March 28, 2024

How to Start a Homestead

Frugal Living, How to Homestead

Starting a Homestead when you’re already tired and overwhelmed

Are you a mom working paycheck to paycheck, wanting to get out of debt and enjoy your family? I was too.

I realized that if I wanted to put God and family first, I had to stop spending all my time at work. So I created a simplified life plan that allowed me to get out of debt, scale back my career, and still be able to live fruitfully, but with more purpose and time than ever before. And I never looked back.

I will show you how to simplify your home and finances, learn simple routines and personal development, and connect your faith. I’m so grateful you’re here. If you’re ready to create the simplified life you dreamed of, you are in the right place.

Homesteading Primer: Start small

I’ve seen God’s hand in my work and all the other things we’ve been doing, and it’s just been so incredible. Trust that he knows the plan he has for you. We can’t do it on our own, and sometimes, when we think we are doing the right thing, it’s not what he wants us to be doing. Just remember that so many people have told me they would love to homestead but don’t know where to start. I totally understand. If I had jumped in with doing it all at once, I would have felt like I was drowning. Last week we had a tornado and were out of power for 26 hours. Boy does that make you realize how dependent on power we are.

The worst part about it was not having water in the house. Thankfully, we do live on a river for our outdoor needs. Being a nurse, I wash my hands a lot. I didn’t even know how much until we didn’t have water. I had no problem being outside all day and working in the garden because we’re usually outside if it’s nice. But not having water for the plants after I planted them was interesting since the river isn’t right next to our garden. I’m so grateful that my husband put in an underground watering system last year that pumped from the river and automatically turned on and off every day, which has been so lovely, mainly because we’re gone quite a bit. And our garden ended up just beautiful and bountiful last year.

But it wasn’t hooked up at the time of the storm since we just got rid of our snow a few weeks ago, I had some bottled water to give the goats because we give them fresh water at least twice daily. Thankfully, they don’t drink too much yet, and being without power only lasted 26 hours or the little bit of bottled water we had would have run out quickly. Our chickens had plenty of water as we had a large watering holder. God was watching over us as we only had a few big oak branches that broke off in our trampoline in the river. Praise God; nobody was hurt because many of our friends and neighbors had more damage.

The secret to getting started with your homestead

This is to say that I have so much to learn, and we depend on so many things for electricity at this point of our homesteading. If you want to live a healthier, freer, and more secure life, homesteading can be as simple or as hard as you make it. Everyone has their own path with this lifestyle, and there are so many variables. You can start out little by little, and I truly think that’s the best way.

You do have to be organized and will find that you don’t have time for time-wasting activities like TV or social media because you’ll spend more time producing than consuming. I still work part-time as a nurse, so I keep everything simple. I must plan well to get it all done. I’m not naturally organized, but I have learned to put everything on my phone calendar with alerts.

The Road to Homesteading: three Strategies for Success

  1. Number one, pay off your debt. It will free up mental space and give you so many more options. You don’t want to go into debt to get started, either. It’ll save you a lot of money to homestead, but you will never get ahead if you have debt.
  2. Second, start slow. You don’t want to get in over your head and get overwhelmed. It’s such a fun journey, and you don’t want to ruin it by taking on too much at a time.
  3. Third, keep it simple. There are so many ways to do everything, some harder than others. If something looks difficult and doesn’t look like you would enjoy it, don’t do it. This is all about living how you want to live. There’s no right or wrong, so do what you love.

Adding animals to your homestead: Start with chickens

Feeding chickens green leaves on homestead

As far as animals, we started with some chickens. It’s where a lot of people start. Chickens are so easy to care for, so even if you’re working full-time, you can easily add chickens without disrupting your schedule. You could even start with chickens that are grown instead of chicks because sometimes chicks can take a little bit more time at first. It’s easy to make a coop with things you probably have around your place. It doesn’t have to be fancy, but if it gets below zero temperatures in the winter, you will need something warmer for them. Chickens need their chicken food and water, but you can even leave them for a few days if you need to.

If they have enough food and water, they will be just fine. You don’t have to gather eggs every day, although it sure is satisfying to see how many eggs you get. Does anyone resonate with me there? We use eggs for so many things, and it’s so nice to have a continuous supply. When the stores took all the eggs off the shelves a few months ago, it was so lovely to provide families with our supply of eggs.

Cooking from scratch

Harvesting vegetables from your homestead garden with children

Another part of homesteading I love is learning how to make items from scratch so I don’t need to buy them at the store. I didn’t know I would enjoy making sourdough and all the other things we’ve been able to make with it. It’s so good, easy, and much cheaper than buying it from the store.

I know my kids are very spoiled when I make my homemade yogurt. I still need to buy milk, but after we breed our goats next spring, I will be super excited to have our milk, and then we won’t have to buy anything for that at the store, and we can keep that going. We make our granola, too, and I’m not sure which smells better in the house, bread or a granola with cinnamon sour cream. We’ll be able to make it on our own once we have our own milk.

Preserving your food

Homestead cooking from scratch, Canning beet roots

I’ve done a lot of canning over the last 20 years, so I have staple items I do every year. But then, I like to add new recipes of things we already use to make things comparable to store-bought. Some we like and some we don’t. Repeat.

I can a ton of spaghetti sauce, tomatoes, pickles, and salsa, and last year, we had so many tomatoes I even made my ketchup. I also freeze some of our produce, such as zucchini, and we make our fries with our potatoes. But we don’t do a crazy amount of freezing just because my family hunts. So, we have a few freezers full of venison and bear, and we also buy beef from a local farmer. So, there’s not much extra room in the freezer for vegetables.

Eventually, I want to get a freeze dryer because that is the most nutritious and lasts the longest, but that’s a larger investment. Next year, we’re also planning on tapping maple trees for our syrup, which should be fun.

Starting a Homestead is Easy if you Keep It Simple

Homesteading is a process, and we keep it really simple while adding new things here and there. So, the first thing to do before you start is to get out of debt. The second is to start slow and enjoy the process. The third is to keep it simple.

God bless. Thank you so much for being here. If this post inspired or helped you, I would love for you to join our email family. If you have questions, you can always email me back – I love hearing from my community and am always happy to help. I can’t wait to connect with you.

Sharing eggs from your homestead with your community