Disconnect From the World: 20 Practical Homesteading Tips and Tricks
The homesteading life indeed requires lots of maintenance, investment, and work. There is always project after project to complete. Getting started is even more challenging.
The transition to becoming self-sustaining may seem daunting, but it is fruitful.
Think of it this way. It also requires a lot of work to grind to pay rent. At least with homesteading, the work is rewarding, providing tangible results that are yours to keep.
Quit damaging your spirit by spending time and energy working for someone else’s business, life, dream.
Spend just as much time and energy on yourself, your family, and future generations to who you can pass land down. Follow these homesteading tips to transition from dependency to independence.
You Don’t Have to Own Land to Start Homesteading
A misconception about homesteading is that you have to own property before you can even start. However, that is not the case at all.
You probably won’t invest as much time and money into a rental property as you would a property you owned. You can still tend to the land and use it as practice for the property you one day own.
You can garden, tend to animals, have a compost bin, can for the winter, and so much more on a rental property. Some landlords might even take money off of your rent if you help upkeep the landscaping.
Learn as You Go
A misconception about homesteading is that you have to have it all figured out before you begin. If that were the case, no one would homestead. you can, like with anything else, learn as you go.
Don’t let the fear of beginning keep you from doing something you dream about doing. Transcend that fear into fuel for learning. never stop educating yourself. You can always tackle problems as they come up, but they never will unless you start.
Find one aspect of homesteading that resonates and isn’t too intimidating. Start with that. You can build off of this momentum to add more ways of simple living into your daily life.
Most research comes from gardening and niche activities like mushroom growing. Don’t be afraid to dive into research, but to get some practical advice too. Making mistakes is great for learning from them.
I don’t mean this in a harsh way, but homesteading is work. Sure, it may be work that is fulfilling and to be enjoyed. But, it’s still work.
If you have farm animals, the reality is you have to shovel their poop and deal with unpleasant smells. You have to tend to them every single day. Rain or shine, snow or soot, animals need feeding, attention, shelter.
Animals come in many different breeds. You don’t want to purchase a farm animal without an idea of the breed you want or why it matters.
It’s easy to daydream about what homesteading looks like. The prairie, cottage-core dresses. The herbal tea concoctions. It all looks very nice in a fantasized dream world.
But, the reality is homesteading requires a demanding schedule. No matter the season, day and night, there are tasks to be taken care of. This can be demanding for those not ready for the realistic applications of living off the grid.
That’s not to say that homesteading is a bad fit. It just might be a different fit from what you have imagined in your head. This is also why starting out small can help work your way up to the bigger projects homesteading demands.
Many dream of having goats, sheep, pigs, maybe some cows, or even llamas when it comes to raising livestock. For one, I know I daydream about having goats to use their raw milk for various things. Ah, goat’s milk soap, goat cheese, goat’s milk smoothies.
But, if you don’t have the proper space yet, you don’t want to cram large animals in a small space. Consider getting some smaller animals first. Rabbits, quail, and chickens are considerably easier to take care of and require less shelter and food than, say, a large yak.
The benefits of raising animals are great. You get fertilizer from their manure. Healthy soil translates into healthy food grown in that soil.
You also get to love these animals. They provide food if you’re harvesting. If you’re not, they still add value to the land, and you can collect eggs or milk from many of these animals.
Just be ready for any costs that come with raising livestock. Understand how much space they need to roam around. Find a veterinarian to check in on them. Caring for the animals with love adds a lot of rewarding benefits to homesteading.
Start an Herb Garden
This one may seem self-evident. An herb garden is a great place to start for many reasons. Diving into the medicinal properties of herbs makes it exciting. Relying on your own supply to season foods takes a bit of pressure off relying on the system.
Herbs are pretty easy to grow and take care of. You don’t even need a garden bed to utilize them. You can easily grow them on a windowsill.
Sprouts are maybe even easier than herbs to grow! Just like herbs, you don’t need a garden bed or tons of acreage to grow them. All you need is a jar and water.
Sprouts are expensive at the store. Growing your own helps to save money that adds up at the end of the year.
To grow sprouts, soak a few tablespoons of sprout seeds for at least eight hours in a mason jar.
Drain and rinse.
Repeat for up to five days until the sprouts are ready. Simple!
Grow Fruits, Vegetables, or Greens
You don’t need a lot of space to have a raised garden bed when you start a homestead. You don’t even need to own land to have one. Tower gardens are another option too.
Pick out a few vegetables, fruits, or greens to start with. Commit to planting those for a season and see how it goes. Getting practice with a few foods will give you the confidence to add more to your garden later on.
Become Friends With Your Local Farmers
Supporting local farmers doesn’t have to be expensive. In fact, lots of local butchers tend to give out the most nutritious cuts of meat for relatively cheap due to a lack of interest.
You can use this list to find farmer’s markets near you. Farmer’s markets are a great way to get an idea of what businesses and farms near you are available to provide certain resources like raw milk, meat organs, and cheeses you can’t find in some grocery stores.
In addition, you can search for farms near you as well. Some farmers don’t have the means to have a stand at a farmer’s market. In this case, visiting their farm, touring it, and buying products from them helps keep them alive.
Sustaining someone else who has a similar vision as you can potentially work karmically. Later on, when your homestead needs support, you can be assured that you have the community to help you out.
Make Food From Scratch
Making food from scratch is on everyone’s list of homesteading ideas. The list of things you can make is virtually endless: sourdough bread, yogurt, bone broth, kombucha, sauerkraut.
Oftentimes you can find a cheese or yogurt culture kit at your local bodega. If you are friends with other homesteaders, they are usually more than willing to give out SCOBY or sourdough starters.
Rely on Firewood for Heat
You don’t need gas or electricity to have heat throughout the winter. Firewood is a great alternative to keep you and your family warm during the cold months.
To do so, you will want to determine how much firewood you will need to be comfortable all winter long. The square footage of your home will help determine this amount.
A well-insulated home will also make less wood necessary. Usually, wood-burning stoves are better for heating your home, conserving heat and wood than a traditional fireplace.
Do research on how long winter months last and how often you will need to burn wood. Will you be home all day and night? Will you be home only during the nights? These factors influence how much wood you will burn.
Bagged Firewood is a great purchasing option for heating your home during the winter. While the cost of firewood seems expensive, think about the price of your heating bill in the wintertime. You can save so much money and reliance on companies to heat your home by switching to using firewood.
Having firewood is also great to have in handy in case of emergency. Think about this as a great utilization of homesteading survival tips.
Take a Survival and Foraging Class
Learning how to forage and survive in the land around you is helpful in immense ways.
Learning the plants, trees, and animals around you will help you understand what will flourish on your property. Working with the land in a synergistic way helps both you and the environment.
Being able to use the resources of foraging can come in handy during emergency scenarios.
Take Advantage of Community Gardens
You can use this resource to find community gardens near you.
Community gardens are an amazing way of growing your own food when you don’t have the land or resources to do it at home. You can also find inspiration from other people’s plots.
Community gardens are a nice way of meeting people who share similar interests as you as well. They can even help give you tips, and you can begin a comradery.
Take up Sewing
Sewing is a good resource to have in your wheelhouse. Even if you aren’t making all your clothes, the basics help so you don’t have to contribute to the mass production of clothes that is contributing negatively to the environment.
There are many places online where you can find beginner’s sewing machines, tutorials, and sewing kits.
Even learning how to hand sew a button or patch a hole provides valuable given the time comes.
You can compost outside or inside. Having a compost bucket and keeping it in the freezer helps eliminate the smell and potential fruit flies that would be attracted to the leftover food.
To start a compost pile outside, expose an area of soil. Fill it with a layer of straw or twigs. Add food waste, alternating between green and brown food layers.
A nitrogen source such as nitrogen soil helps the decomposition process. Keep the pile moist while, every now and then, letting it heat up.
This is all you need to start composting.
Be patient and lenient with yourself and your space. It takes time to cultivate the knowledge and experience to live off the grid.
Trust that the small steps you are making are the beginning steps of change. We don’t usually see how much progress we are making until we are far removed from the time in our lives we changed.
Understand that even if you don’t feel like you are growing, you are. It takes time to garden and to create a homesteading space. It takes so much time that most people who are truly invested invest their entire lives in the production.
Even when you pass, there is work to be done and more room for growth. If you have kids or other friends or family to pass your land down to, they will continue the legacy left behind for years and generations to come.
Sow the seeds of this generational wealth by beginning slowly.
Learn How to DIY
Of course, homesteading is one huge DIY project. But amongst the bigger picture, there are smaller pieces to the puzzle that need to be organized and put together.
DIY-ing your own shed, garden beds, etc., allows you to save money. Learning how to build small shelters and various things needed around the land helps so much.
Thrifting in stores near you or in places such as Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace can save you tons of money on different things you need. Before you go to the store to buy something you need, check out these other places first.
You can usually bargain with people on Craigslist to get an even better price than they are selling something for.
Make Your Place a Home
Don’t forget to create spaces that feel homey to you. A homestead is spread of your energy because of all the work you put into the land. Don’t forget to add comfortable spots inside and outside the home for you to relax, read a book, and enjoy tea you made with herbs from your garden.
Build a Fire-Pit
Outdoor fires are great ways to relax and stay warm at night. An evening spent around the fire is hypnotizing, relaxing, and a great way to share stories with friends. Having a nice fire-pit makes your space feel even livelier and homier than it already will.
Use Solar Lights
Having lights outside at night is necessary. Solar lights don’t require electricity to run, as they rely on the sun to stay lit. Solar lights save you money for outdoor lighting.
Use These Homesteading Tips
Using these homesteading tips helps you get started relying on yourself. Don’t hesitate to make mistakes. The smallest steps taken now can lead to the future homestead you dream of later.
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