Start Homesteading Now

| June/July 2006

  • homestead, homestead farm, country home, country house, rural living, rural retreat


  • homestead, homestead farm, country home, country house, rural living, rural retreat
Although many people dream of buying several acres in the country, sometimes it's more practical to start homesteading where you are.

Heidi Hunt, an assistant editor at Mother Earth News who homesteaded on a farm in northeastern Washington, recommends learning as many homesteading skills as possible before moving to a place in the country. 'Planting, harvesting and preserving food are skills that can be practiced almost anywhere,' Hunt says.

In fact, many aspects of homesteading work as well in the city as in the country. Installing solar panels, building with straw bales, heating with wood, collecting rainwater and even raising chickens are all possible in the city or suburbs. Just be careful to check all relevant zoning and local ordinances before you get started.

Whatever your homesteading plans, Hunt says it's important to focus on your priorities. Decide which parts of the dream are most important to you. 'Learn the skills and find out what's involved. Each new homesteading activity requires new tools and skills, as well as a certain amount of money and energy,' she says.

Some of these activities require more money and time than others ? another reason why it's a good idea to start with smaller projects, such as learning to garden before buying farmland, or doing some basic home repairs before deciding to build your own home.

If you pursue larger projects, there are many ways to learn more about your interests. For potential farmers, apprenticeships and volunteer opportunities on organic farms can be invaluable. Renewable energy workshops around the country help people learn about small-scale solar or wind power. To learn about building, options range from volunteering with Habitat for Humanity to attending natural building workshops. For a list of homesteading resources, see Plan the Perfect Homestead in the April/May 2006 issue of Mother Earth News.

terri sullivan
7/15/2007 12:00:00 AM

How necessary is it to be self sufficent and is it really possible? We want to, however, we have not had good luck growing even tomatoes in pots, and certainly do not have a green thumb. I love to freeze veggies, etc. Also, are generators something that is a good investment for these times. I have spoken with some people about being prepared, homesteading, etc. they are not at all worried, they said that they prepared for Y2K and nothing happened and they actually wasted stuff. I am for sure wanting all of the info I can get on the above questions. Thanks Terri

mike plitnick
6/16/2007 12:00:00 AM

hi,just taking a chance.looking for a few acres to live on and bowhunt out of the way,in ia or anywhere i can make a living?

bobbie fowler
5/24/2007 12:00:00 AM

no comment really. just looking for information on how to get started homesteading. need all info, from where to find land to what i need to do to get it. anything at all is helpful.


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