Already a trend, homesteading is all about sustainability and self-sufficiency. I couldn’t think of a more appropriate time than now to consider some of the practices. With the pandemic having made its mark, it may be useful for many of us to turn to new ideas on sourcing and providing for ourselves.
Whether you’re easing into homesteading or going full-throttle here are some considerations.
Are you ready?
For some, an isolated surrounding is the stuff dreams are made of. However, living remotely will translate into unexpected costs (like snow plowing and fencing) and a lot of hard work, so make sure you know what you’re getting yourself into. You’ll may also need to lean on your neighbours for tool lending, skills exchange and bartering.
What’s your intention?
How much land do you want? Are you farming for your family’s needs or for a potential income? Will the soil conditions permit the crop you wish to grow? Are you hoping to harvest your own firewood? Is there a water source for irrigation? Self-sufficiency comes with a long shopping list that can include some or all: tractor, rototiller, fencing, ladders, chainsaw, a trailer or truck, axes, hoses, shovels, generator.
Farmers’ markets, or beekeeping tutorials offer creative income solutions for homesteaders. Better yet, become a agri-tourism destination and cater to those who wish to experience your pastoral lifestyle for a weekend. Choose a blog platform that hosts e-commerce to market your handmade products. Investigate Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) programs which allow customers to buy seasonal or annual shares in your crops as an upfront investment. These are just a few ways to take home some extra cash as a homesteader.
There are no sick days or vacation time when you have dependents. Do you have a support network for emergencies or needed breaks? While raising animals can help decrease your grocery bill, there will always be unexpected vet bills. Make sure your budget accounts for mechanics or weather damage.