Homesteading 101

As we’ve worked on renovating our farm and making plans for the future, our major focus has been to learn to live with less. We’ve spent a lot of our time learning new skills like gardening and upcycling. When we started, we had no idea that what we were doing was homesteading!  Of course, now that we know, it makes Google and Pinterest searches much easier.  😉
I’m pretty sure I’ve read every list out there on the top 10, 12, 15 skills you need to start homesteading, so I wanted to share with you some reasons to homestead and some places to get started.
Once upon a time, homesteading referred to the granting of public lands to families for farming at little to no cost. In recent years, the word has taken on a new meaning and refers to a life of self-sufficiency. There are as many ways to homestead as there are people doing it, but the gist of it is to reduce your footprint and consume less by using your skills to grow, to create, or to recycle what you need to live.
For some, homesteading means having a family garden, a few chickens, and making your own clothes. For others, it involves living in a tiny house and living completely off the land. Since we’re vegan, there won’t be any need for dairy cows or chickens, but one of our goals is definitely to grow everything we eat right here. We’re planning to start small with a simple raised bed garden and a shipping container greenhouse. We’ll also be planting some fruit trees.

I’m already putting my cooking skills to work baking our bread and making as much of our food and condiments from scratch as I can, given that our kitchen is still a gutted hole in the house! Once the kitchen is complete and we once again have a normal sized fridge and freezer, we’ll be freezing fruits and veggies and canning jellies and sauces.
As renovations move forward, we’re building in as many off-the-grid things as we can and using recycled materials as much as possible. All of our lighting is solar-powered, and our insulation is made of recycled demin.
The two projects we’re most excited about are upcycling pallets into furniture, fencing, and other useful items and upcycling clothes into things like pillows, purses, and dresses. We currently have plans to make most of our furniture.  What we don’t make, we’ll be making new from old furniture that needs a face lift. Eventually, we’ll have a house and a guest apartment to furnish and decorate, so there will be a lot of building and sewing in our future!
Here are a few cool resources we’ve found along the way:

What are you doing to homestead? What would you like to learn how to do in the future?

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