Are you still dreaming about becoming a homesteader some day? Some day when you finally convince your husband to sell the suburban home and move out to the country. A day you can finally afford that pretty piece of God's country where you can plant your roots and start growing.
You go online and fish around for properties out in the country, only to find yourself discouraged because the price is not one that your budget can afford. I remember those days all too well. Sitting in the kitchen of the city lot watching cars buzz by every couple seconds, dreaming of a quiet life.
There they are, those listings come up in your price range. You look at those properties with rose colored glasses and a vision of what it "could be". A run down trailer on a couple acres with a promise hidden in your heart that one day you could tear that old rat den down and build a little log cabin in its stead. Years go by and you are still in the city trying to make the days pass.
Why not grow where you are planted? Find ways, today, to start homesteading. It is not that difficult to get started. You do not have to be out on the prairie to be resourceful.
Homesteading in its true essence is being resourceful.
Here are 5 Ways to Start A Homestead...
1. Plant a Micro-Garden
If you have a planting bed around your home, you can plant all kinds of herbs or even vegetables. You do not have to have a garden plot to accomplish this task. If you want to start your own plants by seed, you need to make sure to keep them indoors or in a cold frame to start with until they have established a good root. Once they are hearty enough, they can easily be planted in your flower bed by digging a hole and placing the root system in that hole, covering it will sufficient soil around the stem. The other option would be to buy established seedling plants at a local greenhouse shop. That makes is all the easier for the newbie.
If you live in an apartment, grow little potted herbs in your window sills where they get some sunlight.
All year long you can clip little sprigs of herbs off your little potted herbs and it will give you a feeling of growing some of your own food.
Some people have a patio or sun room. These are great places to grow all kinds of things. You can grow a cucumber plant on an old iron bench, or a tomato in a large clay pot. The biggest maintenance would be making sure you water your pots frequently.
Having a few things growing around and in your home whether you are in the city and you grow a few potted herbs or in the country with a large scale garden, you still get the same satisfaction. The satisfaction of growing some of your own food. Even the largest scale home garden is usually incapable of growing ALL their own food. It is a common misconception that the modern homesteader is able to grow ALL their own food. Most of us still buy our grains.
1. Store Up Some Bulk Grains
Another way you can start the homesteading experience of being resourceful is to buy in bulk. Did you know that if you have a few buckets of dried beans and rice, you can survive on those commodities for up to a year without going to the grocery store. The cost of a few sacks of beans and rice would be less than $100. It is not ideal to eat beans and rice at every meal for an entire year, but it will keep you alive as long as you had fresh water to drink.
We buy 50 pound sacks of the following grains each year:
- Dried beans (Kidney, Black, Pinto, Great Northern, etc...)
- Wheat berries (Spelt, Kamut, Rye, etc...)
- MUNG BEANS
What's nice about Mung Beans, is that they are very nutritions, easy to grow, and do not need soil to sprout. People use Mung Beans to toss in a salad or just eat fresh. One tablespoon of tiny dried Mung Beans can make 2 cups of edible sprouts! These are just a great thing, all around, to have on hand. Think of it, you could have your city-dwelling children grow some of their own sprouts, and you are all becoming homesteaders at the same time!
In a survival situation, you could have your beans and rice....AND a side of mung beans for a vegetable! That is a healthy combination! All bulk grains can be stored in 5 gallon pails for years to come as long as you seal it up well. I have heard basil leaves or diatomaceous earth can be used to repel the creepers that may enjoy your stash. I have never had an issue with critters getting into my grain bins. I do not air seal them, I do not add basil leaves, I do not buy expensive mylar bags with oxygen absorbers, I just dump them into a $5 bucket I bought at a hardware store down the road and put a lid on it.
You can use a wheat grinder which gives you that homegrown feeling. Grinding wheat can be done with an electric wheat grinder. If you do not have an electric wheat grinder, you should check the one we sell in our store. We use our industrial strength (The Country Grain Mill) that can grind a lot at one time. When you grind wheat fresh, you get all the benefits from it. Flour really looses its nutrition the longer it sits on the shelf. Do not store up flour, you should grind it fresh always. Fresh ground flour had to be used immediately because within about 72 hours it would lose at least 90% of over 30 nutrients through oxidation.Making your own breads, cereals, crackers, and noodles from scratch lends to the homesteading experience. If you watch our Homesteading for Beginners DVD series, you will find all kinds of recipes and demonstrations how to make these sorts of things. (Get them now while they are on sale!)
You do not have to have a garden to do some canning or freezing. My grandmother lived through the depression and canned everything she grew in her flower beds around the house. She did not live on a homestead or out in the country, yet her pantry was always filled with jars.Farmer's Markets are great places to find produce in bulk if you want to can up something for the winter. Certain things can be blanched, put in freezer bags and stored in the freezer. Some folks just do not have the space for a garden, so buying fresh produce is a wonderful alternative that will give a great feeling of self sufficiency. Some ladies do little one batch canning projects and find it very fulfilling. It is not really hard to do and it can offer a selection of food to eat later in the year.
Now-a-days, most city ordinances allow for a few caged hens for laying eggs. Many people do not realize the possibilities of this. You can house them like you would domestic rabbits, in little cages with shelter attached. They make very little noise and that is why they are being allowed. It is fun for children to pick out some baby chicks in the spring and raise them to be laying hens. Each day they can run out and throw them some kitchen scraps or feed. Gathering eggs is such a delightful experience for people of all ages!You have your fresh home-grown eggs and a feeling that you are making it a little closer to the land. This is something within anyone's reach. Check out your county or city ordinance today and start homesteading today!