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Homesteading is a great way to get back to basics, save money, and live sustainably. However, as a beginner, it can be challenging to know where to start. 

Do you dream of growing your food, cooking meals from scratch, and living a more sustainable lifestyle? Homesteading is a way of life that focuses on being self-sufficient, sustainable, and connected to the land. It involves growing food, raising animals, and reducing dependence on others to live a fulfilling and independent life.

To help you on your journey, we’ve created this beginner’s guide to homesteading. From gardening and food preservation to raising livestock, this guide will provide you with ideas to help kickstart your homesteading journey.

Research and Plan 

Before you begin your homesteading journey, it is best to research and plan out your goals. During this phase, consider factors like the layout of your land, local regulations, the types of crops or animals you want to raise, and the infrastructure you need to build. 

a field of green grass with residential houses

You should also decide if you plan on living on-grid or partially off-grid, or completely off-grid, and how you plan on financing this new decision of yours. 

One of the best ways to make a great plan is by reading and learning about homesteading from experts. This will help you decide which aspects you want to experiment with and which you want to avoid. 

Two highly recommended books to get you started are “The Self-Sufficient Backyard” and “The First-Time Homesteader: A Complete Beginner’s Guide.”

Plan Your Garden

Planning a garden is a great way to begin homesteading. Depending on where you live, you may be able to create a garden in your backyard or start with seeds in a plant pot indoors. 

vegetable garden with flowers and plants

The great thing about gardening is that even if you live in an apartment, you can still create a small garden on the window sill or in containers. If you’re new to gardening, select vegetables suitable for your climate, start small, and gradually expand your garden each year.

Start a Compost Pile out of Kitchen Scraps

Creating a compost system is a simple homesteading project you can start as a beginner. You can even compost in an apartment – and you don’t have to use worms. 

If you have a backyard and/or a garden bed, you can construct a turning bin and compost pile to benefit your garden directly. 

adding fresh peelings of vegetables and fruits to a compost

For those of us living in cities without access to yards, there’s good news! Many major cities in the US offer compost programs as part of their waste management services. This allows you to put your food waste to good use and contribute to sustainable practices.

Learn How to Cook From Scratch

Cooking from scratch is an essential skill that can help you become more self-sufficient. You can begin with simple recipes like homemade bread, yogurt, or granola bars. 

By making your own food, you have control over the ingredients used in your recipes. You can also save money and reduce your reliance on store-bought items. 

cutting spices

Plus, it’s a great way to explore your creativity in the kitchen and enjoy delicious homemade meals.

Construct a Coop

Raising backyard chickens is one of the affordable ways for most homesteaders to start with farm animals. However, you will need a secure coop to protect them from predators. 

If you can’t build one yourself or hire a contractor, you can repurpose a used shed or other items like containers or pallets. Ensure the coop has good airflow, and secure any openings with wood or hardware cloth to protect your chickens from raccoons. 

Purchase a Few Chicks

If you’re allowed to have chickens where you live, start with a few chicks. Many homesteaders begin with baby chickens because they’re small and easy to raise. 

a group of baby chickens in a box

If you can’t have chickens, consider breeding bunnies instead. Bunnies have been a successful option for many individuals getting into homesteading. They breed quickly and provide sustainable food, fur, and manure for composting and fertilizing your garden. 

Make Soap at Home

Soap making is another homesteading project you can explore even as a beginner. And the best part is that you can create a large quantity of it in a single afternoon, enough to provide your home with soap or even generate a homestead income. 

If you’re new to soap making, you can start with methods like cold process or melt-and-pour and even try different natural ingredients and scents to make your soap unique. 

Learn How to Sew

Knowing how to sew used to be a common household skill. Today, it is not quite as common. 

Learning to sew by hand or with a sewing machine is an important homekeeping skill to have. Sewing can allow you to fix clothes, make quilts, and create new garments. 

a person is sewing a piece of fabric with a button on it

You can even make special Christmas stockings for sale or knit a hat for your mom’s birthday instead of telling her sweet wishes. Start with easy projects and practice to get better. 

Sewing helps you save money, be more independent, and add a creative touch to your home.

Learn How to Preserve Food 

Once you start to harvest food and vegetables from your homestead garden, you may need to find ways to preserve them. Food preservation helps to keep them fresh for longer. 

Learning how to preserve food helps you keep your homestead garden produce from spoiling. And you can try different easy methods, like canning, freezing, fermenting, drying, and freeze drying. 

Make Your Skin Products

Making your skincare products is a homesteading project idea worth exploring. Homemade skincare products can be quite cost-effective and give you complete control over the ingredients added to your products. Whether it’s for dry skin, acne, or sun damage, you can add ingredients that work best for your skin. 

a person holding a jar of cream in their hand

Make Your DIY Household Cleaners

Now is a perfect time to start making your cleaning supplies if you haven’t already! You can use simple ingredients like vinegar, rubbing alcohol, and lemon to create homemade cleaning solutions that will leave your house sparkling clean. 

Not only are they easy and affordable, but they’re also better for the environment than using store-bought cleaners. You’ll be glad you tackled this winter weekend project when you start your spring cleaning.

Practice Knitting and Crocheting 

If you enjoy knitting and crocheting, now is the perfect time to start. You can create various things, like hats, scarves, or blankets. Plus, it’s an excellent opportunity to make thoughtful gifts to give to friends and loved ones during Christmas. 

crocheting

In Conclusion 

Homesteading is becoming more and more popular, with many people finding it to be an ideal way of life. But, it may not be for everyone. If you’re willing to put in effort, homesteading can be highly rewarding. 

The good news is that you don’t need much to start your journey toward self-sufficiency. Simply choose how you want to begin, make use of our homesteading monthly ideas, and watch your small steps accumulate over time.

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