Homesteading is a way of living that takes us back to the basics of living off the land. It’s the way our ancestors lived before modern conveniences and technology came along, and it’s the way many people are returning to after the uncertainties and turmoil of the past few years. Homesteading doesn’t mean that you have to give up all conveniences and live like a pioneer; it’s simply doing everyday things in a sustainable way and being more self-reliant. Read on to get acquainted with the basics of homesteading.
Grow Some Food
Food deserts, store closures, food shortages, high prices, and food recalls have caused some regions to be without enough food for the people. If you know how to plant and grow a garden you will always have access to food, plus you will know what has gone into the growing of the food.
Learn how to grow some food for your family. Start with a small vegetable garden and expand it as you gain knowledge. Stick with organic farming practices, as it’s the healthiest and safest way in the long run.
Homesteading typically involves livestock that is raised for food. Chickens are the number one homestead animal because they provide so many benefits. Chickens provide fresh eggs, meat, organic bug control for free, and organic fertilizer. Excess eggs or baby chicks can be sold or bartered for goods and services with fellow homesteaders, so raising chickens can also be a source of income.
Rabbits, goats, and pigs are other popular livestock choices for homesteaders. Start with a couple of animals and increase the flock over time.
Instead of chickens, you might want to consider rearing fish in a pond. Aquaculture is difficult at first, because of the digging and installation of the pond, but once things are running, maintenance is easy. You could even combine aquaculture with hydroponics in an aquaponics system, one of the most efficient ways of producing food.
Water is a natural resource that you can obtain for free with a water catchment system. Use 55-gallon barrels to collect rainwater runoff from the roof of your home and any other outdoor structure that is on your property. Just a half-inch of rain falling on a 1,000-square-foot roof is able to result in 300 gallons of water collected. 300 gallons of water can provide enough water for a home, garden, and livestock for days.
Generating your own energy in the form of solar power is one of the main ways to be more self-sufficient. You won’t need to worry so much if the power grid goes down. Solar panels are already quite affordable these days, so you should strongly consider them.
But you may wonder, would solar panels work during winter when the days are shorter and sunlight is reduced? Although winter does reduce the efficiency of solar panels, the amount of sunlight available in most regions is still adequate to generate enough power. It’s important to remember the amount of sun that the solar panels will be exposed to throughout the year will balance out the reduced sunlight during the winter months and/or cloudy days.
Recycling is commonly practiced in homesteading, which embraces the concept of “Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle”. Instead of throwing away stuff, why not get into the habit of recycling and look at ways to reuse or upcycle them? This includes reusing plastic containers of food items, or putting old household goods to use in the garden. Meanwhile, organic waste can be returned back to the natural cycle via composting.
Minimize and Sustain
Basics of homesteading are employing methods of doing things that will use minimal natural resources and be sustainable for the future.
Remember, homesteading is not defined by where you are living (it can be in the city or countryside), but by the choice of lifestyle that you have chosen. Grow food, collect rainwater, turn off the lights, and recycle everything to get started on your journey to becoming a self-reliant homesteader. It doesn’t have to be a sudden big leap, but starting with little steps can eventually make a lot of difference.
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