For me and where I live, my goal is working my little backyard, growing organic vegetables, fruits, berries and grapes, hopefully being able to raise a few chickens (if the chicken laws in my town get changed) and keeping a beehive; doing whatever is practical on my little suburban lot to attain the wholesome life I am striving for.
I’m trying to learn how to live without big-business as much as possible. Besides growing my own produce, I’m in the process of learning how to make homemade beauty products. I’ve got the whole natural cleaning supplies thing down to a science. Well, not everything, but what I do make for myself works very well. And, because it’s possible to treat our medical needs naturally rather than always filling our bodies with prescribed or over-the-counter chemicals, I want to learn how to make my own health products… responsibly, of course. I plan to do a lot of research on this before actually growing plants for this purpose.
As far as energy conservation goes, I’m very frugal with the electric, but would like to install solar panels on the house. I’m also going to look into wind turbines. I don’t know if turbines are allowed where I live, but I’m going to check into it. And, money… we all need money and we should all save for that so-called “rainy day” that might come around. Living a frugal lifestyle by purchasing second-hand items and, whenever possible, reusing and re-purposing what I already own helps a lot and isn’t new to me. I grew up with frugal parents and I carried what I learned into my adult years. My husband, on the other hand, didn’t grow up this way, so we’ve have “words” over the years about whether purchasing an item was, in fact, truly necessary or not. I don’t know if I’ll be able to ever live debt-free, but I’m sure going to try my darnedest to get there.
Right now, my homestead consists of veggies in the backyard and herbs in the kitchen window. Until this year, my “hobby” garden was planted in traditional rows. This year, my garden isn’t so much a hobby, but my new way of life. I’ve planted more of certain veggies than in years past for canning, hopefully growing and canning enough to last throughout the winter and spring. We’ll see.
I still have some traditional rows because that’s what I’m just used to doing, but have planted some veggies using the square-foot gardening method. The squares are doing well, so next year there will be less rows and more squares.
I want to plant some dwarf fruit trees and some berries and grapes, but I have to figure out where I’m going to plant them. My husband isn’t as thrilled with this whole idea as I am because he’s primarily a meat and potatoes kind of guy and doesn’t eat many fruits and veggies, so I’m not going to be able to use as much of the back yard as I would like… unless I can figure out how to grow steak in the garden!!! lol
I’m planning to venture to the front yard with the berries and grapes, but I have to find a way to camouflage them. I can’t have the front yard looking like a food garden, which is too bad. My front yard faces southeast and has the sun all day long. I wish I could plant the whole garden out front!!!
I guess homesteading may be a little overwhelming to some, but I think that with a little determination and elbow grease, it’s absolutely doable. I know I won’t be able to do everything that a homesteader with multiple acres is able to do, but I will do whatever I can the best way I know how. I know I can’t do everything I want to right now, but I’ll be adding a little more each new planting season.
I’m far from being where I want to be as a homesteader, but I’ve begun. I’ve researched and read everything I could find online. I’ve gone to the library and found many wonderful books on homesteading and bought the ones I like the best. I now have quite the library myself of gardening, homesteading, DIY and frugal living books. I haven’t been able to do everything I want, yet, but I’m learning. And, little by little, My Little Backyard Homestead is expanding!!!