When it comes to homesteading, where do you begin? It can be hard to know where to start. There is so much to homesteading, it can be overwhelming. But it doesn’t have to be. You don’t have to take on everything all at once. By picking one to two things to start with, you can build up your homestead and homesteading skills. Building up these skills helps us build up our confidence and challenges ourselves. We get to become one with nature, it grounds us, slows us down so we can take in little moments with our families and ourselves. So where do you begin?
What is Homesteading?
Before we dive into where to begin, let’s go over some information first. What is homesteading?
Wikipedia says: Homesteading is a lifestyle of self-sufficiency. It is characterized by subsistence agriculture, home preservation of food, and may also involve the small-scale production of textiles, clothing, and craft work for household use or sale.
In other words, it is learning how to live without really having to leave your property for things like food. Learning how to grow and preserve your own food, cooking from basic raw ingredients, raising your own meat, making your own clothing (if sewing is a must for you), and selling things that come from your homestead to make money such as selling produce or eggs at your local farmer’s market. And that’s not all! There is so much more that goes with homesteading. And I think that’s what makes homesteading fascinating. There is so much to learn, but so many useful things to learn.
Is Homesteading Legal?
If you live in the US, yes! Even if you live in an apartment, you can homestead. Homesteading is not something that you need a farmhouse with 50+ acres. Now, you obviously won’t be able to raise livestock, but that doesn’t mean you cannot find ways to be more self- sufficient. If you are renting, make sure you look over your lease agreement and read up on what is allowed and not allowed. Also, before you go out and pick up some cute little chicks from the Farmers Surplus Store, ask your landlords if that is something you are allowed to do. Call them up, send a text or an email. You don’t want to be stepping on any toes.
Before you begin homesteading make sure to check the local laws and regulations for your area. Don’t forget to look into state laws as well. Doing your research and learning what you can and cannot do in your area will help guide you on what to pursue on where to begin building up your homestead.
Is it worth staring a homestead?
I believe it is. To begin homesteading, it doesn’t have to be something that is hard or expensive. It builds up basic skills of living. This is how our ancestors lived. The independence and confidence we gain from learning how to rely on ourselves. Many of us faced a huge fear a few years ago when we were not allowed to leave our homes and food and necessities were scarce. Flour and yeast were nearly impossible to buy. It was a nightmare for so many people. By homesteading, you give yourself a sense of security. Knowing that even when the world unexpectedly gets turned upside down, you have the knowledge and the skills to make it through the hardships this crazy world throws your way. Independence, confidence and security, only three out of the many great feelings that you gain when homesteading. What an amazing and freeing feeling!
Where to Begin?
The moment you all have been waiting for! Where to begin when starting homesteading. I recommend staring with one to two items. Don’t feel like you have to take on everything all at once. This is where it becomes too overwhelming. Take a year or two to really focus and nourish those one to two skills. Learn as much as you can and DO! It is so easy to just do the research and not actually doing it.
Here are a few things you can do to begin, whether you are renting or living in an apartment:
- Cook from Scratch
- Make a Sourdough Starter
- Grow Herbs
- Food Preservation
- Reduce Waste
- Go to Farmer’s Markets
- Locally source your food
Here are some more things that you can do if you own your own property and is legal to do in your area. You can also do these things if renting, but make sure to read your lease agreement and contact your landlord. (check out your local and state laws first)
- Everything listed above
- Raise chickens
- Get a dairy cow/ goat
- Collect rainwater for your plants and animals
- Raise livestock for meat (cows, poultry, pigs, etc.)
These items listed are just a few of the many things you can do when you begin homesteading. By choosing one to two things to start, you are well on your way to becoming more self-reliant and feeling all of the self-accomplishment that goes with it. Now, sometimes fails will happen. I’ve had great gardens, and I have had not so great gardens. Some herbs I can grow, and some that I struggle with. The important thing is that you keep on trying. Perseverance will pay off in the end!
I hope this post has inspired you to begin building up your homesteading skills. Remember, there is much to learn but so much to gain from homesteading. It’s not about location. Homesteading is in your heart, and you can do it wherever you are, as long as you keep learning and growing.