Beginner Tips for Modern Day Homesteading
Saturday, 05 June 2021

As time goes on, the harsh reality of the climate crisis continues to set in. So much of the action and debate happens on political stages across the globe, and it's easy to feel lost as you navigate what you can do in your daily life to help. While it may seem like a single family's contribution to the fight against climate change will make no difference, it is these small shifts and changes that can tip the scales.

Homesteading is a way to live off the land, reduce your carbon footprint, and give back to the community and planet. And although living this way can require some major lifestyle shifts, it can also add immense peace and fulfillment to your life. If you've ever considered the homesteading path, here are a few beginner tips to get you started.

Take a Thoughtful Look at the Resources You Already Have

The whole point of homesteading is to use what you have wisely. This minimizes the need to acquire more and allows you to truly let go of things you don't need and live a simpler, minimalist life.
To get started in this direction, intentionally assess what you already have. If you own land, excellent! If not, you'll likely need to invest in land to make the homesteading dream a reality. Create a map of the property you have and investigate the natural resources already present, such as the types of terrain. If soil is rich in a specific area, this would be a great place for a garden.

Consider Your Priorities & Start Small

Make a list of what you want out of your homestead long-term. You won't be able to achieve it all at once, and that's okay! It's important, to be honest with yourself about what you're capable of and where you need further education and support.
Raising your own food is key to a successful homestead, but the process can be unique for everyone. If you're new to gardening, begin with raised beds, as they are easier to maintain than larger plots. For livestock, start with small animals. Raising a few chickens for eggs requires minimal land and is easy to maintain. Once you get the hang of it, you can increase your flock and install helpful tools, like poultry nipple drinkers or feeding systems. Aim high, but start with gradual steps to get there.

Get to Know Your Climate & Growing Season

Understanding where you live is fundamental to know how to plant and grow crops. Even in the same city, two gardens won't behave the same way. You'll need to get to know the climate of your specific area and learn about growing seasons to have fruitful harvests.
A great way to begin learning about what's in season at different times of the year is to visit farmer's markets! See what looks fresh and delicious and chat with the farmers about their experience. There is no shame in looking to others for support and advice. It can make a huge difference in the long run.
Once you have a basic understanding of your growing season, choose a few hearty crops to plant your first year. Starting small increases your probability of success, and you're more likely to feel encouraged to continue. Remember, you don't need to grow all of your own food on Day One. It will take time.

Homestead Happiness

If you've dreamed of living a self-sufficient life, there's no reason to wait. It all starts with conscious self-reflection, diligent planning, and a desire to live sustainably. The health of your family and the planet will be better for it.
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