Sunday, January 30, 2011

A few easy things to get you started on your Homesteading Quest

I have a few friends, mainly from work and from church, that have asked a good place to start in their own personal homesteading quest. I am by no means an expert, but it's nice to give them a few little tidbits that are both easily done and effective.

1. Stop eating out!
The fact that I'm a Dietitican by trade, may also play into this, but eating out is crazy expensive, and there is always a question of what exactly is in the food. I live in a rural area, and unfortunatly the restraunts available in the closest town are mainly fast food, and not only does it cost probably $25 to feed a family of 4 at McDonalds, just think of what you are getting. Greasy food, processed EVERYTHING, and a lot of calories. So I always tell them to stop eating out. Make a menu, cook at home, cook from scratch when possible and save that money! I honestly feel like you are also saving your health. Do we ever eat out? Yes, we will, there are a few restraunts when we go to our favorite vacation spot that we enjoy, and the town where both my husband and I work has several locally sourced  options, so we treat ourselves sometimes.
I could write more about this, but since these were supposed to be "short tidbits" I'll stop.

2. Compost
This is something very very easy to do and provides great all natural  soil for your gardens. My mother keeps a gallon ice cream type bucket under her sink, and uses that for her food scraps. It doesn't have to be a big fancy deal. I actually did treat myself to a bamboo compost pail from Amazon. I put the link to it below.

I got it about a year ago using credits I had saved up from Swagbucks. This is absolutely not a necessity, but I use mine so often, I like to keep it on the counter and it just looks nicer I think. My actual compost pile is very low tech. I used some leftover concrete blocks to form kind of a 3 sided square and built it up about 3 feet . I just put all of my produce scraps, tea grounds, egg shells, leaves, grass clippings etc in it. You don't have to have one that is that large either, you can have a smaller space.

3) Garden
Just garden. Yes a huge garden takes a ton of work, but you can get a nice amount of fresh fruits and veggies from smaller plots. You can even use container gardening on your patio or ledge. Just start somewhere and you will be hooked, I promise. If by chance you do have extra produce, learn to can, freeze or dry it. Use every last speck.

4) Plant fruit trees
Yes, some take several years to grow, but think about how pleased you will be when you have delicious fruit to enjoy. Even just one apple tree can produce a large amount of fruit,  more than enough for one family. Same with nut trees, I can not tell you home excited and blessed we are with our 2 pecan trees. Tons of pecans for all year. And in case you haven't shopped for pecans at the grocery store lately, they are EXPENSIVE.

5. Utilize your local library.
We normally only go once a month, but we find all kinds of books, both for pleasure and to use as guides for everyone in the family. These are of course free to check out, and it just makes sense. Especially during the winter when you can't go out much.
So this is very , very , very basic, and I have so many more things to write about, but this will certainly get you going.


  1. Great ideas to get started and so doable for most folks. I'm trying to figure out how to make a compost area that will be acceptable to our HOA.

  2. Hmm, we don't have to deal with that since we live out in the middle of no where, but yes I guess that might be a problem. I wonder if you could make one somehow in a trash can, you know one of those huge 50 gallon ones or whatever they are. Maybe polk some holes in it? You could put it behind your house like it was storage or something. Or maybe if you just made a small one with a white fence around it that you couldn't see what was inside of it. I've seen some compost piles that really add to the beauty of the home place.

  3. Thanks for the idea. Since we are supposed to cover our A/C units, maybe I could buy a lil' white picket fence and use the area right next to it.