Simple Tips for Becoming a Homesteader
Have you ever thought about just how much you rely on other people to live your life? You probably purchase most of your food from a grocery store that is supplied by farmers and food manufacturers. When you need clothes, you simply head to the nearest retail store. You even rely on the city or country where you live to provide basic necessities like heat, water, and electricity. If you like the idea of striking out on your own and becoming more self-reliant, consider homesteading.
Tips for Getting Started with Homesteading
In the broadest sense of the term, a homesteader is someone who lives a largely self-sufficient lifestyle. Homesteaders typically grow or raise their own food and they may even make their own clothes. In today’s modern age, the homesteader can take advantage of natural resources like wind or solar power instead of relying on utilities. It can take quite a while to become completely self-sufficient but the tips below will help you get started with homesteading:
- Refocus your priorities – start to make choices based on practicality and functionality rather than comfort or aesthetics.
- Set small, reachable goals that can be attained within a specific timeframe – for example, aim to cultivate a garden that completely meets your needs for vegetables.
- Plan ahead by saving up money to use during your transition into homesteading – you should also think about ways to make money to pay for supplies you cannot produce yourself.
- Keep your expenses as low as possible – do as much as you can yourself instead of hiring someone and get creative in figuring out ways to meet your needs.
- Create a contingency plan for emergencies – stock an emergency supply kit and first aid kit to use in case a disaster strikes and you cannot get help.
Raising and Storing Your Own Food
As a homesteader, one of your primary concerns will be growing or raising enough food to feed yourself and your family. Cultivating a large garden will help to meet your needs for fruits, vegetables, and herbs but you also need to think about things like eggs, milk, and meat. When it comes to raising livestock, chickens are a good place to start because they are fairly easy to care for and they will provide you with eggs. Goats are another great option for homesteaders because they can be used for milk and meat – plus, they will eat just about anything so they are fairly easy to care for.
In addition to producing your own food as a homesteader, you will also need to learn how to store it. Unless you live in a warm climate, you will need to grow enough food in the summer and fall to last you through the winter. Canning is a great option for fruits and vegetables – you can also store cooked meats as long as you store it properly. Fermentation is another method of food preservation that is fairly easy to achieve and it can actually increase the nutritional value of the foods you are fermenting. You should also keep a supply of dried herbs on hand to use throughout the year.
Medicine and Natural Remedies
Depending how isolated you are, you may not have access to an emergency room or even basic medical care. Fortunately, there are many natural remedies out there that you can use to treat minor health problems like colds, fever, and flu. For example, a warm tea made with lemon juice and honey will help to soothe a sore throat and other cold symptoms. Turmeric can be useful in reducing fever, and both cinnamon and cloves can be used to relieve flu symptoms. Before you become a homesteader, you would be wise to take a first aid and CPR course so you will learn how to treat minor injuries. You may also want to keep a book about survival medicine on hand, just in case.
Becoming a homesteader is a great way to increase your self-sufficiency but it is not for everyone. It takes a lot of courage and preparation to separate yourself from modern amenities but, if you are able to achieve it, you will find that it is very rewarding as well.