Self-sufficiency is something many of us are yearning for, but what does that mean? Does that mean you have 40 acres, farm animals, and you make your own clothes? It can, but homesteading covers many activities, and you don’t need acres of land, or to raise chickens, or make your own soap to be considered a homesteader.
The beauty of homesteading is that you can you can gradually incorporate homesteading activities into your life as you feel comfortable. It doesn’t mean you have to operate a farm or live off the grid, or even be 100% self-sufficient; instead, you can take incremental steps towards more ownership in the items and products you use.
1. Start Composting
This can seem like a big task, but I want to encourage you that it’s only as hard as you make it. There are many different composters on the market, but you can make one with simply a storage bin. Add equal parts fresh fruit and veggie scraps to browns. The browns are things like un-died cardboard and dried leaves.
2. Start a Garden
For those new to gardening, pick 2 to 3 vegetables that you like to eat. You can buy starts from a store or you can start them on your own from seed. Starting small with a few plants helps keep you from being overwhelmed, as the garden can get out of control very quickly for beginners.
For tips to help get your garden started check out this post
3. Consider Livestock or Buy from Local Farmers
If you have the time, space, and interest, consider keeping chickens or other livestock. Fresh eggs taste much better than store bought. If this isn’t something you are interested in, you can buy fresh eggs or meat from local farmers or homesteaders.
Planning before you start is probably a good idea. You’ll want to decide what kind of homesteader you want to be. You can go all in, or you can target specific changes that can accommodate your lifestyle.
Preserving is a big part of homesteading. Preserving can look like many things. You could be canning your harvests, drying and storing herbs, freezing tomatoes, the list goes on and on! You get to decide how to make your harvest last through the year.
When your first starting out its best to plan and start small. Gradually increasing as you feel comfortable year after year. The more you grow your own food or meet your needs on your own the more confident you will be.