Start a homestead or backyard farm fast! The homesteading, backyard farm or urban homestead movement has been gaining popularity for years. But I think the current times have more and more people thinking about how they can produce food for themselves, or simply be more sustainable.
I hope this article will help you with 2 major facets of homesteading: gardening and meat / egg source. There are so many aspects to starting a homestead and you’ll need to be careful not to take on too much. You need to focus on your goals and work on the most important items first.
Start a Backyard Farm Fast
Why should I start a backyard farm?
I can’t really answer that for YOU, but I’ll tell you what my reasons I wanted to start a homestead:
- I wanted control on how my food was produced.
- I wanted to be sustainable.
- I felt like I needed to be more in touch with where my food came from.
- I wanted more food security than storing a bunch of non-perishables in a closet.
- I knew that I wanted property eventually and why not start learning the skills right where I was?
Can you really have a homestead quickly?
There are certainly ways to start a little hobby farm quickly. It is going to take some dedication on your part, but it can be done.
I don’t have acres of land to work with, can I raise my own meat?
You absolutely can! There are several options for raising small livestock with limited space.
I don’t have a lot of money to spend on starting a homestead. Can I still do it?
You will be amazed at what can be accomplished on the cheap. But eventually you’ll have to spend money. If that means you move a little slower it is still better than doing nothing at all.
Check out my article: How to Homestead on a Tight Budget and save money.
Start a Garden Fast
I think the best place to start with a garden. Grow only what you know you like to eat, this is not the time to experiment with a bunch of unknown seeds.
You need to choose a gardening method that works best for your space:
- In Ground – if you have a lot of space and rich soil you can till up the ground a get planting. This is very cost effective because you’re not buying supplies to build beds or pots.
- Raised Bed or Square Foot Gardening – this is the method I chose and continue to use. I think it is the the best way to grow a lot in a small space. I can easily amend my soil and I have created a DIY soil mix that works really well in in.
- In Pots – if you are in an apartment or have an extremely small yard you might only have space for a few pots. Don’t be discouraged! You can do a lot with pots! See: Best Vegetables to Grow in Pots and Herbs That Grow in Pots.
10 Fastest Growing Vegetables
If you’re going to start a homestead and a garden fast these 10 vegetables will give you a head start! These will all be ready to harvest in 60 days are less.
Make sure to check your planting zone and check your extension office for the best plants / planting times for your area.
- Leaf Lettuce
- Swiss Chard
- Baby Carrots
See: How To Have An Amazing Backyard Garden for more details!
- Tips for New Gardener Success
- Raised Garden Benefits
- How To Grow Potatoes Anywhere!
- Maximize Your Garden Space
- 8 Gardening Mistakes You Can Avoid
- How to Compost
- 10 Things You Never Want to Compost
- Cheap & Easy Compost Bin
- Troubleshooting Your Compost
- How to Improve Soil Without a Compost Pile
- Kitchen Composting Tips
How to Raise Livestock for a Fast Homestead
Start a homestead and you’ll quickly realize that meat and eggs are part of that. Raising animals for food is not easy but it is rewarding!
Chickens are great but they mature slowly. I would still invest in a few but I wouldn’t recommend them for a backyard farmer that wants results quickly.
For the purposes of quickly starting your farm I would recommend quail and rabbits.
Quail – The Coturnix quail is a fantastic option for urban or backyard farmers wanting a quick turn around. They grow quickly! The hen will start laying eggs as early as 6 weeks and are fully grown at 8 weeks. They lay about 300 eggs per year. It takes about 3 – 4 quail eggs to equal an average chicken egg but they are delicious.
They can also be a meat source. Much easier to to process, no plucking needed. The meat is all dark and very similar to turkey in flavor.
See: The Nitty Gritty on Raising Quail for more information.
Rabbits – In the US the idea of eating rabbits is still pretty “radical” in many circles. Rabbits have been raised as a meat source for thousands of years. The Romans raised rabbits nearly 2,000 years ago in small walled gardens. And during World War II governments encouraged families to raise rabbits in the backyards to increase their meat options. Meat rabbits are a great option that doesn’t need a ton of space to produce a lot of meat!
I have several articles on raising meat rabbits for homesteaders and backyard farmers to help you.
- Simple Guide to Raising Chicks
- Best Dairy Goats for Beginners
- 5 Benefits of Raising Meat Goats
- Keeping Secret Backyard Chickens
I’ve started my homestead what’s next?
Oh boy that’s a loaded question. I would say preserve food / canning, if you are not doing that already. You may want to consider learning herbal remedies. Then look at acquiring as many vintage skills as possible. Here are a few resources to get you on the right track.
- Vintage Skills You Can Learn on YouTube
- Vintage Cooking Skills
- Amazing Reasons to Start Cooking From Scratch
- Cheese Making – Chevre
- Start Canning
- Make Your Own Garlic Powder
- Make Your Own Vanilla Extract
You can start a homestead fast but it is going to take a lot work. You aren’t going to be completely self sufficient overnight. But you’ll be ahead of the game for sure! You can do it – start small and build up. This homesteading life is worth everything you’ll put into it.
If you can find a mentor that will be a HUGE help too!