Prepping Positively

Planning and Setting Up A Sustainable Homestead

October 23, 2023 Ann Marie Season 2 Episode 20
Show Notes Transcript

Season 2 Episode 20 PP

Planning and Setting Up A Sustainable Homestead

Planning and setting up a sustainable homestead is a multifaceted process that involves careful consideration of various factors. In this episode I am going to give you a kind of step by step guide to help you get started. Are you ready?

Hi and welcome back to the Prepping Positively Podcast. I’m Annie and in todays episode we are talking about planning and setting up a sustainable homestead.

Now you may be at any one of these steps I am going to mention today.  If you are, just start from there and keep moving through the steps. If you’re a complete newbie, this episode should help you get a general idea of how and why to get started.

OK, so here we go. The first step is to Define Your Goals.  

Begin by clarifying your goals. What do you want to achieve with your homestead? Is it self-sufficiency, sustainable living, or a combination of both? Knowing your goals will guide your decisions.

Step 2 is to be sure to choose the right location.

Select a suitable piece of land. Consider factors such as climate, soil quality, water availability, and proximity to essential services. Ensure that local zoning laws and regulations permit homesteading activities.

Some states have very lenient laws for housing or land use whereas others are quite strict. You need to know these laws and guidelines before you purchase any piece of land.

Step 3 is to Assess your Resources.

Take stock of your resources, including financial resources, time, and your existing skills. Knowing what you have at your disposal will help you plan realistically.

Start developing the skills you need now. The more you learn the better off you will be. Be sure to learn how to create and live by a good budget. Consider how much time you have to dedicate to homesteading. All of these factors will play a huge part on how successful your homestead will be.

Step 4 is to Develop a Detailed Homestead Plan

Create a comprehensive plan that outlines your homestead's layout, including the location of your home, garden, orchard, livestock areas, and other infrastructure. Consider aspects like energy sources, water systems, and waste management

Start with a list of wants and needs. Then prioritize this list. Pick and choose the most feasible tasks to start with. You can add more aspects as you go.

And that leads in to Step 5 which is to Start Small.

It's often wise to start small and expand as you gain experience. Begin with a manageable garden, a few chickens, or a beehive. Over time, you can add more elements to your homestead.

If you try to take too much on, you will quickly become overwhelmed and miserable. Take things one step at a time.

Step 6 is to  Build a Sustainable Infrastructure

Use sustainable building practices and materials when constructing your home and other structures. Consider using renewable energy sources like solar panels and wind turbines. Implement rainwater harvesting systems and composting toilets.

Consider “green” materials such as bamboo when laying floors. Try to be as eco-friendly as possible and leave the tiniest carbon footprint as possible.

Step 7 is my favorite step. Create a Diverse Garden

Start growing a diverse garden with a mix of vegetables, fruits, and herbs. Practice companion planting to optimize space and reduce the need for chemical pesticides.

Learn everything you can about soil, composting, and different gardening methods and types of gardens. These gardening skills are so important because your garden may be the only means of feeding your family in an emergency or survival situation.

Step 8 is to Raise Livestock Responsibly.

If you plan to raise livestock, choose animals that are well-suited to your climate and resources. Ensure their care and feeding align with your sustainability goals.

Don’t choose animals based on cuteness. Save that for your puppy or kitten. Instead raise the animals that provide for you. 

Step 9 is to Practice Organic Farming

Avoid synthetic chemicals and pesticides. Instead, focus on organic farming practices to promote soil health and produce healthy, pesticide-free crops.

Step 10 is to Prioritize Water Efficiency

Implement water-efficient irrigation systems, like drip irrigation, and capture rainwater for garden and livestock use. Minimize water wastage.

One special note here. It is very unfortunate, however, many states, believe it or not, do not allow the catchment of rain water. I have no clue why or what they are thinking, but be aware and do your research.

Step 11 is to Manage Waste Thoughtfully

Develop a waste management system that includes composting organic matter, recycling, and safely disposing of non-recyclables. Minimize waste that leaves your homestead.

Our landfills are brimming over the limit and we need to change that sooner than later. Do your part.

Step 12 is to Learn and Adapt

Be prepared to continually learn and adapt. Attend workshops, read books, and connect with other homesteaders to expand your knowledge. Every year, evaluate your homestead's performance and make necessary adjustments.

You should constantly be learning new skills and trying new things that will improve your journey. And be sure to share those skills with your family too, especially your children. This way they have the skills they need going into the future.

Step 13 is to Network and Build a Community

Building relationships with fellow homesteaders and local community members can be invaluable. Sharing knowledge and resources can enhance your homesteading experience.

By making yourself a part of the community you will have options opened up that you may to have otherwise. You may be able to learn a new skill, or find someone to barter with. 

Step 14 is to Budget Wisely

Create a realistic budget that accounts for ongoing expenses. Ensure you have financial resources to maintain and expand your homestead.

And by all means, learn to live within that budget. You may also want to include a savings in your financial plan. Homesteading means that there could be hard times. That savings may save your butt one day.

Step 15 is to Embrace Permaculture Principles

Explore permaculture principles, which emphasize sustainable, self-sustaining ecosystems. They can help you design your homestead in an environmentally friendly way.

Learn the no-til method of gardening and how to set up a permaculture based homestead. There are a few good videos or documentaries on YouTube surrounding permaculture. Watch some of them instead of Netflix.

And lastly, step 16 is to Document Your Progress

Keep records of your homesteading activities, successes, and failures. This documentation will help you refine your approach over time.

There are journals, homesteading binders and such all over the website available. If you don’t want to purchase one, make a homesteading book for yourself and keep track of everything.

From 10 years of homesteading I can tell you a million times I have looked back on my records to double check when I litter of pigs were born, or when we planted seeds, and so on. Just keep good records in a way that works for you.

Remember that sustainable homesteading is a journey, not a destination. Be patient and flexible as you work towards your goals, and don't be discouraged by initial challenges. Your homestead will evolve and become more sustainable with time and effort.

I hope you found this episode helpful. I have including some recommended resources in the transcript for this episode to assist you with many of these topics. 

Well that’s it for today. Please be sure to follow me. And keep your eyes out for next weeks episode! I have a big announcement coming you are gonna love!

Until next Monday, stay happy, stay healthy and keep learning everyday.