What is Homesteading?
Modern homesteading is all about living a more self-reliant lifestyle. Your homestead can be big or small, rural or urban – some folks even homestead in apartments or on rented land.
Why homesteading? Some people choose to raise their own food or use home remedies to avoid questionable commercial products. Other focus on taking steps to stock up on food or prepare for everyday emergencies for peace of mind. Some enjoy the challenge of learning new skills and getting more exercise and time outside. Whatever your reason, you’ll find a wide range of resources on the site to help you along.
Common Sense Homesteading focuses on nine main categories of homesteading skills:
- Food Storage
- Home Remedies and Natural Health
- Homestead Animals
- Solar and Sustainable Living
- Recipes and Kitchen Tips
- Herbs and Wildcrafting
- General Homesteading
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 above or on the subscription page.
The homestead garden is a keystone of many homesteading efforts. Whether you’re growing herbs on a windowsill or maintaining a large garden with perennial trees and shrubs, there’s nothing quite like the taste of your home grown produce.
Gardening is a HUGE part of our homestead. We have an assortment of annual gardens, as well as fruit and nut trees, brambles, shrubs and vines. The garden related posts can be viewed on the Gardening page, and are sorted into the following categories:
- Getting Started Gardening
- Seed Starting
- Plant Supports, Pest Control
- Specific Crops
- Season Extension/Crop Storage
- Garden Tools and Equipment
- Preserving the Harvest
- Miscellaneous Garden Links
- Gardening Book Reviews
- Wildcrafting – Using Your Weeds
Once the harvest starts coming in, you’ll want to preserve your bounty to enjoy year round. Even if you don’t have a garden, buying bulk seasonal produce and preserving it at home can be a great option for stocking your homestead pantry.
Home Remedies and Natural Health
Live is full of bumps and bruises, tummy aches and other minor illnesses. With a little know-how, you can treat many common ailments with items from your garden or pantry. There are also many daily wellness choices that improve your quality of life. The Home Remedies and Natural Health posts are grouped into the following topic areas:
- Home Remedies
- Cold and Flu Remedies
- Beating Candida and Psoriasis
- Women’s Health
- Food, Diet and Farming
- Natural Health and Wellness
- Personal Hygiene
- Emergency Healthcare
- Live Culture Foods
- Herbal Remedies
There’s a running joke that says chickens are the “gateway animal” for homesteaders, and there’s no denying the excitement of picking your first home raised egg. For those who have smaller spaces or need quieter critters, aquaponics or rabbits may be a better choice. With a little more space, you may want to add larger poultry and ruminants like goats.
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.
Solar and Sustainable Living
Many people equate homesteading with off grid living and solar power. Being completely off grid may be a great option for some, but you don’t have to go completely off grid to start using some solar options in your home. You can also choose less toxic cleaners and other products to reduce your environmental impact. “Green” topic areas on the site include:
- Green Building
- Solar Thermal
- Solar Electric (Photovoltaic)
- Building Our Home
- Green Cleaners
- Non-toxic Personal Care Products
- Non-toxic Pest Control
- Green Products and Books
What’s now called “prepping” used to be normal life for many homesteaders of the past (and present). It’s common sense to take steps to prepare your home and family for likely emergencies such as power grid failure, job loss, storms, water contamination and more.
Recipes and Kitchen Tips
The kitchen is great place to start your homesteading journey, as we all need to eat. Home cooked meals help you to save money and choose good quality ingredients for your table. Along with food, we also have some recipes for personal care items like salve and deodorant, and ferments such as dandelion wine. To make your kitchen work a little easier, I also share some of my favorite kitchen tips, such as handy substitutions and natural stove cleaners.
Herbs and Wildcrafting
I was introduced to the herb featured in my logo (Common Plantain) by my grandmother, many years ago. Unfortunately, grandma didn’t know about the wonderful healing powers of the plant, only that it was called “medicine leaf” by some Native Americans. Thankfully, I eventually met some great mentors who helped me learn how to use wild plants for food and medicine (wildcrafting). It’s amazing to find out what’s waiting right in your backyard. You can read about how to identify and use over 40 common weeds in the Weekly Weeder series.
Common Sense Homesteading is all about using sound judgment to be more self-reliant. There is always more to learn. Even after all these years, I’m only scratching the surface of my wish list of homesteading skills. I look forward to learning and growing together. Leave a comment and let me know if there's a topic you'd like covered, or share your homesteading story. If you enjoy the post, please give it a share on social media.
Homesteading Resources – my favorite resources from my site and around the internet, including bulk food suppliers and online nurseries featuring cold hardy plants
Originally published in 2012, updated in 2017.