Sunday, March 16, 2014

Where in the world do you begin?

If you want to have a kind of "homesteading" lifestyle while living in a subdivision in the burbs?  I've been reading some blogs and I love them but getting started seems like a huge undertaking. 

For starters, we can't have chickens or any other animals like goats etc..............  We have a pretty small pie shaped lot so there is not a ton of room to grow veggies. 

Where did you homesteaders begin?  Did you go through your home and purge all of the junk?  Did you start a garden?  Do you cook pretty much all your food from scratch?  Do you make your own cleaning products?  Do you use essential oils?  I think the list goes on and on.

So any information for the most basic of basics would be appreciated.


  1. First double check your town/city ordinances and confirm that you can't have chickens. What about square foot gardening (google it, there is a book out there on it also). Container gardening? Just some ideas

  2. Chickens are not allowed here, either. But, I got ten chicks, raised them until I could tell the roosters and gave away all but four hens. No roosters=no noise=no complaints. Eggs are good to give to neighbors to make friends. Just give six or three at a time since you have more people in the household. I don't buy feed and they live in a dog pen and sleep in a Rubbermaid box.

    In my opinion, making my soap is not worth the effort or time or saves money at all. I am not a fan of essential oils.

    Growing food in five gallon buckets and saving on the watering costs is my ploy. I am using five gallon buckets for water so I don't run up the water bill.

    Homesteading is lots of different things to lots of people. I am single, 100% disabled and do what I can. I grew potatoes and will again, in buckets or a tower. This year, I plan to grow homestead tomatoes to eat and can, grape tomatoes for eating, peppers for dehydrating, onions and garlic, also for dehydrating.

    Rhubarb and asparagus are two things promised to me for replanting. I am always looking for places in the country where I can get free food. I have a fig and pecan place.

    Unfortunately, the neighbors have lots of poke salat trees, so I have that free of charge in my yard.

    Square foot gardening will give you more food per sq foot than tilling up the yard.

    Start slowly if you like, and plant what you want to eat. You might also see what crop is worth the most per square foot. Pay attention to companion planting. Start composting. Homesteading has to be what you are capable of doing. Good luck.

  3. One of the easiest things to grow are salad greens, and they don't take long to produce a crop. They can also be grown in containers on porch, sidewalk, or wherever there is room. Buy good seeds--Burpee's grow well for me, and they have several different mixes of leaf lettuces. Romaine too. Chives are like weeds--they will grow in the sidewalk cracks around my garden! Start them in pots, keep them watered, in the sun a good part of the day, and in 8 weeks you'll be eating your own salads. You just cut the tops off when they are big enough to eat, and the plants will continue to grow, so you can cut more later from the continued growth. If you have room to actually plant in a garden or border area (in between the flowers if necessary) you can add bell peppers, tomatoes, Swiss chard or spinach (Swiss chard is easier to grow). Bush green beans are also easy to grow and if you keep them picked every three days all summer, will continue to produce until the first frost of the fall. Carrots (unless your soil is heavy) and beets are easy too. Most of the ones mentioned don't get a lot of bugs or other pests and don't require pesticides usually. Cheaper and easier if you don't have to grow with pesticides. Grow what you can in the space you have. Grow things you want to eat. My kids always liked to eat right from the garden--including weeds--many of which are edible!! Just borrow a book from the library to find out which are which. Then branch out to other herbs, etc.--basil, parsley, are good to start with. Talk to other gardeners, swap information, seeds and plants with them, and you'll learn new stuff all the time and be off and running. It's addictive!!