How To Start Urban Homesteading or Suburban Homesteading.

You may be dreaming of starting your own homestead one day, but did you know that you could stop dreaming and start your homestead right now, wherever you are?

Urban homesteading, suburban homesteading, apartment homesteading, or farming your backyard. Whatever you call it, it is a great way to begin. You can learn skills and get started on your dream right now, right there. You don’t have to wait another day.

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Urban Homesteading, Suburban Homesteading projects, eggs, cooking, canning.

What Is Backyard Homesteading?

The basics of backyard homesteading are the same – taking the space you have and raising food on it, learning and using skills that make you more self-sufficient, more secure, less dependent on others, and probably healthier.

Let’s take a look at how to start homesteading right where you are, today!

What is a Suburban, or Urban Homesteader?

One great thing about backyard homesteading is that it is completely up to you as to what you want to make it. You don’t need to leave all the trappings of the city or suburbia and move to the country to grow food.

You don’t need to wait while you save the money to buy land. You can be growing and using as much or as little as you want with the space you already have, learning new skills all along the way.

Start Homesteading Right Where You Are.

You can learn to grow or raise your own food and learn how to cook from scratch or make your own cosmetics or cleaning supplies…starting today.

No need to give up that great job or the convenience of great shopping and entertainment just to fulfill your desire to live a healthier and more satisfying life.

Related>> Feeding Yourself On 1/4 Acre.

Homesteading For Beginners.

What is Modern day Homesteading?

Modern-day homesteading Is anything you want to make it. From growing a few containers of vegetables on your apartment balcony to learning to bake bread.

There are so many ways to become more self-sufficient in the kitchen. Learning to pickle, ferment, freeze, dry, can, and other preserving methods.

You can make fruit leathers from the fruit you picked up at the farmer’s market, or you can turn your whole backyard into an oasis of gardens, fruit trees, and small animals to provide most of your food. The choice is up to you.

Related>> How To Start Container Gardening Like A Pro.

Related>> How To Save Money With Grow Bags.

Growing microgreens. Apartment homesteading.

Where is the Best Place to Start a Homestead?

The best place to start homesteading is right where you are. You can get started and take small steps to learn skills and be more self-sufficient, even if you live in an apartment. Yes, Apartment homesteading is a thing!

Many people dream about moving out of the city to a large, off-grid property to homestead. But it’s actually a better idea to develop a few skills before you buy property and get a bunch of animals. 

Homesteading in Suburbia and the city is limited only by your imagination.

You also might want a taste of the homestead life, but you don’t want to be too far away from the city. A backyard homestead may be all you will ever want. And that’s ok too.

How far you take it will depend on you.

Related>> Raising Ducks 101 – How To Take Care Of Baby Ducklings.

What Is Apartment Homesteading?

Homesteading is absolutely possible if you live in an apartment with no backyard at all. No-land homestead is a great way to get started learning homesteading skills.

Make cheese or yogurt with store bought milk or make fermented foods that are good for the gut.

A balcony or a sunny window sill or even a spare room with grow lights will enable you to grow vegetables, while your apartment kitchen is the perfect place to learn to cook from scratch and learn to use herbs for medicine, soaps, cosmetics, and cooking.

Related>> Microgreens – How To Grow Them – The Beginners Guide.

Related>> A Beginners Guide To Herb Gardening.

What Is Urban Homesteading?

Urban homesteading or homesteading in the city can take many shapes. I’ve known people who have grown herbs or microgreens inside or grow in containers along their front porch, while others will fill every square inch of their small yards with fruit trees and vegetables. I’ve even seen beehives on the roof.

If you don’t have a yard at your home, many neighborhoods have community gardens or small holdings where you can grow vegetables.

You can learn how to sew, crochet or knit and how to build things. Maybe put together a beehive or make a brooder for some quail. These are all very valuable skills for a homesteader.

Many homesteaders in the city may have room to raise chickens, ducks, quail, or rabbits.

Even if you don’t have a huge garden, you can learn how to cook from scratch and preserve vegetables that you buy at a farmer’s market. There are so many ways to learn homesteading skills without moving to the country.

Related>> 8 Easy Ways To Preserve Your Harvest.

What Is Suburban Homesteading?

Having a little more space and maybe a backyard (or front yard) will allow you to do a few more things and even raise more animals. You can learn to build coops or hutches to protect your animals.

You might put up a small greenhouse, build a cold frame, or put in a fence.

There are plenty of fun and useful ideas that you can implement in a backyard homestead, and you don’t need a lot of money or space to get started.

Related>> A Well Designed Duck Coop To Make Your Life Easier.

Canned tomatoes, for suburban homesteading.

Can I Make A Farm In My Backyard?

You can have a farm in a small space. You may not be able to raise a cow, but chickens, ducks, quail, bees, and rabbits are definitely doable. And even in a small backyard, you can squeeze in a lot more vegetables than you would imagine.

If you have an acre or more you might even consider a medium-sized animal such as a goat or sheep.

Suburbia is a great place for a backyard farm.

Related>> Start A Vegetable Garden From Scratch, Today!

How To Plan For A Backyard Homestead?

Starting a backyard homestead doesn’t have to be super complicated, but it does require some planning in advance.

To get started, you will need to assess your property to see what you have room for and research what local laws will allow.

First Things First, Check Your Laws.

There are no laws about growing vegetables inside your home, but there can be laws and deed restrictions concerning gardening outside your home.

Each town, county, and even states (or provinces) have laws that govern raising animals and sadly, many even have restrictions on gardens. And homeowner association rules may limit your backyard homesteading plans.

It’s important to check first as you can be subject to hefty fines and having to rehome your animals in a hurry.

Why Do You Want To Homestead?

Thinking about your why is a good place to start. There are many reasons to start a backyard homestead. Knowing your why will help give you direction and help you plan where to start. What is your reason?

  • A simpler lifestyle?
  • Be more self-reliant?
  • Save money?
  • Food security?
  • Teach your children skills?
  • Eat closer to home?
  • A deep desire to raise animals?
  • Know how your vegetables and animals are grown?

It’s important to check to make sure everyone in your household is on board before you start.

Many homesteads have failed because someone in the household was hostile to the idea. Don’t underestimate the importance of harmony in the home.

Related>> 6 Tips To Grow The First Ripe Tomato In Your Town.

Quail Eggs for your backyard farm.

How To Build A Backyard Homestead?

Once you have checked the laws and you know what is allowed, it is now time to make a plan.

Having a plan is essential to your success. Here are some tips to help get you started.

First, assess what skills you already have. Each homesteader comes with unique goals and abilities.

If you are interested in having something on your homestead, but don’t have the skills, start by gaining those skills.

Maybe you need to learn to garden, or how to house rabbits. Learning how to read a beehive frame is a necessary skill if you want to raise bees.

Sit down and do a brain dump. Write down EVERYTHING you would like to do and have on your homestead. Take a piece of paper and draw out your backyard homestead with everything you would like. Does it all fit? Do you need to rethink your priorities?

Important Things To Consider.

Before you decide on each project consider:

  • Is it legal?
  • Will you have time?
  • Do you have the money to get started?
  • Can you do the physical labor it requires?
  • How much space will it take?
  • Do you have the skills?

Remember, the output of time and resources is not just to get it started. You will need to tend the garden and feed the animals every day from here on out, rain or shine.

Consider if your plan is something you can manage on an ongoing basis.

What To Do With Your Suburban or Urban Homesteading Plan.

When you have your plan the way you want it, List the projects in the order you wish to begin.

If the garden is the most important thing to you, start planning out all the steps to building your garden.

Related>> 10 Tips – Pick The Best Place For A Garden.

Related>> Start A Vegetable Garden From Scratch, Today.

Tomatoes growing on a balcony.

If chickens or ducks are your first priority, you need to decide;

  • How many do you want to get?
  • What kind of coop are you going to build?
  • What supplies are you going to need?
  • Where are you going to get your chicks or ducklings?
  • Do you need to learn more about raising ducks?

Related>> 10 Necessities To A Perfect Duck House.

Related >> Do Ducks Need A Pond To Be Happy And Healthy?

Related>> What Can Chickens Eat And 10 Things To Avoid.

Adding Animals To A Backyard Homestead?

Before adding any animals to your urban homestead or suburban homestead, it’s essential to learn all you can about their needs. Animals require a time commitment daily for feeding and care.

What building and equipment will they need?

What are the ongoing costs such as feed and bedding?

Putting your chicken coop right next to your neighbor’s bedroom window will likely be a bad choice, and putting a beehive right next to your back door might not be a good choice either.

Consider the effect on your neighbors. The noise, odor, and the way the coop looks.

A privacy fence might go a long way toward keeping the peace.

Related>> Pick The Perfect Place For A Backyard Beehive.

Related>> Raising Ducklings In Suburbia And The City.

Chickens eating.

A Partial List Of Backyard Homesteading Ideas.

There are so many projects you can choose for your backyard homestead. Here are just a few to get your creative juices going.

I don’t recommend choosing too many things at once or you may get overwhelmed and not finish if you bite off more than you can chew.

It is better to have many mini-goals so you can have the feeling of accomplishment with each goal reached. It can help keep you excited for the next challenge.

Pros and Cons of Backyard Homesteading.

Is urban homesteading or suburban homesteading right for you? Consider the pros and cons of starting your own.

Pros

1. Easy To Start

You don’t need to move to discover if the homesteading lifestyle is right for you. You can choose which activities you want to have in your backyard without the cost and commitment of moving.

2. Increasing Your Knowledge

Learning new skills makes your knowledge grow and your appreciation grow for what it takes to grow your own food.

3. Better Mental Health
Outdoor exercise, gardening, and tending animals are all activities that are linked to positive mental health.

4. Food Closer To Home
The closer to home your food is, the fresher and healthier it is. It also takes fewer resources to get it to your home. Win-Win!

5. Easier To Stop
If at any time you decide homesteading is not for you, planting grass over your garden and finding new homes for your animals is a lot easier than if you had quit your job and moved to acreage in the country.

Urban homesteading or suburban homesteading is a great way to get your feet wet and see if it is the right choice for you and your family.

6. Become More Self Sufficient
If I must be honest, I don’t like the term Self Sufficient. I believe we all need community. Even the big homesteaders say they only produce about 75% of their food and sometimes need help from their neighbors. But learning to be on the path to provide more of your own food and other products, and depending less on the supply chain is a big plus in my book. It is a much more sustainable way to live.

Cons

1. Hard Work
Homesteading requires hard, physical work. Lifting heavy bales of hay and spreading dirt and mulch requires a certain amount of physical strength.

When harvest time comes it can mean hours on your feet, picking and preserving.

2. Can’t Leave When You Want To.
Especially with animals, it is an everyday activity. It doesn’t matter what the weather is like. You have to feed your animals, rain, snow, or 100°F.

You have to plan going out to dinner around your animals and taking a vacation is a real challenge. (doable, but a challenge)

3. Handling The Sad Parts
Everyone who starts raising farm animals must understand that animals die. Sometimes from a predator and sometimes from no apparent reason at all.

And what if a bunch of hornworms takes out your whole tomato crop seemingly overnight?

4. The Odor
Anytime you are dealing with fertilizer and manure there is going to be smells. Some people can’t handle that.

5. You Don’t Fit In

Your neighbors may not appreciate your homesteading adventure and are afraid of property values dropping (real or more likely imagined)

Your friends may not understand your new lifestyle.

Final Thoughts About Creating A Backyard Homestead.

Some people are better suited to an urban homestead or suburban homestead than others. It helps to be physically fit and be willing to put your animals before your social life. You also need to have stick-to-itiveness as it is a day-in and day-out proposition and animals may be depending on you.

 Is this the life for you?

If you answered yes, then now is a great time to start learning about and planning a homestead for your own backyard.

Family with basket of vegetables.

Learn More:

How To Start A Vegetable Garden For Beginners.

What To Feed Ducklings For Happy, Healthy Ducks.

How To Build A Raised Garden Bed

My Garden Journal

10 Things To Know Before You Start Beekeeping.

Plant Flowers That Attract Bees For A Better Garden.


Happy Backyard Homesteading!

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I believe everyone can grow at least part of their own food! Let me show you how.

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