Are you thinking about becoming a homesteader? The idea of living on land, being self-sufficient, and growing various plants may tempt you. If this is the life you’d like to live, you’ll need to know what it takes to be a homesteader. It isn’t always easy. You’ll make sacrifices and changes to your daily life when homesteading. However, it’s the perfect way to live with your loved ones.
Have a Green Thumb and Start Gardening
If you’re going to start homesteading, you’ll need to have a green thumb. Ok, let me say it HELPS if you have a green thumb but you can learn (I did). Be prepared to start a garden where you’ll grow dozens of different plants. Homesteaders often grow crops that can benefit them in one or more ways.
First you need to know your planting zone and then be sure to check out my month to month planting guides.
It’s a good idea to grow lettuce. It’s an excellent crop for beginners because lettuce doesn’t require a lot of maintenance. Not only is it relatively easy to grow, but it’s also practical. You can make different salads at home using fresh lettuce grown in your garden.
How to Grow Lettuce in Your Backyard
Growing potatoes isn’t too tricky. It’s a great crop to grow as a beginner homesteader who’d like to have vegetables and fruits in the garden. If you’re growing potatoes, you can do so much with them. You can make baked potatoes, mashed potatoes, scalloped potatoes, and even homemade fries. It makes perfect sense to start planting the seeds to get them to grow.
How to Grow Potatoes Anywhere
How To Prepare Garden Potatoes for Long Term Storage
Like growing lettuce and potatoes, it’s not too hard to grow onions. You can use them in lots of recipes, making them a great crop to have on your land.
How to Grow Scallions in Your Backyard
These are just three of the many crops you can start growing as a homesteader. As you gain more experience and become more comfortable, you can grow other things. It’s all about what you’d like to have on your land. Always choose plants that are useful to you in some way or another.
Be Willing to Get Up Earlier in the Morning
Homesteaders have a lot to handle, which often means they get up earlier in the morning to get it all done. If you’ve got animals on the land, they’re going to depend on you for their morning feedings. You may have some crops that need watering or immediate attention upon waking up. Sure, it might take some time to adjust to an earlier schedule, but you’ll eventually enjoy it. You’ll have time to get things done before the heat of the day while enjoying the fresh air and quiet.
Dirty Little Homestead Secrets the Crap You Don’t Hear About
Bring Animals on Your Land
While animals aren’t a requirement, they’re good to have on your land when you’re a homesteader. It doesn’t mean that you need to have a huge farm full of animals, but you can start with chickens.
Having chickens on the land is ideal because they’ll produce eggs that you can use when baking and cooking. If you get the right breed, you’ll have friendly animals to care for as pets. Chickens are independent animals that like roaming around the land. They’re harmless creatures that you’ll fall in love with immediately.
If you feel comfortable enough with having other animals on the land, you might want to bring in some heifers. The female cows will produce milk that you can use. You wouldn’t need to buy milk from the store when you’ve got dairy cows producing it for you.
If you don’t have a lot of land there are still options like:
Learn to Preserve What You Grow Through the Canning Process
Start learning the canning process. You can preserve many of the fruits and vegetables you’re growing by canning them. Some canning techniques are simple and require just a water bath. However, it does depend on what you’re preserving. If you’re planning to preserve different types of meat, you’ll need to use a pressure canning process.
You can quickly start canning many things, including jams and pie filling that you might like making from scratch. If you’re canning, you’ll no longer need to buy canned foods from the grocery store.
- Pressure Canning vs. Water Bath Canning
- Water Bath Canning 101
- Common Canning Mistakes
- 75 Free Canning Recipes
I would also recommend learning how to dehydrate foods – it takes up a lot less space than canning does.
- Food Dehydrators What You Need to Know
- Ground Beef Jerky Recipe
- How to Make Dehydrated Oranges
- DIY Dehydrated Chicken Feet for Dogs
Improve Your Sewing Skills
Sewing is one good skill you should possess as a homesteader. Many homesteaders enjoy sewing clothes and other garments. While this doesn’t mean you have to make your own clothes and never buy anything from a store again, it does mean you can get creative and save money over time.
If you don’t know how to sew, but you’d like to be a homesteader, it’s an excellent time to learn. Although it looks complicated, sewing is quite simple. It’s even easier when you have a reliable sewing machine to use.
Use Your Creative Side to Have Success as a Homesteader
If you want to be successful as a homesteader, you’ll need to get your creative juices flowing. Homesteaders are creative individuals who come up with solutions for different situations that may arise.
Get Good at Repurposing
One way to use your creative side as a homesteader is to learn how to repurpose different things. If you’ve got old plastic or glass containers from products you’ve bought in the past, you can peel off labels, clean them out, and reuse them for storage and gardening. If you start repurposing things, you’ll create new, innovative items from old items.
10 Items Homesteaders Should Never Throw Away
Make Compost Instead of Buying It
Homesteaders often prepare compost from kitchen scraps, tree branches, and other items they can find. It’s good to use compost when you’re growing assorted plants, but it’s even better if you can make it on the land instead of going out to buy it.
Become a Homesteader in No Time
It takes hard work to live life as a homesteader. If you don’t mind getting up early to tend to your land, going out to take care of animals and crops in any weather, and being more self-sufficient, it’s for you. While it can take a bit of time to get used to this new way of living, you’ll grow to love it.
Nothing feels better than knowing you can grow fruits and vegetables, maintain animals, and repurpose old items to save money and depend less on local stores for the necessities. Do you think you have what it takes to be a homesteader?