5 Tips for Upgrading Your Homestead’s Kitchen

Reader Contribution by Kacey Bradley
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As a homesteader, you already know how important your kitchen is to you and your lifestyle. It’s not only the heart of the home, but where you preserve foods for seasons ahead and prepare meals with the literal fruits of your labor.

With so much time and energy spent in your kitchen, you want to make it better and more functional than it is now. But upgrading a homestead kitchen isn’t quite the same as sprucing up the same room in a more traditional abode. So, to make the process simpler, here are five tips for renovating your space.

1. Think About Flow

A major kitchen upgrade will probably have you changing the layout of the room. In general, most designers stick to the triangle rule — the sink, refrigerator and stove should be placed so that they create a triangle. This allows you to easily access your chilled storage, clean and peel at the sink, and cook on or in the stove. To make it work, you can’t have any obstructions between the appliances. For example, your refrigerator shouldn’t be on the other side of a kitchen island, or else grabbing ingredients for cooking or preserving will take that much longer.

To that end, homesteaders have to consider kitchen access to outdoor spaces. You’ll want a door or, at least, a window through which you can pass the harvest from your gardens. Once you pinpoint the location of your entryway, map out a place where you’ll store all of your fresh produce until you eat it or otherwise preserve it.

2. Select the Right Sink

Once you’ve figured out your layout, you need to make lots of material and design decisions. One of the most important for homesteaders will be the sink — as a harvester of fresh fruits and veggies, you’ll need a big, durable sink to aid you in all your scrubbing and washing. So, make an extra-large basin part of your design. Many homesteaders swear by farmhouse sinks that reach from the front of the counter all the way to the wall, thus preventing any water from leaking between the sink and the wall and causing damage to the home.

3. Pick a Powerful Stove

When it comes to stoves, everyone has a favorite style — some prefer electric, while others swear by gas. The latter tends to suit homesteaders better, as it can still turn on and off when the power goes out. Plus, it makes a better base for canning, which you likely use to preserve the fruits and vegetables you don’t eat while they’re fresh.

Once you find the right appliance for you, make sure you know how to maintain it to ensure it lasts long — as a homesteader, you already make the most of your resources and boost their longevity as best as you can. So, know how to clean your stove and do so regularly so that it lives out its projected lifespan. Something as simple as using an abrasive cleaner can cause irreparable damage to your glass stove top.

4. Harness Natural Light

Another must-do in a homesteader’s kitchen — harness the power of natural light. The sun’s rays provide a multitude of health benefits, from boosted moods to better sleep. In your kitchen, you can rely on the same glow to illuminate your work space without using any additional resources. Make the best use of your home’s natural light by positioning obstructive cabinets or appliances far from the windows. If you can, add one over your sink or in other places where the sun’s glow would be beneficial to your prep work and cooking.

Of course, you’ll need artificial lighting so that your kitchen is functional at night and on gloomy days. Other homesteaders suggest adding grow lights by the sink or underneath cabinets. Not only do they shed extra-bright light into the room, but you can actually use the glow to cultivate fresh herbs and other plants.

5. Choose the Right Time to Do It

Finally, as a homesteader, you need to make sure you take on your kitchen renovation at a time that is convenient for you, your family and your farming. For most homesteaders, this means taking the project on in the middle of winter, when farming stalls and preserving is finished. Others have found it worked well to take on small projects over a longer period of time instead of one big renovation. That way, the kitchen is never completely out of order, and you can continue your cooking as you update.

Make Your Kitchen Homestead-Ready

Ultimately, the perfect homestead kitchen is the one that works best for you and your family. Design a space that’s both functional and beautiful, and you’ll be well on your way to the perfect kitchen. These five tips will help you in that quest — all there’s left to do is start brainstorming and building out your dream space.

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