Women across Gainesville are becoming self-sufficient by gathering once a month to share ideas on homestead living in the 21st century. Through the Ladies Homestead Gathering group, they learn the ways of sustainable living.
On Nov. 2, the group will learn how to make fire cider.
“Fire cider is a natural immune booster. There are a lot of good benefits to make this, especially with the winter coming on,” Eakins said. “It is good to have around and take it; I take it every day.”
From candle making to raising livestock, modern homesteaders have “an attitude and philosophy of self-sufficiency” and are “not confined, nor defined, by a piece of land, area or experience,” according to North Hall resident and group member Pam Eakins.
“It provides a welcoming environment where women can share new ideas, celebrate victories, address challenges and cultivate community with like-minded women,” Eakins said. “All women are welcome who have a dream, calling or desire to be more self-sufficient.”
Eakins said all women, whether single or married, new or a veteran homesteader, can join the group.
“You just come and learn together,” Eakins said. “It gives you a sense of purpose and empowerment. I know that if I need help, I have women from my own group or other groups that will come help me.”
Eakins said women supporting women “in their desire to do self-preservation” such as gardening or bee keeping.
“It really does help achieve dreams because you have the spirit of the other women behind you,” Eakins said. “You learn a lot.”
Eakins said her goal is to know how to care for bees and chickens.
“When I went to my first meeting, there was a retreat in Cornelia and I had so much fun that I joined that day. From that day on I got started where I could,” Eakins said. “I went and got some apples to make applesauce and apple butter, and canned it. Then I moved on to canning chicken so I could have cans of chicken if I ever needed to make something quick. I did what I could and I started there.”
Eakins said she has taken several classes including a bee class, and is working on her Advanced Nutritional Herbology Certificate.
“We always learn something different. They have talked about sewing, bunnies, ghosts, knot tying and veterinary services for large animals such as cows and goats,” Eakins said. “It is about being able to take care of yourself. As times get harder, it is going to get harder to do that. If you start now, you will be helping yourself by learning these types of things.”