If you are just starting out or still planning to do homesteading, then you most probably have begun indulging yourself with information and advice from your family, friends, or even the Internet! Although not all can benefit your process, some may be helpful, some may be confusing, or worse, some information or advice may be incorrect.
It can be overwhelming when you finally come to know that there is a lot to learn about homesteading but you just have to relax. You don’t have to learn everything about it all at once. Besides, everyone’s homestead is a bit different from one another. What works for others might not work for you, so in this journey, you’re going to have to figure things on your own.
While homesteading sounds like it’s such a personal thing to do, there are some general tips that can be applied to help all homesteaders. These tips will help you focus on what is important.
Before diving into the pleasure of having a 50-acre homestead in a beautiful valley, you need to start small. Wherever you may be, however small your backyard is, you can always start to adapt a homestead lifestyle. The baby steps are one of the most important steps. You can begin with a small garden wherein you utilize containers and vertical gardening methods to make way for more variety of plants.
You can also start small by checking out community gardening in your area. Look for opportunities where you can help a friend or a neighbor’s garden in exchange for some of the harvest. With this, your experience in gardening will be much more valuable and by then, you will have already known how you want yours to be.
However, if you wish to raise livestock, still start small with rabbits or even bees. You just have to make sure that you aren’t violating any code restrictions in your community before you begin.
Learn From Others
You have to ask the right people when you want your questions to be answered. Talk with the people in your area who have similar ways of living as you because they most likely have also experienced what you are still experiencing at the moment. Also, try to talk with the farmers at your local grower’s market for a more professional help. However, you can still ask the homesteaders in the neighborhood. You’ll find that they really enjoy sharing advice with beginners.
Never hesitate in finding the right time to ask questions. These people have gone through what you are going through so what they tell you will definitely become invaluable resources.
Do Your Research
Seeking out mentors is only part of the research. Before starting, you’re going to want to educate yourself on the soil, water, wildlife, and climate in your area. Update your garbage and recycling options. For gardening information, your local university extension service can be a great resource. Additionally, you can also turn to homesteading blogs – they can be a rich source of information and support!
Study and Learn Repair and Renovation Skills
Homesteaders that are successful know and perform their own home repairs themselves. If you want to maintain your homestead, then it’s time to learn simple carpentry, plumbing, and electrical maintenance. There are a lot of sources for these subjects such as internet videos, blogs, and books to help you during a hands-on experience.
Start Preserving Your Food
You can learn and practice homesteading food skills with fresh fruits and vegetables when you are not able to grow most of your food yet. Canning, dehydrating, and using a root cellar are one of the skills you can learn that can help you give a good homesteading life. If you practice these skills now and actually learn them, you can save time and money.
- Get a Tool Collection
Learning new skills will require you to have the proper tools to successfully achieve them. Having quality gardening and carpentry tools will be a great investment in the future for your homestead. To maintain your investment, learn how to clean, maintain, store, and repair your tools.
Explore Income Sources
A homesteading lifestyle is an economical lifestyle. There will be big expenses so you will need to save money. Although the plan is to produce your own food to no longer include yourself in this capitalist world, you will still have regular expenses. Examples of these are property taxes, animal feed, doctor and veterinarian bills, insurance, and repairs.
Think of ways to add to your income by exploring different kinds of avenues. Many homesteaders earn enough by selling some of what they grow or apply their skills as freelance. Even though you’re still starting, it is never too early to start these income-producing projects now.
Keep a Journal
A homesteader’s life is busy. There are many things to remember thus you cannot depend on your own memory to keep track of all of them. What greatly helps in becoming a good homesteader is by keeping a journal. Make it a habit to write things down as soon as possible. It can help you learn from your mistakes and maintain your successes. Maintain a journal all throughout your journey. This way, you are keeping accurate records and receipts that will really help you along the way in many ways.
Learn and Grow
Homesteading is a continuing process that will surely contain some ups and downs. Instead of being discouraged when things don’t go well, learn from them and try again! Nobody does it perfectly during their first periods.
When things get overwhelming, take a break and remember why you started the homesteading lifestyle. It is okay to slow down so that when you finally get back on track – one step at a time, you will have a more positive outlook that will eventually lead to positive results.