An old cottage nestled in the trees. Acres upon acres of green pastures, and gardens. A milk cow waiting to be milked in the barn. Chickens scratching around on the hunt for delicious bugs. Goats playfully skipping about.
Sounds like a wonderful place doesn’t it? That is our homestead.
Ok…I confess…we don’t actually have a homestead yet.
But we hope to someday. Right now we live in a studio apartment in the city. It certainly isn’t like our dream farm, but it is definitely sufficient.
I know there are probably a lot of people out there that, like me, are dreaming of having their own homestead someday. So I thought I’d throw together a list of some things we can be doing to be preparing ourselves for farm life.
Start reading everything you can get your hands on about homesteading. Be it about gardening, orchards, making hay, all different types of farm animals, animals that complement each other, rotational grazing, etc. You can start deciding what animals you would like to have on your farm. What ones will you start out with? Make sure you are knowledgeable about what your animals will need for feed and minerals. What care will they need?
It would also be a good idea to read up on purchasing land, dealing with wells and septic tanks and housing options for property. Educate yourself on this enough so that when you go property hunting eventually, you will know what to look for.
USE THE SPACE YOU HAVE TO START HOMESTEADING
If you have a backyard then you have space to garden, compost and possibly raise some small livestock like chicken, quail or rabbits. Or even some miniature goats. If you are in an apartment then you can do some container and vertical gardening. You can even do some counter top composting with a Bokashi bucket.
LEARN SOME Homesteading SKILLS
Canning, cheese making, cooking from scratch, sewing, fermenting kombucha and keifer, making butter, making your own soap, toothpaste, deodorant, etc, are all things you can be doing now! There is just no end to these very practical and amazing works of art! These skills will also help you when you are on your dream homestead.
CREATE A BUDGET
Are you saving for your down payment on that dream homestead? What about money for fencing, animals, feed, tools, etc? Start saving now by creating a budget that allows for this, even if your dream homestead is years down the road.
FIND A HOMESTEADING MENTOR/S.
Find someone that is living the life that you want. Ask them if you can help them on their homestead with their garden or animals. They may also be able to help with canning and other “indoor” lessons as well. This mentorship will give you a head start in preparation for working your own homestead. There are so many people who posses a wealth of knowledge about this stuff – why not try to glean some from them?
DECIDE WHERE YOU WANT YOUR DREAM HOMESTEAD TO BE LOCATED.
Do you know where you want to settle down? What areas do you like the best? What areas have the best farm land? Get established in the community as much as you can and make sure this is the right place for you.
Whatever dream you have for your homestead – you can begin now!
The photos are from our farm when I was growing up.