It’s no surprise that homesteading has seen a resurgence in recent years. Especially with all the uncertainty that 2020 brought for so many families across the world. Many families are wanting to get “back to their roots” and learn how to start homesteading now.
There can be a number of reasons why someone would want to begin homesteading. Many people like the idea of being more self-sufficient. There’s no doubt that growing your own food can bring about a great sense of security, not to mention pride. In this post I will be giving my best ideas for how to start homesteading now.
Whether you live on a small suburban lot, or in the country on sprawling acreage, you should know that you can take steps forward toward your homesteading dreams today.
How To Start Homesteading Today
There is no reason to rush into homesteading with a huge list of projects and goals. That can lead to burn out and overwhelm, really quickly. I think it’s best to start with just two to three projects that you can work on for the next month or so.
A great place to start is with chickens. You can check your local ordinances to make sure you are allowed to keep chickens on your property and if everything is good there, then there will be a few things you will need to get in place before bringing home chickens.
First you need to decide if you want to raise chickens from chicks or get “point of lay” hens.
Point of lay hens are advantageous because they are at the age of beginning to lay eggs. You can skip the baby stage and teenage stage and go right to the delicious eggs stage. Another advantage is that you don’t have to worry about keeping them warm with heat lamps, etc. you can just put them right into their chicken coop and begin collecting eggs.
If you are going to raise chickens from chicks, check out my post here about everything you should know about raising chicks.
Start A Garden
Another fantastic way to get started homesteading today is to start a garden. That can look like some herb plants in the windowsill, a small raised bed outside, or a huge in ground garden. However you do it, start small and them work your way up from there.
Gardening is a very rewarding hobby and one that I have grown to love with a great passion. I think everyone should experience the joy of growing their own food, there is just nothing quite like it.
One of my favorite ways to start seeds is through a method called winter sowing, check out my detailed post on winter sowing here.
Heat With Wood
Maybe it’s the winter time and neither gardening or getting chickens is an option. How about using wood to heat your home rather than electricity or gas? You can get cords of wood delivered to your driveway, stack it neatly in your backyard and keep a tarp over it to keep the rain and snow off.
Switching to wood heat is a great way to be more sustainable and save a few bucks as well.
Start A Compost Pile
One of the cornerstones of homesteading is sustainability and reducing waste. We humans create a lot of waste in our kitchens, so starting a compost pile or bin is a great way to live more sustainably.
Composted vegetables and kitchen waste turns into a nutrient-dense gardening soil when treated properly. Isn’t that much better than it going to the land fill?
Encourage Pollinators To Visit
You may not be ready to start keeping bees, or it may be on your homesteading wish list, but just a little farther down. In any case, homesteaders know that bees and other pollinators are a vital component to maintaining a thriving and effective ecosystem.
Choose native plants that are bee-friendly like echinacea, bee balm, lavender and fruit trees.
Prioritize Your Homesteading Goals
Now that I’ve given you a few ideas, I think its a great idea to do your own research and figure out exactly what your goals are. Do you want to grown your own food? Learn how to preserve it? How about raising animals? What kind? For milk, meat or both? Do you want to learn how to fell your own trees on your property to sustainably heat your home with wood? These are use a few of the bigger goals that a lot of homesteaders have.
Once you know what your goals are, you can prioritize those accordingly.
Buying Land For Homesteading
Maybe you live in a strict area of town with one of those annoying home owner associations. If that’s the case, it’s highly unlikely that you will be allowed to keep chickens and there will be strict rules about gardens and fences etc.
If that is the case, you may want to start searching for a piece of property that will suit your homesteading needs. It can take quite a while to find the right piece of land, so take your time.
Keep in mind that you don’t need 40 acres to have a homestead. Many homesteads can be ran very efficiently on just 3-6 acres of land. Shaye Elliott of the Elliott Homestead runs her very productive and dreamy homestead on just 2.5 acres. She is serious homestead “goals” as the cool kids say 😉
Tips For Buying Land To Homestead
Buying property can be pretty overwhelming, to say the least. We just closed on our land last year and it took us 5 years to find the perfect spot.
Here are a few things you may want to consider when buying land to homestead:
- Look at the surrounding area. Is it developed? If not, is it crop land? Something I don’t think people consider is how bad it can be to have property right next to crop land because of all the toxic pesticides they spray.
- Does the soil “perk”? Septic systems have come a long way, but finding land that can pass a perk test will save your 10-15 thousand dollars on a septic system
- If your job or hobbies require high speed internet(like my online business), then make sure you can get reliable internet. It’s rare that cable internet is provided way out in the country, so make sure that’s an option before buying. I hear satellite internet is terrible.
- Zoning. Make sure the property is zoned agricultural or something similar, to ensure you can have livestock, chickens, gardens and any fencing you want/need.