Starting Your Homesteading Journey

Steps to Take to Begin a Farm
Easy Ways to Get Close to Your Dream of Homesteading

The Spruce / Oak Wood in the Fall

When you homestead, you live a self-sufficient life, which could mean doing anything from growing your own food to making your own energy. You might want to live on a farm whether you live in the city or the country. No matter what your plans are or how ready you are to start, you can take a step toward your farming dreams today.

Sometimes it's tough to know how to begin. If you have never owned land, farmed, or used energy without the grid, you might not know what to do first. We want to take some of the mystery out of this and give you some real steps you can take right now to start farming.

How to Begin
Pick out a few jobs that you can begin in the next month or so. For instance, if you live in the suburbs, you might want to get some hens to lay eggs. You should look into how to raise chickens, check the rules in your area to make sure it's okay, and make plans for a chicken coop. Then either buy or build one and order baby chicks or buy pullets or hens that are already old. That's enough to keep you busy for the whole season.1

Start with less if that seems like too much. Do you have a fireplace? For wood heat, you might want to put in an insert. Do you have a warm window sill? For salads and cooking, grow some greens and flowers. Have a good-sized yard? This year, build raised beds and plant a vegetable garden.

The Spruce / Oak Wood in the Fall

Look into it
This season, do more than just start a few small projects. Read up on farming skills as well. One option is a broad book like "The Encyclopedia of Country Living." Another is a more specific book like "Root Cellaring: Natural Cold Storage of Fruits & Vegetables." "The Weekend Homesteader: A Twelve-Month Guide to Self-Sufficiency" is also a great place to start because it breaks down projects into jobs that can be done in a weekend. You can even find projects that are suitable for people who live in the suburbs. Check out some more great books on farming and think about subscribing to a small farm magazine.

Set priorities.
You'll be eager to start planning once you've learned as much as you can about how to settle. But first, you need to set your goals. There are many parts to farming. Some of the main goals that most people who want to become homesteaders have are to grow and store their own food, raise animals (or not), and make their own energy.

You should think about which of these is most important to you so that you can put your energy where it's needed. So, if energy independence is very important to you, you might decide to get a diesel car and start running it on used vegetable oil, or you could put solar panels on your neighborhood home before you even buy land.2 Your next steps will depend on what you know about your heart when it comes to raising animals for meat and eggs, and whether you don't mind living off the grid for a few years.

Pick out a property
Getting that "place in the country" is a big part of farming for many of us. Buying land might be the most important thing on your list right now. If so, look around. It might take some time to find a good piece of land that is good for farming. Don't forget that a farm doesn't have to be 40 acres or even 10 acres.

Make plans for the first year
Make a plan for your first year on your farm, whether you live in the country, the towns, or the city. You can move from a dream to reality if you can see your next move coming together, even if it's still just an idea.

These are the nine best chicken coops of 2023.


How many acres do you need to live on your own?
That depends on how important farming is to you. You don't need a lot of land to start farming. You can do it in an apartment in the city. A family can live on even a small piece of land, like two or four acres. If you want to use the land as a woodlot for energy, though, 20 to 40 acres might be better.

How do I begin living on my own land without any money?
Start where you already live if you don't have any money to go out and buy land. Start living in a way that doesn't harm the environment by using the land and things you already have. You can also get more information about farming from your local cooperative extension office, which may offer classes.

Can one person take care of a farm?
That is up to you and your homestead's size and scope. Of course, it can be hard to do everything by yourself if you're in charge of a house that spans many acres and involves farming. Starting to grow vegetables or chickens for eggs and meat in your backyard? You might be able to do it all by yourself. One of the best things about having a one-person farm is that you can choose how to set up your sustainable living.

"Homesteading for beginners"
"Starting a homestead"
"Homesteading tips for newbies"

"Simple homesteading steps"

"Self-sufficient living guide"

"Homesteading essentials"

"Getting started with homesteading"

"Easy homesteading practices"

"Homestead planning for beginners"

"Building a self-sustaining homestead"

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