Non-Electric Entertainment

Some people think that being a Homesteader means you have to go to bed at sundown, and can't watch TV or have any fun.


In the Summer, the sun doesn't even go down until 8 or 9 at night so you have plenty of light to have fun. In the Winter, light a fire in the fireplace or woodstove, or an olive oil lamp. Here are a few suggestions to pass the time until bed:
  • Play board games: We have been collecting board games for several years now, and have quite a stash... Chutes and Ladders, Life, Sequence, Pictionary, Battleship, Yaht5zee, Trivial Pursuit, Clue, and many more. We also buy extra pieces that we pick up at yard/garage sales (like dices, play money, etc.)
  • Cards games: Poker, old maid, and many more can be very fun! We also have Uno, and are teaching the Tween how to play solitaire.
  • Storytelling: This is becoming a lost art. Tell stories of your youth, of your heritage, or even get out mythology books and read bits and pieces from them. Here's another: have one person start a story, the next person add a bit more, and the next person, and so on, going around the circle several times until it's time to end.
  • Music: Have a jam session! Get a guitar now, and a couple of books teaching how to play it. What about a ukelele? A recorder ($1.00 at the dollar store)? Drums? Keyboard? Harmonica? Stock up on all the music and songbooks you can find at yard sales.
  • Camp in the backyard with a tent and sleeping bags, with a small safe fire, roasting marshmallows and making s'mores. Look up at the stars or clouds. Listen to the birds, your chickens, or your goats.
  • Other: Play dolls, trains, cars, dress up, etc. Play catch with the dog and your kid. Do a craft like quilting. Draw pictures or color.

There are so many things that people used to do ... before television. If you don't have anything in your home to entertain you with no electricity, then you need to get some. And if you don't want to, well, why are you on this website?

What are YOUR suggestions for entertainment at home that don't involve electricity?

Survivalism vs Urban Homesteading

We've added a new section in the right-hand column of this site: Steps To Work On. While we worked on that, we had a thought. Some people think our blogs are a little too survivalist. That what we write about is based out of a fear.

We plan, prepare and work to be self-sufficient because we want to feel accomplishment. A sense of doing for ourselves. To lessen our "carbon footprint". Etc. Here's the thought:

An urban homesteader is someone who enjoys living in the city, but doesn't see why that should stop her from engaging directly with nature, growing her own food, and striving for self-sufficiency.

We want to move to the countryside, but mostly because I'm a complete hermit, and love being out in the boonies. But we don't plan to live in a little shack or in a bomb shelter.

Right now, we have a nice little home, and if we have to stay here, in a suburb of Denver, Colorado, then we will. We have almost a quarter of an acre, and can definitely provide enough food on this bit of land for our family of three (we did very well in 2008). However, we can't have farm animals except for 2 ducks and 1 pig, and we don't like having neighbors so close that they can hear us breathe. Yup, we're looking for somewhere else.

A survivalist thinks the end is near and he better prepare. He stocks up on MRE's, bullets, and bandages. He keeps his plans completely secret, and his family practices and drills and researches. He stocks up on things that will keep his family alive through anything, including nuclear attack. He deprives and suffers away from modern conveniences, not because he wants to be a modern-day pioneer, but because he's preparing for when those things aren't available any more. He learns how to shot the eye out of a deer from a long distance. Survivalism in general is about the fear of death.

As opposed to...

"An urban homesteader doesn't necessarily live on a farm but associates with nature directly. We grow our own food and strive for self-sufficiency. We work to regain the almost-lost knowledge of our ancestors: tending to plants, animals and ourselves... moving away from "consumers" to "do-it-yourselfers". Urban homesteading isn't about suffering or deprivation or militant cults... it's about reclaiming our heritage. Urban homesteading is about life – it is a way of life founded on pleasure, not fear. Our preparedness comes out of what we know, not from what we have or don't have.

We have become the only animal that can't produce for and feed itself. We are consumers. We are working to become producers again.

Whatever space you have, you CAN be an urban homesteader.
  • Garden (outdoors or indoors) to produce as much as possible (check out
  • Produce your own energy.
  • Reduce/reuse/recycle.
  • Don't waste the water that's available, and even if you aren't in a drought, that's no reason to use lots of water for things that only a little water will do.
  • Raise quail in your spare room - meat, feathers and eggs, plus manure for your garden. They aren't too smelly or noisy.
  • Preserve the food you grow.
  • Anything you can buy, you can make, grow, or happily do without.
Next posting: Non-Electrical Entertainment!