Homesteading

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HOMESTEADING FAQs

How do I start homesteading right now?

First off realize that you can start right now, where you are, even without a big piece of land. Homesteading is a journey not a checklist and most people need time to work up to a larger homestead. So start small where you are today, then add something new, and while you’re doing that, start considering how to find land. If you’re tight on cash or on a budget learn how you can get land with this post.

How do I make money on a homestead?

You’ll need three main ingredients: a product, a market, and marketing. Your product will be the result of looking around at what your local market has a demand for, considering costs vs. profits, and trying out a few ideas on a small scale. The market is who you’re going to sell to: this could be direct to consumers, it could be a farmer’s market, it could be restaurants, each has its pros and cons, what works for some, won’t work for others. Finally, you need to be able to get in front of your potential customers, share your messaging, make the pitch and hopefully close the sale. Start small and grow as your sales grow. Don’t forget to consider your costs and labor in setting your prices.

How do I lay out my homestead?

There are a lot of considerations to take into account when setting up a homestead. You’ll need to consider the context of the land: how big is it, what is the terrain, what is the climate, and your skill level. In some cases, certain plants won’t work, while others will thrive. A small parcel might not be able to support certain live stock. Check out post on how to setup your land for your homestead.

How do I start with no money?

First consider if you can start where you are right now. There is a lot you can do with a small piece of land or even a balcony or patio. Most first time homesteaders think they need 20 or 100 acres, but if you’ve never managed a large parcel of land, you might not realize how much work it is. Start with setting goals on what you want to do on the land, think about the life you want to lead and the realities of certain homesteading activities; this will most likely highlight to you what you do and don’t want to do. From there you can determine how much land is right for you. You can then check out our post on how to buy land with no money and how to start homesteading on a budget post.

How to go off grid on your homestead?

First it starts with understanding your power consumption needs. The easiest way to do is this is purchase a Kill-a-watt meter for less than $20 which lets you measure exactly what each thing uses. Once you’ve documented everything that you’ll be using in your tiny house, take that wattage and multiply it by the number of hours. Example: 100 watts for 5 hours would be 500 watt/hrs. That will give you a rough target about what you’ll need total in a day. Check out my solar power for a tiny house which will give you some ideas.

My solar array is 4,000 watts, 15 solar panels and 12 batteries.  The batteries are Lead acid 370 watt/hours 6 volt.  The system cost me $19,500 for parts and labor.  The reason it is so high because I want to heat and cool with this.  If I were to cut out heating and cooling with my mini split, I could drop down to a system that was about $10,000.

My internet is through my cell phone hot spot.  I have no cable TV. My cell phone is my only phone.  My water is city tied.  For sewage I have a composting toilet.  I also have a grey water system to hand water from my sink and shower.

I want to start gardening; how do I start a garden?

First start small, time and time again I see first time gardeners going too big and getting burned out. Start with a 4×8 foot raised bed and only grow a few things that you really like to eat. In this post I break down how to start your first garden. From there learn how to build your soil and how to plant properly. Finally check out some recommendations I make on the easiest crops to start with.

How do I start raising chickens?

Chickens are a great first animal to start with and are one of my favorite. They are easy, produce eggs and meat, plus can do a lot of work for you in the garden. Start with our getting started with chickens post and figure out what breed of chicken you want to raise first. You can buy young pullets (6-week-old chickens) or raise from chicks. Finally, you’ll need to have a place to put them, so read up on how to setup a chicken coop.

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