Beginners Guide to Homesteading

Welcome to this start-from-scratch homesteading guide!

There are many reasons one might decide they want to change their lifestyle to something more self-reliant. Maybe you feel like society is becoming too consumerist, or that future generations will need to be much less dependent on others for support. Or maybe you think it’s simply fun and rewarding, and could make good extra income.

Whatever the reason, homesteading can be the perfect choice no matter what your circumstances are. You don’t need a lot of money or land – just some time, creativity, patience and commitment to get started. It’s both an art and science at the same time – you’ll learn new skills as well as how much certain plants, animals and insects eat, which is useful for planning future projects. It’s also great if you have children as they can be given many responsibilities from a young age, learn responsibility and develop new skills.

As with any new undertaking it will take some time to get the hang of things, but after some practice homesteading becomes second nature. If you are just starting out on your homesteading journey then this guide will give you all the information you need to begin today!

The Basics

One of the most important parts of homesteading is understanding what exactly it means. This article won’t go into depth on that topic, but suffice to say that Homesteading involves growing a lot of your own food and other products, being self-sufficient, and producing your own energy. 

It often comes with a certain back-to-nature aesthetic – you may enjoy doing things by hand where possible, cooking from scratch, perhaps using an outdoor wood stove to prepare food. Modern homesteaders are probably best known for their gardening skills – many living off very little money while feeding themselves fresh organic produce every day!

Preparing For Your Homestead

Homesteading can be done on pretty much any scale. Some people only have enough space in the city to start small, growing sprouts or herbs on a windowsill or balcony. At its most extreme end it means buying some land outside of town and building your house there – which is not necessarily cheap, especially in the USA. If you can’t go that far there are still plenty of alternative options to get started homesteading today.

First, a word about property. Homesteading often involves being self-sufficient enough that you don’t need to buy much from others, so your money will go further and you have more control over what you spend it on. In this case buying a house is rarely the best way forward better to rent for a year or two while working towards financial independence, then when you move onto your homestead proper you’ll be clear of debts and ready to start living frugally from day one! 

Of course when it comes down to where exactly you should look for property are many factors involved – availability, price, size etc. – but if you’re set on living out in the country then it may be well worth working towards that goal to make your homesteading life as rewarding and stress free as possible.

One good alternative is joining a community of like-minded individuals and purchasing or building a house there. Many already established communities can provide assistance with setting up your homestead and ensuring you have what you need to get started – even livestock or fruit trees planted for you! This is an excellent option for those wary about starting from nothing on their own, but still want the independence of owning their own home without all the expenses associated with buying new land.

Where To Begin?

For those who are new to homesteading, the next step is deciding where to begin. Caring for animals requires a lot of time and effort, but can also take up a lot of valuable space you would rather put towards vegetables or fruit trees. Of course your first priority should be to feed yourself, so unless you plan on eating meat then it may not be worth getting any livestock until later on.

Nowadays many homesteaders are turning their hand to aquaponics – I highly recommend taking a look at this guide for beginners . On top of being an incredibly sustainable way of producing crops it’s also extremely efficient with water use – perfect if you live in an area prone to droughts! There is no reason why aquaponic gardeners shouldn’t make use of chickens, ducks or even goats as well – providing they are kept away from the plants.

Start Small And Grow From There!

Finally don’t be over-ambitious and try and do too much at once! If you’ve never gardened before then getting used to caring for a few vegetable plants first might be a better option than planting an entire field of crops only to find yourself overwhelmed by weeding and maintenance later on. 

Even if you have gardening experience there’s no harm in starting small. After all, homesteading is about growing food that tastes great, not just having a larger yield than your friends or family members! Once you’re confident with the basics of homesteading you can start thinking about diversifying into other fields, but for now getting started is the most important part!

A Beginner’s Guide To Homesteading

If you’re thinking about how to start homesteading, keep in mind that it won’t happen overnight. You have to start small and work your way up. Once you get going, you’ll really enjoy the homesteading lifestyle!

1) Getting Started With Homesteading And Why It Is Beneficial

Homesteading has been defined as the art of domesticating a piece of land and creating your own food supply by growing crops and raising livestock. In many ways it is similar to farming except that you do not have any other farmer working with you or selling his/her produce to you. Homesteading requires a lot of hard work and determination on your part so before you start this journey, know that what you are getting yourself into is not an easy task by any means.

2) Getting Started With Homesteading – What You Need And Where To Find It

Homesteading has become very popular in recent months/years with many people wanting to move away from the traditional idea of living in cities or suburbs. This movement towards homesteading has led to online communities springing up all over the internet, which can be very beneficial if you’re looking for advice or tips on how to start homesteading . The internet also allows us access to information about types of homesteads that we can build, what we will need to build it, and where/how we can find these materials.

Homesteading also requires us to make use of the environment around us, using natural resources such as lumber from our own trees or rocks from the dirt in which we plant our crops. This is a wonderful opportunity for those who want to get their hands dirty and be more engaged with nature. 

Homesteading also allows you a great deal of freedom since you do not have a boss breathing down your neck all day long telling you what to do. It offers an excellent lifestyle choice for those looking for self-reliance and self-sufficiency as well as teaching individuals about teamwork because homesteading involves the entire family working together towards a common goal.

3) Getting Started With Homesteading – What You’ll Need To Get Started And Where To Buy It

Getting started with homesteading is easy and doesn’t cost a lot of money. In fact, you may already have some if not all of the things needed to get started with your backyard homestead . 

There are certain tools that most people use in homesteading such as shovels, spades, hammers, saws etc., but these can be found in most households so buying them new isn’t essential. If none of the items mentioned above appeals to you then consider using second hand tools instead because this will make your budget go much further.

Homesteading requires us to think outside of the box and use our imagination and creativity in order to make the best out of what we already have and this mentality should be applied when you’re looking for homesteading supplies as well. Nature is a wonderful place to look, bugs can be your friends, rocks from the dirt which you can turn into borders for your garden beds etc., so do not feel limited by what is available to buy.

4) Getting Started With Homesteading – Where To Find Supplies And How Much You’ll Need To Spend

Getting started with homesteading doesn’t have to break the bank but it’s important that you factor in how many supplies you’ll need before going on a spending spree because this will result in a higher number on your credit card statement. There are several options when it comes to getting homesteading supplies and all of them include your local hardware store, garden center, farm supply store or online.

The internet is one of the best resources for homesteaders because it allows us access to a large variety of items that may not be available in our area/region. The downside however is that most websites charge shipping costs which can add up quickly if you’re buying multiple items at once. It’s important to factor this in when you’re estimating what you’ll need to spend on homesteading supplies .

5) Getting Started With Homesteading – Your First Steps

There are several steps involved with getting started with homesteading . Some people consider building a fence before anything else and in some cases this is a good idea because it allows us to protect our animals and children from the dangers that exist outside of our home. It’s also beneficial to build raised garden beds before anything else because this allows you to plant seedlings which will become your gardens, fruit trees etc.

Get started with homesteading by doing your research, drawing up a plan (if needed) and then getting down to business! Remember not to be too hard on yourself if things don’t go according to plan at first; homesteading involves trial and error so we all make mistakes along the way. Getting started with homesteading can be enjoyable or frustrating depending on who you talk to but remember: Rome’t built in a day so take it slow, enjoy the journey and practice self-reliance !

Homesteading goals

No two homesteaders are alike, and this is why homesteading goals should be unique to each person. The first steps you need to take are researching the type of homesteading that interests you most, then learn all you can! Youtube has many videos that will help get you started. For example: if you want to raise goats, find videos made by experienced goat raisers! This is the best way to learn all that you can about homesteading.

Homesteading books are another great resource to teach you how to homestead. Check your local library for homesteading book suggestions. Remember, there’s no one right answer for what type of homesteader you should be! The most important thing is that you learn all that you can about homesteading, and enjoy your new lifestyle.

The very first thing you need to do before anything else is set a goal for what kind of homesteader you want to become. Once you have picked a goal, stick with it no matter what happens and never give up on yourself or your dream. A homesteader lives a life that is far from the average and it takes courage, tenacity and persistence to do so.

Different types of homesteaders

Some homesteaders live their entire life without plumbing or electricity. These are called ‘ off-grid homesteaders ‘. They don’t have indoor bathrooms or kitchens, but they do use composting toilets instead.  Electricity isn’t necessary because many things can be done by hand rather than by machine. Everything they need is provided for them on their land. These are truly free spirits who appreciate all nature has to offer!

But, if you don’t want to go totally without modern conveniences, there is another option.  You can homestead without modern conveniences, but still use things like plumbing and electricity. 

These are called ‘ cash-poor homesteaders ‘.  These types of homesteaders are able to get both the income they need for essentials as well as the skills to provide what they need on their own using little or no money.   A great example of these types of homesteaders is those that sell at farmers’ markets.

Proponents of permaculture also fit into this category. They don’t have much money, but make up for it with time and creative thinking!

And finally, if you want a mix between the two lifestyles, you would be considered a ‘semi-off-grid homesteader’. These types of homesteaders are the most popular.  They live in homes that are off-the-grid, but still manage to have modern conveniences like running water, electricity and sometimes even plumbing!

Now that you know what kind of homesteader you want to be, it’s time for lesson two. And this one is about something very important to all homesteaders: your land!

Before you begin building your home, it is so important to take a step back and consider which side of your property will get the most sunlight throughout the day. This may seem insignificant at first, but after you spend years trying to grow crops on the shady ground, trust me… it won’t!  

You see, when you plant in shady areas, they won’t get the sun they need to grow. So every year you will have a smaller harvest or nothing at all. And that is just sad!

If you are blessed to have a property with two sunny sides, congratulations!  You are off to an excellent start already!

If not, don’t despair… there are still lots of options for you. For example, if your only sunny side is on the south end of your property, then focus your energy on building everything on that side first. Once your home is built and running smoothly, it’s time for phase two: gardens!

A garden can be anything from a small container planted by your front door with some herbs to a large field of vegetables.  You can start by building some raised beds or even just a big garden box on the ground. Once you have your garden planted, it’s time to build a greenhouse!

A greenhouse is a wonderful place for your plants to grow during those cold winter months when outside temperatures are so bitter.  Plants need heat and sunlight to grow, so without a greenhouse, they will not likely survive. And that would be sad!

Now that you have your home built, your gardens in full production and the greenhouse up and running, it is time for lesson three: food! One of the biggest mistakes beginners make with homesteading is thinking everything must come from their own land. There are lots of things you can buy that can help you with your homesteading journey.

For example, there are lots and lots of seeds to choose from. If you start by purchasing just a few different types each year, you will eventually have hundreds! There is nothing more exciting than the first time you see your plants starting to grow up from that tiny little seed into big green stalks of corn or leafy heads of lettuce! And did I mention the fresh eggs? So good.

Before long it will be time for lesson four: self-sufficiency.  This is an important part of homesteading because no one wants to live on a property that isn’t sustainable without outside money. For example, if you run out of supplies, what do you plan on doing?  Where do you plan on going for food and supplies that you can’t make or grow at home? If you have a family, it’s important to be able to provide for them no matter what.

The final lesson in homesteading is one about life: everything must change. There comes a time when a homesteader must sacrifice the lifestyle they love because the cost of living has gotten too high. 

Can you imagine spending your entire life enjoying warm summer days with friends and family, only to walk out one day and realize there are no more plants alive in your greenhouse? Or even worse; walking around town and seeing all your friends sit behind their desks while they slave away trying to earn money for the food that used to be

Conclusion

Knowledge is only worth having if you put it into action. So make a plan of what you want to do with your homesteading skills , set yourself some goals, get started with your first project/homesteading skill and then check back in for our next article where we’ll look at how to build raised garden beds.

FAQ

What states still allow homesteading?

Many states do not allow homesteading. However, there are a few that still currently do: Alaska, Hawaii, Iowa, Louisiana, South Dakota, Texas, and Wisconsin. The state of New Hampshire allows the homestead exemption which reduces property taxes by $1,000 regardless of how much land is owned.

What skills do you need for homesteading?

A homesteader needs to be able to plant and harvest crops, care for animals and maintain a household. Skills such as gardening, sewing and cooking are useful in many aspects of homesteading.

How can I homestead for cheap?

This is a question many homesteaders ask themselves when they are in the beginning stages of their dream. It is easy to think that an expensive home or farm will be required to start homesteading, but this isn’t necessarily true. Even though it may seem like you need lots of money up front in order to get started, many people have begun successful homesteads with little money and time spent.

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