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Homesteading: The Beginners Guide

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There has been this amazing movement of people wanting to learn more about growing their own food. They are learning that a lot of foods bought at the grocery store are often covered with chemicals or injected with hormones and antibiotics. People are now learning and using more of the skills that used to be apart of daily life for their great grandparents. These people are becoming known as homesteaders, they are striving to live a more self sufficient and sustainable life.

The Beginners Guide to Homesteading

  • Homesteading is beneficial in many ways because it can help you grow relationships, eat healthier, and save money.
  • Last spring was our first year trying to dive onto homesteading full force. We tried to grow as much as we could ourselves. Much to our surprise we had success in raising egg layering chickens and c-monster. Our six 4×8 garden beds produced endlessly into the fall and the home grown food tasted so much better then what we bought at the store.

What is Homesteading

  • Homesteading comes from the Homestead Act of 1862. Trying to settle the west, many people including women and slaves, who applied at a very little cost. All the homesteader had to do was build a home, improve the land, and live there for five years. So a homesteader is anyone who is motivated and committed to being self sufficient.
  • It is a lifestyle of being more sustainable, self sufficient, and often living a more simplified life. It is growing crops and preserving them for future use. To be sustainable you can have both male and female livestock to breed your own animals and you can harvest your own heirloom seeds to grow your own crops year after year. You can also create your own income from online businesses, making and selling handmade products, and selling livestock and produce.
  • Many people think that because it is simple it is also easy but that it is not true. While homesteading can bring you back to a more simplified slower pace of life, it is also be time consuming because you always have projects that need to be done and your animals that need to be fed, watered, and cleaned up after.

How to get started

  • Start small and grow slowly. Every new livestock you add, new plant you choose to grow, and new technique you decide to try will need your full time and attention in order for you to learn everything there is to know about that specific topic.
  • Make a list of your personal homesteading goals. When things get tough and you feel like your failing you can look back at your goals and see how much you have learned and accomplished. Then break down your HUGE goals down in to smaller more manageable tasks, or something that I have heard recently, breaking big daunting jobs down into J.O.B. (Just One Bite) chunks until that task or goal is completed.
  • To be successful you will need to start small, set realistic expectations, organize your projects, and you need to connect with other local homesteaders. Finding a mentor that can help encourage you on your journey will help you stick with it when things get tough. If you cant find a local mentor try reaching out on social media sites like Facebook and YouTube.

List of Homesteading Goals

  • Gardening
    • Compost Scraps
    • Vermiculture
    • Permaculture
    • Orchards of Fruit and Nut Trees
    • Natural Weeding and Pest Control
    • Compost Tea
    • Basic Gardening Tools
  • Livestock
    • Rainwater Catchment
    • Raise Meat (chicken, pigs, beef, rabbits, turkey, lamb)
    • Butchering Animals
    • Hunting and Fishing
    • Beekeeping
    • Milking (Cows and/or Goats)
    • Shearing Sheep
    • Trimming and Caring for Hooves
    • Prepare for Farm Emergencies and Births
    • Basic Breeding and Birthing of Animals
    • Incubating and Candling Eggs
    • Building Your Own Out Buildings and Shelters
    • Grow Your Own Animal Feed
  • Self-Sustaining Homesteading Skills
    • Cooking from Scratching
    • Eating Seasonally
    • Using Fresh Herbs and Spices
    • Cooking Outside
    • Using Cast Iron
    • Making preservatives, sauces, and broths
    • Make Homemade Bread
    • Making Cheese, Butter, and Yogurt
    • Making Cleaning Supplies
    • Carpentry and Welding Skills
    • Home Remedies with Herbs and Essential Oils
    • Making Laundry Detergent and Line Drying Clothes
    • Learn to Sew, Knit, Crochet, and/or Quilt
    • Making Soap, Deodorant, and Beauty Products
    • Learn about Cloth Diapering and Make Baby Bum Cream
    • Making Candles
    • Become a no waste household
    • Foraging
    • Learn about Debt Free Living and Learn to Live Within Your Means
    • Learn how to work from home

Common Questions/FAQ About Homesteading

  • Can you make money homesteading?
    • You can make money by selling livestock, produce, handmade products, and from online businesses. There are so many ways to make money if your willing to think outside the box and get creative.
  • What is it like to be a homesteader?
    • Its hard work! But knowing what chemicals, antibiotics, or hormones were used in growing your food is worth the time and energy.
  • What makes a homestead?
    • A homestead is a place where food is grown and people learn skills once used by the great grandparents.
  • How to start homesteading right now?
    • Learning to make breads and cheese. Learning how to ferment, can, and dehydrate foods. You also can get a few pots from the dollar store and start growing some tomatoes and peppers.
  • Is homesteading popular in the U.S.?
    • Yes. It is gaining momentum. It is also known as modern farming or urban farming because people from the city (living in apartments) and the suburbs are finding ways to do it. If you don’t have land, no worries, its not an issue you can still homestead!
  • What are some basic skills you need to start homesteading?
    • You will need to know your goals and have realistic expectations because things will not always go as planned.

The Last Thing You Need to Know about Homesteading

  • Homesteading is a lot of hard work. The time and energy that goes into it is worth the reward of knowing that you are feeding your family healthy organic foods.
  • Don’t forget to subscribe to get more homesteading goodness sent directly to your inbox.

I hope to encourage others in their homemaking, homeschooling, parenting, marriage, and faith.

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