One of the advantages to homesteading is not having to rely on others for basic needs. Learning to grow a garden, raise animals and preserve food are all just pieces of the process that goes into a rewarding experience.
If you’re new to homesteading or have already made your start, the best way to make progress is to learn from others’ experience. By discovering tested and true ways to succeed, you’ll get the most out of your homestead.
1. Keep Things Simple
Homesteaders take to heart the idea that working for money isn’t the best way to spend one’s time. Instead, they want to spend their time providing for their own needs directly.
The goal of homesteading is to be self-sufficient. Your goal should be focusing on how to make things functional rather than pretty. You need to learn how to be satisfied with letting go of material things you don’t genuinely need. If you can be content with this concept, you’ll have the necessary mindset to move ahead with homesteading.
2. Use Sustainable Energy
Just like any home, your homestead will need electricity. One great way to reduce expenses and reliance on energy companies is to invest in sustainable energy. Wind, solar and geothermal are all some of the most used renewable energy sources and are easily accessible.
The energy source you ultimately decide on will be determined by the climate you live in. For example, if you live in a colder climate that doesn’t get much sunlight, solar power may not be your best option.
3. Collect Rainwater
While water use is easy to overlook, more than 1.2 billion people lack clean drinking water, with fresh water becoming more scarce across the globe. It’s an incredibly valuable resource to have on hand. If you live in a climate where rain is sparse, collecting water is great for a garden that can die in just seven days without water.
Before collecting water, be sure to read your local laws and regulations regarding the preservation of water. Some states may require you to get a permit, which is typically cheap.
4. Grow Your Own Food
There are heaps of benefits to growing your own food, but most homesteaders find the ability to provide for their family’s needs as the most important. With a self-sustaining homestead, you can skip out on the grocery store and even save money.
Growing your food is also a great way to regulate what you put in your body. In your garden, you can decide on the types of pesticides and fertilizers used, allowing you to cut down on your intake of potentially harmful chemicals.
5. Learn to Can
In 1858, John Mason invented the Mason Jar, sparking a popular food preservation method called canning. Not only is canning safe and effective, but it’s also very affordable.
The canning process can be used to preserve almost any type of food, including:
You start the process by filling a glass jar with your desired food. Once sealed, the jar is placed in heated water and put under pressure. This kills any microorganisms that can cause illness or spoilage. Once removed from the water, the air inside the jar compress and seals the contents off. Once the jar cools down, it can be stored and enjoyed later.
6. Set Realistic Goals
As even the experts will tell you, homesteading is hard. You are going to make mistakes and learn a thing or two along the way. Don’t be afraid to keep looking ahead and dreaming about what will come next. The worst thing you can do is let fear overcome your desires.
The best way to stay motivated and see results is to set realistic goals. Decide what you want out of homesteading, both short-term and long-term. If you’re new to the game, start with something small, like a garden or a flock of chickens. Once you feel like you’ve successfully adapted, move on to your next goal.
Life on the Homestead
You can’t turn your home into a homestead overnight. It’s an ongoing process, one that’s going to have its up and downs.
When things get overwhelming, try to remember what drew you to homesteading in the first place. Maybe it was your connection with nature or the desire to be self-sufficient. Whatever it is, remind yourself why you choose this journey and why it’s worth it.
Kacey Bradley is the blogger behind The Drifter Collective, an eclectic lifestyle blog that expresses various forms of style through the influence of culture and the world around us. Along with writing for her blog, she has written for sites like U.S. News, SUCCESS, Guides for Brides, Hotel Online and more!