Homesteading Habits | How to Begin an Urban Homestead

Up until recently I truly believed that homesteading was only something that could be done if you already had land. I figured we would need at least 5acres to begin our journey to live a slower, more intentional life, and with the price of land in the UK soaring to astronomical rates to be honest I wasn't ever sure if we'd make it! Then I realised something: homesteading is an attitude - and you really can begin anywhere with whatever you already have. 

Currently we have a 4-bed semi in the heart of Derby City in the UK. Our garden is roughly 1/4 acre and we are blessed with a conservatory and outhouse that gives us a little wriggle room for growing, storing, and general homestead business. We are making the most of what we've got and recognising that you can do a lot with a little when the intention is to be more self sustainable. 

Below I've outlined a few habits that we've begun to get us started on that homestead lifestyle. Most of these, with a few tweaks, can be done with whatever space you have, and all of them will help you become a little more self-sustainable. 

1. Utilise growing space

You can grow almost anywhere provided you have enough light. Conservatories, windowsills, kitchens, bathrooms....a little space goes a long way and, if you're mindful of what you need to grow, you can end up producing quite a range of plants! A great place to start is with herbs and micro greens on your kitchen window ledge.

2. Start a Compost

Personally we're only putting plant scraps into our compost (the rest is going in our wormery - see below), but composting is such a simple way to start being more self-sustainable. Take plants cuttings, kitchen scraps, and biodegradable waste, place in a compost bin (or make your own!), and with a little time you can make your own nutrient dense compost! 

3. Feed a wormery

We love our wormery! It's a great way to make compost when you don't have a soiled area to start and you can put most kitchen scraps in there too - especially the ones which don't do too well in your compost bin! You'll be making a nutrient rich fertiliser for your crops and you can do it on a concreted area! 

4. Begin making from scratch

Homesteading is a lifestyle so if you want to give it a start you've got to get your mind in the right place. Think making from scratch and doing it yourself. Run out of a product that you use regularly? Can you buy ingredients and make it? Have you broken something? Is it fixable? 

Simple things to learn how to make are basic condiments like mayonnaise and chutneys, jams and breads -  and start cooking meals from scratch too! You'll find your diet becomes a lot healthier, your way of living becomes a little slower and you'll be one step closer to the homesteading lifestyle.

5. Fall in love with your home

I don't know if you've noticed but homesteading requires you to be at home. A LOT. It's time to fall in love with your space again. Maybe it needs some attention? This is the time to give it some. Declutter, decorate and reorganise until you love how it feels and go back to enjoying being in it again. Home is where the heart is after all. 

6. Reduce food waste

If you're stuck in the endless cycle of buying salad bags, leaving them in the fridge and then throwing them away when they go mouldy (my hand is up with you guys), then now is the time to change it. Meal plan around ingredients you have in the home and be disciplined in cooking. Find recipes for random items you need to use up and see if you can find extra uses for stuff you don't know how to get rid of too like making fertilisers or regrowing plants. Essentially we're trying to avoid throwing stuff in the bin and if you can find a way to make something out of waste then bonus!

There are plenty of ways to begin homesteading (even those of us urban homesteading!) and I've written a blog detailing some more examples here - go check it out!

Happy homesteading!

Until next time...


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