Our First Week of Urban Homesteading | The Homestead Diary [1]

We've been keeping various birds (quail, ducks and chickens) for the last 2 years now, but this week made the decision to adopt a more holistic approach to homesteading and turn our 1/4 acre city home into an urban homestead, and boy, it's been quite a week! 

Our goal with homesteading is to become self-sustainable and, whilst that's not fully feasible in the long run in a city home, we want to adopt as many of the principles as possible. Home grown and home made food. Repairing and mending rather than simply replacing. Eco alternatives to the standard products/services that you need everyday. When I look around my home I see many things that need changing if we're going to fully commit to this, and the impatient woman in me wants to burn this place to the ground and build it back up again (in one day too I might add), but then I remind myself that that's not how things are going to get done well and learning patience is probably one of the first things I need to get good at.

We're mostly prepping at the moment, and I've fully recognised that learning is probably our first port of call. We're towards the end of the harvest season really, so we're a little late to dive right into growing and sowing, but with the lateness in our start time comes a season of making space and preparing for next year. There's a lot to do if we want to hit the ground running in spring. Our home needs to be prepped and made more eco-friendly (finally an opportunity to fully declutter!), our gardens need to be made spacious for growing and our lifestyle needs to seriously slow down. I don't know if you've noticed, but growing, preparing and preserving all the things you want to eat takes a hell of a lot of time and becomes quickly unmanageable to families juggling businesses/jobs/kids etc. We need to slow and get real comfortable with being close to home.

This week I learnt how to make bread! It's was one of my New Years Resolutions this year and I've finally done it and honestly, I never want to go back to shop bought. So far I can only make an easy-bake loaf, but it's so simple and tastes amazing. It takes up a lot of time, but I'm hopeful that the more I do it the easier, quicker and less of an event it'll become - if it just becomes part of my daily life then I won't even notice it, right? Sourdough, baguettes and more varieties of flour are on the cards in the coming months, but for now mastering a general everyday loaf has proven a success!

Garden clearing has started too. We need a lot more room if we're going to be growing the majority of what we eat so we've been cutting back trees that are encroaching on valuable soil space.  Immediately we've noticed a difference in the amount of sunlight coming through now too and I'm hopeful that it'll also help with the water issue - our trees suck it all up! Next we need to prep garden beds, build standing veg troughs, and de-weed the front allotment. There's a LOT of soil prep left to go.

Autumn is going to be full of learning. Bread, pickles, mayonnaise, preserves, jams....I mostly want to spend a season learning how to make all of these things so that when I'm ready to harvest I feel confident to actually DO something with my produce. I have no idea what we'll be growing this next year yet, but when I do I want to be prepared with a barrage of preserving methods under my belt. It's an exciting season!

I'm so excited about this decision. It feels like 'me', like something I no longer have to aim for, I can just 'be'. I don't know what it is, but everything else I've been trying my hand to up to this point feels like I'm playing a part - pretending to be this version of Hollie that doesn't quite sit right - but this? This feels like the woman I was born to be. The woman I've always dreamed I would become and I get to be her NOW. Life is feeling pretty great right about now. 

Until next time....


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