You’re not required to live in the country if you want to get into homesteading. In fact, if you live in the suburbs, it’s super easy to get started with your own homestead and it won’t cost a fortune, either.
We’ve put together some very simple tips to help you on your way from homeowner to homesteader on your very own suburban micro-farm.
The real key to success is not where you start but that you take a single action every day to make yourself more self-sufficient.
You won’t be sorry when you start to see the results of your labor, homesteading is fun and it creates a real sense of achievement. And the produce is super tasty too!
Simple Ways To Get Started With Suburban Homesteading
Get Yourself A Garden
As long as you have a yard, you can create a garden space where you can plant some vegetables for your dinner table. If you don’t have much room consider container gardening – which lets you make food pretty much anywhere.
It won’t take long to make a garden and then you can go and find some plants to suit it – you should look for varieties that deal well with the light conditions wherever you put the garden. Set up a corner for a herb garden too. This is “edible landscaping”.
We like to use heirloom varieties of vegetables that we can’t buy locally because this broadens your diet and lets you enjoy some old-time favorites that you probably ate in childhood.
Over time, you’ll learn how to plant for the maximum yields and you’ll be surprised at how many veggies you can get from even the smallest backyard garden. You’ll save money so easily!
The next step is to monetize your harvest with some basic market gardening.
It’s so easy to get into composting at home that we can’t understand why everyone doesn’t do it.
Yes, you can even compost in an apartment, so composting in the suburbs should be a piece of cake to achieve.
All you need are some composting bins (and we’ve got an awesome list of the best composting bins), and they won’t break the bank and some household waste to put in them.
Save your kitchen scraps, coffee grounds, etc. and you will always have a source of rich fertilizer for your new garden and it won’t cost you a thing once you get started!
Make Your Own Honey
Yes, we know, beekeeping can sound really scary when you first think about it but, in fact, bees are very passive creatures and you’re not going to be risking daily stings to install a beehive.
We found it really easy to get started using the directions in our beekeeping starter kit which also came with everything we needed to get up and running with.
There’s nothing tastier than fresh honey and you can often trade it off with friends and family for other treats when you have too much for your own needs.
Bees will also help to pollinate your plants and flowers, which is a nice added benefit to keeping them.
Chicken Keeping Is Also A Good Idea
OK, you’re not allowed to keep chickens everywhere in the United States but many cities and towns are happy for you to do so and if that includes your place of residence, it’s a great idea.
You’re not obliged to eat the chickens themselves and many homesteaders don’t because they form a pet-like bond with their animals but if you do, it’s best to have them butchered by a professional.
Learn To Use Edible Crops For Landscaping
We know, flowers are ever so pretty and we’re not averse to brightening up the place with some.
However, we’ve also learned that it’s a really good idea to landscape using edible plants – edible weeds, for example, can be quite attractive and they are super tasty.
If you use the spare space around your garden and borders like this, you can really boost the yields of your homesteading activities without having to put in much in the way of additional efforts.
Make Changes In Your Kitchen Habits
It’s very important to grow things and produce food if you want to be self-sufficient but it’s equally important to learn what to do with the things you produce.
Sure, you can cook but can you can and preserve the things you grow? Do you know how to turn them into soups, broths, pie fillings, etc. that can be easily stored in your freeze until you need them?
Then there’s freeze drying, heat drying, etc. all of which can create tastier treats and extend their shelf life. There are many ways to preserve food and they can all help you save money and be better placed to ride out a natural disaster.
If you really want to make the most out of homesteading – you want to ensure that nothing goes to waste and that you get every last scrap of benefit from the things that you grow and create.
Plant Some Fruit Trees
If you have room, you might also want to consider planting some fruit trees. Growing your own food from different sources is a great thing to do.
These trees take very little effort to look after, if you’ve got bees then pollination will be super easy and fresh fruit cannot be beaten for its taste and overall appeal.
You can also plant them to provide some nasty shady spots in your yard for picnics in the summer months too.
If you want your long-term efforts on your suburban homestead to be sustainable, you’ll need to learn some permaculture techniques.
The big focus is to learn how to build soil naturally with the use of your compost, some castings, and more.
This will help your crops thrive and survive throughout the year no matter what the world throws at them.
Final Thoughts On Your Ideal Suburban Homestead
It’s not as hard as people think to become sufficient on your own efforts and we hope that you’ve found in our suburban homesteading guide some inspiration to get you and your family started on that path.
If you’re looking for more inspiration may we recommend a few books?