Looking for ideas on how to get started homesteading? Here are a few simple first steps to get you moving toward a more self-reliant lifestyle.
1. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
Reducing your waste and living more simply is a great first step to a more sustainable and self-sufficient lifestyle. Once you get started you may even be inspired to strive for a zero waste home!
Homesteading is about making due with what you have, living off the land, finding innovative solutions and eliminating the use of disposable products. Start composting all your fruit and veggie scraps, begin baking your own bread or learn how to make beauty and cleaning products at home to get off to a good start.
2. Learn a New Skill
Learning to be self sufficient is what homesteading is all about. Once you get started you might not be able to stop, at least that’s what happened to me! There are so many homesteading skills that are also fun hobbies and you can get started in any kind of living arrangement.
My fist skill was crocheting, my mom taught me the basics when I was little, so a few YouTube videos and I had the hang of it pretty quickly. It’s something you can do while sitting in a waiting room, riding the bus, watching a movie, or pretty much anywhere. It’s also a great way to save money and give awesome homemade gifts!
3. Grow a Garden
Gardening is like a gateway drug. You get a little taste and you’re hooked. You just can’t stop yourself from adding more and more plants! You only needs a few basic supplies and some heirloom veggie seeds to get started. You can even save your own vegetable seeds to cut down on costs for annual supplies.
You don’t need a lot of space for a garden. You could incorporate fruit and veggies into your landscaping and create an edible garden or keep a few plants in pots. Growing herbs is a great way to get started small, while enhancing your cooking at the same time.
4. Start Canning
I have canned countless pounds of vegetables and fruits in a kitchen with about 4 feet of countertop space. You can really do it just about anywhere. You can even get a small portable range burner and plug it in outside if you want to escape the heat and claustrophobia. All you need to get started is a combination pressure and water bath canner, canning jars and lids and the Ball Canning Recipe Book.
If you haven’t stated to grow your own produce yet, pick up surpluses of in-season items at farmers markets. You could also scope out a neighbors yard for edibles like fruit trees or berry bushes they may not be making use of and ask if you can harvest some for both of you. You may even form new relationships in the process.
5. Try Backyard Livestock
If you have the space and your municipality allows, try raising some pigs for meat or put up a coop and raise chickens or ducks for eggs. One of the easiest ways to see if you like raising livestock is to get growers (young animals you raise for a few months until they’re ready to go to market). That way, you don’t have to make a permanent comment or keep them through winter.
We got our first homestead hogs 5 years ago and fell in love with the whole process. Animals can provide fertilizer, till up your garden space, eat all your leftovers and of course provide food resources from their meat, milk or eggs.
6. Go Hunting
You don’t have to live on acreage in the country to hunt. When my husband was in college, he and his roommate would check their guns in at the local police station and pick them up on their way to nearby state land. They would even skin and process squirrels on pizza boxes in their dorm room (to their neighbors shock and horror).
A hunters safety course and appropriate game licenses are all you need to get started. Guns or bows can be purchased, borrowed or rented. There are a wide variety of seasonal dates for each type of animal that vary by location, so make sure to check regulations in your area.
I would love to hear additional ideas of how to get started homesteading!