Make a choice for homestead That’s the Best for Your Family.

Make a choice for homestead That’s the Best for Your Family

You decided that you want to begin living a more self-sufficient life and consider giving homesteading a shot. You must figure out what your options are, and which one would suit your family best. You want to ensure that your goals and the resources you can acquire for your homestead are as congruent as possible.

  • Suppose you live in the city and don’t wish to completely forgo some of the conveniences that it offers but want to grow your food and have a few chickens lying around Like family A in New York.
    • In that case, you may want to consider staying in your current neighborhood and having a backyard homestead.
    • This would allow you to change your lifestyle in the areas that matter most to you (in this case, self-sufficient nutrition) while not having to necessarily forgo the things that are productive and conducive to your desired lifestyle.
  • Suppose you want to immerse yourself in the full homesteading experience, perhaps with larger animals, gardens, and alternative energy sources like family B and C.
    • In that case, you may want to consider doing a homestead in a less urban or more rural area, as these would provide you with your land requirements.
    • You want to guarantee your family’s well-being.

Deciding to start a homestead when you just had a newborn child may be an adventure to some and a complete disaster to others. Uprooting your life and taking your teenage children to Wyoming after living in New Jersey may or may not be the best thing to do at that time.

  1. Sit down with your family and gauge everyone’s needs. Decide what would work best at that given moment and what would be beneficial in the long term.
  2. Once you have laid out your plans, pick what type of homesteading you will be doing, and decided where you will be staying, you can begin to organize your finances.
  3. You want to be in a place where you are saving enough for the purchases you intend to make and try to be as debt free as possible.
  4. A person deciding to move across the country to build a homestead from scratch will have a vastly different budgeting plan compared to someone who wants to start a backyard homestead.
  5. This is a different journey for everyone, and about your brand of self-sufficiency. Do what benefits you and your family, and make sure you are making decisions that are fueled by practicality and passion.

I. How to Set Up Your Home

You have started your homesteading project and are excited about all the animals and plants you will introduce to your land.

  • Ensure that you have moved in completely before beginning any long-term projects that will require your time, dedication, and effort.
    • Growing a garden and bringing animals onto your land is a journey, and you want to be able to dedicate as much of your time to learning and perfecting yourself in your new lifestyle.
    • The last thing you want is to figure out that you did not take enough time to contemplate the design and functionality of certain areas in your household because you were too preoccupied with getting seeds and buying chickens.
  • If you already live in a house that you simply have added a homestead to, then you may need to give yourself some time to make your house more homestead friendly.
    • You will likely have access to more food, and this food will require storage spaces.
    • You want to be able to get creative about where things can go so that your produce and animals blend in seamlessly with your current setup, as opposed to making everything highly confusing.
  • If you have moved into a new homestead, with a home or without, you want to either build or renovate areas like the kitchen, where most of the food would be laid out.

In both scenarios, you want to scope out as much space as you can for your animals, make their shelters, and secure their safety before bringing any home.

  • You want to observe your land for at least a year and become genuinely acquainted with how your landscape functions.
  • You want to get to know your neighbors and forge supportive connections with them.
  • You want to build your fences and get your family involved with everything.
  • You want to settle in slowly but intelligently, allowing yourself and your family members to acclimate and learn how to manage their newfound way of living.

II. Planting the Garden

You have finally started your garden and want to get started growing.

  • Figure out what types of foods your family would enjoy eating and start planting them.
    • You can also plant things that would be great to sell since this could provide you with an added income stream, whether from microgreens or perennials (plants that grow annually).
    • You want to get acquainted with the knowledge of knowing your hardiness zone and learn what you can plant in your specific zone and when.
    • You want to know when the last and first frost occurs in your zone so that you can plant your produce at the optimal time.
  • The process of growing your garden is exciting because you can begin exploring what garden type you want or, in some instances, need for your product to thrive.
    • You want to invest in a cold frame and learn how to grow plants throughout the winter, so you have an ample supply of produce throughout the colder months.
    • Learning how to care for your garden becomes an extremely important skill to acquire. It will help you maintain its quality while keeping potential pests and other unwanted elements away.
    • This is the time when you will learn how to fertilize your soil for optimal growth and adopt strategies to keep animals out of your garden, such as growing certain herbs that keep them away or fencing your space appropriately.
    • Gardening is a process that requires maintenance and consistency, so you want to craft a schedule that will help you stay on top of all the monthly, weekly, and seasonal chores that are required to keep your garden thriving.

III. Getting the Animals

Bringing animals into the homestead can be one of the most exciting experiences, but you want to ensure that you are ready to adopt the responsibility.

  • First, it’s important to figure out what kind of animals your homestead’s acreage will allow.  Your land plot and location will determine what animals you can keep and what those animals will be able to provide for you that is of value.
  • Once you have established what animals you will be able to homestead, figure out how you will go about providing shelter for all of them.
  • Different animals will demand different housing, food, and space. Which should be factored in from the beginning.
    • Creating shelters may require fencing in the case of goats, a coop in the case of chickens, and A-frames if you intend on raising pigs.
    • You also want to explore the different ways that you can save money with your animals by growing your feed. If you have a larger land plot, then creating a separate garden that is strictly for animal produce growth may be helpful.
    • You may even want to think about how you dispose of your kitchen scraps, as these could prove to be more useful as animal feed than compost material.
    • You may want to look into growing fodder as well. If you raise animals for meat, then you will want to get acquainted with the butchering process because it is cheaper to do it yourself. Make sure you learn from an expert.
  • Animals like chickens, beef cattle, and ducks can provide excellent sources of meat protein for your family. You will need a day-to-day and month-to-month schedule to take care of your animals. This list of chores will vary depending on the time of the year.

IV. Harvesting and Preserving

The purpose of having a garden is to have it bear fruit. Once you start harvesting, you might find that you have a lot of products that won’t be consumed within the necessary time frame. This is where the preservation of foods can come in handy.

Growing food (at least outdoors) is not feasible when the winter months come around. You want to preserve as much from your harvest as possible, as well as the meat you have acquired from the animals on your farm. This is where a big portion of the creative process of food happens in a homestead.

You can learn to preserve your produce by fermenting, making jams, freezing, infusing, drying, pressure canning, and water bath canning. Learning how to preserve your products will help you make the most out of your garden.

However, preserving is not simply for consumption, as you can also make hygiene products with what your garden provides. Engaging in product creations that bring you joy, and satisfaction makes the process more sustainable, to the point where you can find yourself doing it consistently and generating an extra income source from the sales of your harvest.

V. Think Long-Term

You have your homestead set up, and it’s up and running. Your garden is established and provides your family with food. Your animals are in their designated shelters, and everything seems to be functioning accordingly. It is a great place to be, and you should be proud of yourself for having undergone such a transformative process in your life. However, you want to continue thinking long-term.

The point of having a homestead is to live a life of self-sufficiency. It would be ideal if you could continuously ameliorate your homesteading situation as the years go by to make it as self-sufficient as possible.

Picture a family that raises their cattle and has a plentiful garden.

  • They have become close to 100% self-sufficient in terms of their dietary requirements.
  • They could easily boost this by beginning to use the fruits of their garden to create homemade products or to sell their harvest at a farmer’s market.
  • If this family has a plot of unused land, they can begin renting a portion of their property to other farmers who will gladly pay rent to further their business.
  • This family could decide to prioritize making clothes from the yarn generated by their sheep’s wool. They can find ways to boost their self-sufficiency even further by storing their fuel and water.
  • This would help them buffer against the potential power outages that may occur in their areas and potential droughts.

Nothing screams self-sufficiency like a barter system, in which a homesteader can engage in trade with other neighboring families. This would take away the family’s prioritization of actual money and bring back the focus to the product’s value from a subject standpoint.

Leave a Comment