The new year brings a welcome of new opportunities, excitement, and for many a drive to accomplish new things. As people grow more and more disenchanted with social media, technology, and the “constant connection” the movement toward homesteading has become bigger than ever. If you’re considering homesteading here are 5 tips to help you start homesteading no matter how big or small your space is.
Consider Your Food Source
Where does your food come from? It’s easy to go on auto pilot and head to the grocery store without a second thought about where your food is actually coming from. Make a conscious effort to avoid this and become focused on choosing food options that support healthy, sustainable, and smart growing, farming, and business. I used to love shopping at Walmart for everything but the more I learned about homesteading, paid attention to food quality, and noticed how exceptionally long fruits and veggies would last (we’re talking about an apple left outside for over 2 months with zero decay) I realized I need to make a drastic change in my food sources. I’ve switched to buying produce mostly local or at Publix and just recently found a place to buy local meat that I haven’t yet had the chance to visit. While I’m a budgeter at heart and strongly focused on reaching a debt free lifestyle I have realized that investing in my health and wellness shouldn’t be a negotiable, so I’m now willing to spend more to fill my body with healthier foods. Shop local when you can. It improved your immunity more than foods brought in from other areas while also assisting your local economy instead of just large corporations.
Focus on Zero Waste
Through my homesteading journey, I have become acutely aware of the problems we as humans have caused our environment through single use items and a wasteful over abundance of foods that end up in the trash. Whenever you have leftovers from a meal freeze or refrigerate them. While shopping be conscious of how much plastic you are consuming and realize that it’s not necessary to put produce in a plastic bag and that their are other alternatives to plastic shopping bags. Regularly make sure to eat through your fridge and pantry before running to the store to buy more items. This will help limit or eliminate the number of times food even has to opportunity to expire in your home.
Grow Your Own Herbs
One of my favorite things in the world is a windowsill covered with fresh herbs. Plant seeds to grow them yourself or run to your local farm or supply store and buy some fresh herbs. It’s cheaper than purchasing them regularly at the store, helps improve the air quality in your home and it is believed that having fresh plants in your home improves mood and health. It’s a simple way to care and grow your homestead without a huge financial investment or the need for a large piece of land.
Get a “pet”
Normally, there aren’t really true “pets” on a homestead. We have 2 dogs and each serve a specific purpose on our homestead (one for protection, one as a running partner). While they don’t directly contribute a product to our homestead they do contribute. Which makes them glorified pets. If a dog isn’t your thing get a cat to keep mice away, chickens for eggs, meat, and food leftover consumption, a pig, a goat, or even a cow. If all of them won’t work in your homestead get yourself some fish that you can grow big enough to eat or come up with some type of creative animal based option that can add to your growing homestead.
Join In, In Your Community
One of my biggest, personal, homesteading goals for 2019 is to work on getting more involved in our community. In our area we have local gardens to participate in, community events to volunteer at, animal shelters, homeless shelters, church events, and dozens of other ways that can help “give back” while also starting and strengthening relationships with those in the area. A large part of homesteading is community involvement so find something that works for you, get involved, and stick to it. You’ll become amazed at what you can learn, how you can grow, and the many unforeseen blessings of such a simple gesture.
Have more simple and easy tips for others to begin homesteading in 2019? Share in the comments! I’d love to hear your thoughts, ideas, and what you did at the start of your homesteading journey.