Homesteading has so many different aspects. No one homesteader does it all, and that’s okay. So many of us add a little bit every year, whether it is making a new food from scratch, or a new animal on the homestead, or working towards moving off-grid. Homesteading is always working towards self-sufficiency in one aspect or another. This is by no means a full list, but here’s the A to Z of a New Homestead.
Homemade bread is a popular place to start for many aspiring homesteaders. The day this blog started, there was a fresh loaf of fresh bread cooling on the kitchen counter. Here’s a great recipe for every beginner homesteader.
Chickens are “gateway livestock” for many people. A small coop shows up in the backyard with just a few hens, and before you know it, the property is a full blown homestead with a garden and goats and chickens and, and, and…
Dehydrating is a wonderful way to preserve herbs, fruits, and veggies. I personally love dehyrating banana chips for a healthy snack.
Eggs, those glorious little bites of deliciousness you receive from those backyard chickens. So healthy and so useful! Check out all these wonderful recipes for all those tasty eggs.
A farm. The dream of many homesteaders. Lots of land with the idyllic red barn on the horizon. Backyard farms are growing in popularity every year as people discover farming isn’t out of reach even if you don’t own 400 acres of rolling land.
A small garden in the backyard is a great way to start on the road to self-sufficiency. There are not many things as rewarding as eating freshly picked veggie that you grew from a small seed.
Homesteading may have started out as “free land” from the government, giving people the chance to start fresh and settle the country, but the self-sufficient spirit of the homesteader lives on. We may not be able to get the “free land” anymore, but the modern homesteader cooks from scratch, has chickens, gardens, sews, and so much more.
I- Idlewild Alaska
A great example of a modern Alaskan homestead 😉
Jaring or canning is a wonderful way our ancestors preserved their harvest. Going much further than homemade jams and jellies, a homesteader’s pantry will be filled with home canned fruits, veggies, soups, sauces, broth, and so much more. Learning the basics of water bath canning and pressure canning goes a long way on a homesteader’s resume.
Knitting, crocheting, and sewing are not only pleasant pass times, but providing socks, hats, scarves, gloves, clothing, and many more items made well and with love for your friends and family can be very rewarding. Selling these homemade items can also be a great way to bring in some extra income to the homestead.
L- Line Drying
Freshly laundered clothing hanging on the line gently waving in the breeze just screams “Americana” to many people, taking people back to their roots. Not only is it a return to a simple life, but it helps with the modern homesteaders electric bill too!
Many homesteaders dream of making their own freshly churned butter with fresh, raw milk from their own dairy cow. Some dream of homemade cheese from their own goat. (Mmmmm… cheese….) Raw milk is another step towards a simple life many people dream of.
The homesteading road often starts with the desire to remove harmful chemicals from their and their family’s life. Whether its homemade cleaning products, homemade laundry detergent, or eating only organic foods, getting back to a natural life is a large part of homesteading.
Not all homesteaders live off the grid. Some do and some wish they did and some are actively working towards it. Just because some people live on urban homesteads, doesn’t make them any less a “homesteader.” With that said, the hubby and I would love to live completely off the grid- to be completely self-sufficient.
If you have the chance to start from scratch, but even if you aren’t, permaculture is a wonderful homesteading method well worth looking into before you finalize your plans. Working with nature, permaculture will help you work towards a self-sufficient life. Learn more about permaculture HERE.
Quilting (and sewing in general) is another one of those hobbies that comes with wonderful rewards. The hubby and I received a quilt made by my grandmother as a wedding gift, and we love it. Quilts are often handed down through generations. Not only are they loved and beautiful, but they are a wonderful way to stay warm in the winter, curled up with a good book in front of a roaring fire.
R- Root Cellar
In another step back to a simple life, root cellars are a wonderful addition to any homestead. A cool place to preserve your harvest for the winter, both veggies and canned goods, many homesteads have modern versions of this wonderful tradition.
The goal of a homesteader. Some only wish to be self-sufficient in cooking from scratch or in every part of their life. Keeping self-sufficiency in perspective will help you keep homesteading from being overwhelming.
T- Tiny House
The tiny house craze seems to be sweeping the nation lately. I love the idea of not too much area to clean, but at 6′, the hubby wants his space, not that I blame him. A tiny house is a great way to minimize your footprint and avoid outrageous mortgages.
U- Ungrocery List
I love this idea, the “ungrocery list.” (Thanks, Just Plain Marie!) Instead of buying all the convenience foods at the grocery store, homesteaders often instead strive to make these “convenience” foods from scratch.
Apple cider vinegar is one of those homemade foods that is so easy to make. We started making our own a couple years ago and love it. Not only is it REALLY good for you, it tastes so much better than the store bought version. Get our “recipe” HERE.
We have two woodstoves to heat our little cabin. I love not having to rely on heating oil to keep our cabin warm. Getting firewood is hard work, but it is well worth it.
Okay, so its not so easy to come up with a word that begins with X for homesteading… Along with “Natural,” many homesteaders are working towards removing toxins in their life. They also strive towards removing man made toxins from the earth, by being good stewards of the earth.
Many modern homesteaders have YouTube channels. I’ve learned so much from many of these videos, and they can help you out too. Check out this list!
Z- Zombie Apocalypse
Because we all know this is the real reason we all have a homestead 😉