Starting a homestead in 2016 isn’t the same as it was when the pioneers made the move in the 1800’s. There are some huge difference in the tools, skills, and resources available to beginners today that were not available to them. If you are considering homesteading, don’t think that you need to get started with just a shovel, a pickaxe, and a canteen full of water!
The first step you should take is to define you homesteading is to you. To some people, it might really be building a thriving self sufficient haven from their bare hands. Others might define a homestead as their property that includes an ultra modern house with an acre of produce and a few meat animals. You really need to figure out how you define it so that you can set proper goals based on that definition.
Everyone has their own opinion, but yours is the only one that should really make a difference. Don’t listen to other that tell you that you aren’t a real homesteader because you have a dishwasher, or didn’t get started on free land. Those people are just stuck in the past and shouldn’t take away from your motivation to do something great!
Once you decide what homesteading is to you, you can decide what you can do to get started today. I am also here for you along the way so that you can make sure that you are on the right track!
We started in the back yard of our suburban house on a fairly busy street surrounded by cranberry bogs. Being that we lived right up the street from Ocean Spray, our town was very agriculturally based, but no one had expanded much outside of the cranberry business. We were one of the first to do so in the back yard of our very old carriage house with a barn.
When I sat down with my husband to decide what homesteading was to us, we decided that growing and raining our own organic non-GMO food was what mattered to us. We didn’t care about getting off the grid, or even getting rid of cable for that matter. We really wanted to be able to provide healthier food for our family.
With that decision, we were able to decide what we wanted to do with the acre of land that we had. With the limited amount of space, we decided that we would get a few goats and then plant a sizable garden for produce. Since we know what our goals were, there was no doubt what we should be doing with the little space we had.
When you start thinking about homesteading yourself, it is important to do your research. Learn everything about the homesteading skills you will need to do on a daily basis. There is no way to master them until you are in the moment, but you should know the basics.
After you decide what homesteading is to you, decide what you want to achieve and find ways to do that. If there is a will, there is always a way to get it done. Here are a few tips you can use to get started homesteading wherever you are right now.
One of the most important qualities of a homesteader is creativity. You might not always have exactly what you need to get started, but you will need to make do. Find ways to move closer to your goal so that you can build your confidence and keep your motivation high.
If you are cramped for space to grow your produce, find ways to better use the paces that you do have. Society dictates that you should have a luscious green lawn in front of your house for some reason. Is that more important to you than your family’s’ health and goals? Start growing crops in every available piece of dirt that you can if you do have your own land.
If you don’t have any land, you should really look into urban gardening. Start growing what you can vertically indoors or on the roof of your apartment. You can even invest in grow lights and fill that living room that you really don’t need anyways!
With creativity, there is always a way to get started if you really want it. If you can’t think of any way around an obstacle in your way, let me know in the comment field below and I will come up with something!
I will call this renting land, but many people will do it for free if you just talk to them. Plenty of homesteaders I know don’t grow their crops at home because someone else is more than happy to provide that space for them. Homesteaders are always looking for ways to benefit from the access resources they have available to them.
In return for letting you use the land, you can give them a cut of the produce or pay them in labor by helping them with their own crops. Most homesteaders are reasonable people that are more than willing to barter some of their extra land if someone is interested. You shouldn’t have much of a problem finding someone willing to let you borrow some land if you are willing to put the work in.
If you can’t find somewhere free, there are plenty of places that will rent you a plot at a very reasonable price. If may seem high for the amount of space you are given, but you will not feet that way when you are paying the deed for your own land!
The most successful homesteaders are addicted to preserving food they grow to last them through the winter. Whether that is done through canning, drying, or smoking; get working on this skill as soon as you can. This will be one of the key skills for you and your family once you do get the chance to expand.