Have you ever felt like city life is just too chaotic, too overwhelming, and too stressful? Do you sometimes wish you could go back to a time when pizza was made by hand using the freshest ingredients that you grew in your backyard garden? If you feel like you need a break from city living, you should find out how to start a homestead for your next adventure.
Homesteading simply defined is a way of life where you live off the fruits of the land that you own and cultivate. That land is usually a farmland where you can raise animals and plant crops for food. It could also be a huge cottage or dwelling near the forest where you can hunt for game and other animals and at the same time grow your own food.
Off Grid Living and How to Start a Homestead
There’s more to homesteading than just living off the land. There’s also the fact that you’re living almost completely off grid. That’s because the location that you choose doesn’t always have WIFI, mobile signal, or electricity for that matter.
People living in homesteads often create their own electricity from renewable resources or just keep living simply with candles and lamps to light up their nights. For entertainment, they have good old books and games that don’t require batteries. For food, they cook by grilling and use fresh vegetables and fruit from their garden.
Because the location of the homestead is far from other homes and commercial areas, people living in homesteads learn to be more self- sufficient. They raise livestock, plant crops and other edible plants, and dispose of their garbage by composting and other environment friendly means.
Simple Enough to Try
Homesteading may sound so easy now, but in reality, it’s not always the case. Many people who lived in the city for too long have tried homesteading only to give up and go back to the daily grind of the city. Don’t be one of the quitters. You can make homesteading work for you if you know how. Here are some easy ways on how to start a homestead:
Build a self-sustaining mini farm
The best way to ensure that you and the people who live in your homestead don’t starve is to have a source of food. In the city, you can get food with just a few clicks on your mobile phone. You get hot freshly cooked meals delivered to you in a flash or you get it free.
In a homestead, you need to plant crops and other food bearing plants before you can eat. You need to wait until these plants grow and then harvest them before you can use them for food.
It does sound tedious, but as most homestead owners will tell you, there is a sense of achievement and fulfillment whenever you plant, grow, harvest, and eat your own crops. The fact that you were able to create edible food with your bare hands is an achievement in itself. You also know exactly what’s in the food that you eat.
Here’s a simple way to make your own mini farm:
- Identify the plants that you want to grow – as a beginner, you may want to start small. Pick plants that virtually grow themselves. This means choosing plants that don’t require constant care. Some examples of these plants are tomatoes, lettuce, potatoes, and other similar plants.
- Learn about how to grow your chosen plants – some plants need more sunlight while others thrive in the shade. Find out which is which and make sure to put your plants in the place where they will grow best.
- Create a plot – this is where you will plant your crops. Make sure to space them right so each plant has room to grow.
- Water and sunlight – these are the two most basic needs of plants. Ensure that there is ample supply of both.
- Wait until it grows – first time homesteaders tend to be impatient with their plants. Let go of this mentality and just watch and wait until they are fully grown and are ready to be harvested.
Hunt for game
Hunting isn’t for everyone. But if you have the right skills and equipment, animals can provide the protein that your body needs. Here’s how to safely hunt for game:
- Hunt during the day – hunting during the day helps you see your targets better. It also lets you see where your comrades are so you don’t accidentally shoot them.
- Use the right equipment – it goes without saying that you should always ensure that the tools you use in hunting are the right ones. If you are a beginner, it is best to seek the assistance of professionals to help you find the right hunting gun.
- Hunt when in season and in areas where it is allowed – there are times when hunting is prohibited. Make sure to find out when the off season starts. If you continue to hunt during the off season you could be fined and arrested.
- Hunt with friends – there is safety and strength in numbers. Bring friends along for your hunt and make it a fun bonding activity. When someone has your back the chances of accidents and dangerous encounters with wild animals can be less frightening.
- Hunt only for enough – if you hunt all of the game down, the supply will be depleted. Don’t go hunting for game every day. There are other ways to get protein for your body.
Find fresh water sources
Finding fresh sources of water near your homestead is one of the most important homesteading skills. In the city, water comes from a tap or in a bottle, there’s always plenty of supply. At a homestead, it’s not always the case. You have to find a clean water source to supply enough water for your household.
- Dig a well – there are fresh water reservoirs a few hundred feet underground. If you dig deep enough, you will find a worthwhile source. Just make sure to get a permit if it’s needed in your area. Once you’ve dug up a well, you can have a steady supply of water for a good couple of years.
- Find the nearest fresh water source – streams, rivers are some of the most common choices. Some people build direct links to these water sources while others prefer to simply get only what they need.
- Head for the mountains – up in the mountains there are natural sources of water that mainly comes from rainfall and other natural means. Look for these areas and get fresh cold water naturally.
To read more about how to find fresh water sources near your homestead, read our fan favorite article on how to find water during a zombie apocalypse
Today we have covered the basics of how to start a homestead. In summary; to live and survive in a homestead, you often only need the basics – some food, water, and shelter. Take care of these needs first using the guide provided here and the rest should follow.