Suburban Beekeeping and Homesteading: Guest Katie Brandt

On Today’s Podcast Episode, Harold Has A Conversation With Beekeeper and Suburban Homesteader Katie Brandt. They talk about all the things she and her family are doing on a small piece of land in the suburbs including beekeeping and her passion to help others get started homesteading right where they are.

The Modern Homesteading Podcast, Episode 219 – September 13, 2023

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Katie Brandt is a homesteader and homemaker based in Fort Wayne, IN. She and her husband, along with their two little girls, garden, raise meat rabbits, and keep bees in the backyard of their 1/4 acre property in the suburbs. After years of thinking they couldn’t homestead unless they lived in the country, they decided enough was enough and chose to start creating abundance right in their backyard!

Now that she knows what is truly possible, even in small suburban lots (that don’t allow chickens…), she’s made it her mission to share that passion with other families waiting for their dream homestead! She believes beekeeping is the “gateway drug” to suburban homesteading and a great way to create true abundance in a small space.

Katie shares beekeeping and homestead tips and inspiration on her social media accounts and also has a comprehensive guide that walks students through their entire first year of beekeeping, step by step.

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Introduction to Urban Homesteading with Katie Brandt

Katie Brandt’s Homesteading Journey

From City Living to Embracing Homesteading

Katie recalls her transition from living in the suburbs of Pittsburgh to embracing homesteading. Despite her limited initial experience in gardening, her passion for self-reliance and healthy living led her to start small with balcony gardens and eventually move to a property where she could expand her homesteading activities.

The Influence of Justin Rhodes and the Homesteading Community

Katie mentions how Justin Rhodes’ videos influenced her and her husband’s interest in homesteading. This inspiration was a critical step in their journey towards establishing their own homestead.

The Role of Rabbits in Urban Homesteading

Raising Silver Fox Meat Rabbits

Katie talks about raising Silver Fox rabbits for meat, discussing the practicalities and emotional aspects of rearing and processing them. She emphasizes the importance of giving the animals a good life and the nutritional benefits of home-raised meat.

Beekeeping in a Small Space

Deciding to Keep Bees on a Quarter Acre

Katie shares her experience of starting beekeeping in a small yard, highlighting the minimal space required and the environmental benefits of keeping bees. She also addresses common fears and misconceptions about beekeeping in urban settings.

The Impact of Beekeeping on Local Ecology and Personal Health

Katie discusses the role of bees in pollinating food crops and the benefits of honey as a sustainable and healthy sweetener. She also notes the healing properties associated with beekeeping.

Overcoming Challenges in Urban Homesteading

Addressing HOA Restrictions and Neighbor Concerns

Katie explains how she navigates HOA rules and maintains good relations with neighbors, despite the unusual nature of her homesteading activities.

The Importance of Community and Learning Resources

She emphasizes the value of local beekeeping associations, mentors, and educational resources like her guide, “The Ultimate Guide to Backyard Beekeeping,” to help new beekeepers avoid common pitfalls.

Future Plans and Encouragement for Aspiring Homesteaders

Expanding Homesteading Activities and Moving to a Larger Property

Katie shares her plans to expand her homesteading activities, possibly including additional bee hives or chickens, and her long-term goal of moving to a larger property.

Inspiring Others to Start Homesteading Regardless of Space

Katie and Harold conclude by encouraging listeners to start homesteading, regardless of their current living situation. They emphasize that homesteading is about a mindset of valuing food and its sources, and that anyone can make a significant impact even in small spaces.

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