Homesteading your home is a step many families take to reduce their carbon footprint, be more self reliant, save money and a whole slew of other reasons. Homesteading is living in a more rustic, old-fashioned way that takes a little more effort but for some, the benefits are threefold.
Entire communities often chose to homestead their whole township in a more basic self sufficient manner. More emphasis is put on local growers and Farmer's Markets, trading, bartering, community dinners and other projects that make the community unique in its ability to live. Some even produce their own energy throughwindmills and bidegradeable fuel.
Make a plan. Turning your home into a homestead is not an easy task. It takes years of research, planning and implementation to become a complete homestead oasis. Take stock of how self reliant you live now and what are the simplest steps to begin to homestead your home.
One simple way to begin is recycling. Even if you already recycle, there is always more to be done. Newspaper, aluminum, metals, plastics and more can all be recycled. Glass is another item that most households have lots of that can be recycled. Check your community for recycle centers and familiarize yourself with what you can take their and when drop off days are. Some recyclable items are worth money. You can earn cents per pound for specific recyclable items like aluminum and other metals. Computer parts, ink cartridges and cell phones can also bring in some cash.
Gardening is a big part of any homestead. Growing vegetables, fruits and herbs that your family likes to eat saves money. Instead of buying these items you have them growing in your very own home. Do some research on the type of soil you have in your yard unless you plan to use containers. Check out what is easiest to grow in your geographical area.
Okra, cucumbers, squash and beans are all easy to grow. Picking a vegetable that grows in hardy conditions makes the task a lot easier for first time gardeners. Weather conditions do not usually comply with a farmers wishes so be prepared to know when to water and when to fertilize.
Visit the local Farmer’s market to network with other growers in the area. Community farmers organize bartering and trading of their products with each other. Growers of beans can trade other growers for potatoes, tomatoes or even herbs and spices. You can also sell what you grow here. Many neighborhood citizens prefer to visit fresh growers markets to get the most organic product possible.
What you don’t sell, trade or eat you can preserve for the future. Canning, freezing and drying are all ways food can be preserved for months and even years. Canning required a pressure cooker to seal the cans once they have been filled. Many fruits can be canned and made into jelly. Cucumbers can be made into pickles. Salsa, relish and chutney are all great canned garnishes. Freezing requires a double boiler to blanche the vegetables to be frozen. They are then plunged into cold water and bagged into freezer bags. Many fruits, vegetables and meats can be dried. Drying fruits and vegetables makes great trail mix for snacks or salad toppings. Kids love banana chips and dried slices of apples. Preserving food is a staple to any homesteading household. Taking all these small steps lead to larger ones and eventually a fully self sufficient home.
Use a pH test on the soil in your yard to get an exact reading on how much fertilizer it needs. Shop around for an economical sprinkler to only shower your garden intermittentanly instead of constatnly all day.
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