The 3 Most Important Things To Do on a New Homestead
Updated: Jun 20
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Just purchased or inherited a new property to start a homestead? Maybe you’d like to start homesteading in your backyard? Whatever the case may be, it’s an exciting start!
It can be tempting to start your garden first, buy a bunch of animals or start landscaping or renovating. However, do these 3 things FIRST to set yourself up for success!
1. Begin sourcing materials.
Make a list of all the things you want to build, and start scouring the internet and the side of the road for the materials you’ll need! I always think it’s a good idea to start with Facebook marketplace or Craiglist before buying new, but this can take time, so it’s best to start looking first thing.
Before we’d even moved into our house, I had already sourced and purchased 2 HUGE windows for our new home. We stored them in our tiny duplex until we were able to move them, and installed them our first week in the new house! I also sourced lots of free lumber for my raised beds, a 50-gallon jug for rainwater collecting (see my post for how I set up my rainwater collection system), and plenty of other items we used to help get established. You can even find great plants online for free or very cheap! Make a list of the projects you want to do (keep it updated), make a materials list to search for, and check daily. And I mean CHECK DAILY, because it changes daily!
2. Begin a compost bin
Starting a compost bin needs to be done very early, ideally months before you start your garden. Healthy compost is a MUST in a homesteaders garden, and it’s so easy!
There are LOTS of ways to compost; in a bin in your house, with worms, in a rolling barrel, in a pile in the yard, etc. I personally chose to use pallets to create my compost. This method works best for me because I can easily dump and fill a wheelbarrow into and from the compost.
The key to good composting is to get about 50% green material and 50% brown material. Green material is kitchen scraps and anything else that is literally green. Brown material can be dry leaves, sticks, dry grass, cardboard, paper, and anything else that falls roughly into that category. Keep your compost moist, and try to turn it on regularly. However, if you’re like me, I neglect to water and turn my compost, and guess what? I still get healthy, beautiful compost! It takes a bit longer, but things still break down.
3. Plant fruit trees
Fruit trees should be one of the first things you do when you decide to start homesteading. Fruit trees take time to become established, and will need several years before they’re large enough to produce fruit. If producing your own fruit is among your homesteading goals, get the trees in the ground early.
Fruit trees are usually sold in the spring, but it’s actually best to plant them in the fall. Planting them in the fall gives the roots time to get established before the tree puts energy into greenery and fruit. See my post here for 5 things to do in the Fall garden.
Before you purchase your trees, it’s always good to do a little research on what kinds of trees do best in your area. Pay special attention to common diseases, and try to purchase trees that are resistant to disease. It’s heartbreaking when a well-established fruit tree is hit with the disease. Sometimes it’s treatable, but oftentimes, the tree just needs to come down. This can be avoided early with just a little extra time and research.
Hot tip: For faster growth, pluck all the flowers off your fruit trees in the first 1-3 years. This will allow the tree to put its energy into growing larger rather than producing fruit.
Ready to start a garden? See my post here for 4 Tips for Building a Budget-Friendly Garden
Want to learn more about homesteading? Visit my blog here to learn more!
I hope this article helped you! Did I miss anything? Let me know in the comments!
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