I have always been an active cheerleader and voice on the matter that anyone can homestead and farm anywhere. I just didn’t know I would be living that mantra for awhile! It is good for me to experience though and I would like to share with you 5 ways you can homestead anywhere (even in an apartment). I would also like to share with you 5 serious signs that you may be a homesteader stuck in the city (true story)!
5 Things you can do to homestead (Homesteading is about freedom and fun. Save money to spend on what you want, enjoy the sensory of creating, and live more healthfully.)
- Preserve and prepare your own food. Canning, freezing, dehydrating, and home cooking is all possible and easy even in an apartment. Free facials (from the steam of the canning), delicious food, and shelves in the living room of fresh foods for the year are all included. You will know what you are eating, save money, always have food on hand, and have an impressive looking display of homesteading life. You can get boxes of produce from local farmers at the market. Don your apron.
- Community gardens and pots. There may very well be a community garden near you. These days they are very popular. 1 in 5 women now garden and many people are looking for an outlet to grow some of their own food. You may have a friend with an unused part of the yard, or your own yard may be sick of its own grass! Get planting, friends! (Watch my series every Friday on this blog for week by week how to farm!) Line the balcony or porch with pots. Even corn will grow in pots. Grow, grow, and watch your spirits grow.
- We can’t do it on our own but we can support local farmers. It amazes me that folks forget that they could go grocery shopping at the farmers market. It is competitively priced and helps folks that love dirt right here in your community! From meat, to eggs, to milk, to veggies, fruits and breads, there is a plethora of good eatin’ at the market! Tip: get to know your farmer. We farmers love regulars and will always give you a good deal.
- Recycle-Reuse-Reduce! Yea, yea, yea, heard it before. But homesteaders are special. We will use canning jars for vases, repair a rip in a beloved pair or jeans, save rubber bands to band produce and twist ties to hold up tomato plants. We’ll wrap presents in fabric. We’ll put coffee grounds in plants. Be creative. And don’t buy what you do not need! If you need something, can you get it used?
- Non-electric items…can you dig ’em? The hand cranked coffee grinder, the French press, the oil lamps, the clothes line, the gentle clink of glasses as you hand wash, the hand cranked radio, the shovel…if there is a manual way to do it, do it.
Now, you may be a homesteader stuck in the city if you…
Attempt to rent out the entire community garden. (But 600 square feet will do, I guess…)
If you cuss out appliances. Why does the dryer shrink clothes and the dishwasher erase pictures from glasses? If you find yourself lecturing them on their very nice off grid counterparts, “You know, the ringer washer does a better job than you!”
If you see broken apple branches and plot how to get them to the third floor of your apartment to smoke fish with and use in the fireplace. (and then remember you have a gas fireplace!)
If you start a compost pile in a three gallon bucket on the balcony in the middle of winter for…uh…the houseplants…(but you just can’t see all those food scraps go to waste!)
If you find yourself, after parking your big truck with farm plates into a small parking spot, staring up at a looming building surrounded by cement as you smooth your apron and clasp your jar of raw milk, and wonder for a moment, “Where the heck am I?”
You may be a farmer/homesteader who is caught in the city…