Don’t get stuck on the dream stage when thinking about your own homestead. With some planning and hard work, you can also set up a backyard homestead for all your prepping needs. (h/t to MDCreekmore.com)
If you’re serious about homesteading, you need to understand one thing. Before you can relax on your porch and watch the sun set over your thriving garden, you’ll need to put in a lot of hard work to get your property in working order.
You’ll also need funds to acquire the tools you need to maintain your homestead. Remember, you don’t need ten or thirty acres of land to be a successful homesteader.
Even if you only have an acre or five acres of land, you can still set up a productive backyard homestead. Capable homesteaders are defined by their prepping skills and not by how much land they own. (Related: Knowledge is power: 31 Crucial skills for every homesteader.)
Start prepping where you are
If you already have a large backyard, you can start homesteading immediately.
Here are some activities to try and useful skills to learn if you want to start a backyard homestead:
- Build a raised garden bed or plant fruits, herbs, and vegetables in your home garden.
- Plant dwarf fruit trees.
- Build a small chicken coop to keep several hens.
- Start a couple of beehives.
- Cook healthy meals with the crops from your garden.
- Learn how to preserve excess crops.
- Build a tool shed.
- Set up a survival stockpile with enough food and supplies for your whole family.
- Learn how to chop firewood safely using an ax or chainsaw.
- Learn how to safely forage for wild edibles around your property.
- Grow medicinal plants and herbs and learn how to use these natural remedies.
- Learn how to sew. You should know how to repair clothing. Knitting and quilting are also useful hobbies.
- If your property is located near hunting grounds, learn how to fish and hunt. When SHTF, you may need to find other sources of food apart from your home garden and survival stockpile.
Don’t put off your dream of owning a homestead just because you think you need to live off the grid. You can still be a homesteader even if you’re living on the grid.
If you’re interested in alternative power sources, consider a small solar set-up or an electrical generator. These alternatives will be useful during common weather emergencies or long-term power outages.
Tips when looking for property for a homestead
Urban preppers in apartments can also homestead by starting a balcony or container garden for various herbs. However, if you’re committed to moving elsewhere to start a homestead, look for property in a small town. The location should offer some privacy and enough land to cultivate a large garden.
The property must also be large enough to accommodate small domestic livestock such as chickens or goats. Always consult local regulations to determine what you can and can’t do in your homestead.
Avoid subdivisions when looking for property. Even though subdivisions aren’t crowded, after several years all of the lots around you will be owned and the buyers will have moved into them.
Once you have chosen several areas, observe the surrounding homes. Do your neighbors have well-kept lawns? Or do their houses look neglected even though people are living in them?
Ideally, the best water source is a good water well. But you may have trouble looking for properties with water wells since it’s more convenient to own newer properties that are hooked up to the public water utility because this option is affordable and easier.
Whether your backyard homestead is as small as an acre or as large as thirty acres, you can start homesteading by using your prepping skills to start a home garden or by learning about different food preservation techniques.