Are you interested in learning about backyard homesteading for beginners? If so, you've come to the right place.
Now, it's true that we homestead off the grid, so we don't have any restrictions on how we homestead on our plot of land. Yet we get many questions from readers about how to get started in pursuit of a self-sufficient lifestyle.
That's why I wanted to write this mini backyard homestead guide.
We'll discuss everything you need to know about starting a homestead when you don't have much space in this post.
We'll cover topics such as homesteading in a postage-size backyard, setting up your garden, and raising small homestead farm animals in the city or suburbs.
So, whether you're a seasoned gardener, brand new to chickens or a complete homesteading newbie, read on for some helpful tips and good ideas to create your action plan.
5 Ways to Get Started with Backyard Homesteading
If you're starting out on your homesteading journey, it's essential to have a plan. Here are some tips to help get you started.
Start a Vegetable Garden
One of the best ways to get started with backyard homesteading is to create a vegetable garden. It's always a great idea and often the first homestead project for new homesteaders interested in self-sufficiency. And contrary to what you might think, you don't need acres and acres to grow your own food.
When I was a teenager and lived in a Toronto suburb, we had a tiny backyard. And my parents put in a lot of hard work to use every inch available to grow tomatoes, fruit trees, perennial vegetables, cucumbers, lettuce, chives, and many other vegetables.
They always grew their own garden because they wanted homegrown food for our family.
And by the way, if you live in an apartment or even a small townhouse with a patio, check out our post on apartment homesteading for even more ideas.
Extend Your Growing Season and Space
If you start your backyard garden with plans to secure your family's food supply, you'll want to find ways to grow more vegetables, your own fruits, and herbs. And you'll want to extend your growing season.
This means you can start your vegetables earlier in the spring. And keep them growing right into the winter.
And depending on how ambitious you are, you could even try your hand at growing beans indoors! We did this a few years ago as part of our homesteading and homeschooling activities. We're hoping to try keeping bees - raising honey bees one of these years.
Raise Chickens in Your Backyard
One of the most popular topics we get asked about is raising backyard chickens. And if you want to backyard homestead on a smaller scale, raising backyard chickens is a great way to get started. Chickens are easy to care for and you can use their eggs for cooking or baking.
However, there are several things to keep in mind.
Firstly, chicken feed can be expensive, so consider cost and chicken feed recipe alternatives.
Secondly, not all areas allow backyard chickens, particularly roosters. That's because their crowing can annoy the neighbors. So before you buy chicks, check your by-laws carefully.
(And by the way, my new favorite book this year is a backyard homestead book of building projects by Joel Salatin. It's called Polyface Designs: A Comprehensive Construction Guide for Scalable Farming Infrastructure, and it includes step-by-step instructions and cool tricks.
for building projects to help with backyard farming, market gardening, and creating your own sustainable homestead. Fourthly, if you're in a cold climate like we are, choose a cold-hardy chicken breed.
And finally, you'll need to learn how to butcher a chicken. I have to say, I was very nervous the first time we harvested our meat chickens. We watched YouTube videos, set everything up the day before, and got help from a knowledgeable friend.
The first time we butchered 9 of our meat chickens in our backyard. The next time we did 11, and the last time we did 8 plus our 3 turkeys. It isn't my favorite part of homesteading. But it does get easier each time.
Raise Quail in Your Backyard
Another backyard homesteading option is raising backyard quail. Quail are small, easy to care for, and they lay eggs.
Many people find quail easier to raise than chickens. They take less space and eat less. However, their eggs are VERY small.
We did talk about trying to raise quail here at our off grid homestead. but decided to raise turkeys instead for the meat.
Raise Rabbits in Your Backyard
If you're looking for a cost-effective and sustainable way to provide meat for your family, consider raising rabbits for meat. They're easy to care for, and they reproduce quickly. And did I mention rabbit stew is delicious?
As with raising chickens, consider the best rabbit breeds for your location and situation before adding them to your own backyard homestead. You'll need feed, a rabbit hutch, and you'll need to learn how to butcher a rabbit too.
By following these tips, you can begin backyard homesteading no matter where you live. In addition, I hope it inspires you to think about how to include the art of homesteading in your own life.
Homesteading for Beginners
If you're itching to get started with your backyard homestead, be sure to check out our other posts. We have all sorts of tips, tricks, and step-by-step posts. Reading through our homesteading for beginners articles is a great way to get your feet wet (or dirty).
You'll get tips on how to start vegetable gardening indoors and outdoors, using cold frames, greenhouses, and indoor gardening. Plus, you'll learn all about raising chickens, raising quail, and raising rabbits. And it's all right at your fingertips (er, on your phone or laptop) so you can start planning your very own backyard homestead today.