME THINGS AS YOU DO.

No point in trying to convince someone to Do For Self if they are more interested in TV, sex and alcohol. Leave them alone and seek others that will SHARE your passion for building. This is the most difficult task in my opinion. Blacks are severely brainwashed and terrified of being left up to themselves and just the mention of “Hey, let’s put on our own craft market with just black vendors” will have them running for the door.

Last year, a woman who seemed awake proved to be snoringly asleep and I was left heartbroken. I wanted to do so much with her and it didn’t work out once I claimed, “Absolutely no whites. Just us and just us alone.” I moped around the house for weeks then snapped out of it. Now I’m searching for another partner.

This is where we fail time and time again.

This is where others take advantage of us time and time again.

This is where we need to work HARDER and HARDER til we get it right.

 

The bottom line is: Other races see themselves as a collective and blacks see themselves as individuals.

It is this individualism that is killing us.

 

This tiny list is just a STARTER for your homestead.

By putting these ideas into motion, not just saying you will but actually doing it, you will regain some power and control in a system that seeks to control you.

 

And finally, for the readers that email me to ask me “Where do I begin? How do I do this?” Or chastise me for living on farmland while they are in a tiny apartment…

 

Your situation does not make you.

You make your situation.

I personally know jewelry makers and seamstresses in Brooklyn that make their creations in their kitchens on a tiny dining table. I know a chef that learned to make great tasting food in a kitchen so small  it had only 2 burners. A Jamaican pastry maker makes her best dish, Grater Cake, in her NYC apartment when her children are asleep so she can focus without distraction. I make my clothes on a tiny 3 x 4 folding table in my small living room.

If you really want it, you’ll find a way.

 

 

Please pass this on to as many blacks as possible and begin today.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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27 thoughts on “Creating a Black Homestead No Matter Where You Live

  1. @DOAN

    There’s a black owned laundry detergent called true heavy duty.

  2. @ Mohammed

    Thank you! I’ll look that up right now.

  3. Yes indeed! Thank you for this. We fail by always trying to include others when our brothers + sisters need our support more than anyone. My sister and I started a baking company last year and make it our goal to only work at Black operated events and have done about a dozen so far, keeping that promise to ourselves and our people. And by taking that leap, we have attracted many Black-owned businesses that want to work with us and with whom we want to work with, like a snowball effect. And even more importantly, we have inspired others to take that leap and keep going.

    Great post. We all can start somewhere with whatever we have. The point is to just start.

  4. @ Kelley

    You made my whole night!

    There are a LOT of bakers/ pastry makers who ship their products with overnight delivery.

    It guaranteed fresh and makes the customers very happy. Look up this website in Manhattan:

    http://macaroncafe.com/

    Last year, we ordered a box of macarons for our tiny family get together and everyone loved them.

    Can you make these?

    It would be a GREAT way to expand.

    Another great option that’s sure to please:

    http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/nonnas-biscotti-351136

    I love them slightly warm from the oven with my tea.

    Just some suggestions that may work for you.

  5. Thank you!

    Biscotti is one of my and my sister’s favorites, so it might not make it to the customers hehe.. but I would love to try it out as it looks pretty simple.

  6. Thank you for posting this as I’m seeking to do the same thing

  7. Reblogged this on Ayaba's Labyrinth and commented:
    This is definitely something we should be pursuing in order to gain independence outside of the system

  8. This is a great post. Black people need to learn how to grow and make their own food because what is coming up in the system will destroy us. We can’t rely on and depend on the system for everything. Especially a system that stripped our people of our heritage, culture and language.

    My family is also from the islands and they also grow sugarcane where my family is from. I learned how to grow fruits and plants from a very early age. Unfortunately, I lost that trait the more I got ingrained into American society and culture. Nonetheless, I would like to re learn those traits again one day.

  9. @ Everyone

    Thank you much. Let’s begin doing this today.

  10. Hello and Greetings to all…I am Katriyah and I have been reading this blog for approximately a month now, and took the time read what everyone has had to say, and I am truly blessed. To my dear sister DOAN…there is something great on the horizon for you, for having the courage and willingness to speak truth without fear or compromise.
    I pray that creativity and ingenuity flows from your hands and spirit and are a powerful representative of the manifestation of what encompasses the 42 laws of Ma’at, and the natural wisdom of the elders and most importantly – The Creation.

    As we all rise in the morning, remember to give thanks to the Creator for leaving three tangible essences of their love to us – The Earth our sustainer, The Moon our balancer and the Sun our provider. These three beings cost no money to honor, nor do they require a tenth of your portion to “get to hebben”…because when you are in agreement with the truth, you naturally become a giver and not a taker or user. As we meditate, and receive the vibrations and energy to revitalize our third eye, make sure that NO chemicals, evil spirited attachments or apparatus such as other’s hair or synthetic fabrics have contact with our antennae that has ability to twist into the double helix of life’s codes (DNA) – in our hair – because the melanin says so.

    As you mentioned a Homestead, I compel my sisters and brothers to learn a skill, craft or trade that can sustain you so when “they live” gets totally exposed and cease to exist…how will one eat when the shelves are empty, get fresh water when the faucets are dry, or purchase anything when the currency has no value? Many have become so complacent, dependent and brainwashed by the alien, that most will run to their respective temples, get their knees ashy and wait for another handout from the microwave savior in the sky. I have been in the working and learning in environmental/energy/sustainability field for over 30 years, and am currently finishing my graduate work in this area to teach others self-sufficiency in these changing times.

    Invest in a few solar panels, an inverter and electrical junction box for an amazing blessing off of their corrupted power grid. Something as simple as an ordinary lemon or large sweet potato, a 16D galvanized nail, and a 4 inch piece of #10 solid copper inserted into them with wires attached to a small LED light can provide light for your room all night or 1.5 Volts for a clock or radio. Set aside one can of food each time you have share a meal, and be sure to purchase a water purifier and bottle as well. Collect non-GMO seeds and grow your own food and herbs – out of the mouths of two or three witnesses, the truth will be established. Thank You All for your contributions – even the fools… “The grass may be greener on the other side, because its been fertilized with bullshit!”

    Isn’t a shame that Black Lives Ain’t Never Meant Shit – To Them…
    But Black LAND, Black Boycotts and Black Dollars Do.
    Time to stop complainin’ and Start Retraining.

    One

  11. @ William

    Thank you very much for that.

  12. @DOAN

    There’s also another black owned laundry detergent it’s called Nuwash laundry detergent, but this brand isn’t very popular.

  13. @ Mohammed

    Gracias again.

  14. You said in your article, that you do not want whites involved as vendors? or as consumers. My business motto is”BUY BLACK, SELL TO EVERYONE”. I personally have no problem, with not including whites as vendors, because whites and non-whites tend not to involve us in their money making process, but will include us with heavy boundaries in place of course in their selling process, to make$$$$$$$$. So I see no problem in involving outsiders in a consumer aspect only. If their is flack about not having non blacks and whites in our vending community, charge blacks $20 bucks weekly to rent a table and charge the outsiders. $120 bucks weekly to rent a table. I see nothing wrong with this practice, because, many mortgage companies charge according to race. Also many loans companies are said to give non blacks loans easier than blacks( but hence we blacks also have to learn to pay our bills, we tend to be negligent, when paying for needs i.e rent, proper wholesome food etc.etc. but will pay for wants, weaves, trendy clothing, latest technology, wifi etc.) Let us pool our money together individually as families or as a community, and do our own thing, and hopefully it will be easier for us to get bank loans in the future, and the goal should be to get it from ethical black owned lending companies.

    Your idea on homesteading is excellent, when my sister lived in the Caribbean for 2 years and she came back to N.Amercia she mentioned to me more than one time about living independently and sustainably, she even encouraged me to learn to make my own soap and to do things for myself, and learning some sort of trades.
    The funny thing is the people here in N. America that I found who were quite sustainable even though living in the city were some middle class whites. I knew a white judge making well over 6 figures, who also could fix basic appliances and could build a deck. His wife who was and artist knew how to sew. I had a professor who could do carpentry and install flooring and the list goes on. Here we are as black people in N. America and far too many of us can’t do anything.

    Thank you so much for this article, these are the articles I love reading, so solution oriented.

  15. Great post! My family back home in Namibia grow Mahangu (pearl millet) , and other assorted fruits/vegetables as well as keeping livestock (sheep/goats, chicken cattle) . I’m planning to move back in the near future. Our biggest struggle is water & technology. There’s been little rain the last couple of years, which is bad (obviously) . The good news is that there’s a LARGE aquifer where we live, but as of now, we don’t have the tech to pump it to the surface without contaminating it along the way. Hopefully we’ll sort it out, because that aquifer can serve us for centuries they say.

    Learning “simple” trades/skills and learning how to work and live off the land is ESSENTIAL for OUR future.

  16. Reblogged this on Skool Haze and commented:
    For later reading 😉

  17. Great post! I was introduced to aquaponics a few months ago. Looking forward to getting this system up and running this spring.

  18. Great post! Sadly to say, but you do know that most of the successful Black people in this country are foreign born (mostly from the Caribbean)….my American born bros and sistas’…..just make me so sad most of the time with their apathetic attitude towards life…they ALWAYS find some justification to curse the darkness than get up off their asses to light a candle! SMH It makes me angry because I want better for my community than it wants for itself (a wise old sista’ gave me that piece of wisdom and it has stuck with me every since)…oh well..

    Got my garden going and this year I’m growing Black tomatoes, and I’m so excited!!!! Everyone says that they are sweeter and tastier than the plain red ones.

  19. @ Cedi

    Thank you!

  20. Powerful & (((GREAT))) post, family! This is enriched w/VERY valuable information for the awakened of our people to continue to grow & the sleeping of our people awaken!

  21. very enriching post. I have planted some herbs in our backyard, we have tried to do more but the bad weather here has made it very difficult for us, good thing there’s a local farmer’s market nearby. By the way I live in the Caribbean, on the island of Antigua…

  22. @ Kelley

    That’s impressive what you’re doing. I wish you great success.

  23. @ DiaryofaNegress

    Great post! A ton of food for thought — and action.

  24. Excellent post. There are Black Americans that have & continue to participate in growing their own foods, i.e. farming, agriculture, aquaponics, etc. There are many of us that are into preparedness, which includes, being self-sustaining, owning land, self defense, bartering, holistic living, plants/herbs, etc.; we have groups that support each other in these endeavors. Many Black Americans are moving back towards co-operatives among themselves; back in the day, it wasn’t called co-operatives, but the concept was the same. My grandparents grew up in self-sustaining communities, i.e. growing/producing own food, clothing, etc.; they had no chance; & because of this, I learned alot from my grandparents (mini-gardens, knitting, etc.). Growing up in the 70s’s/early 80’s we used to have the old man/horse & buggy bringing fresh fruit/vegetables to the inner city on the weekends (farmer’s market to our door); but it eventually stopped in the mid-80’s, when consumerism really started taking off. There are some former Black American athletes that have walked away from their million dollar careers to own/live off the land as well. Just because a person may not see it in their face or in the mainstream media, doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist; there are awakened Black Americans, gathering, sustaining, & protecting themselves; & they live in the south, the mid-west; etc. Also, someone wrote about that the most successful Blacks are foreign born & this is not true. They are many successful Black Americans, as well as, foreign born; we were successful in the past & we are still successful today. I read about them all the time on various websites & groups that post this information.

  25. Reblogged this on revealingartisticthoughts and commented:
    This advice is important no matter where you are.

  26. Great read! I myself want to start Homesteading but am not sure where to start!? Im a single mother of 2 children and feel my life naturally moving in a different direction of enlightment I probly wouldn’t have tapped in to had it not been for them! Would love to connect with you and other like minded black people!

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