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Tuesday, February 27, 2018

PREPPER: 8 reasons why you should grow your own food

PREPPER: 8 reasons why you should grow your own food
LATEST FROM THE PREPPING WORLD INCLUDED
Consider this: McDonald’s sells an average of 75 hamburgers every second. It may seem shocking, but if you also think about how one in six young people in the Western hemisphere count junk food as actual meals – and that we drink more than 54 gallons of carbonated soft drinks each year – it really shouldn’t come as a surprise. 

 
That’s a whole lot of sugar and processed fat we’re poisoning our bodies with, and it’s also a significant factor why our children now waddle instead of toddle.
A lot of factors have contributed to this crisis, but one way you can prevent it is by growing your own food. It doesn’t matter if you’re all thumbs – and not the green kind – when it comes to gardening. The effort and time you will place in knowing what exactly you are putting in your mouth will prove priceless in the future.
  1. You avoid dangerous chemicals – Scores of studies conclude that glyphosate, the main ingredient in Monsanto’s weedkiller, Roundup, has negative health outcomes. Researchers have found that the current levels of glyphosate in human urine has dramatically gone up since the 1970s. These levels are associated with the slew of adverse health conditions associated with chemical poisoning. Let’s not forget that glyphosate has been labeled as a possible carcinogen. This is definitely something you do NOT want to put in your food.
  2. You are in control of what you eat – Growing your own food means you avoid illegal pesticides used in other countries that are banned in the United States.
  3. You eat clean food – Do you really know where your food comes from? Vegetables and fruits grown near polluted water systems absorb heavy metals. Eating too many of these contaminated items can lead to health problems.
  4. You save money – The IRS does not tax you on food that you grow yourself.
  5. You become healthier – When you grow your own vegetables, the plants you harvest typically have more nutrients and minerals than store-bought ones. This is because they’re not loaded with pesticide chemicals. These are the foods that Mother Nature intended for your body. Foods fresh from your garden are likewise more delicious than the same items from a grocery store because they are picked exactly when they are ripe and going to be eaten.
  6. You teach your children correct eating habits – Children will follow what their parents do. Growing your own garden serves a dual purpose. The first is protective: You keep your children safe by feeding them the right food. This allows them to grow strong and healthy. The second is cumulative: Children brought up in this sustainable way become more prepared adults, especially when it comes to surviving.
  7. You protect the environment — The only fuel you need here is elbow grease. By growing your own food, you eliminate the cost of transport. There are a lot of good ways to protect the planet, and eating local food is one of them.
  8. You are happier — Studies have shown that those who do even light to moderate gardening are more likely to describe themselves as “satisfied” with life. Mental health professionals believe that the satisfaction comes from a combination of physical activity, an awareness of natural surroundings, and the joy of reaping the rewards of hard work.
Do you really think it’s a coincidence that cheeseburgers and fries don’t grow on trees? They’re not good for you. Not only do they make you sick, but they cost you money, too.
You can change all of that by getting your hands a little bit dirty. The Health Ranger Store is currently running its Spring Planting Sale that that can bring you everything you’ll need this spring: non-GMO seeds, fertilizers, and garden towers, among others.
Whether you’re just a novice or an experienced gardener, the Health Ranger Store has everything you need to become a little bit more self-reliant. Be free from the tyranny of Monsanto and other companies that POISON your food with GMOs and glyphosate weed killer by visiting the store today.


Top 20 Prepping Mistakes to Avoid

With the abundance of bad information out there and the overwhelming amount you need to learn, it’s easy for new preppers to make a lot of mistakes. I’ve made many mistakes myself and I’m sure I’ll make more, but that’s part of the learning process. To help you speed up this process, here are some common prepping mistakes you’ll want to avoid (in no particular order).

1. Not Having a Survival Library

Books are less common these days because we do so much reading on the Internet and Kindles. But if the power goes out, having a good collection of survival books could save your life. They’ll give you something to read when you’re bored, and good survival references have important instructions on things like purifying water, building fires, and medical care.
While you’ll want to learn as much of this info as you can ahead of time, no one can know everything, and there are bound to be times when a survival library will come in handy. Check out my list of the top 100 survival books for suggestions.

2. Focusing on Supplies Instead of Skills

Of course, just because you have all the best books on survival doesn’t mean you shouldn’t bother to learn survival skills. It’s possible your books will be destroyed or you won’t be able to get to them. The same rule applies to your survival food and gear. What if you’re at work when your home is destroyed by an explosion, earthquake, or some other disastrous event? Would you still have the skills to survive, or are you completely dependent on your food and gear?

3. Not Having Enough Water Preps

I cannot overemphasize the importance of water. There are many survivalists who have six months of food and only two weeks of water on hand. Considering that you can survive without food about ten times as long as you can survive without water, you’d be better off with two weeks of food and six months of water. Don’t do that either, but at least make sure your water will last as long as your food. If you don’t have enough room, there are many ways to collect and purify water.

4. Not Storing a Large Variety of Foods

Too many new preppers buy nothing but rice, beans, flour, salt, and sugar. If that’s all you have to eat after a disaster, you’re going to be miserable. Your body will have trouble adjusting to the new bare-bones diet and you’ll suffer from food fatigue, where your survival food won’t be appetizing even when you’re very hungry. Make sure you buy the ingredients for a variety of possible meals so you’ll feel satisfied every time you eat. This leads to my next point…

5. Not Eating What You Store

This was the first mistake I made when I started stocking up on food. I bought all kinds of survival food–dehydrated, freeze-dried, flour, sugar, etc–sealed it up, put it in the closet, and forgot about it. When I finally got around to eating some of it, I realized I absolutely hated it, especially the freeze-dried stuff. That’s why it’s a good idea to buy samples from various food storage companies until you find foods you like. Then regularly eat that food as you rotate through it (see #18 below).
The other problem I had was not knowing what to do with the flour, sugar, and other basic ingredients. If you’re not sure how to cook meals from scratch, I’d recommend getting some cookbooks and a guide like Better From Scratch or The Fannie Farmer Cookbook.

6. Not Having Enough Vitamins

Personally, I think everyone should be taking multivitamins since most modern diets don’t provide the nutrition we need, but this will be even more important in a survival situation. The stress of having your life turned upside down, constant threats to you and your family, and manual labor will take a lot of energy and tax your immune system. Vitamins will help keep you strong and healthy, especially Vitamin C.

7. Relying Only On Food Storage

While the last few points have been about food, don’t forget all your other survival needs. When most people think about prepping, the first things they think about are food and water and they proceed to stock up on them while neglecting first aid supplies, bug out bags, cooking implements, weapons and other important items. While food should be your first priority, don’t forget your other priorities.

8. Relying Only On An Arsenal

At the other end the spectrum, there are some preppers who focus all their attention on guns and ammo. The reasoning is that not only will they be able to protect themselves, they’ll be able to hunt their food and trade ammo for other supplies. This is unrealistic, especially if you’re in or near a city. The little bit of wildlife in your area will be picked clean by others, and most people won’t be interested in your ammo as they, like you, will be looking to trade for food and other vital supplies. By all means, get a few survival guns, but don’t go overboard.

9. Not Taking Care of Pets

As much as we all love our pets, for some reason, it’s easy to forget that they need emergency preps as well. Animals require more than just food and water. Put together a pet survival kit and maybe a bug out bag for your dogs and/or cats.

10. Planning On Bugging Out No Matter What

Although having a bug out bag and a vehicle survival kit is important, there are many circumstances where you’re better off sheltering in place. It just depends. Unless you have advance warning of a disaster, it will be very difficult to get from your home to your bug out location. The streets will be congested, roads and entire areas could be inaccessible, and gas could become unavailable. That’s why I think it’s so important to be ready to shelter in place, which means having plenty of home security measures.

11. Not Preparing Your Family

This one is huge. There are a lot of preppers out there who do all the work and practice but leave nothing for their families to do. This puts the family at a disadvantage because only one family member knows what to do in the event of a disaster, meaning that if anything happens to that person, the rest of the family will be in trouble.
You don’t have to force everyone else in your family to be as into prepping as you are, but you should at least build bug out bags for the family make sure they know the importance of prepping and teach them some basic techniques and skills. (Here’s how to talk to a non-prepper spouse.)

12. Preparing Too Fast

It’s perfectly understandable if you’re excited to prep and trying buy as much of your stockpile as you can all at once. You may also feel you’re running out of time before a potential disaster strikes and need to prepare NOW. In reality, prepping too fast can cost you a lot of money, make you less organized, and cause you to make even more mistakes. Instead, make a prioritized checklist and then strive to cross off the things on that checklist in order.

13. Buying Gear Without Researching First

There’s a ton of information and product reviews on all types survival gear and equipment. The last thing you want to do is buy something without first consulting that information. If you do, you’re liable to get something that breaks the first time you try to use it. This means you should thoroughly research a product before buying it. Read product reviews online, watch video reviews, and scan reviews from customers on sites such as Amazon to get a general idea of the quality of the product.

14. Not Testing Out Your Gear and Equipment

This one goes hand in hand with preparing too fast. Make sure you know how to use each and every piece of survival gear and equipment you buy. Learn how to use it for each of the tasks it’s intended for, learn how to disassemble and reassemble it (if possible), and actually read the manual. This is the only way to make sure your gear will work before you use it in a real-life disaster scenario.

15. Only Preparing For One Type Of Disaster

While you may feel there is one type of disaster that is a more imminent threat than others, disaster preparedness is all about preparing yourself and your family for anything that could happen. If you want to prepare for the disaster you feel is the greatest threat first, that’s fine, but only preparing for that disaster and nothing else is foolish. No one knows the future, and oftentimes the most unexpected things are what happen first.

16. Telling the World You’re a Prepper

When the going gets tough, people do desperate things to stay alive. This means even the neighbors who you thought you could trust may turn on you in a disaster scenario, especially if they know you have a stockpile of food and water. The only people who should know you’re a prepper are your family and a close-knit group of friends. Telling everyone you meet that you’re a prepper will come back to haunt you when disaster strikes. (By the way, here’s what to do if people find out you’re a prepper.)

17. Not Having Enough Backup Plans

There’s an old saying that nothing goes according to plan. This will never be any truer than in a survival or disaster scenario. Thought you could bug in? Nope, it turns out your home is in the path of a wildfire that is headed your way. Thought you could take your favorite route out of town? Nope, the road is blocked. Thought you could rendezvous at your bug out location? Nope, a dangerous group of people got there first. Thought you had enough food and water to live on? Nope, the disaster lasted too long and you’re out of supplies.
I could go on and on. Nothing will go according to plan when disaster strikes and that’s why you don’t just need a backup plan, you need multiple backup plans (and backup gear, for that matter).

18. Not Rotating Your Food and Water

Many people like to buy lots of survival food, stick it in the pantry, and call it a day. That’s great and all, but eventually that food is going to go bad. Imagine a disaster has struck, the grocery store shelves are empty, your entire family is hungry, and all you have in the pantry is old, rotten, infested food. That’s why it’s so important to rotate your food and water on a regular basis so you know you always have uncontaminated, high-quality food and water on your shelves.

19. Forgetting About Sanitation and Personal Hygiene

Many people don’t realize it, but sanitation standards are going to drop significantly if the SHTF. Sure, you might have all of the food, water, firearms, and ammunition that you need to outlast the disaster, but if you get sick or infected as a result of the poor sanitation, none of those other preps are going to matter. Remember, if you don’t have your health, you don’t have anything. You need a complete first aid kit in your preps in addition to basic personal hygiene products such as soap, shampoo, toothpaste, toilet paper, and so on.

20. Keeping All of Your Preps in One Place

Another old saying is to never keep all your eggs in one basket. When it comes to prepping, this means you should never keep all of your preps in the same location. Diversify where you keep everything. Keep some of your supplies at home, some of it in your car, in a shed out back, in a garage in the city, at your bug out location, in survival caches, and so forth. This way you’ll be able to access at least part of your total stockpile regardless of where you are when the disaster hits.
Don’t beat yourself up if you make a few mistakes. We all do. But take time to learn from the mistakes of others in order to make your prepping journey as smooth as possible. If you want to learn more, check out these prepper tips I wish I’d heard before I started prepping.

Top 10 Homesteading Tools You Must Have

There are so many lists of homestead tools floating around out there. In fact, one of our own writers made a list. But this list by Big Family Homestead is especially interesting because it has several ideas that wouldn’t occur to most people.
For example, fence post drivers. These are a must-have for people putting up chicken wire, electric fences, or barbed wire fences with metal fence posts. Pound it into the ground a few times and in seconds you’ll be on to the next post.
They have a bunch of other great ideas, too. You can read their list below, but also be sure to check out their video at the bottom to hear their commentary.
1. Pressure Cooker – Big time saver. Makes meals fast and you can use it to can food.
2. Dish Rags – Washing cow udders, cleaning out cages, washing dishes, cleaning messes. Saves money because you don’t have to buy paper towels.
3. Insulated Gloves – You need high-quality outerwear if you’re going to be working outside in the cold. Don’t buy cheap stuff or you’ll be replacing it over and over.
4. Sewing Machine – It’s not just about making new clothes, but about fixing clothes so you don’t have to buy new clothes as often.
5. Buckets – Scoops for feed, places to make compost tea, hauling junk, and so forth.
6. Fence Post Driver – This is so much easier than digging holes. Pens have to move a lot, so instead of digging holes, use one of these.
7. Reference Materials – Even after years of experience, there are going to be plenty of things you don’t know. It’s great to have a handy reference that will teach you something you need to learn.
8. Knife – They have dozens of uses. If you’re a homesteader, you’ll find yourself using it every single day.
9. ATV – Pull a cart, plow snow, push poop, haul things around, and so forth. Most people think of them as something for fun, but they’re actually really helpful.
10. Your Mind – This one probably sounds cheesy, but it’s really true. You can’t just memorize information. You have to gain experience and learn from your mistakes.


15 Survival Recipes From The Great Depression

During the Great Depression, cooks scraped meals together from whatever was available. By mixing bits of food with a little creativity and ingenuity, women across the country kept their families fed and alive.
Meals were simple, made from staple ingredients and whatever the family could grow, forage, or hunt. Many of these meals endured the test of time and got passed down from one generation to the next as a frugal way to feed the family.
Here are 15 recipes from the Great Depression you should learn to prepare. By adding them into your meal plan rotation now, you’ll help reduce the grocery budget. You’ll also have a stockpile of recipes using basic supplies you can prepare when disaster strikes, and you can’t get to the grocery store like you normally do.

1. Potato Pancakes

Potatoes stored well and were inexpensive, making them a staple. These potato pancakes use leftover mashed potatoes, helping families avoid waste.
Ingredients:
  • 2 cups leftover mashed potatoes
  • 1 egg
  • ¼ cup flour
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2-3 TBS bacon grease or oil for frying
Mix all ingredients except the oil in a bowl. Heat the grease in a skillet until hot. Carefully add heaping tablespoons of potato mixture to the hot oil.
Push batter down with a spatula. Cook for a few minutes, until browned, and flip. Brown the other side and remove from heat.
Serve with syrup, applesauce, or leftover gravy.

2. Fried Cornmeal Mush

Known for its versatility, you can enjoy items made with cornmeal for any meal. Fried cornmeal mush was common on the breakfast table during the depression.
Ingredients:
  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 4 cups water (divided)
  • Small amount of oil, butter, or lard for frying
Boil 3 cups of water in a kettle. In a bowl, whisk the cornmeal, salt, and remaining cup of water together. Mix until smooth.
Slowly add the cornmeal mixture to the boiling water, stirring to avoid lumps. Bring back to a boil, stirring constantly.
Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 20 minutes. Stir several times while simmering.
Remove the pan from the heat and pour the hot cornmeal mush into a greased loaf pan. Cool overnight in the fridge.
Remove from pan and slice into slices (about 3/8 of an inch each).
Heat skillet with a small amount of oil, butter, or lard on the bottom. Fry the slices until golden-brown on each side.
Serve plain or topped with butter and syrup. You can also try it with ketchup.

©survivopedia.com

3. Rice Pudding

Here’s a great recipe to use up leftover rice.
Ingredients:
  • ¼ to ½ bowlful of cooked rice, warm
  • Milk to taste
  • A small dab of butter
  • A bit of sugar or honey to taste
Combine all ingredients. Add milk until the mixture is the consistency you enjoy.

4. Ham Hocks & Beans

You can let a pot of this simmer most of the day for a delicious, inexpensive meal. The beans don’t need presoaked when prepared this way.
Ingredients:
  • 1-pound dry pinto beans
  • 3-4 ham hocks
  • Chopped onion
  • Pepper
Rinse your beans and sort out any bad ones.
Place the beans, ham hocks, onion, and pepper in a large pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil.
Reduce heat, to keep beans simmering. Cover.
Let simmer for several hours, stirring and checking on it as it cooks. Add more water if needed, just enough to cover the beans.
It is ready when the beans are tender and the sauce around them thickens a bit. Remove the ham hocks and get any meat off the bones. Stir meat into beans and serve.

5. Chipped Beef over Toast

Also known as s**t on a shingle, this meal is filling and simple. If you don’t have dried beef, substitute ground venison, hamburger, or any other available meat.
Ingredients:
  • 2 TBS butter
  • 2 TBS flour
  • 1 ½ cups milk
  • 8 ounces dried meat (typically canned, chipped beef)
  • 6 slices of bread, toasted
  • Salt and pepper to taste
Melt the butter in a pan over medium heat. Whisk in the flour, creating a roux. Slowly mix in the milk and stir until it boils and gets thick.
Add in the meat and cook until heated.
Place a toast on each plate. Scoop gravy over the top of each.

6. Creamed Peas over Mashed Potatoes

Here’s a filling meatless meal using potato water instead of milk in the gravy. This water has many uses and is nutritious. Make sure to save it each time you boil potatoes.
Ingredients:
  • 2 TBS butter
  • 2 TBS flour
  • 2 cups potato water (water you boiled potatoes in)
  • Mashed potatoes
  • 2 cups peas – frozen, fresh, or canned
  • Salt and pepper
Melt butter in a saucepan. Whisk in flour until smooth, making a roux. Slowly add in potato water, whisking constantly to avoid lumps.
Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Reduce heat and simmer until thick. Stir in peas, salt, and pepper.
Serve over hot mashed potatoes.

7. Simple Fish Chowder

During the depression, many people fished regularly. The fish they caught varied based on their location, but they ate them all. Here’s a simple chowder you can use your fish in. It uses evaporated milk instead of fresh, making it pantry friendly.
Ingredients:
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • ½ cup butter
  • 6 cups water
  • 6 cups potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 2 pounds fish, deboned and cut into chunks
  • 3 TBS lemon juice
  • 2 cans evaporated milk (12 ounces each)
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp pepper
Melt butter in a soup pot and sauté the onion. Add water and bring to a boil.
Carefully add the potatoes and cook until fork tender. Add fish and lemon juice.
Reduce heat and simmer for ten minutes.
Add evaporated milk, salt, and pepper. Heat through and serve.
If you want to learn more skills and attitudes from the old times, check out this link

8. Stretched Scrambled Eggs

Here’s a simple way to stretch eggs without sacrificing flavor.
Ingredients:
  • 6 eggs, beaten
  • ¼ cup flour
  • 1/3 cup water
  • Salt and pepper
Whisk together flour and water until smooth. Add eggs and mix well. Season with salt and pepper.
Scramble like normal, until done.
Serve with a slice of bread, or with fried potatoes.

©survivopedia.com

9. Garbage Soup

Garbage soup helped reduce waste during the Great Depression. Each batch was different, depending on what you ate during the week.
It’s a great strategy to help you get the most out of your food. There’s no real recipe per se. Here’s how it’s made.
Keep all your vegetable scraps and bones in a container in the fridge. At the end of each week, place the ingredients in a pot. Cover with water and stir in lots of salt and pepper.
Bring to a boil, skim off any foam, and let simmer for several hours.
Strain out bones before serving.

10. Foraged Salad

Take time to learn what wilds around you are edible, and where you can find some without pesticides. Foraging gives you nutritious food for free.
You can adjust the ingredients in this simple foraged salad based on what is available.
Gather a variety of the following wild edibles:
  • Dandelions (greens and yellow flowers)
  • Lamb’s quarter
  • Shepherd’s Purse
  • Clover
  • Edible mushrooms
Clean them well and remove any dead or browned leaves.
Toss with a little vinegar and olive oil right before serving. Add salt and pepper to taste.

11. Simple Homemade Bread

An inexpensive filler item, you could find homemade bread on the table for nearly every meal during the depression. By baking a large batch like this each week, you’ll always have bread ready to slice.
Note: This is a basic recipe, using minimal ingredients. If butter and eggs are available, add in 1 egg and ½ cup butter with the water for more flavor.
Ingredients:
  • 16 2/3 cup flour (5 pounds)
  • 5 TBS yeast
  • 6 tsp salt
  • 5 cups warm water
Combine 10 cups flour, yeast, and salt. Add water and stir well with a wooden spoon.
Continue adding flour, a cup at a time, until dough is thick. When you can no longer stir, begin kneading. Knead the bread until smooth and no longer sticky.
Cover and let rise until doubled in bulk (about an hour).
Punch down dough and let rest for ten minutes.
Shape dough into seven loaves. Place into greased loaf pans, or onto greased cookie sheets. Let rise one hour.
Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes, or until browned.

12. Goulash

Tomatoes were an easy crop for people to grow and preserve. This easy recipe puts those tomatoes to good use. Feel free to substitute other meat for the hamburger.
Ingredients:
  • ½ pound hamburger
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 2 cups uncooked macaroni
  • Lots of fresh tomatoes, peeled and diced
  • Salt and pepper
Brown hamburger and onion. Add tomatoes and let the juice run out into the pan. You want enough juice to cover the macaroni, add more tomatoes if necessary.
Stir in macaroni. Continue cooking on medium high until the macaroni is tender. Season with salt and pepper.

13. Oil Pie Crust

Pie was a common dessert during the depression. You could use just a pinch of different ingredients and combine them into a tasty treat.
The crust is an important part of the pie. If butter and lard aren’t available, you can use oil to make a simple pie crust. Here’s the recipe for a no-roll single crust.
Ingredients:
  • ¼ cup oil
  • 1 cup flour
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ cup cold water
Mix oil, flour, and salt in a bowl until combined. Stir in water until mixed completely. Add a little more water if it’s crumbly.
Place into an 8-inch pie pan and spread it out with your hands. Cover the bottom and sides. Bring any excess over the rim and push down with a fork.

14. Vinegar Pie

Since vinegar could be made at home, depression era cooks often had it in abundance. With just a few basic ingredients, they could whip together a tasty vinegar pie.
Some families topped it with a layer of meringue. But, surplus eggs weren’t always available. It tastes just as delicious without any topping.
Ingredients:
  • 2 TBS butter
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 3 TBS flour
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp cloves
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 TBS vinegar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 unbaked pie crust
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Combine sugar and butter in a saucepan with a fork. Mix in flour, cinnamon, and cloves. Stir in egg, vinegar, and water. Mix until smooth.
Heat over medium heat, stirring constantly until thick. Remove from heat.
Bake 8-inch unfilled pie crust for 4 minutes.
Pour filling into crust, and bake for another 10-15 minutes, until set.

©survivopedia.com

15. Sugar Cream Pie

If cream is available, this tasty pie is simple to mix up.
Ingredients:
  • 2/4 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 2 cups cream
  • Unbaked pie crust
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix sugar and flour thoroughly. Slowly whisk in cream. When completely combined, pour into pie crust.
Bake for 45-50 minutes, until filling is firm.

Surviving the Depression

These simple recipes kept people alive throughout the depression. But, it wasn’t just these recipes. It was innovation and the ability to use everything. Waste not, want not wasn’t just a cliché saying, it was life.
And this same attitude will help you survive whatever crisis you find yourself in.

 

How to Start Your 1-Acre Self-Sufficient Backyard Homestead

by Steven Wesley
Homesteading on one acre
Life is easy today, isn’t it? You can use a tech for almost every need you may have throughout the day. Whenever you feel like eating something, you just go to the supermarket and get it or order a meal online. Although such lifestyle might appear convenient for many, there is a problem: it’s not healthy. All that food you get from the supermarket or restaurants is full of ingredients you don’t want in your body. Even when you buy fruits and vegetables, you’re practically getting some poison.
If you decide to go organic, you’ll have to invest a lot of money in your food. Is there a better solution? Yes – a self-sufficient backyard homestead. Do you have at least 1 acre of good land in your background? If your answer is yes, then you’re one lucky person. You can start your very own self-sufficient homestead right now!

What Does a Self-Sufficient Homestead Mean?

There’s no universal model for a 1-acre self-sufficient homestead. Everyone has different needs and approach, so you’ll have to design your own plan. Some people like cow milk, others are allergic to it. Some like goats more, other keep animals for meat, and the rest are too attached to them. Such people aren’t able to kill animals, so they stick to producing milk and plant food.
A self-sufficient homestead, however, means the same thing for everyone: sustainable production that provides everything you need for food. The thought that you need a more land to start this kind of lifestyle is a myth. Let’s see how you can start your own self-sufficient homestead if you have only 1 acre of land in your backyard.

How to Start Your 1-Acre Self-Sufficient Homestead

  1. Start By Learning
Everything starts with the process of gaining knowledge. You can’t just get in your backyard, take all flowers away and decide that you’re going to start producing food today. If you start without a plan, you’ll be overwhelmed by the challenge.
  • Start your homesteading research by reading the most popular blogs from this niche. You have to learn everything from how to produce the food you need to how to store it
  • Think: what do you need? What do you have in your fridge right now? If you consume milk and dairy, you’ll need a cow or/and a goat to provide you with the milk. If you eat eggs, you’ll need to keep 5-10 hens. If you consume meat, you’ll need a few pigs. Your animals require food, so you’ll have to produce it and feed Remember: this is a self-sufficient homestead. What kind of grains, vegetables, fruit, and nuts do you consume? If you want to produce honey, you’ll need to learn how to keep bees.
  1. Plan the Production
If you have one acre for your home farm, about half of it should be reserved for plant food production. Divide this part of your garden into few plots which you’ll use to rotate these annual crops:
  • Legumes (beans, peas, lentils)
  • Potatoes
  • Roots (beets, carrots, celery, and other kinds of edible roots)
  • Cabbages, broccoli, cauliflower, lettuce
You’ll also need space for various vegetables and herbs. Since you want to save as much space as possible, you should consider container gardening. Finally, you also need space for berries and fruits. Consider planting fruit and nut trees close to your house so they will provide a nice shade for you during hot days.
Choose cultures that grow well in your area and learn everything about their maintenance!
  1. Plan the Animal Maintenance
 If you’re a vegan, you can simply skip this part and devote your entire backyard to plant food. However, you should be aware of the fact that a homestead is not fully sustainable without animals. You will have to use chemical fertilizers and nutrient enhancers, and that means that your products won’t be fully organic.
If meat and milk are necessary for supporting your eating habits, you’ll have to plan half of the space for them.
These are the animals you can consider keeping:
  • A cow or/and a goat
  • 2-3 pigs
  • Chickens
  • Rabbits
  • Bees
These animals will be extra work and expense, but they will provide a lot in return. Remember: you have to provide food for them, so you’ll need a large grass area. When you build the shelters for your animals, the remaining part of this half will be grass.
  1. Make Your Plan!
This will be a massive project. However, it’s also an exciting experience that will completely alter your lifestyle.
Mario Rogers, a content marketer for Essay On Time, shares his experience with a backyard homestead: “My wife was chronically anemic. We tried all treatments, made all tests but nothing worked for her. She would get better for a while and then the anemia would strike back. After she had turned to organic food, we saw a real change. That’s when I got the idea. My grandfather was a farmer and I was always interested in producing food, so I knew I’d love this. We planned really carefully. It took us an entire year to find the property and start off. Today, we produce all our food and my wife is healthier than she ever was.”
Yes, you’ll get health and excitement in return. However, the effort comes first. Make that effort! Learn as much as possible, plan everything, and enjoy your 1-acre self-sufficient backyard homestead.