If you live in an apartment or a condo you may think homesteading is off the table right now; I disagree. You can be an apartment homesteader! Homesteading is more than owning land or livestock; it is a lifestyle, a choice to live outside of the modern way of thinking and many projects can be done in a small space.
I have lots of projects that you can start working on as an apartment homesteader whether you’re hoping to own land in the future or if an apartment is as much as you ever want.
Easy Ways You Can Be An Apartment Homesteader Now
There is a lot more to gardening that rows and rows of plants. As an apartment homesteader take advantage of every available bit of space with sunlight. You can use your patio or porch for container gardens. I highly recommend fabric pots for aeration; but if you’re on a budget use whatever you have available (just make sure it has good drainage). Grow herbs in sunny window seals and if you have a sliding glass door then get a plant stand for multiple growing areas. Don’t forget to incorporate hanging gardens like vertical grow bags that can hang on your patio wall and containers that can hang on patio rails. You might want to consider putting up some bird netting to keep your patio garden protected.
Lastly, if your area has a community garden you can expand your space by renting some there!
You might think you cannot compost in an apartment but you really can! You may not be able to create enough compost to fill a full size garden but you’ll be able to fill some pots on your porch. Start with some simple kitchen composting and consider getting a Bokashi Bucket for your porch which makes compost faster with fermentation.
Start Cooking at Home & From Scratch
Joel Salatin says, “Get in your kitchens, buy unprocessed foods, turn off the TV, and prepare your own foods. This is liberating”. I happen to agree with this statement…though I do watch tv and eat out some; it isn’t about perfection it is about making more of the good choices than the unhealthy ones. Cooking from scratch generally means better, healthier, ingredients and working on a vintage skill that is a dying art.
- 10 Amazing Reasons to be Cooking From Scratch
- Equipping Your Homesteader Kitchen
- 10 Vintage Cooking Skills You Need
- Eat Like Your Grandparents and Improve Your Health
Canning & Preserving
As an apartment homesteader you can definitely start in your kitchen with canning, fermentation and dehydrating. Even if your garden isn’t producing enough for that yet you can support local farmers by buying produce at your farmer’s market for this purpose. Invest in a good canner that can do both water and pressure canning, to save on space. I also recommend getting a dehydrator but you don’t have to spend a fortune on it; I’ve had this Nesco model for 3 years and it does a great job.
Lastly if you love fermented foods start gathering recipes and create your own fermented foods.
- Canning Mistakes
- Dehydrated Celery Powder
- Tomato Powder
- Mushroom Powder
- Pickled Garlic
- Make Kombucha at Home
Livestock in an apartment? Heck yeah! Now I caution you that raising animals of any sort indoors requires dedication to cleanliness for the animals and your home. But you can successfully raise quail (I recommend hens for eggs only) and a trio of meat rabbits if you have the space for enclosures.
I think sustainable or green living is an essential part of the homesteading life. As an apartment homesteader you have many ways that you can be more sustainable.
- Dry your clothes on a clothesline
- See above about composting
- Learn to reuse and repurpose items (check out coffee grounds, egg shells, orange peels)
Become a DIY’er expert! Learn to make:
- almond extract
- shampoo bars
- vanilla extract
- beard balm
- lip balm
- coffee liqueur
- laundry soap
- hand cream
- smelly shoe spray
- hand sanitizer with essential oils
- sugar scrub
- hand balm
- spice rubs
- bug repellent lotion bars
An apartment homesteader can definitely hone their skills in natural healing and medicines. I recommend starting with a great, affordable online course like the herbal academy. But if you’re not ready to dive right into a full course get Rosemary Gladstar’s book for beginner’s guide.
- Creating a Natural Pharmacy at Home
- Immune Boosting Tea
- Best Medicinal Herbs to Always Have in the House
- Growing and Using St Johns Wort
- DIY Relaxation Tea
- How to Make & Use Calendula Oil
These are just a few simple ways you can start as an apartment homesteader. No matter where you start…do it! Add a little bit on at a time so it doesn’t become overwhelming but keep moving forward.