Today I’m excited to share this guest post from Colleen of Five Little Homesteaders! I love her blog for it’s encouragement of self-reliance, DIY posts, and great homesteading ideas! Please head over to check out her amazing blog and don’t forget to follow Five LIttle Homesteaders on Facebook! Please welcome, Colleen! -Jackie @ The Paleo Mama!
Greetings! I’m so excited to be guest posting over on The Paleo Mama today. My family and I are currently living the homesteading lifestyle in Phoenix, Arizona. I blog about our trials and successes on my blog Five Little Homesteaders. I love reading about Jackie’s homesteading adventures and I especially loved her recent post on goat-milking.
We don’t have goats on our little homestead but we do have chickens – six of them. And you might be surprised to hear that when I say little homestead, I mean LITTLE. We currently live on a .15 acre lot near downtown Phoenix.
You see, we’re urban homesteaders and we make the most of the little bit of land that we have – gardening and raising our small flock of chickens. I’m here today to assure you that you CAN homestead. You may think your lot is too small and that you don’t have enough time, but after reading this post, I hope you’ll feel like there is something you can do to get yourself a little closer to the land, no matter how small that piece of land is.
5 Ways to Start Homesteading (No Matter Where You Live):
1. Build a raised bed.
Building a raised bed garden in your back (or front) yard doesn’t have to be expensive or time consuming. My husband has built us all manor of raised beds but one of my favorites is incredibly easy and cheap, costing just $30! Raised beds are great for the beginning gardener because they allow you to control the soil quality more easily and don’t require any tilling or special knowledge.
2. Get a good scratch-cooking cookbook.
Cooking from scratch is a habit that many homesteaders embrace. Start with getting a good cookbook and quality ingredients. (I realize many/most of you who read this blog follow the Paleo diet and probably already cook most of your own food from scratch, so there you go! You’re on your way to being a homesteader!)
3. Start a compost pile.
Rather than throwing out your food waste or grass clippings, toss them into a pile in your backyard (preferably in a compost bin) and start a compost pile. It is pretty simple to do and you can use the compost to enrich your garden each season.
4. Learn to preserve your surplus.
Once you start your garden, you’ll find that you quickly begin getting more of certain crops than you know what to do with. This is the perfect time to learn to preserve. It can be as simple as freezing produce properly or as complicated as learning to pressure can. Start simple and ask for help. I learned to water bath can by having my mom over one morning and she walked me through it. Now I’ve got it down and actually really enjoy doing it!
5. Get chickens!
Not every city allows them but more and more cities are opening up to the idea. Check local ordinances and if you are allowed, get a couple of chickens. Eggs that you raise in your backyard cannot be beat. In Phoenix we are allowed to have up to 20(!) chickens. We currently have 6, but I’m hoping to raise that to 10 this spring. Start small and don’t be intimidated. At the end of the day, my chickens are easier to care for than our family dog.
In the past several years my family and I have become increasingly more self-sufficient – living off our land more and more. It has been incredibly rewarding for us and educational for our children. I think you’ll agree, if you give it a try!
Colleen is a special education teacher turned stay-at-home mom to three little ones – ages 4, 2, and 1. Her days are filled with laughing and tears, joys and frustrations, toddlers and babies. The basics of gardening were gifted to her by her mother and father starting at a very young age. Through their homesteading adventures, she hopes to lead her family down the path of leading a more sustainable, intentional, and full life.
Shared on The Prairie Homestead