How To Start Homesteading You might live in the city or the country. Your homesteading plans might be pie-in-the-sky dreams or you may be ready to start right this minute. Wherever you are right now, you should know that you can take a step toward your homesteading dreams today. It can be hard to figure out where to start. Start Now You can start homesteading right now, today. Pick one or two projects that you can start in the next month or so. If that seems like too much, start smaller. Read and Learn Besides starting a small project or two this season, take the time to read up about homesteading skills. List Your Priorities Once you've soaked up as much information as possible about how to homestead, you'll be itching to start planning your homestead. Find a Homestead For many of us, finding that "place in the country" is a key part of homesteading. Remember that you don't need 40 acres, or even 10, to have a homestead. How to Buy Land for a Homestead or Small Farm Plan the First Year
The Schreber Movement: Grow your own food Pictured right are the allotment gardens of Av. de Crozet about 2km from the centre of Geneva, Switzerland. The founder of these types of gardens in Europe was a 19th century German physician called Moritz Schreber. In the German speaking countries these allotment gardens are still called Schrebergarten [Schreber gardens]. The idea of organised allotment gardening reached a first peak after 1864, when Schreber started the 'Schreber Movement' in Leipzig where areas within the city were made available for children to play in a healthy environment in harmony with nature. Later on these areas included gardens for children, but soon adults began to cultivate them. You can see the urban life around the picture (right) when you zoom out here in Google Maps.
What Kind Of Small Farm Is Right For You? So, you're planning a small farm, but you're not sure if you want to have a hobby farm, a homestead, or a small farm business. What do you do? How do you decide on the best fit? Consider Your Goals The first thing to think about is, what do you want out of your small farm? For example, are you an entrepreneurial type who gets warm and glowy when you envision creating value-added farm products and selling them at farmers markets, or growing vegetables on acres of farmland and selling them in bulk to restaurants? Set Goals for Your Small Farm Hobby Farming Hobby farming is for people who have another primary source of income and want to have a farm that doesn't have to produce income or support them by providing for most or all of their needs. Hobby farmers can put a lot of money into their hobby farms, or they can run them more like a homestead in that they want to minimize how much money they use as an input. How to Start a Hobby Farm A Small Farm Business How to Start a Small Farm Business
Life in Matavenero ecoVillage, Spain. It was ruined, overgrown, and without road access. Collectively the villagers care for 3,000 hectares (7,400 acres) of wild mountain landscape at an altitude of about 1,000m (3,300ft). The early settlers lived in tipis and quickly cleared the old paths, reconstructed the school house and repaired a two kilometre canal to bring water to the village. They began to create gardens for food, rebuilt ruined homes and installed a cable transport system which has helped more people to settle in the village. The community is an environmentally friendly settlement growing its own organic produce where now the third generation of children are starting to appear. It continues to attract people from all over Europe to live, to take courses, or just visit.
Adaptable House caters for growing family, home office, retired living, or divorce It uses sliding partitions and storage walls, extension modules and a puzzle of garden components. Danish architects Henning Larsen's new Adaptable House is designed to accommodate the most common lifestyle changes, from having children to settling into retirement. The energy-efficient home can even be fairly separated in case of divorce. View all Realized with developers Realdania Byg and contractors GXN, the Adaptable House not only offers flexible room arrangements, but has a built-in strategy for extending and separating volumes. Pre-figuring life changes The Adaptable House was conceived to help meet a range of lifestyle changes. Perhaps the most innovative and coolly pragmatic gesture is in adapting for divorce. Sliding partitions make flexible interiors (Photo: Jesper Ray/Realdania Byg) Not just a room under the stairs The architects were determined that any new configurations meet their criteria for natural light, ventilation, plus noise and temperature control. Adding on
Dacha gardeners feeding the Russian nation During the communist period school children were obliged to visit their local farms to get hands-on experience harvesting food (below left) at a time when about 90% of the nation's food came from dacha gardens. During the same period every child would be expected to play their part in growing the family's food from their small patch of Russia. While the percentage of food grown by Russia's dacha has fallen since then it is still a massive contribution to the nation's food and forms an important part of their rural heritage. Take a walk through the street's of Russia's cities, like St. Petersburg, and you will find people selling herbs, fruit, berries and vegetables from their dacha gardens. Unlike many cities in Europe and the USA, Russian cities are peppered with small corner shops (below right) selling locally grown food in all shapes, colours and sizes still carrying their native Russian soil.
Nine Things to Consider When Looking For Your Survival House image from Seattle Municipal Archives You don’t need a bunker in a remote location in Idaho or Montana to have a home that is able to withstand an emergency situation. However, there are a few things you’ll want to consider when choosing where to live as your home is an often overlooked but important part of your preparedness efforts. If you’re looking to relocate (or just want to run your current location through a survival checkup), here are a few important things to consider that affect the security and survivability of your home. 1. 2. 3. Weather hazards can encompass large areas, so are sometimes difficult to avoid. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. Bonus #10. My home is my castle (albeit a very small castle). Best Friends Build Their Own Tiny Town To Grow Old Together Four couples that have been best friends for 20 years wanted a better way to live closer to each other and closer to the environment, so they pooled their money and decided to make a tiny town just for themselves! Their settlement, called the ‘Llano Exit Strategy,’ features four tiny cabins facing the Llano river outside of Austin, Texas. The tiny cabins, each of which cost roughly $40,000, were designed by architect Matt Garcia to be as sustainable as possible. They feature slanted roofs with water barrels that can hold up to 5,000 gallons of rainwater, reflective walls to keep out unwanted heat in the summer, and special insulated windows. The interiors are made of plywood, which keeps costs down and gives the homes a warm and spacious feel. GARD Pro Not Registered The group of friends spends time there as often as they can, and they all plan to retire on the property. These four couples have been best friends for 20 years, so they decided to make a tiny town just for themselves
Jackie’s Tips For Hardcore Homesteading By Jackie Clay Many of us have a garden and enjoy fresh vegetables during the summer and fall. Maybe we even have a few chickens for eggs and meat. But many of us may want to extend our homesteading to what I call "hard-core" homesteading. Luckily, most of us with a piece of out-of-the-way land can become nearly "store-bought-free," raising much of what we need in nearly the same way as did our ancestors. There is a vast difference between this type of survival homesteading and stars-in-the-eyes, back-to-nature, recreational homesteading to relieve stress and provide enjoyment. The survival garden It has been said that one can raise enough food for a family of four in a 50- by 50-foot space. When one needs a garden to put up food, not only for the winter but possibly for a year or two, we're talking about at least an acre of intense cropping. And if there are no store shelves to choose from, we will all need to take care of our own needs at home. You can't grow everything, everywhere.
Concept Plan For A Sustainable Farm Here is a sustainable-living concept plan for a 1/4 acre home in an urban setting. I hope you can get some good ideas from it for your own home! Following this plan is a concept plan for a home on acreage. Below is a conceptual plan for a hypothetical sustainable farm that could be created on between 2-10 acres. Some things we have found particularly beneficial is siting the garden below our home so that we can collect the rain water off our roof and store it in a 500 gallon barrel to irrigate the garden. What sustainability means to me! More great ideas are available at Mother Earth News online: