Homesteading for Self-Reliance

chickens on the homestead

There are a lot more people considering homesteading in the US these days. You might be one of them. And the surge of interest in the homesteading lifestyle, I believe, is closely linked to the need to be in control of your life. This makes perfect sense, considering homesteading and self-reliance go together like peanut butter and chocolate.

It was very apparent the number of people interested in homesteading had grown over the last 2 years when Aaron and I showed up at the Homesteaders of America conference in October 2021. For the first time since the event began they had sold out of tickets and nearly all ticket holders showed up. Which is absolutely unheard of. The energy of the event was amazing! So many people of different backgrounds, brought together by one thing… the desire to be self-reliant. To know that no matter what happens in the world, you can provide for your family.

What is Homesteading?

Homesteading has been around forever. Honestly, it’s what the colonists did when they first came to America. The difference between farming and homesteading, at least to me, is scale. Farms these days usually only grow one kind of crop or raise one specific kind of livestock. Really homesteading is more of a way of thinking or living. You can homestead on a tiny urban plot or with acreage.

The main goal for people wanting to homestead is to become more self-sufficient. We want to be able to provide for our families without relying on the grocery store or someone else for our family’s basic needs. In the last few years homesteading has become extremely popular because of the massive rate of inflation and supply-chain issues. But it’s not just about providing for ourselves. Homesteading is also about living a simpler life, being more in tune with nature, and taking care of the land we live on. It’s a way of life that values hard work, resourcefulness, and self-sufficiency.

Getting Started with Homesteading

If you’re new to homesteading, it can feel overwhelming. But don’t worry, it’s not something you have to do all at once. Start small and work your way up. Here are some tips for getting started:

homesteading raising chickens
  • Start with a Garden: One of the easiest ways to get started with homesteading is to start a garden. Even if you live in the city, you can grow vegetables and herbs in containers on your balcony or windowsill. Start with a few easy-to-grow plants like tomatoes, lettuce, and herbs. You’ll be surprised at how much food you can grow in a small space.
  • Learn to Preserve Food: Once you start growing your own food, you’ll need to learn how to preserve it. Canning, drying, and freezing are all great ways to preserve food for the winter months. You can also make jams, pickles, and sauces with your fresh produce.
  • Raise Chickens: Chickens are a great addition to any homestead. They’re easy to care for and provide fresh eggs every day. You don’t need a lot of space to raise chickens either. Even if you only have a small backyard, you can raise a few chickens.
  • Start Composting: Composting is a great way to reduce waste and create nutrient-rich soil for your garden. You can compost food scraps, yard waste, and even paper products. It’s easy to get started with composting and it’s a great way to reduce your environmental impact.
  • Learn to Sew: Sewing is a valuable skill for any homesteader. You can use it to make clothes, blankets, and even curtains. Learning to sew can also help you repair clothes and other household items instead of throwing them away.
  • Learn Basic Carpentry: Basic carpentry skills are also important for homesteaders. You’ll need to be able to build and repair structures like chicken coops, garden beds, and even your own home. You don’t need to be an expert carpenter, but having some basic skills will come in handy.
  • Connect with Other Homesteaders: Finally, it’s important to connect with other homesteaders. There are likely other homesteaders in your community that you can learn from and connect with. You can also join online homesteading groups and forums to connect with homesteaders from all over the world.

Homesteading is a Journey

learn food preservation for homesteading

Homesteading is not something you do overnight. It’s a journey, and it’s important to remember that it’s okay to make mistakes along the way. Every homesteader has their own unique journey and no two homesteads are alike.

The most important thing is to start where you are and work with what you have. Don’t wait until you have a big piece of land or all the skills you think you need. Start small and work your way up. Homesteading is a way of life that values progress over perfection.

Homesteading is for Everyone

urban homesteading

Homesteading is not just for people who live in the country or have a lot of land. You can homestead no matter where you live or what your lifestyle is like. Homesteading is a mindset and a way of life that values self-sufficiency, hard work, and community. Whether you’re just getting started or you’ve been homesteading for years, there’s always something new to learn. Homesteading is a journey, and it

‘s one that’s worth taking. It’s an opportunity to live a more sustainable, self-sufficient, and fulfilling life.

So, are you ready to start your homesteading journey? Remember, you don’t have to do everything at once. Start small, learn as you go, and don’t be afraid to make mistakes. Homesteading is a journey, and it’s one that’s best taken one step at a time.

With some basic skills, a little bit of land, and a willingness to learn, you can start living a more self-sufficient life today. So go ahead, start that garden, raise those chickens, and learn to sew. You might be surprised at how much you enjoy the journey.