The idea of homesteading is to make full use of the resources that you have available. That can be to grow food, collect water, produce poer, or dispose of waste if that is what you are looking to do. Either way, no matter who how experienced you are, you are always looking for new homesteading ideas to try out.
The most successful homesteaders combine traditional techniques with modern technology to get the most out of every drop of sweat they put in. You don’t need to ride a horse drawn tractor to be a homesteader if you don’t want to, you can fire up that brand new tractor and get to work. As long as you are putting in the work, it doesn’t matter what you are using to get an advantage!
If you have hit a wall and are looking for some new great ideas, I hope this list gets you going in the right direction again. If you think you have something you can add to the conversation, please feel free to let me know in the comment section below!
Acquire Land Cheap Or Sometimes For Free
Homesteading began in The United States with the signing of the Homestead Act of 1882. This act set 270 million acres of land aside for those that met a few basic requirements. As long as you were a United States Citizen, had never taken arms against the government, and were at least 21 years old, you could file a claim and get your piece of the pie.
This was a way for the government to settle the land out west at very little cost. Anyone that met the requirements would be awarded 160 acres of land as long as they farmed and improved the land for at least five years.
Don’t pack your bags just yet, because this act is not longer accepting applications. However, some states will still give you a smaller plot of land for free as long as you do some work for them. Minnesota, Nebraska, Iowa, and Kansas will still give you free land to this day as long as you agree to build a home that is a certain size within two years.
If you are looking to go out and start homesteading with no restrictions however, you can still buy land at a very good price! There are numerous websites only where you can buy unimproved plots of land that are over 100 acres for under $5000. If you are serious about starting your own homestead, there is always a way to find the land!
Get The Most Out Of The Space You Have
Whether you have an acre, or 100 acres, you want to make sure that you get the most out of every inch of usable space on a homestead. You will eventually run out of room, so make sure you are being smart. The more condensed you are, the less you have to travel as well.
There are a variety of techniques available only for those that are looking to make the most out of their space. Most of them are very cheap and simple to execute. Vertical gardening is one of the most common concepts to achieve that goal.
Vertical gardening is the concept of getting your garden to grow vertically whenever you can. This takes up less ground space while using the space above the garden that is usually wasted. One of the most common examples is when farmers grow cucumbers on a pyramid shaped trellis. Doing this saves the space the cucumber plant would traditionally be covering.
Another great use of space is growing mushrooms. You can grow about 30 lbs of mushrooms per square foot of space. This can make you a good chunk of change if you know what you are doing.
Learn A New Skill
If you are serious about making money on a homestead, learn some new skills. There are always new ways to go out and make sure money if you are willing to put in the effort. Check out my list of homesteading skills for more ideas if you need them.
One of my favorite skills to make money is through beekeeping. Most homesteaders have heard bad stories about beekeeping and stay away from it without giving it a fair shot. I believe that people completely underestimate the power of these bees.
The most well known reason to raise bee’s is the honey that they produce. The price of local organic honey is on the raise do to the belief that it helps with allergies, and they price doesn’t look to start trending downward soon. The problem is that people are comparing the income from the honey alone to the cost to get it. They don’t consider everything else they produce!
Another product of bees is the honeycomb that they produce. It is very easy to harvest and sells incredibly fast. People love to use honeycomb on salads, toast, and all sorts of other foods. It adds a different texture to the great taste of honey.
They also produce beeswax, another item that you can sell. Beeswax is often melted into candles, used for cooking, and used to preserve cheese.
On top of all of the products that they allow you to produce, they are taking your garden to whole different level. Having your own bees increases your gardens pollination tenfold. You will see a huge different in the amount of produce you harvest the very first year of beekeeping.
Raise Small Animals
While goats, cows, and pigs are what most people think of when they consider homesteading, there are many small animals that will also make appearances on most farms. Rabbits and quail are very common homestead animals.
Rabbits are one of the most common smaller animals for homesteaders across the country. They are small, easy to take care of, and produce a good amount of meat after dressing. The best part is that they reproduce like nothing you have ever seen. Have you ever heard of the phrase “breed like rabbits”?
Quail are another common species to keep because they are smaller than chickens, yet still produce eggs. The eggs aren’t as big as chicken eggs, but they require less maintenance and cost to produce.
If you are looking for ideas on more livestock to add to your farm, check out our list of backyard farm animals that we have raised on our homestead!
Bond With Other Homesteaders
Other homesteaders are a great way to socialize and learn from others experiences. Whether you reach out to other local homesteaders or communicate with them online, you are sure to learn a few lesions along the way. There are communities online full of tips, tricks, and stories.
You never know what you are going to find when you bond with other homesteaders. I found a fellow local homesteader that was looking to start raising alpacas. I gave her some help getting started and she taught me all sorts on tricks with my goats. We are still good friends and share everything we do so we can learn from each others mistakes.
Share Your Experience With Others
Once you think that you are competent in a specific skill or task, share it with the world. You never know what may come from you sharing your knowledge. Homesteaders are good people in generally and are very appreciative of what you are willing to teach.
One obvious way to share your experience is through a blog like this one. I write just about every day and I have many readers that check my blog daily. I do my best to provide users with the best I have to offer and I learn from fellow readers along the way!
Another option is to teach a class to local homesteaders that are just getting started. Those tasks that you now find very simple are something that you had to learn at some point. People are willing to spend time and money to get a jump start on getting where you are.