You don’t need to move to a farm to begin starting a homestead. Anything you can do to develop more self-sufficiency, cut costs, and live closer to nature will begin moving you in the right direction. Start growing your own food and preserve it and then start to pick up other valuable skills.
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Tips for Starting A Homestead
A homestead can mean different things to different people. But in a broad sense, homesteading is about living a self-sufficient lifestyle.
For most people, the main aspects of a homestead are owning their land and the buildings on it. Doing small-scale farming with the goal of being self-sufficient, or at least limiting their reliance on outside sources.
Although homesteading can apply to farms, it’s also possible to be an urban homesteader by practicing sustainable living techniques, urban agriculture, and a frugal lifestyle.
Some people believe that homesteading is more defined by the lifestyle choices you make, rather than whether you live in the country or the city.
Starting A Homestead Step By Step
Are you interested in living a more sustainable lifestyle? Homesteading is a great way to do that! It allows you to be self-sufficient and produce your own food, among other things. Here are some tips for getting started:
Consider What Homesteading Involves.
Talk to other homesteaders. Ask the good and the bad. Think of the time demands, the cost of everything. Blake has wanted me to have a “hobby” for years and now we have roughly 50 birds that require feed, water, and to be let into and out of their coop.
While we do have some people we could probably ask to take over for a day or two, it's a big ask of someone.
Set Goals For Yourself.
Set some SMART goals for yourself. It could be to cook 5 meals a week from scratch. My goal right now is to learn to can food from our garden. Which I did successfully just the other day. Now to try some more recipes.
Decide Where You Want To Live.
This can change. We are thinking we might move in the next couple of years because I want goats, they are a goal. And a couple of cows down the road too.
Where you live now might be a great place to get started: learn to garden in a small community with a small yard. If you decide you want to add chickens or Coturnix quail to your urban homestead check with your by-laws. Quail often don't enter the by-laws so you could possibly have them.
Make A Budget.
Know how much feed costs. How much are you willing to spend on a coop? Or maybe you are handy and can build one from scrap wood around your property as we did with our first chicken coop.
Before adding something else to your homestead consider the cost that will need to be added to your budget.
Start with a garden. Or a small flock of chickens. Or maybe even just some quail. Quail are some footprint on your homestead and are easy to care for.
A year down the road think about adding something else.
Learn To Preserve Food.
This is especially important if you have a garden or greenhouse and are growing an abundance of free food. This is the year I learn to preserve food. I have learned to make our favorite mustard pickles, and to do a water bath.
Next up canning beets, drying beans, making salsa and more! My greenhouse is exploding.
Make Friends With Other Homesteaders.
Through our homeschool group, I have met some great, like-minded people. The thing with homesteaders and homeschoolers? They overlap.
Having homestead friends gives you someone to bounce ideas off, talk through problems you might have, and get support from someone who understands what you are doing and going through.