Getting Started Homesteading

Get Started Homesteading - Over 20 Posts to Help You Become More Self-Reliant, Plus FREE E-book "Common Sense Homesteading 101:  7 Steps to Become more Self-Reliant Now" with subscription

What is Homesteading?

I define homesteading as “working to be more self-reliant, wherever you are”.  “Common Sense Homesteading” is all about “using sound judgment to be more self-reliant”.

We’ve built a library of “Getting Started Homesteading” posts to help you on your journey.  We’ll talk about food production and storage, natural health, recipes, preparedness and other skills that may be handy.

We also have an e-book titled, “Common Sense Homesteading 101:  7 Steps to Become more Self-Reliant Now” that’s available for download FREE to subscribers.  Just sign up below or on the subscription page.

Get Homesteading 101 FREE


Questions? Leave a comment below.

General Homesteading

Become More Self-Reliant – Start Here

If You Only Get One Homesteading Book, This Should Be It

Gardening Articles

View our full list of over 40 gardening posts


New to Gardening – Start Here – Tips for Beginners

Getting Started with Herb Gardening

Getting Started Vermicomposting – Raising Worms

Full List of Over 40 Gardening Posts

Food Storage Recipes

View all food preservation recipes.

Food Preservation/Preparation

New to Food Preserving – Start Here

Getting Started With Home Canning

Getting Started with Home Food Drying

Getting Started with Solar Cooking

Root Cellars 101

Getting Started with a Home Grain Mill

View Full List of over 30 Food Storage Recipes

Homestead Animals

Animal Husbandry

Introduction to Aquaponics: Growing Fish and Vegetables Together

Bird Flu Busters – 5 Strategies for a Healthier Flock

Chickenpalooza! An Awesome List of Homestead Chicken Resources

Getting Started with Meat Chickens

Top 7 Tips for First time Chicken Owners

How to Raise Chickens Cheaply – Tips for Raising Chickens on a Budget

Homestead Geese – Easy to Care for Barnyard Protectors and Weed Eaters

Getting Started with Homestead Goats – choosing the right breed, basic goat care (food, water, shelter and fencing), additional goat resources

Keeping Homestead Dairy Goats – What age dairy goat should you get? Breeding your dairy goat, Basic pregnancy Care, Kids and Weaning, Basic milking procedures and milk handling.

Goats for Sale – 6 Mistakes to Avoid When Buying Goats

Homestead Rabbits – Getting Started and Finding the Right Breed

Getting Started Beekeeping

Homesteading Information


Cooking With Cast Iron—How And Why To Get Started

How to Season Cast Iron Cookware

How to Restore Old or Damaged Cast Iron

How to Make Maple Syrup

Getting Started with Wood Heat – 5 Things You Should Know

How to Build a Burn Barrel – Burn Trash Safely

Getting Started with Essential Oils – Address Commons Ailments with Natural Solutions

Getting Started with Firearms – Part One

Getting Started with Firearms – Part Two

Involving Young Children in Homesteading

Get Started Homesteading - Over 20 Posts to Help You Become More Self-Reliant, Plus FREE E-book "Common Sense Homesteading 101:  7 Steps to Become more Self-Reliant Now" with subscription

Still not sure how to get started homesteading?

Buy Your Custom Homestead

Jill from The Prairie Homestead has a new e-book, Your Custom Homestead, designed to walk you through basic homestead planning step by step.

Click here or on the image at left to view a free sample chapter and/or purchase the book.


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  1. Anne Barnett says

    I love this site!!!!!!!!!! I am excited to find a place to go for the things I have been trying to learn. I wish to be more self sufficient and look forward to reading and trying new things here. Thank you.
    Anne Barnett

      • w says

        Hi. I am new at all this and am very excited to get started we have 1 acre that was a junk yard 15 years ago. We want to replenish it and be as self sufficient as possible. I see there are some great looking books on here but I can’t seem to find a copy of any of the books that are not Kindle downloads. I rarely have access to the Internet and have a hard time with computer screens. Is there any way to obtain a regular book?

        • says

          I’m not sure which books you’re talking about, as what’s listed on this page is mostly articles from the website. The free subscribed e-book is a pdf, which can be printed out for personal use.

  2. Laurie H. says

    Hello! We are so fortunate to have some things in place but I am struggling with getting us “ready” to make the big move. My husband works(and we live) in Fl right now but we are also purchasing owner-financed a home and 12 acres in Tn. Our budget currently allows this but we are so tight for anything else, i really need advice on how to slim down and store up. Should we decide to cut our ties here and go “whole hog” into our homestead where do we begin? Is it advisable to do this and cash in our 401k or sit tight until retirement in 7 yrs.?
    Any advice will be welcomed and discussed
    Thanks Laurie H.

    • Patrick says

      I too, lived in Florida but moved back to the VA mountains to our homestead. I answer your question this way. What is most important to you now? This is your present moment you have to make the best choice for yourselves. You will never know if it is the right choice until you do it!.. My advice, from someone who just installed a commercial grade food processing kitchen ( I am the extreme)? BE DEBT FREE! Starting a homestead first class takes sweat and MONEY. If you are broke and you try this you will HATE it unless you go barter system and are patient. I could go on but the debt free part was half of it for us.

      • Steve says

        Hi Patrick. I’m curious as to why you left Florida. I bought a home near Sarasota for retirement. It’s being rented till I’m ready to retire in 6 years. But I find that living on a gated community by their rules isn’t sitting well with me. I need more space and freedom. I’d like to build a concrete house with solar and have a greenhouse on 5 to 10 acres. Is this a possibility in Fl. I’m from the northeast and don’t want anything to do with winter anymore.
        Any thoughts would be appreciated.

        • Patrick says

          Hello Steve, I left Florida for many reasons. One, I saw the deterioration of my own neighborhood in 15 years from owners to renters. I am a catastrophe adjuster and went through many of an event so I saw Frances, Jeane, Charlie, Katrina, Sandy etc. After my experiences I saw first hand just how unprepared for disasters 99.9% of the people are ESPECIALLY in urban areas. I decided I did not want to fight my neighbors for essentials. I just did not feel safe. Two, I wanted to be debt free and had the opportunity to divest completely and go home to no mortgage, business loans My wife and I owned two business as well. Three, I needed to be healthier, I wanted to eat food that was not injected with drugs which meant going back to my roots and growing my own food, raising grass fed beef, pastured pigs, trout in my river, and building commercial kitchen exclusively to process our food and an indoor aquaponic system for our talapia. I wanted to do all of these things while I had the stamina and desire to do so as it can be a grind. I loved Florida, do not get me wrong, I fished most weekends and 4 wheeled with my modded FJ and off road teardrop trailer and it was nice being brown and tanned. I just knew that for me and my family ( I have two young ‘uns left in the house) that to be able to teach them a self sufficient life that included hunting camping heating with wood, you know living off what our acerage provides would be an invaluable experience for them. Having said this, the two main drawbacks now at 53 is the winters, I dislike cold more than I used to, and the distances to by some basic things, like building supplies ( forgot to mention I remodeled one home that is passive solar, added 1200 square feet to it and at the same time built another 1200 square foot home in a neighboring county as my daughter plays basketball and wanted to play for a particular school, also just started a container home). An added benefit was that my father in law lives with us which is great for the kids! He has Parkinsons so are able to care for him and give him a great life/environment in the winter of his years. He is 83 and doing very well hunting with me, square dancing, reading and enjoying his life. I guess this may sound crazy but it is my life, our life, and we feel blessed to live it.

  3. Jo-Ann [Florida] says

    Hi Laura..
    Just came across your site when doing a search for Kombucha. You have a GREAT site!!!.. Have alot to read and meditate on as you have much info available. Thanks… Question, on the page about flavoring Kombucha, you have several grolsch style bottles with the flip tops. Do you have a source for buying them. Keep up the good work.

    • says


      I’m glad you’re enjoying the site. As for the grolsh style bottles, I picked mine up at a local home brewing store. Their website is currently down, otherwise I’d link. You may be able to find something similar in your area. Otherwise, Cultures for Health does sell them, or you can find them on Amazon or other online retailers.

    • Kathy T. says

      I’m not sure what you mean by grolsch bottles–but I have found the ones I call bale top—at TJ Maxx for less than $5. and at Big Lots in Lake City, they have ones for about $3.. When I travel and one of these stores is in the area, I check them out. I have a surplus of the glass bottles with the “flip bale wire top” that has the rubber sealing “gasket” on them. Also Big Lots has a french carbonated drink in the same bottles for about $5. and you have a delightful drink and then the bottle to repurpose. The only problem with Big Lots, if you see something that sparks your creative juices, better get it then because it’s not a guaranteed on stock item …

  4. says

    What are the best growing lights to use for indoor plants? I’m looking for lights that are non hazardous to the environment and the people. Thank you.

    • says

      Kathi – I haven’t looked into this, and haven’t seen anything on it. I do know that there are daylight spectrum LEDs available, and they are very bright for the wattage, but expensive.

  5. Edie says

    Hi, I love the information on your site. I have a question I was wondering if you could help me out with. We recently purchased a 6 acre property with 4 different wells. All the wells have manual access, BUT my issue is that the water to the house has a sulfurous content. We are not sure yet if all the wells are the same, but can only assume. My question is if it is safe for consumption? (Human & animal.) We plan on getting ALL the wells tested to determine the exact content, but thought maybe you could give us a heads-up until then. Right now we are using a 5-gallon Absopure dispenser for cooking and drinking. Thanks, and again, cool site :-)

    • says

      Sulfur on its own is generally not a problem – our well water stinks like rotten eggs, but is perfectly safe to drink. A well test is a very good idea, as many country wells are now contaminated with various pollutants, especially on older properties with more shallow wells. In our area nitrates are a big concern, due to so many large dairy farms. :(

    • Patrick says

      We had iron water in our well. After MUCH research we found the most affordable and the filter system that worked for us (fingers crossed) we purchased from Budget Water “on the line”. Four years and still very good results.

  6. Angel says

    Well I just love your site I stumbled across. I’m so excited to go through it a little more thoroughly for more information on the subjects I’m interested in, which honestly is pretty much everything you’ve posted about. Let me rephrase that, go through the subjects I can actually use at the moment since I’m an inner city homestead wanna be at the moment.

    Thank you for sharing all your information.

  7. Rachel says

    I just wanted to say thank you. You’ve pulled together information on things i’m researching because a few friends of mine and I are in the research/planning stage of homesteading. We’re probably putting the wagon before the horse since we don’t have the property yet but we want to be prepared for what we’re getting ourselves into and this site has become a reference point for us.

    • says

      There are a ton of things you can do to be more self-sufficient, no matter where you are, like cooking from scratch and using home remedies and homemade cleaning products. If you start with small things now, that’s less you have to worry about when/if you do get more land. Good luck on your journey, and thank you for taking time to leave a positive comment.

  8. Rochelle Earp says

    I hope you could do me a favor and share our dream! We’re not lazy (can’t be working a homestead) but we’re like a lot of america living check to check!

  9. says

    I found this site last night when I couldn’t sleep because I’m excited for our future homesteading adventure (we saw a 20 acre farm last night and it’s perfect for what we need). We grow mushrooms as our business and one book that has been great for us is by:
    Stamets, Paul. Mycelium Running. New York: Ten Speed Press, 2005. Print.
    It’s a great book for mushrooms, not just for eating but other uses around the farm. He has a TEDTalks video on YouTube that kind of outlines the whole book as well, “Paul Stamets: 6 Ways Mushrooms Can Save the World”… Just thought I would share with you all. Love your site and learning so much, Thanks! <3

    • says

      I’ve watched Paul Stamets TED talk and it was excellent! I haven’t read his book yet as I’m the only mushroom lover in the family, but I think his work with mycoremediation is wonderful.

      Welcome to the site.

  10. Kylie Gentry says

    How about a general list of things you should think of ,about, when thinking of homesteading .maybe a general list of d-i-y-s for all the categories like composting and where you can find information about it, or dealing with bugs and natural or non toxic ways to rid your self of them. Think these topics would be big helps, thanks.

  11. says

    Great site! I love anything to do with homesteading. My sister and I just started blogging about lots of those sorts of things too! We’re at Keep up the good work. :)

  12. Lori says

    How can I motivate my husband into homesteading? He keeps procrastination about the whole idea. I feel it is an urgent need to get started. Thanks for any suggestions.

    • says

      Get started without him. If he’s like most men I know, he’ll either get curious and start investigating, or he’ll feel the need to jump in and tell you how you are doing something wrong. Taking on a task that’s obviously way too much for you may help motivate him. Cooking him a stunningly good homecooked meal also earns points. Both my husband and two boys prefer the taste of homemade just about everything at this point, and will work to get what they want to eat because they know the end result is worth it.

      • Kathy T. says

        I am pretty much on my own as far as beginning homesteading. I started out with food preserving and then into dehydrating…and then into making my own laundry soap and hanging clothes out to dry. When hubby saw the electric bill after 2 months of NOT using the clothes dryer–we had saved over $200.00–and THAT got his attention. Although I am still wishing he showed more interest and more “on the wagon”; I feel that we are more prepared than ever just because I have “regressed” to what my mother taught me as I was growing up. Food made from scratch, canning and preserving, growing or buying from a local farmer; etc. Lori the best thing is, as wtih anything–small baby steps that will eventually see you looking back over a long and prosperous walk…enjoy the journey.

    • Patrick says

      My two cents….start your garden. When he says the yield and cost savings that may interest him. The fresh taste of food will not hurt either!

  13. Donna McCarthy says

    Just discovered your site and know it’s going to become a favorite. Already have learned much to help improve my garden. Thank you and God bless you

  14. Esther Springer-Beckles says

    I am new to gardening but would like to setup one in my yard. it will have to be a container garden since i do not have much space for planting in the ground and the soil quality is not very good.
    therefore i need all the advice i can get to start. it will also contribute to my eating healthy since most of our product are not organic. am looking forward to a reply.
    thanks for the help

  15. Heather says

    Hi my family and I are going to be picking our acreage from Homestead crossing in a couple of months. We have a three year old and 18 month old. The land we are looking at is in Missouri. Do you know about any resources in the area around Salem or Jadwin? We do not have much for money at all and will have to start everything in September or October. Please any help will be appreciated. With two small kids, its the best and worst time to start doing this.

  16. frankie t says

    You have a new follower. Love the content… high quality and I will refer your site to friends. Thanks for doing a great job.

    • says

      Welcome, Frankie, and thank you. With facebook showing our content to so few people, it makes it tougher than ever to let people know about the website, so I appreciate your referrals.

  17. Tara S says

    Feel lucky found your site from the Epic DIY Kitchen Giveaway on Delicious Obsession site and it is great. So is this giveaway thanks.

  18. says

    Oh My…You have so much wonderful information here. I am going to be here for days and days reading and absorbing all of it. Thank You. We should never stop learning.

  19. Marcia says

    Love this site as we are starting to build a “tiny house” and are getting geared up to be more self sufficient, off the grid, and homesteading. We are getting our food sources and storage going and building our own solar and wind power. How do I get the free copy of your e-book on homesteading. I signed up on your site. (At least it said I did) and can’t see how to get the book so that I can eventually print it on my computer and put it in a note book for when we wont have the computers. Many thanks and awaiting your reply.

  20. says

    I am loving this site and all the info here. Thanks for sharing it! I subscribed so I could get the book but I can’t figure out where or how to download it.

  21. Tammy says

    I subscribed to the weekly newsletter and got the link to download the free eBook (Common Sense Homesteading) but there was an error in download! As you can probably tell I’m not so “tech savvy” lol. I’ve tried to find it and can’t! Plz help lol

  22. Sarah says

    I subscribed to weekly newsletter but cannot find link to e book. Please help. I am so delighted to find your site.

  23. Karen Isaacson says

    Hi, Laurie…I’m subscribed [Yeah!] but can’t find how to download the 7 steps e-book to get started. Can you point me to where I need to go? Thx…

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