Today’s modern homesteaders are people who aren’t afraid of hard work and getting dirty.
If you’ve ever been curious about what happens on a homestead, know that today’s homesteaders aren’t all about cows and growing up in a saddle. Today more and more people from all walks of life are looking for a more self-sufficient life, these are your modern homesteaders.
You can find them living in apartments, in small towns and in the country.
Our own homesteading journey started with bringing home three little ducklings. That soon grew into adding chickens and gardens to our property. We still have a long way to go to achieve our self-sufficient goals but we are well on our way, and it all starts one small step at a time.
If you have ever been interested in living a more self-sufficient, sustainable, simpler way of life here are some easy steps to get started today, (for little to no money invested).
The benefits of growing your own food are huge, they include saving money on groceries, providing stress relief and connecting you with your food source. With a little time invested you can provide your family with organic vegetables and fruits.
When starting a garden it doesn’t have to be large, in fact, a small container garden is a great way to get started.
Want to start a garden, check out these links to get started.
2. Start Composting
Composting is known as ‘black gold’ to gardeners and for good reason. Compost material adds essential nutrients and minerals to your soil that may otherwise be lacking.
Compost can be used for outdoor gardens, large or small. Indoor plants and trees, basically any plant that lives in soil will benefit from compost.
Composting can be done outside on large properties or inside in apartments.
Some of the benefits and uses of compost include
- Better plant nutrition.
- Better soil structure.
- Reducing waste.
- Compost can be used as mulch.
Making compost may seem intimidating at first but once you know the basics it can be accomplished with ease. There is no better way to use your waste materials then by making something that will help you grow your own food.
Check out these links to get started composting.
Now that you have the information to get started, here are some great tutorials on building your own compost bin.
3. Bake your own Bread
Bread is a staple in most homes and the price can add up. By baking your own bread you can save money on groceries and reduce the amount of preservatives your family is consuming.
Baking a loaf of bread may seem challenging at first, but once you have had time to practice and find a recipe that works for you, it can become a soothing and relaxing job in the kitchen.
To help get you started check out these tutorials.
Depending on how much time you have to make a loaf of bread will determine what kinds of bread will work best for you. Below is a great link that shows the different kinds of breads you can make depending on how much time you have in the kitchen, whether it’s only 15 minutes or all day, (recipes included).
4. Make your own Cleaning Products
There are great benefits to making your own cleaning products, especially if you have little ones around your home.
- Without toxic cleaners you won’t have to worry about the kids getting into them or breathing in toxic fumes.
- Natural cleaners are better for the environment and safe to use throughout your home.
- Homemade cleaners can be cheaper to make then buying from the store, making them an economical choice.
- Cleaners can often be made from things you already have in your pantry.
If you are looking for natural alternatives to house hold cleaners here are some great recipes to get you started.
5. Make your own Cheese
If you are interested in learning where your food comes from and what’s in it, making your own cheese is a great place to start. Often seen as a difficult skill to master, there are quite a few types of cheese that are simple to make and take little time. Some cheese only takes 30 minutes to make with little or no special equipment needed.
- By making your own cheese you are able to control the ingredients that are used, therefore knowing first hand what has been used in the process.
- Learning to make your own cheese is valuable skill and can be economical, especially if you have access to a milk source.
- Don’t have a your own dairy cow or goat? No problem, you can use store-bought milk to make cheese as well.
If you plan on having a dairy animal in the future learning to produce cheese from excess milk can eliminate any wasted milk, and can earn you some money if you are able to sell the cheese.
Want to start learning to make cheese? Check out these simple tutorials.
6. Forage for Food
Learning to forage for edibles is a great way to become more self-sufficient. It gets you outside into nature and connects you with your food in a way picking produce off a grocery store shelf will never do.
Foraging can be as simple as stepping into your backyard or taking a walk through a local forest.
There are some things to remember before heading out and foraging for your own food.
- Be prepared for the outdoors, dress appropriately.
- Bring along a reference guide, or better yet, an experienced forager who can show you the plants that are edible in your area.
- Be respectful, do not trespass on private property. Always ask the landowners permission before going on their property.
- Practice sustainable harvesting, don’t pick all the plants.
- Do not eat anything you can’t identify and know is safe.
- Never harvest plants that have been sprayed with herbicides, pesticides or fertilizers.
To get started, check out these links.
Please remember that some plants are poisonous and can be harmful, always be 100% sure of what you are consuming.