Homesteading has become an ideal lifestyle for many people in these times that we are living in. With the 2020 lockdowns and food shortages that became an issue in many parts of the world, I believe many wanted to discover new ways to be self-sufficient when it comes to feeding their family. By starting your own little vegetable garden or a small flock of chickens, and preserving that food to last all year, we can ease some of that worry.
When my husband and I first bought our fixer-upper on an acre in the country, we knew how we wanted to eventually live. The less that we would have to rely on the system, the better! We didn’t want to raise our children in any other way. There are so many valuable lessons through living a homesteading lifestyle that can be learned, not to mention all the wholesome values and memories to be made! Growing a garden was our first plan of attack because we cared so much about where food came from that we were feeding our children.
What is Homesteading?
What is a homestead or what is homesteading? A homestead is defined as a dwelling and the farmland acreage that it sits on, however, today the definition looks a bit different. Homesteading actually looks a lot different to many people. The question, “What makes us homesteaders?” has been argued over for quite a few years. I personally believe homesteading encompasses doing anything that makes a family or individual more self-sufficient. You can homestead anywhere from a large rural farm to a single mom with a container garden in her apartment to save a dollar. A family’s interests, goals, talents, and most of all time will play a huge factor in how far they will take it.
How to get started with Homesteading
You don’t really need anything to get started homesteading. Actually, our family started with a couple of used garden tools and a rusted out wheelbarrow that my husband found on the side of the road. “One man’s garbage is another man’s treasure.” I’m sure we have all heard that one before! Of course, if you decide to jump right in there and start a backyard flock of chickens you will need a coop and all the items that you need to care for chickens. If you don’t have the knowledge or finances to do that, you can start small. How about you find an easy bread recipe online and start making your own bread once a week. That is one less thing that you will need to go to the store for!
3 Tips For Starting Your Homestead
Here are 3 steps to getting started living the homestead lifestyle that works for you:
Tip #1 ~ Commit To A Homesteading Lifestyle
First, you need to decide if homesteading is for you. Start researching what a homesteader’s life is like and what methods they use to become more self-sufficient. You can make a list of the different projects you are interested in, what will fit into your current life and property, and so on. You can research more on these individual projects to gain more knowledge. At this point, you should be able to decide if homesteading is for you.
Tip #2 ~ Make A Plan And Set Goals
Now that you have a lot more knowledge on the life of a homesteader, start planning your journey. Your plan may change over the next few years or even months. Start by making a list of all the things you want on your future homestead. Even if it is something you know you can accomplish right away, add it to your list anyway. Remember, this is your future homestead!
Tip #3 ~ Pick A Project And Get Started
Start by picking one item from your list and forget about the rest. Put everything else on that list out of your mind and focus on that one project. The best plan of attack is to choose a project that you have the tools to complete. As mentioned previously, you can start making your own bread, make all homemade school snacks for the kids (skip that pre-packaged stuff), or plant a windowsill herb garden. Start with the simple things and work your way up!
Common Questions/FAQ About Homesteading
Is homesteading expensive?
- Yes, it can be! While many large scale homesteaders say it is expensive when starting out, they are speaking about just that… a large scale homestead. Homesteading is only expensive if you want it to be! If you are in a hurry to complete all your projects right away. If you don’t have the capital to buy a 20-acre homestead or totally remodel your home, add a large herd of animals and build their outbuildings right away, start out slow! My husband and I started with four small raised beds build from reclaimed lumber. The money saved from the food we grew eventually bought a tiller for our now quarter-acre in-ground garden.
Does homesteading save money?
- Yes, if your definition of homesteading is similar to mine then it will save you money. My family and I are still on our journey to meet all our homesteading dreams and probably always will be. Well, everything in life cost money, we have the mindset that all our homesteading projects and methods should save us money in the long run. Making all our food from scratch, growing it, and preserving it does save us an enormous amount of money! Don’t take this the wrong way, we have spent money on gardening tools, chicken supplies, kitchen tools, and many other things. Every penny you spend should make you money in the end!
Is 5 acres enough for a homestead?
- Absolutely! You may ask, “How much land do I need to homestead?”. You can actually start homesteading in an apartment if that is what you currently live in. You may never be completely self-sufficient or able to do all the homesteading projects you would like, but the homesteading lifestyle is just that. Homesteading is a mindset or lifestyle that you choose to create! Let us be content in all things!
How can I make money while homesteading?
- Well, everything you produce like vegetables, eggs from your chickens, seedlings you start in the spring, goats you raise, and so on saves you money they can also make you money. Last spring my sister “Tales From A Mom In The Middle” mistakenly planted too many tomato seeds. She discided to sell those plants. She did so well, I’m sure she will intentionally plant too many tomatoes this year! Anything you can produce in abundance you can sell. Start by thinking of all the things that you personally can produce quickly, in large quantities, and in a small space. The opportunities are endless!
The Last Thing You Need to Know about Homesteading
Some many say homesteading is expensive, you need tons of land, and that it is totally out of the average persons reach, but I’m here to tell you that it really isn’t. Homesteading is a lifestyle… so decide if this mind-set is for you, dream it, plan it, and jump in!!
If you are a homesteader or someone still in the “dream it” stage, feel free to comment below. I’d love to hear about your homestead dream!