Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Viking? What is a Viking Homesteader?

What is a Viking? Why are you a Viking Homesteader?

We get asked that question a lot.

Sometimes we tell people we are Doomsday Preppers waiting for the Zombie Apocalypse. We usually get the "Umm! Okay! I think you are crazy" look.

Sometimes we tell people we are living historians that use our property for our historical experiments. We usually get the "Oh! Do you do those Renn Fairs where you dress up funny and eat turkey legs?"

The term Viking tends to evoke the Capital One commercials or images of fur clad barbarians with huge shields dragging virgin damsels by their hair to their doom. Ummmm, No!

I won't go into a huge long PhD level dissertation on who the Vikings were and are and how they are related to our own history. I will save the dissertations for my collegiate mentors. You can read more about who the Vikings are at the Viking Answer Lady here.

The Vikings were also known as the Norse, the Northman, Norsemen, and Vikingr. The Norse were explorers, warriors, merchants, farmers, and pirates who raided, traded, and settled in wide areas of Europe, Asia and North Atlantic (Iceland) islands from the late 8th to mid 11th Century. This is the time period Viking Dad and I study and represent.

Our love for Viking history started as a hobby and now has become a lifestyle. The Vikings were farmers and tradesmen. Much has been written about their trading and explorations but not much has been written about their daily life. As part of my PhD in cultural anthropology we have established our own Viking homestead in San Diego County. Having our space to create and experiment with physical anthropology has become a joy.

Why a homestead and not a farmestead? There is a difference? Viking Dad and I did not grow up in San Diego County. Viking Dad spent 23 years serving his country in the United Sates Navy, very similar his historical persona, while I kept the "home front." Again, very similar to my own historical persona. We decided to stay in San Diego because of work and school and bought property in east San Diego county. Like many of our pioneer forefathers we set up a new homestead to establish our mark.

On this homestead we have to work hard to establish a sustainable garden, food source, defense, and a holistic lifestyle modeled on the Viking history and our own needs. Since this land wasn't an established farm we have had to create a farm and home on this property; homesteading. I really enjoy being able to present historical demonstrations from products that we grew and made on the homestead.

One of the bonus points of creating this Viking Homestead is the prepping element. Homesteading and living a holistic lifestyle is naturally lends to prepping. We preserve and store our own foods and other preparations. When San Diego County experienced the County wide Blackout in September 2011, we were the only family on the block that was pretty comfortable.

Recently, I called ourselves "Medieval Preppers. We are preparing for then next invasion or plague." That describes us pretty well.

Websites to click on.

Doomsday Preppers on National Geographic

Article I wrote on this blog before about being prepared.

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