3 Simple Ways to Make Your Home a Homestead

Have you caught the homesteading bug yet? How about the self-sufficiency bug? If you are any kind of DIY person, you understand how important it is to learn to do more things for yourself. Learning how to make your home a homestead is one powerful way to equip yourself and your family to do more for yourselves and be prepared for emergency, all at the same time.

Make Your Home a Homestead

Each homesteader looks different, as do their properties. Some homesteaders live on large acreage and ‘do it all’, while other homesteaders live on rented property which allows them to do only few things. As mentioned in this article entitled “Are You Really a Homesteader” by Chris McLaughlin, there really is no definition for homesteading in the modern sense of the word. It doesn’t mean the same thing that it used to back in the 1860s because it’s not the same thing.

How to Make Your Home a Homestead

What your homestead looks like really just depends on which way you desire to be more self-sufficient. Here are a few activities that many who call themselves homesteaders do regularly.

Vegetable Gardening

Gardening is a fantastic place to start when you are just beginning to homestead. If you’re new at gardening, starting with a 100 square foot plot should do nicely. Buy plants for the first year if you can afford them, and especially if you have never started your own plants from seed. Starting small and simple will give you the tools you need to be able to get some quick success, and it will help you to understand what you are trying to accomplish when you do finally start doing everything ‘from scratch’. Of course, if you are wanting the whole experience, by all means, start your seed indoors!

Try these helps and resources:
Finding Your Planting Zone
Sowing Seeds Indoors
Preparing Your Soil
How to Get Started with a Raised Garden Bed by Five Little Homesteaders
The Gardening Notebook by Angi Schneider
The Vegetable Gardener’s Bible by Edward C. Smith

Preserving Food

Eating seasonally is definitely a must for the homesteader, but learning to can, dehydrate, and freeze food is one sure way to preserve your bounty…when you have one to preserve, that is. Starting to learn how to fill your shelves with delicious canned and dehydrated food will help you to know what to do when you get that windfall of tomatoes this summer. While you are waiting on your bounty, why not try out your new skills on store-bought produce? Often, it’s very inexpensive, especially if it’s in season, and it’s a great way to get your feet wet with putting your food by!

Try these helps and resources:
7 Smart Rules of Home Pressure Canning and Canning Pinto Beans
7 Reasons to Dehydrate Your Food
Making Your Own Garlic Powder
How to Flash Freeze Your Food at Home
Storing Root Vegetables Without a Root Cellar
National Center for Home Food Preservation
At Home Canning for Beginners and Beyond by Kendra Lynne
Ball Blue Book Guide to Preserving
Presto 23-quart Pressure Canner (the canner I own and use for both water bath and pressure canning)
Presto Canning Tools Kit

Raising Small Livestock (chickens, ducks, turkeys, rabbits, goats)

Raising small livestock for milk, eggs, fiber, or meat is a prudent choice for the homesteader. Depending upon which animals you choose to raise it can range from a simple part-time job to a labor intensive endeavor.

Try these helps and resources:
The Basics of Natural Chicken Keeping by Fresh Eggs Daily
Tips on Bringing Your Chickens Home by Elaine Lewis of Sunny Simple Life (via The Mind to Homestead)
Keeping Your Chicken Coop Smelling Fresh by Timber Creek Farm
Chicken Care Guide by Fresh Eggs Daily
Fresh Eggs Daily: Raising Happy, Healthy Chickens Naturally by Lisa Steele
Getting Started Raising Turkeys by The Hippy Homesteader
Turkeys and Ducks Living Happily Ever After by Timber Creek Farm
Basic Duckling Care – Raising Healthy Happy Ducks by Fresh Eggs Daily
Raising Ducks: A Primer on Duck Housing, Diet and Health by Lisa Steele
Natural Rabbit Care (my rabbit website with Brittany from Happy Days Farm)
Top 10 Things to Bring Home with Your New Rabbit by Natural Rabbit Care
Homesteading with Nigerian Goats by My Healthy Green Family

Need more ideas? Try this lovely book by Jill Winger, which encouraged me immensely to get started with homesteading.

your custom homestead
Your Custom Homestead by Jill Winger

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Want to get inspired? I blog about many aspects of homesteading such as gardening, DIY, herbs/herbal medicine, small livestock, canning and preserving, and much more! I'd love for you to follow me in any of these places:
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  1. says

    Great ideas of how to homestead wherever you’re at! I am saving to purchase a house/land next year to start a farm, but in the meantime I rent an apartment. I love vegetable and fruit gardening, and preserving my foods :) Looking forward to the day I can care after farm animals! Thanks for the great tips.

    • says

      Hi Caitlin, thanks for your comment! I think you are doing the EXACT right thing—learn all you can where you are at, THEN when you move, you’ve got some knowledge under your belt! Good for you!

  2. says

    Glad to see this website ! I’ve been canning for years and it’s a yearly ritual I enjoy. Now I dehyrated some things too, especially celery, carrots and onions. When I make soup in the winter I just drop a handful of each in the broth and add whatever else I want. I don’t have to worry about getting to town in bad weather to buy these supplies.

    • says

      Don’t you love that, Anita? Like you, I try to create a situation at my home where we always have enough of most things so we don’t get in a bind. I dehydrate celery, carrots, and onions too, but I always forget to add them to my soups until it’s too late. I’ll have to do better at that! Thanks for stopping by!

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