Homesteading for beginners isn’t as hard as you may think. You don’t need 40 acres, an array of animals, and gardens galore. In fact, you don’t even need your own land when you’re getting started.
The 6 tips in this post teach you how to get started homesteading. I promise they’re all easy, and you can do them right now, no matter where you are.
Homesteading for Beginners
Think about the first time you heard about “homesteading” and what it was. Maybe you saw a YouTube video where someone was building a garden bed, or read a recipe on a blog that posts articles about keeping chickens. Whatever turned you onto the thought of being more self-sufficient and self-reliant, you’re here now. It’s time to take the next step.
Whether you have already begun your journey as a homesteader, or you’re still trying to figure out how to get started homesteading, you’ve made a conscious decision that will impact the rest of your life.
When I first thought about homesteading as a beginner, it was like my eyes were opened to a whole new world — a whole new world that was deeply rooted in the past. You see, the things modern homesteaders are doing aren’t much different (if different at all) from what our forefathers and ancestors practiced when there were no other options. Back then, there were no supermarkets or whole foods stores. They had to grow what they ate, or barter to get it.
Families passed down gardening, animal husbandry, and other self-reliance knowledge from generation to generation as a means of survival. You don’t know how to grow your food, you may go hungry!
Getting Started Homesteading
Fast forward to today, and you’ve got every piece of information you’d ever want about how to get things done on a modern homestead – even as a beginner! You can read any number of blogs or watch a myriad of videos on how to do anything from how to start seeds to how to slaughter and butcher a pig at home. There are also these neat little inventions called “books” where people have actually taken things and written them down for you to read if the power goes out. (I know, strange, right?!)
The possibilities of what you can do now are endless. Your will to get started the only thing holding you back. So let’s get you headed in the right direction with some tips on how to get started homesteading.
6 Tips on How to Get Started Homesteading for Beginners
There is a cornucopia of knowledge on homesteading across the vastness of the internet. You can literally get lost in all the articles and videos you can find on the topic. Go ahead. Google search “homesteading” and tell me how many articles you find. I’ll wait.
We’re guessing you found about 13 million results, right?
We’re just happy you’re reading this one, right now. *wink*
Tip #1- Start small as a beginning homesteader
In my honest opinion, nobody new to homesteading can dive right into a massive acreage of land, plant multiple garden plots, raise dozens of animals and do it all well on their first try. The process of building a homestead takes time. Start small when you’re just getting going.
As long as you have the desire to begin a self-sufficient life, you’ve got the heart of a homesteader. Pick something you can do right now, no matter where you are, and learn more about it. Then put that knowledge into practice. Experiment with different ways of doing that one task. When you’ve got that nailed down, then move on to something
Tip #2- Grow what you can
Container gardening is a great way to get started growing your own vegetables (and sometimes fruits) when you don’t have a larger garden area to work. If you’re in an apartment, this is the most ideal way to grow some of your own food and learn about specific plants.
You may not grow enough vegetables to make a huge dent in your grocery bill, but the satisfaction of putting a seed in the soil and watching it grow into a healthy, fruit-bearing plant is an unspeakable feeling.
Get some smaller containers and grow some herbs like basil, thyme, parsley, and chives. If you have some larger containers (including some 5 gallon buckets), you can grow larger plants like tomatoes, peppers, and even vining plants like cucumbers and melons all do exceptionally well in buckets and larger pots.
Tip #3- Can what you grow
Preserving your harvest is a great way to reduce waste. Eat everything you grow. When you can’t eat it all before it goes bad, preserve it so you can eat it later.
There are so many options when it comes to preserving food. The most common (and easiest) ways are canning, dehydrating, and fermenting (especially when you’re just getting started). You can get canners (starting at $35), fermenting kits (starting at $15), and food dehydrators (starting around $45) on Amazon.
I assure you, there is no need to be intimidated by food preservation. You will thank yourself later when you learn just how easy the process is.
Tip #4- Make it yourself
Instead of buying condiments and spice blends, make them at home. Not only is it easy to make these and other foods and food additives, but they’re often times much healthier for you.
Tip #5- Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
Try to waste as little as possible around your home. Repurpose packaging materials in a variety of ways – like using cardboard in your garden and flower beds as weed control. Turn old pillow cases into ceiling fan cleaning cloths. Reuse paper egg cartons to start seeds for your garden.
…and when you can’t find anything to do with something you don’t want to throw away, either send it to the recycler, or Google search “how to reuse ________.” You’ll be amazed at what you find.
Tip #6- Best Tip Homesteading for Beginners: Keep learning!
Get started. Learn something. Perfect your method. When you’re comfortable with one method, experiment with new ways of doing what you’re already doing.
Once you’ve gotten one thing down to a science, try something new. Continue the process daily, and within a matter of a few years, you’ll be the epitome of a homesteader in your environment.
The best thing about continuing to learn new things is that it gives you a sense of direction. Maybe you’re in an apartment, and now you want a home of your own. Maybe you already live in a house, but you’re dreaming of more land to grow more food. Dreams can become reality — plan, prepare, and learn, then move forward!
Are You Ready to Get Started Homesteading?
You can be in an apartment, renting a house, or own 10+ acres of land, and still be a “homesteader.” With the 6 tips above, and a hungry heart with a desire to do more, you can make your dreams reality!
The bottom line is, if you want to do it – no matter what your current situation may be – get started homesteading!
Additional Resources on Homesteading for Beginners
Nobody is born knowing all the things there are to know about homesteading. I wish it were that simple. In fact, (as Tip #6 suggests), we should always be trying to learn more about how to homestead. While I may have done a lot in the way of self-reliance, I still have more to learn.
Below is a short (and totally incomplete) list of some great sources of information as well as inspiration. Homesteading should be fun, even though it’s hard work. With the books, videos, and blog articles I have listed below, you’ll find even more information about homesteading for beginners.
Books on Homesteading for Beginners
Technology is great and all, but sometimes you just want to curl up with a good book, or you’d rather be outside in nature unplugged from the internet. Here are a few books that I highly recommend that will get you started on your own personal homesteading journey.
Even if you’re a seasoned veteran of all things self-reliance, pick up a copy of these books as reference. If you learn one thing that improves your game as a homesteader, it was well worth the cost.
- Backyard Homesteading: A Back to Basics Guide to Self-Sufficiency by David Toht
- Backyard Homesteading was one of the first books I ever bought on homesteading. It taught me a lot about what I could do in general.
- Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving by Judi Kingry
- There is probably no better book on canning food on the market.
- Backyard Farming on an Acre (More or Less) by Angela England
- Angela and I go way back. Her book helped me learn more things to do in small spaces than I knew possible.
YouTube Videos on How to Get Started Homesteading
When we’re not working, sleeping, or having family time with our kids, one of the things we love to do is watch homesteading videos on YouTube. We’ve learned so much in the past few years from watching YouTube. While we’re putting that knowledge to practice, we’re also learning more from our hours of video viewing.
Here are three of our absolute favorites to watch:
Melissa K. Norris is another old friend of mine in the homesteading world. The amount of food she puts on her table and in her pantry from homesteading each year is simply amazing. Not only does she teach you how to do a vast array of things in the garden and kitchen, but she shows you her own mistakes and failures. Then she teaches you how she does things differently to make up for any loss going forward.
Rachel and Todd from That 1870’s Homestead Have got an amazingly beautiful garden! Watching Todd work to build their dream, and Rachel working the gardens and preserving their food has truly inspired us to try things we haven’t done before.
- Dear First Time Gardener, You CAN Grow Food | How To Start Gardening | Roots and Refuge Farm – YouTube
Jess and Jeremiah of Roots and Refuge Farm are two of our absolute favorite people to watch on YouTube. Their love of homesteading is only eclipsed by their love of family. They’re actually packing up their family to move from Arkansas to South Carolina and start all over again. Rest assured, this video (and all of their others) are great instructionals on homesteading and loving life no matter where you are!
Blogs with Information and Inspiration for Beginner Homesteaders
I hope you’ll find our blog a great resource for homestead knowledge and inspiration as we begin to grow. While you’re at it, have a look at some other great homestead blogs that will enlighten and encourage you along your journey.
Amy Stross and I have been in numerous blogging groups together in the past — specifically ones dealing with homesteading and gardening. Amy has some great posts on her site about getting started with different aspects of homesteading. They are all easy to follow and understand, and they help her readers feel like they can do it, too.
Liz shares a ton of ideas and information on her site dealing with homesteading for beginners. She also has some great information about essential oils for beginners, if you’re into that (and we are)!
Tracy breaks things down for her readers. Her blog helps even the newest homesteader on the block. Raising animals, growing a fantastic garden, cooking an amazing meal – it’s all there!
Patrick & Jessie homestead in Middle Georgia with two of their four children and their three dogs. They love gardening, food preservation, and keeping their family prepared for any disaster that may come.