Modern homesteading is a lifestyle choice where one decides to choose to live a life that works toward living self sufficiently. You can modern homestead anywhere. You don’t have to adopt every homesteading skill right away, you can start where you are and homestead with what you’ve got.
Let's assume you've done some research and made the choice, you are going to embrace modern homesteading on your new property, you want to live off the grid and make your own food.
This is serious stuff keeping your families safe and healthy and doing your part to save the world and lessen your impact on the environment.
The first thing many new homesteaders do is order chickens. Now if you have never raised chickens before, check out our guide to raising chickens. It will come in handy!
Modern homesteading is about making some lifestyle changes to work more with nature and our environment. Homesteading is a lifestyle of self sufficiency. But it does not necessarily mean shunning technology completely.
Many people across the globe have had a big wake up call recently with how fragile our existence really is when we rely on others for our survival. Check out how COVID-19 is impacting land sale trends.
Modern homesteading involves being more aware of how we live and what we eat, and to not be reliant on grocery stores and big chains to provide healthy options. Modern homesteading is about bonding with nature and knowing what and how it can provide for you.
The first step for most people who start modern homesteading is raising chickens. Some even choose to build their own chicken coop.
Next steps that follow quickly tend to be gardening then growing and preserving your own food. Check out this article on homesteading discussing crop rotation and other animals you might be thinking about adding to your collection on your homestead.
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Trends in Modern Homesteading Today
Most people know modern homesteading will include some gardening and some raising animals. It also includes dyeing your own clothes and making your own textiles and beauty supplies where possible.
Modern Homesteading Garden
Modern homesteading will absolutely involve gardening. Whether you have bought a large acreage and have plenty of space for an extensive garden or whether you have a small plot on your urban property, you will be on your way to provide healthier and more nutritious food for your family.
If you do not have much space right now, find out more about urban homesteading here. The most important factor in being successful is to get started! Skills like gardening are acquired over time. Start now with whatever space you have available. Urban homesteaders get started on their balcony! Others get started with indoor plants.
Modern homesteaders acquire many skills along the way and if you have a family, it is wonderful to get the kids involved and learning where their food comes from. Also to get them involved in a few chores in the garden and looking after the animals. It helps them understand a little about how much hard work is involved in ensuring that food gets to the table every day.
Modern homesteading aims to provide you with high quality, safe and sustainable food year round; whilst using less resources and cutting back on waste and pollution. It's a great thing to do!
Modern Homesteading Chickens
The main reason modern homesteaders buy laying chicks or hens is for the eggs, of course! Once they begin laying, you will have an abundance of eggs that are organic, free of chemicals and, believe it or not, tastier.
After they have finish laying, they may either provide a great source of meat or just remain family pets! You may not think it at first but it is amazing how attached you can become to those chickens.
Modern Homesteading Meat
Once you get used to raising chickens, it’s time to start the next phase of your modern homesteading journey- raising your own livestock.
Raising your own cage-free and pasture-raised animals for food will provide obvious sustainability and ensure you have high quality food even in hard times. It will make you more resilient to bad economies and bad weathers.
Modern homesteading and raising your own animals will also ensure that your meat, cheeses and milk will be free of antibiotics, hormones and GMOs.
Depending on how much land you have available and how skilled you become, will determine whether you will eventually be able to make a business out of it. Many modern homesteaders are able to sell some of their surplus produce or meat to the local communities at farmers markets.
Modern Homesteading DIY
A true modern homesteader also makes their own cleaning and beauty supplies. Again this saves money and ensures the products are safe and free of chemicals and toxins that can make you sick.
As well as providing safe and healthy cleaning supplies for your family, it also is far better for the environment ensuring less toxins are produced and consumed. Making your own DIY products is one of the easier aspects of modern homesteading that everyone can try out regardless if they own land or live a more urban life. Kids also love to get involved with these fun projects!
Here is an inspiring video on how easy it can be to make some cleaning products with natural products you might already have in your home. Cost savings are immense. Space saving is huge. Plus to have less chemicals living in your house with you, can only be a good thing!
What They Don’t Tell You About Modern Homesteading
Do not modern homestead purely because it’s hip and trendy right now and you’re looking for new material to post on your social media.
It is hard work and there are as many cons as there are pros. I am going to give you a few of those cons to think about, but don’t worry I’m not trying to talk you out of this. These are just some things to think about and prepare for.
Raise Chickens They Said…
Most people entering the modern homesteading realm do not realize that baby chicks don’t stay cute and fluffy forever. There may be molting feathers, poop to clear up, vet bills, chicken coops to clean and foxes to keep out.
And don’t forget to watch your gardens! If the hens are left unattended for long periods of time they can start munching on your garden and destroy your whole season's crop!
Raise Meat They Said...
Many city dwellers have never really seen first hand where their meat comes from. If you are raising animals for meat production, do you have the heart to kill the animals eventually?
Whether its a cow or a chicken or a pig or a goat, if you have loved that animal, nutured it, feed it, protected it, it can be extremely difficult when it comes time to say goodbye. Many people find they cannot go through with it.
There may be other times in a homesteader's life where an animal is sick or injured and must be put down for their own sake. Even though modern homesteading can be an idyllic life at time, never forget that there are difficult decisions to be made along the way.
Gardening Is Easy They Said...
Whether you are growing your food on a new parcel of land, a small piece of your land or an elevated garden on your balcony, gardening is war. You are at war. You will wake up every single day and and engage in war with the weeds; war with the insects; war with the soil, war with the vermin and the weather. They are all the enemy that you are trying to keep away from the food you plan to eat for dinner or all winter.
Gardening is certainly character building and teaches us lot about life and ourselves. Patience, creativity, resilience and doggedness are qualities that you will need most of the time.
DIY They Said…
We still cannot find any downsides to making your own cleaning and beauty supplies. Quite simply it is cheaper, easier and better. This is something anyone can do whether you buy land or not and whether you embrace modern homesteading or not.
Throw some vinegar and water together and stop using chemical cleaning products. Easy right?
Next up handmade soaps, lotions and potions which are better for your skin. Don’t forget that it is okay to take baby steps into modern homesteading any step to eliminating your carbon footprint helps you and the earth.
Now, modern homesteading is not just the ability to work with nature and the environment to survive. No, indeed- modern homesteaders also integrate technology into their lives to assist with the big picture - saving the earth and being self-sustaining!
Honorable Mention: Big Ticket Modern Homesteading Trends
Solar power is one of the most accessible options modern homesteaders can use to save energy. Modern homesteaders look for states where solar panels work best and are most cost effective.
There are many places to utilize solar power, but typically you think of sun and deserts, and in the U.S. I think of the southwest.
Nevada is a popular state people visit and have been moving to at a fast rate. In our 2018 research Nevada was the 2nd most popular place people were moving to. Nevada is the 5th best state for solar power energy according to EnergySage.
Nevada land is always popular and sells fast. Check here our current land for sale in Nevada.
Purchasing land can provide many incentives for modern homesteaders including solar incentives and rebates, and if you are lucky, you may even receive tax credits. Solar panels are much more affordable these days and are one of the best ways to reduce your carbon footprint and save energy costs on an ongoing basis.
As a modern homesteader, you may want to be off the grid, but you can’t always grow everything you need on your land. Sometimes you will need efficient, reliable and fast enough transportation to get to the closest town for supplies.
Some people consider bikes with a supplemental electric motor an option. Electric bikes produce zero emissions, will save on gas expenses and, since you still pedal as much if not more than you rely on your electric motor, you will be in tip top shape as a result.
One thing to keep in mind though is how to bring your supplies home. You might need to look into bike baskets or a small bike cart to bring the loot home.
Energy Saving Appliances
On average, home appliances are responsible for roughly 13 percent of your total household energy use. Energy Star-rated appliances are recommended to save energy in modern homesteading homes. Sometimes appliances like these are more expensive to purchase initially, but in the long run the benefits outweigh the price.
Modern Homesteading is Not For the Weak Spirited
Modern homesteaders choose this lifestyle, because they are looking for something else i.e. financial freedom, food freedom, energy freedom, healthy and safety for your family, and possibly freedom from politics, the grid and excessive rules and regulations.
Modern homesteaders want a bonded relationship with nature, to feel connected to their roots, but also to be conscious of how they live.
Even though it can look and sound idyllic, it is a lot of hard work. Especially in the beginning when there is a lot to learn and a lot to set up. There will be some sacrifices, for sure but with sacrifice comes great reward!
So the only way to find out if this is for you is to start! What can you do this week? Try to plant lettuce, some peppers, some cherry tomatoes and maybe some fun herbs.
Wake up everyday to keep those plants alive. Feel like you have a new purpose. Even if it is in a small way, do something to choose the health for your family and the future for this planet.
Good luck on your new and exciting journey.
And please keep us updated on your progress!