So you want to be a homesteader, live the dream and wake up with the roosters? But, what if you don’t own a farm? Well, here are my top 5 tips on How to Homestead Without a Farm.
1- Grow your own food!
Whether you have a half acre like me or an apartment in the city, anyone can grow their own food, all you need is light and water.. heck, you don’t even need soil anymore! Seriously, check out Hydroponic and Aquaponic growing, it’s crazy cool!
Container Gardening is so easy and takes up very little room. All you need is a sunny location, some sturdy vessels and really good, organic soil.
Key considerations for Container Gardening
- Keep your containers well watered, as they tend to dry out faster than garden beds. Water 2-3 times per week if necessary, check the soil moisture with your finger first.
- Keep your plants & the soil microbes well fed. Potted plants & veggies need your help to stay healthy, diverse organic compost is the best way to keep your pot’s soil fertile.
- If you are in a small space like an apartment and don’t have room for an outdoor compost, try a worm bin or blender your veggie scraps and coffee grounds and add them to your container garden, this will help you get the most from your small space garden.
2 – Support your local farmers
I’m gonna be honest, it’s going to be pretty tough to be self-sufficient without land, but here’s the next best thing; support a local farmer!
Shopping at your local farmer’s market is the easiest way to access fresh local food. Shop around and find a farmer or two that you connect with, one who grows the produce you enjoy and is open about their growing/farming methods. Make friends with your farmer they will be your lifeline to clean, healthy, food.
If you are a meat eater, clean, grass-fed and pastured meats are the best choice. Many farmers are beginning to offer meat CSAs (Community Supported Agriculture) and subscription boxes in which you pay monthly for a box of assorted frozen farm raised meats. This is a great way to ensure your meat is coming from a reputable source.
If meat is not your thing, veggie CSAs and subscription boxes are a great option and often deliver fresh, organic fruits and veggies right to your door, amazing!
3 – Eat in Season & Preserve your food
Most Homesteaders eat in season, rarely do you see a homesteader shopping for strawberries in January. Instead, they are enjoying homemade strawberry jams, jellies and syrups.
Eating in season means being able to preserve all the goodness of the season for later in the year when those items are no longer available. Learning to can, pickle and dehydrate will definitely help.
Some of the easiest things to can are berries and fruit into jams and jellies or turn tomatoes and onions into salsa and hot sauce. I am really excited to share some of my recipes with you in posts to come.
4 – Become a Maker
Homesteading involves Fixing, Building and Making things from scratch and using everything you have, there is no waste on a farm.
Food scraps become animal food, animal manure then becomes compost, which goes on the garden and is turned back into food for you. Everything on the farm is used.
Consider using your veggie scraps for homemade soup stock or homemade bullion. Stock can be frozen and used as the base for any number of recipes, not just soups. If you are low on freezer space, homemade bullion is a great space-saving option.
5 – Get outside
For many, half the allure of farming and Homesteading is the thought of being closer to nature.
So do what I do, get outside every chance you can. Hike with friends, get a plot at a community garden or carve out space in your own yard for being in nature. And remember you can always volunteer on a local organic farm to see if Homesteading is right for you.
Ok, are you ready to:
- Grow your own food
- Support a farmer
- Learn to can and preserve
- Become a maker
- Get outside
So, before you quit your day job and move to the country, getting these few skill under your belt will help you get a jumpstart on homesteading and will help you decide if getting up with the roosters really is right for you.
Thanks for hanging out.