How to Get Started Homesteading Exactly Where You Are

Posted January 11, 2018 by Lauren Dibble in Lifestyle / 0 Comments

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I’m a member of a number of homesteading and off-grid living Facebook groups and one simple question seems to pop up every couple of days: “How can I get started homesteading?” Often the question has a slight variation to it: “I’m a renter, how can I get started homesteading?” or “I don’t have time (or money), what can I do to homestead?”

So instead of writing a lengthy answer to each person individually, I wanted to dedicate an entire post to that question: what can YOU do to homestead exactly where you are?

What is Homesteading?

I’ve dedicated an entire post to exploring what homesteading means to me but in order to understand how you can begin homesteading whatever your situation is, we need to revisit the main points.

Merriam-webster’s dictionary definition of homesteading only adds to the image of a large tract of land, or an ancestral farm or cabin. Modern homesteading, however, is synonymous with self-sufficiency. Here’s my very unscientific definition of homesteading:

“striving for a self-sufficient lifestyle”

Or to take it a step farther:

“striving for a self-sufficient lifestyle by taking back control over the things we need in life.”

This means growing or harvesting our own food and preserving it so we can take back control of our nutrition from corporations. It means producing our own energy (or living without) by using a well or solar panels to take back control from the utility companies. It really means taking back control of our lives and how we decide to live them.

For me, homesteading equals freedom. I recently read Lynne Twist’s The Soul of Money and she put my feelings very elegantly into words. Without directly quoting the book, she talks about how money is not good nor evil, but the intentions with which we use it are good or evil. Money is simply currency, or current-cy. It is a tool with which we direct our current (or our energy) to the things that are important to us.

I know several people who spend a lot of money on things that ultimately don’t line up with their own values. Take that a step further – how do you spend your time? Your energy? Your emotions? Are you spending on things that are important to you? Homesteading, for me, is spending my time, money and energy on things that are important to me — creating a happy, healthy home for my family.

That doesn’t mean I’ll have to wait until I have 200 acres, or a herd of goats or sheep before I can do that. I can (and have!) lived a self-sufficiency-focused, conscious lifestyle in an apartment. I’ve gathered a number of ways you can homestead, no matter where you are in your journey. Some of these overlap categories, but are worth repeating.

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Financial Freedom

Cook from scratch – old-timey meals tend to be very frugal

Buy in bulk

Learn how to can

Use less electricity

Learn how to sew

Learn how to knit

Learn how to crochet

Learn woodworking

Learn basic car maintenance and repair

Make your own all natural house cleaners

> I list a couple recipes in my post on Unique Ways to Use Lavender

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Health Freedom

Grow medicinal herbs (in pots)

Learn how to make herbal teas

Learn how to make herbal salves

Learn herbal medicine (This is the program I’m using: Herbal Academy)

Check out my review of Herbal Academy’s Intro Course

Learn how to make medicinal tinctures

Meditate or take regular time out for yourself

Spend time in nature

Learn yoga (there are tons of videos on youtube)

Learn first aid and CPR

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Food Freedom

As mentioned above, cook from scratch

Grow vegetables in pots (tomatoes and garlic and onions are great potted veggies to grow)

Learn food fermentation

Learn how to can

Learn how to dry or freeze food

Learn how to make butter and cheese

If you can – hunt or fish

Join a CSA

If you have a deep freezer, buy half a cow or half a pig

Learn how to brew your own beer/wine/whiskey

Learn how to tap trees for syrup

Learn how to forage for plants and mushrooms in your area

Compost or try vermiculture if you have the space

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Energy/Water Freedom

Line dry your clothes

Ditch the tv, or at least cable

Make your own candles

Install rain barrels

Get a small solar panel to charge your small electronics like phone or kindles.

 

There are also some basic ways to get started that encompass ALL of the categories above:

Read, read, read

Watch homesteading videos on youtube

Join homesteading Facebook groups to surround yourself with like-minded people

Get your friends and family involved – it’s always more fun with friends!

Sign up for newsletter for a few of your favorite homesteading blogs (like this one!). Surrounding yourself with knowledgeable people and getting behind-the-scenes look into the lifestyle of other homesteaders will give you an endless source of ideas, recipes and information!

Now it’s your turn! Did I miss anything? What skills do you think are essential for homesteading? Where are you in your homesteading journey? In an apartment or do you have land? Comment below! I’d love to hear from you!

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