The Mindset Change that Will Make You a Better Urban Farmer
By Becca Moore
I didn’t always think I could be a homesteader.
When I started this homesteading gig, I put a lot of limitations on myself. I insisted that I couldn’t do “everything” homesteading related because I didn’t have enough land. I was sure I had to own chickens, rabbits, goats and at least one cow in order to call myself a homesteader.
Using essential oils to clean with wasn’t enough. Cooking from scratch surely didn’t make me a homesteader. Growing a small garden was just the way it was. Home canning was just an old tradition I held on to.
And to be honest, this little box I put myself in, depressed me.
I wanted to be a homesteader. I wanted to live off my land, grow my own food, raise some animals for meat and dairy products, and do everything I could to make my food from scratch, make my own cleaners, soap and detergent.
It took me a good ten years to realize that my thinking process was a bunch of bologna.
The truth is, you don’t need a lot of land or any land for that matter to life a self-sufficient lifestyle. And a chicken definitely isn’t a requirement.
It’s easy to have this viewpoint that homesteading has to be done the traditional way. Much the same way as our grandparents and great-grandparents ran their homesteads. But time has changed. We do have electricity now and just because you enjoy running your dishwasher, using a washing machine or buying bread at the store because you didn’t get the chance to bake any doesn’t make you any less of a homesteader.
There’s a thing called modern homesteading and that is the category that many homesteaders like myself fall under.
And guess what? It’s okay!
So how can you homestead with little to no land?
Growing your own food is a huge step! Even if you live in an apartment you can grow your own food. If you have a patio you can container garden. You have a few more options doing it this way as you aren’t tied to the temperature of your soil, the pH value, or crowded space. All you need are a few five gallon buckets, some soil, your seeds, sunlight and water. You may not be able to grow enough to store up in your freezer or by home canning, but you can at the very least enjoy fresh fruits and vegetables. When colder weather arrives, you are even able to move your container garden indoors under a grow light and have fresh fruits and vegetables all year long.
I have a 700 square-foot garden on ¼ acre of land. No, I couldn’t grow everything I wanted, but I was able to grow enough to preserve some of it and for the rest I visited my local farmer’s market.
Where I live, outside animals of any kind are not allowed. My borough considers outside rabbits livestock. So, we’ve improvised. We can’t raise chickens indoors, so we invested in a few rabbits. They are great pets and they provide nutrients for the garden. We can’t raise animals for meat, so we visit our local meat shop. We’re unable to purchase fresh milk, eggs, cheese from our grocery store, so we visit local farms. While getting what we need, we’re also supporting our local farms who otherwise wouldn’t be able to stay in business without those of us who aren’t able to homestead on a large piece of land.
Cooking from scratch and making your own cleaners is a small part of the equation. There are many ways you can be a homesteader without a bunch of land or animals.
Making a plan and setting some goals is your first step to successful homestead. Consider making a plan today and doing what you can to take those steps towards the lifestyle you want to create!
Thank you for reading and Happy Homesteading!
Becca Moore is the owner/author of Simply Quaint Homestead. She lives in Northeastern Pennsylvania with her husband and seven children. They homestead on just a ¼ acre of land and are encouraging others who want to homestead to do so, regardless of how big their homestead may be. You can read more of Becca’s articles on her website Simply Quaint Homestead. Becca would love to answer any questions you may have. You can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org