Homestead Where You Are

So you don’t have land, or livestock, or a garden… How can you start homesteading where you are? What does homesteading mean anyway? Wikipedia says,

Homesteading is a lifestyle of self-sufficiency. It is characterized by subsistence agriculture, home preservation of food, and may also involve the small scale production of textiles, clothing, and craftwork for household use or sale.

homestead cabin drawing
Depiction of an old homestead cabin

A homestead is where a family/person lives off the land, like many people did, as recently as the last century. Homesteading can include raising a milk cow for milk and meat, if necessary. Home preservation of food; growing a garden and storing the harvest in order to eat through the winter. The reason our grandparents grew a garden was to feed their families. THAT is homesteading. 🙂

These people grew gardens with green beans, corn, and tomatoes. They were harvested and canned in jars so the food could safely be stored away for later. Potatoes were grown and stored in cellars under their homes.

Even urban homesteaders could feed off a milk cow, breed her, and grow up the calf to butcher and process it for the family to have meat to eat all year.

There are many ranchers now raising grass fed meat and smaller homesteaders can buy their cow, have it processed, and fill a freezer for the year. Many families buy a cow and split the meat. This can be more affordable for many and easier for those with smaller freezer space. It saves money for all parties and keeps the homesteader from having to keep a cow on their property.

Many people did this, even as recently as the 1950’s… even if they lived close to town. How can you start homesteading where you are?

But how do you homestead where you are if you live in an apartment?

The first step is food! Simply start growing your own vegetables. A tomato plant is the easiest to start with and one plant can produce more tomatoes than you can possibly eat. You can share them with your friends and family or start learning how to can them up in jars for eating later. My father used to say, “If you won’t eat it, then don’t grow it.” But what if you find out that you simply do not care for homegrown green beans, but you enjoy growing them? Make dishes for your friends or can them and use them as gifts.

You can also start growing an herb garden in pots around the house or patio. Many herbs can be used in cooking and also for alternative medicine. Start with some easy ones first. Tickle your families’ taste buds with a homemade soup you made up with your homegrown herbs.

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Homesteading where you are doesn’t mean you have to live out in the country and work the land all day. Just do some planning on the simple things you can make for yourself. Food is an easy choice to start homesteading where you are!

Learn from the friendly squirrel who stores up nuts all summer for the long winter. You really don’t have to grow a garden at all. Just head to the local you-pick-it fields out in the country and pick fresh blueberries and make jelly or store them in the freezer for breads or smoothies.

Buy a bushel of green beans or a bunch of tomatoes from your local farmers market. Then learn how to can them yourself. You could have a pantry full of beautiful jars of food. Food that you stored away yourself. You’ll know exactly what your eating. And you will have taken your first step toward homesteading.

homestead where you are

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"The doctor of the future will give no medicine, but will interest his patient in the care of the human frame, in diet and in the cause and prevention of disease" ~ Thomas Jefferson

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