Homesteading: 7 Ways to Get Started {Without Overwhelmed}

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Does starting a homestead from scratch seem overwhelming? Using this guide, you will be able to overcome doubt and discomfort.

ways to get started

Years ago when I quit my job as a journalist, I fell in love with growing my own food. You could say that it was my gateway drug to homesteading! I quickly discovered that there was a whole world beyond just growing my food.

Along my journey to start a homestead, I’ve discovered all kinds of ways to become more self-sufficient. For example, I could use what I was growing for fresh eating, preserving for winter, and making medicinal and personal care products.

Creating a homestead empowered me to produce more with the space I had available to me and it inspired me to have a deeper connection with my home.

But the journey hasn’t been a straight line. The more skills I learned, the more I felt inadequate like I wasn’t doing enough. I felt overwhelmed by it all.

The following are some tips for enjoying your journey to create a productive homestead and sticking with it.

1. Start a Homestead by Accepting Feedback

When I first started out, I didn’t know anyone who was homesteading or working to create a productive homestead. Here’s my story.

The homesteading concept has gained popularity since I began my journey. Online and in-person resources and communities are available to support you through the process. What a helpful resource!

My first lesson was to accept feedback. I had to evaluate the things I tried around the homestead and pay attention to how they worked. Sometimes I wanted something to work, but the writing on the wall said it wouldn’t.

Learning from failure is key. Failure is normal. Failure does not mean that you are not cut out for this type of life.

Gardening is the same way. Many people say, “I don’t have a green thumb.” Failure in gardening isn’t an indication of your thumb color. Simply practicing makes you a ‘green thumb’ garden expert.

Practice the craft as you would play the guitar, and learn from your mistakes.

In time, you’ll learn to play with some efficiency and hit the right notes. So starting is the key, followed by doing and learning.

2. Be a perpetual student

The idea that I would constantly learn throughout my life never occurred to me when I started this life. If I learned how to garden and preserve food, for example, I’d be a veteran homesteader!

It doesn’t quite work out that way. Beets cannot be grown in the same soil, climate, or sun exposure anywhere on Earth. Therefore, I have learned to do my own research.

Then I read and listen to other gardeners, glean useful advice, and try again.

By the way, did you know that homesteading as an adult is actually healthy for your brain? It gives you lots of things to think about!

Winter is a good time to read things you are interested in.

Homesteaders are all unique. Many people can’t wait to get backyard livestock, others are excited to start a small garden, and others want to create an integrated permaculture food forest.

Others focus on fiber arts, from-scratch cooking, or making their own household cleaners and toiletries instead of keeping a garden or animals.

It’s impossible to do everything! Concentrate on a few key areas.

Resources abound to help you on your journey no matter what homesteading topics get you excited. If you don’t know what to focus on, read a lot of different things so you can identify your passions.

These resources will help you get started. Listed here are just a few of the helpful resources available!

Book List for Beginners

Helpful Online Resources for Beginners



Attend classes and tours.

No matter how much you read, reading a book (one-way learning) is not the same as interactive learning with real humans. Taking classes and attending farm/homestead tours will increase your knowledge and confidence.

3. Get to know your growing season if you are planning to start a homestead

The way a garden changes throughout the year-what can be planted or harvested-depends on several factors, including the climate. In fact, even two gardens in the same zip code can experience slight differences!

Getting to know your seasonal growing cycle will help you plan a better garden.

You don’t have to grow everything you eat. Learn what’s in season in your area by visiting your local farmer’s market at least once a month.

Growing healthy food is what local farmers do best, and eating healthy food is what you should do best (Don’t skip the eating part!).

4. Begin small

Try turning your entire property into a garden the first year if you want to get overwhelmed, discouraged, and burnt out! 🙂 Although gardens seem simple and quaint on paper, they can be difficult to maintain.

It’s smart to start small and see how things progress. Make it a goal to spend 15 minutes in the garden every day. It will help you learn how gardens change over time. It will also introduce gardening into your daily life.

As your garden grows, expand it.

5. Identify a Homestead Buddy or Mentor

Gardening and homesteading will challenge your mental and physical strength. A mentor can guide you through your successes and failures. When the squirrels eat all your tomatoes, a buddy is essential for commiseration.

6. Create a functional kitchen

It takes a lot of time and works to turn a house into a productive homestead.

It takes a lot of work to grow your own food. Do you know what else is a big job? Cooking from scratch and preserving the excess.

You can learn new food preparation skills in the garden if you start small.

7. Become a homesteader: Get out of debt and save

Self-sufficiency can only be achieved without debts and a bit of money saved for emergencies. If the going gets tough, you won’t have to worry. Dave Ramsey’s Total Money Makeover has been a huge blessing in our lives.

Had we not followed his plan to get out of debt, we wouldn’t have been able to save for our dream homestead. Prepare yourself: This is a long-term goal. Don’t expect instant gratification.

The physical and mental demands of starting a homestead require you to eat well. But healthy food is not cheap. Follow your dreams while saving, budgeting, and making do!

Even on a tight budget and a busy schedule, it is possible to begin a new homestead. Start small, learn as you go, and celebrate the small victories. Soon you’ll have a productive homestead!


  • 5 Myths about Starting a Micro Homestead
  • 5 Reasons to Homestead in the Suburbs
  • How to Start a Garden on a Budget

Do you have any tips for starting a homestead?

Your Garden’s Best-Kept Secret!

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