When the shutdowns hit the US, a lot of people were stuck inside with nothing to do. They were scared of the virus and scared that they couldn’t find the basic supplies they need. All of this caused a huge uptick in people learning about homesteading. Mostly because they were stuck at home and bored out of their mind. This in turn caused a lot of people to start gardens, learn how to process foods, and in general adopt the homesteaders mentality. If you have been asking yourself, should you homestead, I say yes.
How To Get Started
I wrote an entire blog post about how to start a homestead and how to homestead on 5 acres. You don’t need to have a million acres to homestead. To be honest, you don’t even need 5 acres. You just need the right attitude to get started. I talked, in depth about what homestead means here and the reality is that no two homesteads look the same. An urban homestead is just as amazing as a country homestead. A 100 acre homestead is just as awesome as a 5 acre homestead. At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter what homestead means because YOU are the homestead. It’s your ideas, your dreams, and your needs, not someone else’s.
What Do You Want?
Do you want to have a veggie garden, fruit trees or a container garden? Should you have chickens, rabbits, or quail because you only have a quarter acre in the city? What about a couple of goats or pigs? What about converting your lawn into a veggie garden? Or removing non edible landscaping and replacing it with edible, like raspberry bushes, grapes, or a salad bar?
All of these questions should be floating around in your brain about how to get started. The only thing that should be limiting you, is you. Set your goals and get to work. If you are on a small property, get creative. Instead of having a huge garden plot, go vertical. There are hundreds of posts on vertical gardening but my favorite is this one from The Homesteading RD. If you follow her, especially on Instagram, you can see all the wonderful ideas she has.
Becoming Self Reliant
We are in an age where shortages are a thing. Toilet paper, baby formula, you name it. What is next? So, I’ll ask the question again: Should you homestead? Yes. Because if you become self reliant, you will do yourself and your family a world of good.
Being self reliant can mean many different things. It could mean having the ability to grow, harvest, and preserve your garden. It could mean having the knowledge and understanding of what animals can eat, how to make them grow faster for meat, and to butcher them humanely. But it does mean adding new skills to your toolbox and not relying on others to fix it.
By being self reliant, you can barter for goods or services. If you suck at growing veggies but you have the space for extra meat birds. Strike a deal with someone who does grow veggies but doesn’t have the space for meat birds. If you have never canned anything, find someone who has and start learning.
Should You Homestead?
At the end of the day, you need to make that decision for yourself. I can say this, it is the most amazing feeling knowing that I made all the food in my food storage room. It’s also pretty cool that if I’m out of something, I know how to make a lot of things from scratch. Like that time that Jaxson wanted hamburger helper but I haven’t bought that stuff in years. Instead, I was able to make my own cheese sauce from butter and cheese that I made.
The question is, do you want that? Do you want to cook from scratch? Does a garden appeal to you? You have to know your why.
Every decision you make and goal you have should start with a Why. Why is it so important to you? This helps keep you on track when things get hard. If you remember your why, every single decision you make will be a lot easier.
Our why is simple: to not rely on others for things we can do ourselves. When it comes to the blog our why with the blog is equally as simple: To help beginning homesteaders with setting up their homestead and avoid the pitfalls of doing things “wrong”.
I have said for many years, if I just had 5 years and 5 acres, I could get us about 75% self reliant in terms of produce and meat. I could get our infrastructure set up to a point were trees, bushes, and other perennials require minimal effort with major results.
While we have had some major set backs, we have made a good sized dent in our infrastructure and are working towards doing more. I have to remind myself daily that our neighbors homestead has had over 100 years of work done to it. Ours only had one. They may have what we are moving towards, but we are starting from scratch. We’ll get there, though, and so will you.
I created a new homesteader checklist that you can download and get started on. Just subscribe below
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