By Abbagail at Sage & Shepherd Ranch
To some homesteading may seem like a faraway dream only to be attained when you have much more life experience and 100 acres. Well, think again! I am here to tell you that you can homestead no matter where you live.
Homesteading is much more than farming and owning land. It’s becoming a little more self-sufficient and connected with your food - and anyone can do it.
I want to help everyone bring a little homestead goodness into their life - inspiring and teaching small ways you can live your farm life even if you don’t have a cow or have 100 acres.
Below are some simple tips to help you get started with homesteading no matter where you live:
- Stock Up & Save In Season
You might have a garden full of strawberries or you might not have anything growing, but don’t let that stop you because everyone has access to a farmers’ market or an organic section at the grocery store! When fruits or vegetables are in season, they are usually less expensive, therefore making it easier to buy in bulk.
For example, strawberries are more expensive in January, because they come from who knows where and travel 2000 km. While in the summer, every farmers’ market will have large baskets at a super great price. This is when you buy 10 baskets and preserve them. You can freeze them for smoothies in the winter or make some strawberry jam. Use this trick with any fruit or veggie - especially tomatoes for sauce!
- Buy Or Rent A Chicken
Chickens are one of the easiest animals to start with when starting to homestead. They don’t need a ton of space if you are only getting 2-3 chickens, plus that gives 2 -3 eggs a day. If you do have a back garden, then getting a small chicken coop put together is very affordable.
If you don’t have any space at all for chickens, you could ask a friend or family member to see they will allow you to borrow a little spot of land that you can tend to your chickens on. Be sure it’s super close to your house so that you can easily do your chores.
Another, even easier step, also would be to find a local, organic farmer who has eggs for purchase.
- Buy Meat From A Farmer
Raising grass-fed meat is usually not the first thing one does when they start homesteading, as large livestock require a high upfront cost, lots of space, and time.
So don’t fret if you don’t have land, the next best thing is to find a local farmer that can raise it for you. This reduces your carbon footprint, supports the local economy, and gives you healthy meat!! Most people shy away from eating meat altogether after watching scary documentaries, but if you find meat that is local, grass-fed, and humanely raised, eating meat is healthy and you will end up with a superior product.
- Start A Vegetable Garden
Whether you have a balcony, a small backyard, or an acre, you can start a garden!! Starting with some sort of container whether it be a pot or a raised beds is one of the easiest ways to start a garden. Choose some crops that you eat the most and that are easy to grow. A couple of favourites are lettuce, kale, tomatoes, carrots, radishes, etc.
If you don’t have any access to land, again refer to friends, family, or anyone that can offer up a garden patch for you to plant in. Often communities will have community gardens that you can rent out as well!
Checking on what has grown every morning is one of my favourite things to do each day. Seeing the progress and harvesting your own bounty (even if its small) is a great feeling. You’re contributing to your own dinner plate!
- Make OneThing At Home That You Would Usually Buy
This is a good one, and perhaps a challenging one for some people. Getting your hands dirty and creating something is super invigorating. It allows you to go back to simpler times and create something more natural and with your own hands!
Some examples of stuff you could try making are lip balm, cookies, candles, bread, your favourite meal, jam, etc. Even though it may be out of your comfort zone, I encourage you to try it, because once finished, not only will you feel proud - and thankful for the people who do it every day - but you might have even saved a few pounds too!
Thanks for reading!!
About Sage & Shepherd Farm
S&S Farm is run by husband and wife, Abbagail & Mackenzie. We started with a few chickens for ourselves, and then we fell in love with the ability to control where our food comes from and the act of farming itself. We raise our animals in a regenerative manner which means we sequester carbon, build topsoil, rotationally graze animals holistically and mimic nature as much as possible.