Homesteading is a growing trend and has sparked the interest of many people. Preppers not only prep for healthy benefits of fresh food, avoiding the wallet crunch and storing food in case "It hits the fan." However, new-fangled homesteaders may find it hard to keep up with the demands of living off the land at first, but when you bring in bushel after bushel of fresh garden vegetables then you’ll soon realize that homesteading and prepping is worth the hard work put in.
Being a homesteader doesn’t necessarily require a country lifestyle or owning property. Living in a city apartment, even a high rise, you can grow container gardens of fresh fruits and vegetables for canning. Having limited space in the backyard may require you to use raised garden beds, while owning your own property or sharing community property you can start a traditional garden. Growing your own food is an important part of homesteading.
If gardening is too tedious for health reasons or due to a demanding work schedule, then propose to friends and family the need to join forces and grow a community garden together. You can also by co-op shares from a farmer for meat, dairy products and fresh produce. By paying a monthly fee the farmer works the land or milks the cows and gives you your share of the harvest. This is an alternative for those with health problems that choose to eat organic foods.
If your family or neighbors decide ot do a community garden instead of co-op shares then entrust those to your garden team who will work it fairly. If someone cannot work the land but is willing to buy supplies and equipment needed then give them their share accordingly. This will depend on how much of a financial contribution to materials is made.
When it is time to harvest the community garden then take what you need and split the excess with those who work the garden in your place. Only those people invited to work the garden should pick the garden, do not send outsiders to pick produce in your place. This will cause problems and hard feelings with those who have worked hard.
Dry excess herbs and store them properly. Store up canned vegetables with the help of the popular Ball Blue Book, this book gives information and recipes on how to properly process food for long term storing. You can learn from the many garden guides available in book or online. One cheap and inexpensive way to get information for gardening is to order seed catalogs from several companies. They are always a good source for gardening and if you order from them they often send instructions on caring for the type of seeds or plants you have ordered from them.
Begin the first year with a few crops like corn, tomatoes, green beans, squash, and each year add a new vegetable. Start a separate plot of land for a strawberry plants and build it up. Plant different types of berry bushes and a grapevine trellis to grow fruits for making jellies and jams. Don't forget to plant fruit or nut trees to grow other kinds of food that store well. Keep it small, at first, but leave space to add more each year with proper knowledge and care they will continue to grow for years.
One important thing to remember before placing your garden is that some crops do not grow well side-by-side. This is the same for trees and bushes. Research your plants and seeds in advance to get the best growing experience. Homesteading or living off the land is not easy, but once you learn how to garden and store foods you’ll feel more accomplished and self-sufficient. The healthy benefits of eating fresh vegetables, fruits and nuts will make you want to grow crops every year.
Resource: Pioneer Living