We all imagine different things when we think of the word homestead, but I’m guessing for most of us it’s something akin to Laura Ingall’s and the Little House on the Prairie. Not a small house in the middle of a typical suburban town.
I am a suburban homesteader. I have two cats and a dog, no bees, no chickens, and definitely no goats. I have a smaller than average sized city lot, my garden is covered in snow and right now my nightly ‘chores’ consist of making sure the dog is fed. I can hear when my neighbors are outside, it’s never truly dark, and sometimes it’s hard to really feel like I am a ‘real’ homesteader.
Sometimes I like to tease myself by seeing what properties are out there for sale. I know that we aren’t in a position to buy a new place, not in the place financially to build our home. But I am impatient. It’s a trait I’ve had forever.
When I want something I want it now! I call it my Veruca Salt complex. 😉 We have a great five year plan, we’ll be debt free, I’ll be able to stay home and hopefully raise our kids, we’ll have our goats and our property. But five years is ssssoooo long (again with my complex) and sometimes I struggle to remember that we’re all homesteaders no matter how big or small our property.
Homesteading is a frame of mind, not a location. I’ve talked about what I think homesteading is before and I really think I need to print that off and stick it on my fridge. I need to remember that homesteading is about doing the best you can, where you are now, to provide for your family in a way that is as sufficient and eco-friendly as possible.
I need to remember that the number of acres you own doesn’t change your frame of mind and that even if you’re living in an apartment you can be a homesteader. So for now I live vicariously through my friends, I plan for my chickens that I’ll finally be able to get in the spring (yay urban chicken ordinances) and remember there are so many ways to be a homesteader without tons of property.
Like I said, we’re getting our chickens in the spring, we won’t be able to have many but it will be nice to get the dog used to them before we have a huge flock, and to start small and learn everything possible about chickens. Check with your local ordinances to see if urban chickens are allowed, believe me, nothing is better than fresh eggs!
This is a movement that absolutely fascinates me, and we’re a part of it! I am a little bit judgy when I drive around and see all these huge yards full of nothing but grass…seriously grass! What good is it? You can’t eat it, you spend a bunch of money growing it and then more money cutting it. Seems so silly to me, and that’s not just because I have always hated mowing the lawn. We have 4 raised garden beds in our front yard and that pretty much covers everything, next year I hope to expand our front garden even more. But I was super pleased with our harvest this year.
Canning your own produce (from your front yard garden), or produce from a CSA is a great way to extend the locally grown goodness all year round. By supporting local farmers, especially organic non-gmo farmers you are putting your money where your mouth is. This reduces your carbon foot-print, encourages more ecologically sound and sustainable farming practices and tastes so much better than anything that’s been living on a truck for a week. This year I really focused on canning as much of our CSA as possible and next year I hope to double what we were able to can by getting a full share just for our family rather than splitting it like we have the last couple years. It’s a serious up front investment, but the overall weekly price is so much lower than what I would spend on equivalents in the store.
There are so many things you can learn to make or do for yourself when you look into the homesteading life. We make our laundry detergents, lotions, candles, lip balms and so much more. I am constantly on the look out for something else I can learn to make for ourselves. This industriousness helps stave off the homestead envy and it sharpens my skills for when the SHTF 😉 this weekend I made a couple of emergency candles, learned more about wool dryer balls (look for that post coming soon) and pinned a ton of cool tutorials I can’t wait to try. Start small and replace on plastic/chemical laden thing in your house and go from there. It’s amazing what you can do for yourself that is not only healthier but also cheaper!
Hopefully these ideas will give you a place to start on the homesteading journey, I’ll keep working on reining in my impatience and hopefully this will encourage me to find more and more ways to be a better suburban homesteader!
The Prepared Bloggers Network is at it again! We’re glad you’ve found us, because the month of April is all about homesteading.
Homesteading is a lifestyle of self-sufficiency. It is characterized by growing your own food, home preservation of foodstuffs, and it may even involve the small scale production of textiles, clothing, and craftwork for household use or sale. Most importantly homesteading is not defined by where someone lives, such as the city or the country, but by the lifestyle choices they make.
The Prepared Bloggers are passionate about what they do and they each have their own way of achieving self-sufficiency. Grab your favorite drink and enjoy reading about the 30 Ways of Homesteading!
Crops on the Homestead
Straw Bale Gardening from PreparednessMama
Crop Rotation for the Backyard Homesteader from Imperfectly Happy
Benefits of Growing Fruit from SchneiderPeeps
Succession Planting: More Food in the Same Space from 104 Homestead
Crops to Grow for Food Storage from Grow A Good Life
Winter Gardening Series from Our Stoney Acres
How To Build a Raised Garden Bed For Under $12 from Frugal Mama and The Sprout
How to Save Carrot Seeds from Food Storage and Survival
Animals on the Homestead
Getting Your Bees Started from Game and Garden
Homesteading How-To: Bees from Tennessee Homestead
How to Get Ready for Chicks from The Homesteading Hippy
Selecting a Goat Breed for Your Homestead from Chickens Are a Gateway Animal
Adding New Poultry and Livestock from Timber Creek Farm
Beekeeping 101: 5 Things To Do Before Your Bees Arrive from Home Ready Home
How to Prepare for Baby Goats from Homestead Lady
How to Prevent and Naturally Treat Mastitis in the Family Milk Cow from North Country Farmer
Tips to Raising Livestock from Melissa K. Norris
Raising Baby Chicks – Top 5 Chicken Supplies from Easy Homestead
Making the Homestead Work for You – Infrastructure
Ways to Homestead in a Deed Restricted Community from Blue Jean Mama
Building a Homestead from the Ground Up from Beyond Off Grid
DIY Rainwater Catchment System from Survival Prepper Joe
Finding Our Homestead Land from Simply Living Simply
I Wish I Was A Real Homesteader by Little Blog on the Homestead
Endless Fencing Projects from Pasture Deficit Disorder
Essential Homesteading Tools: From Kitchen To Field from Trayer Wilderness
Homesteading Legal Issues from The 7 P’s Blog
Why We Love Small Space Homesteading In Suburbia from Lil’ Suburban Homestead
Preserving and Using the Bounty from the Homestead
How to Dehydrate Corn & Frozen Vegetables from Mom With a Prep
How to Make Soap from Blue Yonder Urban Farms
How to Render Pig Fat from Mama Kautz
How to Make Your Own Stew Starter from Homestead Dreamer
Why You Should Grow and Preserve Rhubarb! from Living Life in Rural Iowa
It’s a Matter of Having A Root Cellar…When You Don’t Have One from A Matter of Preparedness