How to Start a Homestead on a Small Budget


Bobbi Peterson

 So you’ve decided to start homesteading, excellent! It’s a great lifestyle for self-governance and sustainability, and in the long term, you’ll reap the great health and environmental benefits. But first you have to get started and, like any other new endeavor, the beginning requires a certain amount of financial sacrifice and budgeting.

While homesteading in itself returns its practitioners to a more natural way of life, there are certain materials needed to get the most out of your land. If you don’t have the money to go all out and purchase heavy machinery or top-of-the-line tools, here are a few tips to help get you started without breaking your wallet.

1. Start Small & Simple

Getting into the rhythm of the seasons will be harder than you think, mainly because you’ve either never grown your own food before, or because you’ve never worked land on a consistent basis until now. The research will help you avoid planting summer crops in the fall and winter crops in the spring, but mistakes will still be made. Don’t try to cultivate acres and acres of land all at once during your first years, rather pick out a small section and start there. Learn to anticipate the changing seasons; start to acclimate to the scheduling a farm and livestock requires. Don’t try to fill a barn full of animals, start with one group of livestock and go from there. For instance, chickens are a great starter animal for beginner homesteaders because they provide multiple resources — eggs and meat — with minimal effort.

2. Renovation & Construction

11/25/2017 7:57:39 AM

Bobbi, another great post. My Dad was a homesteader in a way. He always provided a living income from an outside job. The income from the homestead basically paid for the expenses to live there. In a part of the country (Nebraska) where farms are massive and range in the thousands of acres, Dad always had 80 to 100 acres with half being in alfalfa or pasture. I learned how to grow things from Mom in the garden and Dad in fields. Many hours were spent working in the soil. I wandered off in a career of technology for 41 years but came back to the soil after retirement. I now have two vacant lots for gardening and a backyard for a kitchen garden. Inner city and suburban gardening has it's own challenges. It's amazing just how many wild critters exit in the city. ***** I guess my suggestion to those starting out in country living is to either have a huge savings to living on for a couple years to get established or continue to work outside the homestead. Of course the best would be to have both. Starting small and expanding is really the best advice. Every thing on a homestead takes more time and usually costs more than you think. ***** Bobbi, thank you for sharing your insights about rural living. ***** Nebraska Dave

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