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Permaculture • Homesteading • Organic Gardening • Self Sufficiency • Sustainability

How To Start A Homestead Far Off The Grid

An off-grid homestead is a dream for millions of people. Working with your hands, building your cabin in the woods, camping as you build, providing for your heat and water, no rent, no mortgage, having freedom, simplicity, independence, and the satisfaction of doing it yourself.

So, what all do you need to know about starting a homestead far off the grid?

off grid farm

To start a homestead far off-grid, you need to first find land and learn the rules in that county. You also need to focus on the water situation in that area, what kind of animals you will have, and what plants you want in your garden. Diversified income streams make homesteading successful.

In this article, you’ll get a basic guide on what starting a homestead requires. Yes, all you may know of off-grid homesteading might be the fancy Hollywood version, but the reality isn’t quite as glamorous. However, that does not mean off-grid homestead living isn’t great. Homestead off-grid living is an affordable alternative to the modern consumerist lifestyle.

How Do You Start A Homestead With Next To Nothing?

Becoming debt-free, living a healthier lifestyle, growing your food, being self-sufficient, and saving money are just a few reasons many people want to start homesteading. But how do you go about getting it done? Here’s how.

Find Land Where You Want To Start Off Grid Homesteading

First, you need to find a piece of land where you want to start your homestead lifestyle. A great place to start is on landwatch.com. This site is excellent because it has several search options. If you are looking for different zoning, you can find it. If you’re looking for a place where it is legal to camp, you can find that too.

You can also narrow down places according to what you want to already be on it, such as a well. Therefore, landwatch.com is a really good resource that can help you find the land you desire and dream of living on.

Build Your Home Where You Will Be Homesteading

Now that you have land, you have to work on getting shelter, food, water, etc. The next thing you want to take care of is shelter. There are several ways that you can go about building shelter. You need to keep in mind that you need a place to stay while you are building your home. This can be in a van, an RV, setting up a wall tent, etc.

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Building A Homestead Foundation

Look at the county rules and regulations to find out what you can build with or without permits and go from there by buying the land or securing rights to the spot. Many people go for a cabin, but you can decide to go for a shed or a house or expand later.

Pick a spot on the land where you will start building a foundation. Building a foundation can be done by just about anyone, it just takes a bit of time and work. The gist of it is mixing the concrete, which can be done in a wheelbarrow by hand (not recommended) or using any tools that you wish to use.

Depending on where the land is, you can get a cement truck out there, or you can drive your vehicle to a gravel pit, get gravel and order bags of cement and get to mixing. Once you have concrete footers, working on building the rest of the house is next on the list.

Like real homesteaders used to do ages ago, try using what you have on the property to build the cabin/shed. Take a look at the trees around that land, like aspen trees, and use them too. You can build your cabin/shed/house in many different ways. For example, using aspen logs, you can build a vertical cabin.

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Not only will you need to build a cabin, but you’ll also most likely need a storage shed and a shower house, depending on what you plan on having at your homestead. In most cases, you’ll have no idea what to expect and can learn as you go. There are several tools you’ll need and a generator as well.

There is an option to pay for building materials or get affordable DIY houses suitable for off-grid living delivered to your land. The choice is yours.

Set Up A Water System That Channels Water To The Water Tanks

Having a rainwater harvesting system is a must when you are homesteading. Sometimes the land you choose may have a well already, but usually, the water tastes hard. You can choose to dig a well, but that costs a pretty penny, especially when you are situated on a hill.

The best way to get clean water is to have a rainwater catchment. This requires some sort of roof. A metal roof has nice ridges that channel the water to the gutters. The water in the gutters then goes through a PVC pipe system and filters so that no junk and dirt goes into the water tanks.

Rain Water Collection

Having a water pump is also a greater idea. Usually, one that is one horsepower will work just fine in many cases. It can be connected to a water heater, which is connected to the PVC system to provide hot water.

Having to drive into town to get water is not only time-consuming and tedious, but it also defeats the purpose of self-isolating and being self-sufficient. You want a good amount of water stored, and there are several ways that this can be done.

One other option is to haul the water yourself. This would require a flatbed trailer and a water tank that stays in the trailer. However, that water wouldn’t last more than a week in most cases, and a trailer costs some serious cash.

Plan Your Homesteading Garden

Gardens and animals are two of the core elements of homesteading. Therefore, it is crucial to plan your garden out properly. Think of what you want to eat, if you’ll be using any of the harvested produce and products to get income, etc.

Think of the pests and problems that you might encounter and how you can protect your garden if you need to in the future or from the get-go. Also, focus on the soil. Almost anywhere you go, the chances of the soil being degraded are high. You need to have a plan to fertilize that soil.

If you’re on a strict budget, it can be as simple as using organic and mulching material and the best compost that you can. It is always wise to do some pH tests, and if you want to go further, you can look into soil mineralization.

If you plan on growing fruit trees, it is best to plant them as soon as possible because the sooner you plant what you decide to eat, the sooner they will start producing for you. Start small with your garden. Only grow what you know you need to eat.

 vegetable garden

Sometimes you’re so excited about starting your garden that you go overboard, and things go to waste or don’t grow because the garden becomes overwhelmed. Once you have experience, you can expand and experiment. One thing that helps when getting started is to plant plants that have just started growing instead of seeds as they are easier to take care of.

Greenhouses are important as they keep bugs and predators out, among other things. Hoophouse greenhouses work very well. You can start building a small greenhouse where you can grow your seeds and keep them protected from harsh weather conditions and then move them to the garden at a later stage. Although greenhouses help, they are not necessary.

Plan Your Homesteading Animals

When it comes to planning the type of livestock needed, people that have successfully moved off-grid and started a homestead advise that chickens are the gateway animals. Chickens are great because you will most likely get an egg a day. They are also small and easy to take care of. Combining an A-shaped chicken tractor and coop is an excellent way of simplifying things.

This is because the chickens will have some free-reign moving across the pasture and till and fertilizing it every few days, and they are being protected from predators. This all depends on how much space you have and how much time and effort you will want to put in to get food. It is wise to start with smaller animals and work your way up.

photo of chickens in field

You can also have meat birds as a protein source. Next are pigs, goats, etc., to have other meat sources. Goats are also excellent animals to get for homesteading because they will take care of mowing your grass for you and for milk and cheese production so that you don’t have to rely on store-bought goods.

Considerations When Starting A Homestead

  • How are you going to power your homestead? Solar panels usually come in handy, but you may find alternative methods that work better for you.
  • Utilize the elements by installing wind turbines, especially if you’re up a mountain where you get a lot of wind action.
  • Invest in tools and have a workshop where you will work on new projects or simply expand your homestead.
  • Research the weather conditions  in that area before starting your homestead, as it can make or break your success as some places have severe weather or short growing seasons.

How To Ensure That Your Homestead Is Successful

It is important to have homesteading skills when living on a homestead. Something a many people don’t think about at first is income. Having a homestead is a lot about creating your income from the homestead.

In the past, most homesteaders would create several sources of income from their homestead. This is called diversifying your income. They would sell eggs at a market laid by the chickens that they had on their homestead, and they would also sell meat from the various animals they had. They also did work such as carpentry, etc.

Homestead Skills

The important thing is that they made sure that they had several sources of income and not just one way to make money. Having several sources of income can save your homestead from failing. It does not have to be difficult to come up with products to sell on your homestead. Find something that you’re passionate about and turn that into a source of income.

Use Technology To Ensure Your Homestead Is Successful

Things have changed over the last 100 years, and there is a lot more technology involved, no matter where you are residing in the world. Therefore, technology can be used to diversify your income on your homestead. Usually, people going off-grid do not want to work 9 to 5 or any average job. The first step is to build a social media presence.

That way, however you choose to diversify your income, more people will know about it. No matter what you are doing, some people are interested in how you are homesteading. You can build your social media presence around that.

Farmer Filming

If you are going to create more than one channel, for instance, Youtube and Facebook, make sure they match so that the branding is the same. Keep it professional, and people will be sure to follow along to learn more about you and your homestead. You’ll start getting subscribers and will be able to monetize from social media follows.

Another great way to make an income is to create a website. It is a great way to drive sales and create that additional source of income. You can sell your products, ebooks, etc. The great thing about creating products that can be sold on your website is that they can also be sold locally at the farmer’s market or a fair.

Conclusion

Homesteading gets easier over time, and for most people, it is worth it in the end. Getting off-grid is better than living in the city for most people with a successful homestead. Always think about all the different income streams you can create to ensure that your homestead does not fail.



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In lieu of a comments section on my articles, I accept and encourage letters to the editor. If you would like to write a letter to the editor you can do that through email. Please note that though I read every email, I am simply not able to respond to all of them. I check these emails every few days.


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