25 Urban Homestead Ideas

I get tonnes of messages from people asking me how to go about starting an Urban Homestead - or simply saying how much they would love to do what we are starting to do! - and it got me realising that there are SO MANY ways of living a 'homestead lifestyle' without the acres of land that people think you need. I've compiled 25 things you can do RIGHT NOW to start getting into the homestead mindset and we're doing all of these from our urban home right in the middle of the city. Let me know whether you have any of your own things that you are doing too! 

  1. Grow herbs on the kitchen windowsill. Basil, rosemary, mint, thyme...all can be bought as plants in your local supermarket and kept alive in a bright spot, or grow from seed if you're feeling bold!
  2. Use vegetable trimmings to grow new vegetables. Chop off the ends of carrots, celery, onions and place in a couple of cm of water and watch as your vegetable trimmings continue to grow new veggies. Super easy to do and very rewarding!
  3. Make your own chicken stock with a chicken carcass. Place the leftover roast chicken and carcass into a slow cooker. Top with plenty of water, a few vegetables (carrots, onions. celery) and whatever herbs you fancy and leave to simmer for a few hours. Delicious chicken stock that can be frozen and used for later!
  4. Make your own vegetable stock with vegetable scraps. Exactly the same as above but all veggies. The wonderful thing about vegetable stock is that you can use veggie scraps to make it - potato peel, onions ends, carrot trimmings...throw the lot in and watch as it transforms to wonderful stock!
  5. Create a compost pile. Place all your plants trimmings, kitchen scraps and compostable materials into a compost pile, turn it regularly and create your own soil. 
  6. Care for a wormery. Wormery's are cheap and can be stored on hard ground (great for those os us with small gardens!), but the results are compost that can be used in your plants and flowers!
  7. Make bird feeders. Encouraging birds into your area is not only good for the wildlife, but it's also great for your soul - who doesn't love watching birds fly around? Make up feeders using seeds and nut butters and place in easy to spot areas against windows or hanging off of bushes/trees. 
  8. Create bug hotels. Big hotels can be bought fairly reasonably, or use scraps of woods and cardboard (the key is all natural/compostable/biodegradable) to create your own. Place in a shady hidden spot in the garden and watch as insects flood your space.
  9. Plant insect loving flowers. Biodiversity is key so search for flowers that bring in a variety of bigs and insects that will grow well in your garden. Buddlia, Dahlias and roses are some of my favourite.
  10. Grow your own vegetables. So many vegetables can be grown in large pots and need very little ground space. Potatoes, carrots, salad....the list truly is endless! 
  11. Grow your own fruits. Bushes and trees of fruit may need a bit more space but there is nothing more rewarding that picking a sweet berry off a bush in the middle of summer and popping it straight in your mouth. Strawberries are a great beginner. 
  12. Plant a fruit tree. We've been growing cherry trees and plum trees in large pots for years, but you'd be surprised how little space a lot of fruit trees need in their first few years - and they will produce fruit for you whilst small! If you do a little research you can even train them to grow along surfaces like walls and fences...
  13. Forage for local fruits/herbs/berries/flowers. Finding free food is always a winner and there is a heap to be explored - mushrooms, damsons, cherries, garlic, apples, blackberries, raspberries....I mean you get the gist. 
  14. Make fertilisers out of kitchen scraps. Soaking banana peel in water to release the potassium. Crushing up egg shells to add calcium. There are so many fertilisers that you can make at home that are all natural and help prevent waste.
  15. Repurpose your recycling. Waste toilet rolls aren't just good for crafts you know. Bird feeders, storage containers, seedling pots, gardening stakes...waste recycling can be repurposed for a variety of things!
  16. Make your own bread. It's a staple in most households and one of the first things that should be learnt how to make - and it's so so simple!
  17. Make your own mayonnaise. One of the simplest condiments to make and so much fun when you see the creamy goodness transform in the bowl!
  18. Make your own chutney. What's a homestead without a jar of homemade chutney after all?
  19. Make your own pastry. Shortcrust is so easy to make and puff just takes a little bit of time and care, but both will have you feeling like a homesteading goddess after completing. 
  20. Bake a cake from scratch. This is basically make anything from scratch. Get the ingredients and follow a recipe and you'll be amazed by how much that we buy for convenience can be made in our own homes.
  21. Use up the food in the house before buying more. Guilty as charged. Look through cupboards and fridges to see what's about to turn and make meals around those ingredients first - I'm always amazed at the recipes I can make when it looks like I have nothing in the house!
  22. Properly recycle. Wash, squash, flatten and sort. So much more than cardboards and plastic can be recycled now and plenty of places like schools and supermarkets will take the majority of your household waste from toothpaste tubes to crisp packets. See how much you can get rid of sustainably.
  23. Reduce your waste. We throw so much away and homesteading means being more intentional about that. Does it need to go or can it be repurposed? Can it be fixed? 
  24. Reduce what you buy. This goes hand in hand with reducing waste. We are a society of wanting and tend to buy on impulse. Homesteading looks at being more mindful and intentional about the things we invite into our home. 
  25. Fix broken clothes. Holes in socks can be darned. Zips can be replaced and tears can be sewn. Not every rip means it needs to be thrown away and a new one bought. 
This is by no means an extensive list and there are hundreds of ways to get into the homestead way of living - I'll be sure to continue to compile lists as I start doing more things myself! 

Until next time...


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