how to begin homesteading

how to begin homesteading

by kimi
(almira, washington)

I have been interested in learning about homesteading.

I recently purchased a place on 6.5 acres, nothing has been done with the place. I am on a limited income and was just wandering if any one could tell me where and how I should even begin with getting my place going.

I am working basically with a clean slate.
any suggestions would be great.

Desperate to start in almira


My first lot of advice would be not to rush into homesteading too soon. You have to first look at the land and see what you can do with it. We have 15 acres of land, some of it wooded, and none of it is flat, except for my vegetable garden. The shape of the land determined what we would do with it.

You need to look at your land and see what you can do with it, not what you want to do with it.

People often buy land with big ideas as to what they want to do with it, only to find that it doesn't get as much sun as they thought, or that the soil is not as arable as they thought. They then become despondent.

There is always something you can do with your homestead land, you just have to be observant and think outside the box.

My second advice would be to plan, plan and refine your plans until you know what you want out of your farm.

Do you want to be self sufficient or do you want to make this a commercial venture?

If you want to be self sufficient, how far do you want to take that? There are degrees of self sufficiency.

Do you want to raise livestock and be tied down, never being able to go away for any great length of time because you have these commitments, or do you want to raise crops?

If you want to turn your farm into making money, then you will have to set yourself up as a business, apply for the appropriate licenses and make sure that you are not breaking any by-laws.

Look at the seasons and see what needs to be planted or bought in during those months. For most farmers the busiest seasons are spring and fall.

Thirdly, even after you have made your plans, make a list of priorities. What is the most important thing on your list that needs to be done straight away and which ones can wait?

When you first start your farm you will want to do everything now, now, now. It all takes time, effort and a lot of money. The most basic needs like fencing can cost a fortune.

Start with things that are important to you, so that you will feel that you are achieving your goals.

Start with things that are easy to manage; chickens, ducks, a herb garden, a vegetable garden and a couple of fruit trees.

The next year you can add more fruit trees and perhaps some bees.

The following year you can add something else. Start small, start slow.

Plan well to build a solid blueprint for your homestead, start with what is important, and take it slowly. Wishing you all the best!


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