If you want to build a life of self-reliance, you may consider homesteading. Homesteads come in may shape and sizes—big or small, rural or urban—but the true satisfaction in homesteading comes from the knowledge of your independence as you provide for yourself and your family. Here are a few things to remember as you build that independence.
Insulate Your Home
Winter can sneak up on you, so one of the most important things to maintain during the year is your home’s insulation. Check your doors and windows regularly for cracks in the frames that could let out heat and let in cold air. You especially want to check on these at the change of seasons and after violent storms. You can also add a door stopper in the winter to keep cold air from coming in under the door. You may also want to invest in a wood-burning stove to keep your home heated while you cook.
Keep the Focus on Your Animals
Having livestock on your homestead is common, but they take a lot of care and maintenance. One thing homesteaders often forget is to check their fences regularly. Your fences are intended to keep your herd on your land, but they can become damaged easily, so you have to check these fences every day. Because they need to be fixed so often, it’s important that you know how to carry out most of the common repairs and that you have the necessary supplies on hand so that the repairs can be completed quickly, before one of your animals finds the break and escapes.
Maintain Your Garden
By growing your own crops, you have control over what they come into contact with and can keep harmful chemicals out of your food. Whether you’re maintaining a small garden or a large field, make sure that you are taking the time to properly care for your crops. This task can be surprisingly time consuming, especially if you have a whole field to manage. You can save some time an energy by storing your tools in an aluminum trailer storage box to easily transport them across your property.
If you find that you still don’t have enough time in the day to manage your whole crop, you may want to consider hiring help.
Grow Your Food Supply
Your food supply is a top priority, especially when you live completely off your homestead. By using your land effectively, you can stock and preserve plenty of food. This will ensure that your family and animals have adequate food at any given time. This food storage will become vital during an emergency and the winter. There are several ways to store food, but one of the most common is canning, which can preserve your food for at least a year.
It is always good to make sure that your homestead is properly prepared and stocked for emergencies and for winter, but you need to plan in advance. Every homestead is set up differently, so create a checklist to ensure that your homestead is stocked and ready for any situation that comes up.
About the Author:
Anita is a freelance writer from Denver, CO. She studied at Colorado State University and now enjoys writing about health, business, and family. A mother of two wonderful children, she loves traveling with her family whenever she isn’t writing. You can find her on Twitter @anitaginsburg.