Homesteading is all about being self-sufficient and generating your own produce essential for survival.
If you’re in it for its long-term reward, not only will you help the environment but you’ll also save a lot of money.
Also the skills and knowledge you will acquire from homesteading will come in handy during emergency situations.
If you’re planning to pursue homesteading, here’s the good news - you don’t need to live on a farm to grow your own crops or have a ranch to raise your own animals.
While a rural setting can give you a geographic advantage, it doesn’t necessarily restrict you from practicing this way of life.
Despite the obvious advantage of homesteading in rural over urban areas, it doesn’t mean you can’t implement these 4 essentials if you live in the city.
So let's go over the first essential whether you’re planning to pursue an urban or a rural homestead.
Depending on where you’re living, producing your own feed may vary due to the availability of land and resources.
Urban homesteading may prove to be quite restrictive compared to rural homesteading - most likely you'll be limited to your backyard!
You can still produce your own food even in the confines of your tiny backyard.
If you live in a house, it’s still possible to raise animals for meat and produce your own eggs.
The following should be more suitable for your space:
- Backyard Chickens
- Growing Vegetables
Make sure to check with your local laws in regards to what you can and can't do.
Urban areas tend to have more regulations.
As far as rural homesteading is concerned, you can pretty much raise any animal on your farm, including the ones listed for urban homesteading.
Not only do you have more land, but you also have more lenient regulations.
In consideration of the geographic and regulation advantage you have, we recommend you raise the following animals in addition to our recommendations for urban homesteading:
At the same time, you can grow a lot more vegetables and can even raise honeybees in a rural area.
One thing to keep in mind with your rural area is the level of moisture.
Rain is essential, but not too much or otherwise your crops can die from root rot and other potential issues.
Sources of water for urban and rural areas differ greatly.
While developed cities have an advanced water system, it isn’t designed for homesteading due to the lack of space and limited versatility of urban homes.
Meanwhile, rural areas may have a basic water system, but it helps put those who live in rural areas into a much better position to develop one that is more suitable for long-term homesteading.
Ideally, the best way to harvest water for urban homesteading is by collecting rainwater.
However, certain laws have prohibited such practice due to persistent droughts in some states.
You can find more information about that regulation from the NCSL.
If you live in a state that allows rainwater collection, you need the following to get started:
- A rooftop for the catchment area.
- A gutter to divert the water to the storage area.
- Rain barrels or cisterns to store the water.
- A distribution method to redirect water from storage to your crops.
Creating this will require some heavy plumbing and construction work.
It’s best to have it done by an expert, but if you want to do it yourself, you can refer to this guide here.
Another option for urban homesteaders is installing a water filter.
This will require some plumbing work, so it may not be an easy option for everyone.
You can find a reliable professional to do the work and learn more about the cost here.
We also recommend purchasing our water pouches instead of bottled water.
While water bottles typically contain purified water, the plastic is toxic.
A well is the best option for a long-term self-sustaining water supply.
With the advantage of having abundant space to build a well, being in a rural area makes it easier to have a self-sufficient water source for you and your family.
The only challenge that it poses is creating one - it can be quite laborious, and you may need a helping hand to build it.
The simplest well that you could probably do yourself is a well-pump.
Well-pumps provision clean water to many remote villages all over the world, without the need for plumbing or an irrigation system.
It’s also the easiest one to build if you lack resources as it has no mechanical parts submerged in the well water.
To build one, you’ll need the following:
- A pumping machine
- A pipe that feeds into the well
- A valve to keep the water from flowing back down
Making a shallow well pump can be done in three simple steps:
1. Dig at least 12 to 15 feet in depth.
Depending on where you’re setting up your shallow well pump, hitting the water may only be 10 to 15 feet deep.
Stop when you reach wet or muddy soil.
If you dig further, it will collapse the hole that you dug.
2. Drive your pipe into the ground.
Insert the pipe and screw the well point five feet from the top of the pipe.
Then drive it down the hole by hammering until it’s deep enough to pump water from the ground beneath.
3. Start pumping the water out.
The water from the first few pumps will be muddy, continue pumping until the water becomes clear.
This concludes part 1 of "The First 4 Essentials To Homesteading".
In part 2 we will cover the remaining 2 essentials.
Click here to read part 2 of "The First 4 Essentials To Homesteading".