1. Start with a list
Plan everything that the homestead will need to have to work. Think about how much land will be needed so the homestead thrives. Consider your main priorities for the homestead and how you will achieve them. In a homestead environment, everything must be used and reused. Think about how much money will be needed to begin this life change and how much money will be needed to keep it going. Make sure the homestead has adequate resources that will be needed to live off of, and is defensible if it has to be.
2. Heat Source
If you live up North or in the East, and winter time is a force to recon with, make sure the homestead has a heating source. Having heat to warm the body is a very important aspect of survival. Keep this in mind when you are looking for a homestead.
3. Water Source
A good survival homestead will have it’s own (if not multiple) water sources. Speaking strictly survival talk, water is the most important aspect of surviving. Without water, you cannot feed your crops, feed your animals, reheat any type of food (including the extra stash of Mountain House dehydrated foods and survival food staple items). Water is a top priority, and when searching for a home stead, this should be kept in mind. Water sources such as ponds and rivers can also provide other food sources.
It is suggested that people purchase tools and equipment that can operate in a non-technological environment. These tools and equipment should be of the “traditional sense.” Tools such as gardening tools, mechanic tools, tools and equipment for canning and farming equipment.
5. Survival Garden
The survival garden is a major undertaking. In order to live off of the food that is grown, lots food must be grown and stored away in the form of canned jars, or dried goods. Food must be grown for any livestock that a person would be caring for as well. Caring for a garden on a homestead is a more labor intensive effort than if one was gardening as a hobby. Furthermore, reading and acquiring knowledge on gardening zones, rotation crops, and companion plants will help to keep the garden thriving.
6. Fruit and Nuts
Some fruit trees such as orange trees, grape vines, apples and some nut trees can take years before they mature enough to grow their fruit. Do proper research on the fruit that you intend to have on the survival homestead, as well as setting money aside to purchase these plants will help to ensure that one has plenty of food to live off of. Location is everything to a fruit tree. If you plant the wrong fruit tree or in the wrong direction, it will more than likely not bear fruit and take a long time before that mistake goes away.
Medicinal herbs and plants must be used to provide support when illness or injuries are present. If a person has a pre-existing condition, research and find certain herbs, roots or medicinal plants that may be able to alleviate the symptoms.
Raising animals is a large aspect of having a homestead. Not only are they used for their meat, but also for their fur, feathers, eggs, manure, etc. Animals, such as dogs can also be used for hunting and protecting the homestead. Small livestock such as goats, angora rabbits, or pigeons are good choices of homestead livestock. If the homestead is a smaller acreage, then micro livestock is a good choice as they will not take up as much space or consume as much food compared to larger livestock such as cows.
9. Develop a Variety of Homesteading Skills
Before you move to a homestead, develop skills that will be needed to maintain the type of life you want as well as being able to keep up with the survival homestead. Engaging in tasks that will bring about necessary homestead skills development is the key to being more self sufficient. Start trying to fix things yourself before calling a plumber or an electrician, or create a substantial garden to develope advanced gardening skill, and to see how much work it will be. Practicing also will give you an idea of how much food will be needed to live off of. Try organic gardening to sync up with the homesteading conditions. Take any extra vegetables and can them to preserve for the winter months. Or, try your hand at soap making.
10. Be Confident In Your Abilities
Without a firm dedication to learning the necessary skills, a homestead will fail. Believing in your abilities and having the determination to see this through will drive you further to achieve your goals.