Posts tagged: homesteading

How To Design Your Ideal Homestead

How To Design Your Ideal HomesteadHow To Design Your Ideal Homestead
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Here you will find an in-depth guide that will outline all of the main considerations in a homestead design. A homestead usually covers a few acres of land, combining small-scale farming and growing for self-sufficiency. This guide is aimed at making the homestead layout as efficient and productive as possible so it’s an ideal introduction for anyone wanting to adopt a homesteading life.

The reality of running a homestead (or “smallholding”) is not for the faint-hearted! It is a dream shared by many people and it can be very rewarding but it’s important to be clear that you are willing to make it your way of life before you start – setting up and maintaining one takes a lot of work! Planning is crucial to make a homestead into a system where all of the different elements can work together in harmony.

Related: How To Create Your Own 1-Acre Self-Sustaining “Micro Farm” Homestead

If it’s not for you, you can still help by supporting homesteaders in your community through bartering or buying their surplus produce or by growing some of your own food – this will reduce pollution due to transport and could save you money. Local, fresh food is usually the best for your health!

Here’s the link to the full tutorial: http://www.countrysidemag.com/86-1/fred_wilson/

Further Resources:

Some research is necessary before you begin and it is very helpful to read about other homesteaders’ experiences. The writings of John Seymour are well-known to be some of the best on the subject – they cover all aspects of self-sufficiency infused with decades of experience and common sense.

There are many benefits to keeping animals on a homestead and for many they are considered a necessity for it to thrive. However, there are clear requirements for their living conditions – find out more here:
(UK) http://www.defra.gov.uk/
(US) http://www.usda.gov

We found another great site that shows well-designed plans for a new homestead, 18 months after it was started. This one is especially interesting as it is has a lot of sustainable features, which are detailed clearly on the site – the owners have a good philosophy of taking time to develop the homestead slowly as their skills and experience grow. http://www.byexample.net/homestead/plan/sustainable_homestead.html

The mindset of the homesteader can be cultivated anywhere! It’s all about working with nature and taking care of the environment, making good use of resources and developing a balanced way of working. Here are two site full of tips and good advice for growing (including organic methods) here:
http://www.tipstohomesteading.com/
http://www.permaculture.org.uk/knowledge-base

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How To Design Your Ideal Homestead
Graphic – off-grid.info. Images – © Stefan Körber – Fotolia.com, Pixabay (PD)

12 Awesome Books To Get You Off The Grid

12 Awesome Books To Get You Off The Grid
12 Awesome Books To Get You Off The Grid Images – Amazon

This fantastic collection of 12 Awesome Books To Get You Off The Grid provides tutorials on many aspects of the off-grid lifestyle – including building your own eco-home, harvesting water, generating your own power and growing your own food!

Related: 40 Of The Best Survivalism Books Ever (Amazing Collection)

If you’re planning on going off-grid, downsizing, homesteading, survival prepping or simply living a more “down to earth” lifestyle, it’s great to have access to information and tips from people who have already done it. Check out our diverse selection which is packed full of ideas and information of all kinds! All these books are available on Amazon via the link. If you don’t feel like spending money on the books, you can also learn a lot for free by using both the “Look Inside” feature and by looking at the reviews given by other readers, which often contain great information!

Earth-Sheltered Houses: How to Build an Affordable Underground Home

Earth-sheltered houses utilize thermal mass in order to create a low-impact dwelling. Written by a former contractor and founder of an eco-building school with 27 years experience. Rave reviews.

Projects to Get You Off the Grid: Rain Barrels, Chicken Coops, and Solar Panels

144 pages, a collection of 20 tutorials from turning old windows into a greenhouse, building a chicken coop, making rainwater collectors and even making an algae bioreactor out of water bottles!

The Backyard Homestead: Produce All The Food You Need On Just A Quarter Acre!

This book is another “cult classic” and teaches organic gardening, keeping livestock, preserving meats and fruits, and more.

The Encyclopedia of Country Living, 50th Anniversary Edition: The Original Manual for Living off the Land & Doing It Yourself

This is a classic on homesteading. Described by one reader as “The ULTIMATE book for gardening / homesteading”… rave reviews and hugely popular.

Harvesting H2O: A Prepper’s Guide To The Collection, Treatment, And Storage Of Drinking Water While Living Off The Grid

If you’re really living “out there” you’ll find out that while you can go without solar if you have to, you’re really stuffed without water. This book contains tutorials on the dangers of wild water, purifying your own water, water filter construction, distillation, rainwater collection, water storage, drilling wells and more.

Dirt-Cheap Survival Retreat: One Man’s Solution

I like the “realness” of this book. This is “real world” modern “minimalist” RV survival for someone who doesn’t have a huge budget to buy a big tract of land in the wilderness. Not so much on pure survivalism but an awesome guide for the modern nomad or drifter who wants freedom from the steel grip of the big mortgage.

DIY Solar Projects: How To Put The Sun To Work In Your Home

All manner of solar projects from passive solar water heating through to photovoltaic systems, and plenty of simple innovations such as “thermosyphon” solar heat collectors and clever reflector projects that cost little and provide energy!

DIY Projects for the Self-Sufficient Homeowner: 25 Ways to Build a Self-Reliant Lifestyle

All manner of projects including building a beehive, solar electricity, cold frame gardening, setting up a root cellar and more.

Aquaponic Gardening: A Step-By-Step Guide to Raising Vegetables and Fish Together

Forget GMOs for increased yields. Seriously, it’s absolute bunk. Aquaponics is the answer, because it uses closed loop systems (make a note of this phrase, closed loop systems are going to become incredibly important in the years to come.) Aquaponics is an incredible way of creating what is effectively a maximum-yield “ecosystem” designed to produce healthy food. An essential topic for the “off-gridder”.

Earthship: How to Build Your Own, Vol. 1

The “cult classic” from Earthship pioneer Michael Reynolds. He has now created a whole series on this topic but this one is the original. These books are now hard to obtain and judging by the prices, appear to be collector’s items.

Back to Basics: A Complete Guide to Traditional Skills, Third Edition

Another classic: This book goes deep into teaching how things used to be done before power tools and modern “conveniences”. Essential stuff from dyeing your own wool with plant pigments through to raising chickens and building a log cabin.

All New Square Foot Gardening, Second Edition: The Revolutionary Way to Grow More In Less Space

Rave Reviews once again for the new edition of this excellent gardening manual.

That’s it for our collection of books to get you off the grid. Let us know any others in the comments!

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12 Awesome Books To Get You Off The Grid
Graphic – off-grid.info. Images – Amazon