A simple life is what many people desire. One way to live a simpler life is to start homesteading. It’s a life where you can live off the land and do many things by hand. But it’s not simple and takes a great deal of hard work. So a number of people give it up.
An integral part of homesteading is doing things to make it easier on yourself, and a true homesteader makes things easier to maintain their land control.
One surefire way to make your life easier is to sit down and prepare and plan appropriately for this unique life-changing event. Make maps of the land and how you want to spread everything out, get the supplies needed to do everything you plan on doing, and give yourself a timeline to get them all done. Doing all this can smooth out any bumps in the road now and in the future.
Do you have extra space anywhere in your home or garage? If so, now is the time to make use of it! You can jumpstart your homesteading by starting up a small garden, beehive, or chicken coop. Doing this will reduce the amount of time you need to do the beginning stages of work on your homestead. Research specialized equipment to make better use of these areas, such as a mobile range coop for your new hens.
Before you start any construction work on your homestead, do yourself a huge favor and learn some basics. These include cutting wood, using a hammer and nails, and fixing fundamental plumbing problems. Learn these skills early on, and you can save a ton of money.
One colossal consideration that many people don’t take into effect is that of the seasons. Gardens produce fewer and fewer varieties of produce in the winter, cows give less milk, and chickens lay fewer eggs. When springtime returns and the days get longer and warmer, the livestock and gardens will produce more. Prepare for these accordingly so that you have food throughout the winter.
Although money may be an issue when starting out, it is a good idea to take that money you have and use it to invest in essential equipment. Doing so will ensure you get all your jobs done efficiently and with less hassle.
Starting small is a good idea. One way to do that is by planting a small crop. Not only will you grow something you can eat, but you will also gain valuable skills that will transfer nicely to homesteading. After you have gained the experience of a few years of gardening, it will be much easier to start growing larger crops.
An efficient garden is one of the keys to making your homesteading life easier. There are many ways to make your garden an efficient one:
- Raised beds
- Companion planting
- Staggered planting
- Using mulch to keep the soil healthy
One easy way to dip your toe in the water of homesteading is by raising livestock. You can learn about the needs of the animal as you care for them and as you get more money and more experience, add to your farmyard. Buying livestock slowly has the added benefit of allowing you to get to know each animal and not become overwhelmed.
Wouldn’t it be great if you wanted an apple to just walk out into your backyard and grab an apple? Well, if you decide to add fruit trees into the mix of your homestead, you’ll be able to do just that! There is a large range of species to choose from, and you can make sure you have fruits available throughout the year. Here are some trees to consider:
- Lemons (depending on where you live)
It’s quite imperative that when you are homesteading, you only buy what you can handle. This will save money, and it will prevent you from being overwhelmed. So when you are starting out your journey into homesteading, focus on quality, not quantity, and buy just a few plants and animals—don’t take on too much.
I am sure you’ve been in a department store and have seen them putting out Christmas decorations in October, and you wonder why? Well, the same theory applies to gardening in your homestead—but there is a good reason why you prepare your garden for winter in the summer! You have many months ahead of you of warm (hot) weather, so take advantage of this and prepare your garden for the colder season ahead.
Like you would plant vegetables or flowers near each other with the exact watering needs, you buy livestock with similar feeding needs. For example, chicken and pigs could be purchased together because they eat the same food. Making careful choices when homesteading can save you lots of time and money.
Everyone should start out their homesteading journey by using a mini greenhouse. You can buy them already made, or you can make your own. These provide the perfect environment for plants to get a strong start. If you live in a colder climate, you’ll find that these mini greenhouses are excellent ways to retain moisture and heat.
Like most of the free world knows, Elsa sang “Let it Go!” and that has to be the motto for all homesteaders. No matter how well you plan things out, life is going to happen, and plans are going to have to change, but don’t let setbacks get in your way! Just chalk up to a lesson learned, go over what didn’t work for you, and try again.
Compost, a free source of fertilizer for your garden and another way to reduce your carbon footprint, is easy to do! Another checkmark in the column of homesteading success goes into the box for this tip!
If you want to control the amount of money you spend, along with the quality and freshness level of the food you give your livestock, then making your own food might be for you. You can create your special meals by mixing different grains, legumes, and supplements to create a custom blend that gives your animals just what they need.
Now that you’ve learned all the ins and outs of homesteading, it’s time to get out there and plant the proverbial seeds for your own homestead. You’ll love the homesteading lifestyle of living off the land and within your means.
While you will need some equipment, you won’t need a lot of expensive equipment or land to get started. You can jump into homesteading with small-scale animals like chickens that can be done on your property now if you have the space for them! Use these tricks and tips to make your homestead the best little homestead it can be!