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Small Homesteading: The Beginner’s Guide

Small homesteading is a great place to begin the homesteading experience. With all the concerns regarding food quality, it is important to know where your food comes from.

My husband and I both grew up growing, preserving, and enjoying our own food. We now have a small homestead of around five acres.

Since we’ve been married (almost 20 years now!), we consistently have a garden, raise some animals, and attempt to learn from the older generation. Homesteading comes with a lot of trial and error, and I hope to share some tips we’ve learned along the way.

One property we had was just a very small yard but were able to raise enough to feed our family pretty well for an entire year! It requires some hard work and dedication, but the joys of knowing that you have contributed to caring for your own family in such a personal way make it all worth it.

What is homesteading?

Homesteading nowadays is not the traditional definition of the government giving away land in exchange for people working the land to earn it.

Homesteading means many different things to different people. In my mind, small homesteading is making a home while trying to be more self-sufficient.

Some common misconceptions people have about homesteading are that you need a large acreage to be successful. While that can be true if you are planning to raise large animals and you want to feed your animals with your own land, it is not necessary.

If you have a windowsill that you can place a planter on, you can get started!

How to get started

Start SMALL! I can’t stress this enough. If you are brand new and have never grown anything, start with one thing in a container.

Herbs in containers are a fantastic way to get started. They take up a small space and can be placed on a balcony or just outside somewhere. You’ll be surprised that even one herb plant can produce more than you can use. Learn about herb container gardening here. 

As far as starting a backyard garden, use a tiller to break up the ground and amend your soil if needed for your garden spot or build raised beds and fill with good soil. My hubby is a stickler for straight rows so he uses a string attached to two stakes at the end of the rows and uses a hoe to make the line to plant seeds or his pepper plants. (If you’re trying to decide whether to use plants or seeds in your garden, check out this post)

If you have space for animals, again start with just one or two to learn how to care for them before branching out. I highly recommend beginning with plants and produce before branching out to animals. You can have animals even on a small homestead. We only have chickens, cats, and dogs right now but would love to get started with goats one day.

Tips for Success in Homesteading

Common Questions/FAQ

What is the first thing I should do?

Do I have to have a large acreage?

What are the best animals to have?

What do I need to do to prepare the ground?

What is the easiest thing to grow?

What is the easiest thing to preserve?

The Last Thing You Need to Know about Homesteading

The Ultimate Beginner's Guide to Homesteading
The Beginner's Guide to Small Homesteading

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