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New categories? E.g. Homesteading Answered

Dear Instructables, I am an organic gardener and smallholder/homesteader and most of my instructables are related to these topics, however apart from 'Pets', which is OK because my birds are very friendly and tame, there is no specific category for my Instructables. I have noticed that there are many people posting poultry instructables and it would be great if they could be grouped together. I also suggest, seeing the amount of relevant posts, that there should be a category which covers, permaculture, organic (food/horticulture and agriculture) and one for homesteading. Instructables is very well served on the engineering/science/computing side but it would be great to have a balance. Best Wishes, Pavlovafowl aka Sue


I agree Jessy! This takes on gardening, raising chickens and farm animals, rain barrels, everything. Maybe we should have a homesteading contest to kick things off!

That's a great idea!.Sadly I can't be part of it as I live in France, actually I've never really figured out why we can't be in the contests but anyway wish everyone the best of luck if you get one going! As you write, homesteading covers a lot of ground including also preserving, drying, smoking and curing food, weaving, spinning, growing plants for cosmetics and medicinal purposes etc.,. etc.,

Another thought too, have you heard of Simpson Strong-Tie connectors? I'm using them for the woodworking challenge, and looking though all the different parts that they have to offer I can see many new things that could be made. It seems like they would be the type of company that might sponsor a contest too. :P

That sounds like a good idea.

However, I wouldn't start as many new channels as you suggest - a search for "poultry" only give 5 pages of results, and most of those projects are about cooking the birds, not rearing them (compare that to 68 pages of "hat", or 92 for "dog").

I do see the need for a more general channel - how does "home agriculture" sound?


Thanks for taking time out to reply.

I put 'chicken' 'homesteading', 'organic gardening' , 'permaculture' 'allotments', 'farming' and 'livestock' in search and got 10 pages each and they didn't look like repeats, so there are already 70 pages which could all go under 'homesteading/smallholding" the first is the American term and the second English. This a growing movement worldwide with everyday more people keeping animals and growing their own food. If you create a category for it, it will grow, trust me.

Best Wishes Pavlovafowl aka Sue

Might "Farming" be a compromise between the two terms?

Farming to me is a much larger scale enterprise and one which usually involves a business, whereas homesteading tends to be about self-sufficiency and providing food/energy/domestic equipment for a home. Of course now some people are doing this as a community and swapping and bartering but I still sort of tend towards thinking of farming as a more commercial profession. That's just me however, I come from a farming background we had 3000 chickens and I've got 50!

There are, though, a lot more people who grow produce or raise small food animals (rabbits, poultry etc) in gardens, rather than smallholdings, which is why I suggested "home agriculture" as the title - it would include everything from a plant-pot of strawberries on the balcony, through a greenhouse full of cucumbers to working an actual holding of several acres.

Plus, as you pointed out, there is a duality of terminology, so I selected a term common to both kinds of English.

It's a moot point, though, since it's not my place to name or create a new channel. It would be interesting to gather the opinions of other members, then you can take a consensus opinion forward and suggest it directly to HQ.

Thanks for getting back on this. I think of homesteading not to do with acreage, which I would count more as farming but with the back-to-the-land, sustainable, self-sufficient people who are doing this in their back garden. We only have 1000 sq metres of garden but we have grown it as a food forest, incorporating poultry and thus we are self-sufficient in fruit, veg and eggs. You will see people on the web who have permaculture, duckponic, aquaponic systems which work in gardens because they respect crop rotations, use companion plants, three sisters, mulch, compost, harvest rainwater and have their poultry free-ranging in with the plants. With the question of nomenclature I just pointed out the two different names because I didn't know if you were aware of them but as this is an America-based site I would expect them to use homesteading. 'Home farming' is already a term associated with homesteading so your term 'Home agriculture' could work, it's just people seem to know of homesteading as a concept. I'm just throwing a few ideas around and am glad to get some feed back. Thanks again for coming up with some suggestions.

I love the idea of the homesteading category! I am seeing more and more instructables that slant that way. :)

I'll pass it on. :D

Pavlova I think that's an excellent idea. I'm not internally sure who you would contact to make that happen, though I would love to see more tailored categories, especially for homesteading.
Best of luck

Thanks for replying. I think homesteading would cover a lot that gardening and pets don't really do at the moment but where we normally have to post our instructables.

Thanks! In the background are our dry toilet and compost bin combo, which would also be covered by homesteading! Front and centre are our Chamois Polish crested, Rufus, Garbo and Marlene, Ardenner Polly, who raised my quail and Black Lucky, who is a Sebrigh/Polish cross.