As stay-at-home orders across the nation continue, homesteading has seen a resurgence as people look for ways to save money, make the best of periodic shortages of food and supplies, or fill their new free time.
Homesteading is the practice of self-sufficiency, and can range from home gardening to raising your own meat sources. Homesteading and permaculture can go hand in hand, as both lead to sustainable living, have positive effects on the environment, and promote a culture of community giving. There are many benefits of home steading that are great to carry with you long past this pandemic. Homesteading:
- Is healthier for you because you will eat less processed foods, and more fresh vegetables. Not to mention, your homegrown food will taste better.
- Teaches valuable skills, like gardening, how to repair items instead of replacing, and budgeting and frugality.
- Allows you to give back. Want the garden, but don’t want to preserve extras? Share the produce with your neighbors, or donate to a local food bank.
There are several things you can do to begin homesteading in an affordable way, and without having to make complete lifestyle changes. Even making some of these small changes will still give the benefits of homesteading.
- Start a garden. Gardening doesn’t have to be complicated. Pick a few of your favorite foods that grow well in your climate. If you are limited on space, look into container gardens. Greenhouses are a way to increase your production, and allow you to grow year round if you have the space and resources.
- Learn how to sew. This is not only a useful skill for making masks to wear when you go out, you can repair clothing to extend its life, or learn how to upcycle thrift shop clothes to give them a second life.
- Learn baking basics. Sandwich bread is cheap and easy to make, usually costing just cents per loaf.
- Join a homesteading community. Learn tips to get you started, get support from experienced homesteaders, and obtain plant trimmings that can be used to start your own garden.
- Get chickens. Once your coop is up and running, most chickens can produce one egg per day. Although owning chickens isn’t necessarily less expensive than buying eggs, there are several other skills gained from it, and most cities will allow you to own up to 6 chickens, no farm land required.
- Begin composting. Composting reduces food waste going to landfills, and provides excellent soil for your home garden.
For more tips on homesteading and rediscovering the joy of a healthier, greener, and more self-sufficient lifestyle, check out the Back to Basics book on Amazon.
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