Homesteading, or making the conscious decision to live as self-sufficiently as possible, is not a new concept at all. However, in a world increasingly driven by convenience, technology, and instant gratification, homesteading is gaining renewed popularity. Homesteading gives you the unique satisfaction of making things with your own two hands, the opportunity to spend time in nature, and control over what you grow, produce, and consume. The decision to homestead is not one to be taken lightly. Arguably, the first few years will be the hardest as you learn and adjust. There are some invaluable resources every first-time homesteader should use.
4 Crucial Resources for First-time Homesteaders
One of the most enriching resources for a first-time homesteader is a mentor that has knowledge and experience. While extremely rewarding, homesteading is not an easy undertaking. There are certain to be challenges, set-backs, and questions along the way. A mentor that is willing to take time an answer your questions or help you trouble shoot is extremely important. They can also help you plan ahead. Sometimes the best way to know what to do versus what not to do is to have tried both ways. A trusted mentor can help you avoid some of the “what not to do” things, which will make your homestead experience just a little easier.
The local library is a vast and useful resource available to the homesteader free of charge. There are many different books and magazines that have helpful information. There are also many informative websites and blogs. Oftentimes, in a quest for simplicity, homesteaders give up conveniences such as internet. You can visit your local library periodically to use the internet and check out resources.
Good Seed Source
Good seed and soil health is of vital importance for a homesteader. Whether you are seeking fruit seed or plants, vegetable seeds, herbs, or pasture seed, you will want to ensure that you are buying the right mix for what you wish to accomplish. In addition to good quality seed from places like Central Farm and Garden, you also need to work on improving the quality of your soil through things such as composting, fertilizing, and rotational grazing.
Animals are crucial components of a successful homesteading experience. Be realistic when starting off and do your research. Some relatively easy to care for animals that also very useful to the homestead are chickens (meat, eggs, manure), goats (meat, milk, manure), rabbits (meat, manure), and bees (honey). Once established, you will likely decide to add additional livestock, but it is best to start small while you learn.
Many people imagine how difficult homesteading would be and all the modern luxuries they would have to give up. The truth is homesteading is not for everyone, but if instead of worrying about what you lose, you dream of the freedom, satisfaction, and simplicity of life you would gain, homesteading may just be for you.