One of the things that got me into survival was the desire to live a self-sustainable lifestyle. The idea of learning skills that would not only make me more self-reliant but also save me money was very appealing. That's what eventually led me to homesteading.
The term homesteading applies to anyone who is a part of the back-to-the-land movement and who chooses to live a sustainable, self-sufficient lifestyle. While land is no longer freely available in most areas of the world, homesteading remains as a way of life.
A new movement called “urban homesteading” can be viewed as a simple living lifestyle, incorporating small-scale agriculture, sustainable and permaculture gardening, and home food production and storage into suburban or city living.
Here are 10 ways to obtain the urban homestead lifestyle.
1. Start a Windowsill Herb Garden
A perfect windowsill herb garden, in my opinion, would consist of these five herbs:
These five herbs are great for cooking and offer multiple benefits. Check out my previous article on the medicinal benefits of basil, cilantro, oregano, and parsley.
Some of these herbs, like basil, are suckers for sunlight and need to stay on the windowsill or a sunny area, but the rest of these plants can be grown in shadier conditions. Plants produce chlorophyll from the sun, so try to let all these herbs get a bit of sun throughout the day.
2. Composting – Urban Style
If you're planning on starting your own garden, there's no need to use expensive store-bought fertilizers when DIY compost is cheaper and more beneficial for your plants.
Even if you live in a small house or apartment, the lack of space shouldn't deter you from making your own compost.
3. Container Gardening
You don't have to have a huge yard or plot of land to plant and grow your own food. Container gardening is a perfect gardening solution for any city dweller.
Check out my previous article Container Gardening For Your Patio or Balcony on how to grow vegetables such as tomatoes, peppers, radishes, carrots, and onions.
Who says you can’t have a dream garden in a smaller space?
4. Cooking Food from Scratch
I remember, as a child, watching my grandmother cook meals and desserts from scratch. I loved watching her turn the ingredients on the kitchen counter into something like homemade chocolate chip cookies or homemade bread.
In this day and age, it’s slowing becoming a dying artform with the convenience of fast food restaurants and microwavable meals.
What better way to show love for your family than to prepare and cook a family meal and/or dessert from scratch!
Here is a great homemade bread recipe!
If you're just getting started with urban homesteading, recycling is a great way to get yourself into a mindset of sustainability.
There are tons of benefits of recycling, for yourself, your home, your family, and the environment. Here are just a few:
- Reduces the amount of waste sent to landfills and incinerators
- Conserves natural resources such as timber, water, and minerals
- Prevents pollution by reducing the need to collect new raw materials
- Saves energy
- Reduces greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to global climate change
- Helps sustain the environment for future generations
- Helps create new well-paying jobs in the recycling and manufacturing industries in the United States
- Buying recycled products is also a great way to help conserve and protect the environment.
6. Make Your Own Candles
Here is great article on how to make your own survival candles for less that $2 apiece.
7. Make Your Own Laundry Detergent
Making your own laundry detergent is a great way to save money. It's also a lifesaver if you have members of your household with sensitive skin or an allergy to certain common ingredients found in store-bought detergents.
Want to know how to make your own laundry detergent? Click here.
8. Learn to Crochet or Knit
Crocheting and knitting your own sweaters, scarves, mittens, hats, afghans, and so much more is another great way to save money. You can create almost anything with yarn!
If you are just learning the art of crocheting and/or knitting and want to learn more, Pinterest is here to help! Check out these awesome crochet and knitting projects for the entire family. And here are some more great projects from our friends at DIY Ready.
9. Learn Basic Carpentry/Woodworking Skills
The art of handmade woodwork – another dying artform!
Learning how to build basic projects like tables, benches, and shelves would be a great learning experience for the entire family. Also, learning how to use items like measuring tapes, hammers, hand saws, clamps and levels, and knowing how to follow (and design) plans could prove beneficial as the children grow into adulthood.
The skill of woodworking is something that every person, young or old, should learn.
Click here for more than 16,000 woodworking plans and projects, from beginner to advanced.
10. Network with Other Homesteaders
With the magic of technology, networking is easier than ever.
Social networking is the best place to start. Social networks such as Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter are great ways to get in touch and stay connected to your fellow local homesteaders. Facebook, for instance, is full of group pages for homesteaders. You can obtain support and exchange ideas with one another.
If you have a homesteading story you would like to share, please share in the comment section below. I wish everyone who is new to the homesteading community the best of luck!
Homesteading isn't just a hobby or a pastime — it's a way of life. To become a true homesteader means radically changing the way you live and working together with your family toward a more sustainable lifestyle. Let our friends at Pioneer Settler help by providing the latest and best homesteading news, tips and trends.
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