How to Start Homesteading
You might live in the city or the country. Your homesteading plans might be pie-in-the sky type of thinking. It can be hard to figure out where to start. You may wonder what to do first, especially if you know nothing about owning land, farming, or going off-grid for energy. I am here to try and help out with this a little bit, and to give some first steps to take that will help you in your homesteading journey, right where you are.
You can start homesteading right now, today, even if you live in a studio apartment in Manhattan. So, forget the idea that you have to wait until you buy land in the country.
Pick one or two projects that you can start in the next month or so. For example, if you live in the suburbs, you might want to get a few to keep laying hens for eggs. Find out your local laws to make sure, so you’ll need to do some research.
If it’s legal, plan for a chicken coop and then buy or build one, and order baby chicks or buy older pullets or hens. That’s enough to keep you plenty busy for an entire season!
Grow some lettuce and herbs for salads and cooking.
Have a nice-sized backyard? Put in raised beds and plant a veggie garden this season.
Read and Learn
Besides starting a small project or two this season, take the time to read up about homesteading skills. You can go with a compendium-style book like The Encyclopedia of Country Living, or something more focused like The Weekend Homesteader is a great place to begin, as it breaks down projects into tasks that can be completed in a weekend, and you’ll find projects that are a fit even if you’re a suburbanite.
List Your Priorities
Once you’ve soaked up as much information as possible about how to homestead, you’ll be itching to start planning your homestead. But you’ve got to get your priorities in order. There are many facets to homesteading: growing and preserving your own food, raising animals (or not), and producing your own energy are among the bigger goals that most aspiring homesteaders have. You’ll want to consider which of these is most important to you, so you can focus your energies appropriately. For example, if energy sufficiency is at the top of your list, you might choose to convert a diesel car and begin running it on waste vegetable oil, or outfit your suburban home with solar panels, before even buying land.