3 steps to start homesteading in the suburbs

Farm house style has gotten major attention recently in the home decor world. Chip and Joanna Gaines should get the major credit in bringing back the old world charm to the decor world. The reason farm house style has become so popular is because no matter where one lives ,human beings crave the coziness of the old style homestead living.

The real truth is that the real coziness of a homestead is not in the decor of your home, but your lifestyle. However not everyone will have the luxury of living on a farm in the country side. We live on a quarter acre land ,in suburban neighborhood , 20min from a major city, with a pretty strict home owners association. Even with those limitations I try my best to bring some homesteading practices into our life style. So if you are like me , living in a suburban neighborhood here are 3 ways your can jumpstart your homesteading journey.

Start cooking from scratch:

Cooking from scratch is the number one and most important component of starting a homestead. Even if you do not follow any other homesteading rules , this one is a must. Start with what you bring home from the stores. Even the seemingly healthy pre made packaged food are filled with unhealthy quantities of salt, colors and other preservatives. Consuming these on a regular basis will lead to myriad of health issues over time.
The solution-Buy raw materials for cooking instead of food you can heat up and eat or eat out of a bag. Then you can cook in bulk and freeze extras. Sign up to our email list and we will send you a link to download the free E-cookbook from Valuist Family to get some ideas to get started.
Start substituting with quality ingredients – such as organic produce and good fat like Ghee, Avocado oil, Tallow , Butter etc for cooking.  I have posted earlier the steps to make ghee at home. I will soon post an easy way to make your own butter.

Grow your own food:

This can be tricky in a lot of suburban houses due to land constraints and regulations from home owners association. But you can still grow some vegetables and herbs in a small raised bed garden, or in planters or even some herbs on your window sill . Whatever the scale of your garden is, make sure to use only organic potting soil, because you know that what is in the soil is in your crops.
Start composting. Compost is the cheapest and yet the most nutritious fertilizer you can use for your vegetables.
Canning can seem pretty daunting to a beginner homesteader. Easiest way to store extra crop is freezing. Most vegetables and herbs can be frozen. Freeze them on a cookie sheet and store in an airtight bag or container in the freezer. If grow extra root vegetables such as potatoes garlic and onions, they store well in cardboard boxes . Just keep them in a dark and cool place, such as unheated portion of your basement.
I would love to have chicken coop in our backyard. But our homeowners association does not allow live stock in the yards. So I buy organic eggs grown locally.
Buy your meat from local farms. Grass fed beef is one of the most nutrient dense food. Commercially raised grain fed beef is very poor in nutrition and not to mention the in humane ways the cattle is raised and treated in the factories. Buying directly from the farmer is cheaper that buying organic meat from groceries. You can opt to buy in bulk with beef share programs that the local farms offer. We recently bought a 1/4 cow beef share and hoping it will last close to a year for our family.

Use old fashioned cooking utensils

Photo credit: Wooden Earth Ltd

Switching out some of your cooking ware is another way to bring in the homesteading charm to your suburban kitchen.  The star of a homestead kitchen is none other than cast iron. You can buy pre seasoned cast iron and enameled dutch ovens. These are very easy to use and they last a life time.
Using wooden ladles and spatulas is another way to add a homestead vibe to the kitchen. They are very inexpensive , but don’t buy very cheap ones like the ones from dollar stores. They splinter and get damaged very easily.

These are some of the few first steps in bringing in homesteading ways into your kitchen, even when you do not live on a farm. Please share your ideas of homesteading while living in suburbs by commenting  below.

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