Randy and I have talked more and more about the idea that in the future homesteading, as in growing your own food, raising your own animals, making things yourself as opposed to buying them, may be the only way to survive as our economy spirals out of control. The world is getting harder and harder to live in and there is a growing security in the path we have chosen, to provide for ourselves as much as possible. Teaching children how to provide for themselves is more important than ever as our food chain becomes more and more unstable and oil prices continue to climb.
Where to Start:
BAKE YOUR OWN BREAD:
You don’t even have to grind your own wheat yet, just start by baking the bread your family eats. Lots of people have bread machines stored away they had to have and never really used. I use mine just to mix and let the bread rise once in. Then, I put the dough in a loaf pan, let it rise one more time, and bake. EASY!
PLANT A GARDEN:
It can be a small one or in pots on your patio, plant herbs, tomatoes, whatever you love. With the rising prices of everything around us every little bit you can provide for yourself helps. Not to mention the fact you will know your produce is free of chemicals and is grown locally.
CHANGE YOUR MENU:
Stop buying pre-packaged, processed food and start buying food in its original form, FRESH. Shop your local Farmer’s Markets, add beans and rice to your diet, and eliminate soda and pasteurized milk and juice. These are not only healthy changes, but budget friendly changes.
COOK FROM SCRATCH:
This is kind of the same as some of the ones above; however, it is so important. This will save you money and improve you health. Think you are too busy? Use a crockpot! Check out The Family Homestead for some great recipes.
HANG YOUR CLOTHES OUT TO DRY:
Use a clothes line. There is nothing more relaxing than hanging your clothes out on the line on a quiet morning. Use the time to reflect and relax, plan for the day, or pray. You can save money and sanity by this simple task.
If you want to get really serious in your quest for the homestead-life and self-sufficiency you could:
*Get a dairy cow or a couple dairy goats.
*Covert to an off-grid system (solar, wind, gray water, rain barrels, etc.).
*Get rid of all NEEDless expenses (cable, landline/cell phone, magazines subscriptions, etc.)
*Pay off debt! This is important. Start with smaller bills and pay them off one at a time.
*Instead of spending all your time mowing, fertilizing, and controlling weeds in your lawn, start converting that space to usable space to plant produce.
*Plant fruit trees and bushes.
Lastly, use the library. You don’t have to own every book. The library is a great place to learn about making more with less.
The Self-Sufficient Life and How to Live it is a great book to motivate you.
Storey’s Basic Country Skills another great book for motivation and ideas.
Path to Freedom is a great site to see how a family (in California) grows most of their own food on less than one acre (much less).
Good luck and have fun! It takes work to be a homesteader, but the rewards far outweigh the costs.