Homesteading is a word that strikes fear in the hearts of many Americans. Most Americans haven’t been raised on a farm or lived on a farm at any point ever. Consequently, the idea of homesteading, of being completely self-reliant and self-sufficient on your own property, seems like an incredibly daunting task, especially in an urban area.
But it need not be so.
There is a relatively short list of things that you should do to start your urban homestead. For example, Tiffany Davis lays out five steps to get into “backyard homesteading:”
1. Start a garden. Davis recommends to make this easy:
“Don’t fear, it is really as easy as finding out what grows in your area and when, then start planning. Check with your local extension office for a planting calendar.”
2. Start composting. Davis recommends buying or building your own composter and, then, “start adding kitchen scraps, bunny droppings, coffee grounds and even egg shells. Mix in a bit of leaves, grass clippings and you’re off to the races!”
3. Add an egg source. While most people will automatically think of chickens when thinking of an egg source, Davis adds that quail is a good way to go if space limitations or legal restrictions prevent using chickens.
4. Also, have a meat source. Davis notes both chicken and quail partially because you’ll have them on hand for your egg source, but she also notes that rabbits can be an excellent choice.
“[R]abbits are an excellent meat source for the backyard (apartment) homesteader. They reproduce rapidly and provide an excellent lean white meat at about 8 – 12 weeks, depending on the breed. A single doe can produce a 1,000 times her weight in meat every year; you’ll never see those kind of results from any other livestock! A breeding trio could easily keep a family of 4 stocked up on rabbit meat for entire year. Processing takes about 15 minutes start to finish and the cull is quick.
Keeping rabbits will be great for your garden too – rabbit droppings are easy compost additions!”
5. Start using homesteading skills for your own food. You can make bread and cheese, begin canning, and even start knitting to make items keep the family warm during those cold winter months.
In essence, with a little planning and a little consistency, an urban homestead is not too far of a stretch for more people to put together.
What are your best suggestions for starting an urban homestead? Tell us below.