So I've yet to be blessed with my own portion of God's green earth. I've been saving and searching for some time but the few parcels I find that I can afford are either scams, in HOAs with major restrictions, sheer cliffs between a highway and a river or get sold before I can get out to go see it in person. In the meanwhile I try to do what I can to keep up my spirits and keep the spirit of homesteading around.
There area lot of permaculture principles that can be put into practice in an apartment, in an RV, or even if you're renting a room somewhere. I am looking for inspiration and motivation to keep on praying for a permaculture paradise even if I end up stuck in a city for a few more years. Please share with me your practices, what you do to embrace the permie lifestyle and what you want to learn this year.
Here are a few things I want to learn this year but don't know if I'll be able to. I want to build a beehive and trap a swarm, I would probably have to gift it to a friend with land who already has a couple of hives. I will probably try to build a top bar hive as langstroth hives seem to take more skill to build. I also want to assist with harvesting comb and honey at some point. I would like to learn more about wool sheep and how to maintain their fleece over winter as well as sheering. Does anyone know how to learn how to shear sheep or ways to volunteer to shear in exchange for raw wool? I also want to expand my sewing from mending into making clothing, I plan to start by sewing aprons for myself and my kids. The other skills I hope to develop are not quite homestead specific but I would like to learn how to forage and wildcraft more than I already do.
Just to illustrate what keeps my spirit up and homesteading alive despite having no homestead here are some of my weekend activities. We made a batch of kale chips and a batch of bison jerky, we made several new candle designs to test the containers and wicks combinations (before selling any candles they have to be tested several times and several similar recipes have to be replicated with the same results), made a small batch of not for sale exfoliating soap in a new mold to test the soap mold, transplanted 36 seedlings from the seed starting try to slightly larger containers, planted a tray of perennial herbs, baked sourdough bread, started a new batch of microgreens/sprouts, fed the kefir and kombucha, darned another darn pair of socks and patched a couple pairs of kids pants.
I've been in your shoes for many years, only recently closed the deal on a land of my own three months ago!
Spent a lot of time growing up on the farm of my grandparent, but then went to study and live in the city without so much as a balcony to work on. During that time I spent a lot of time developing my sewing and felting skills. And trying to keep lots of indoor plants! And learning to bake bread!
If you want to learn to shear sheep, the best way to go at is befriending someone who owns sheep and ask if you can watch/ lend a hand when the shearing season comes round. In many regions, sheep owners will give away their wool for free, because the wool (especially from sheep kept for meat or milk) isn't worth anything because there are no industries near that use that kind of wool. So most of them dispose of the wool (or even worse: burn it!). Usually as soon as I mention that I work with wool to sheep owners, they are practically throwing bags of wool at me to get rid of it.
Once I moved to Italy to an apartment that had a balcony, a fun pastime was to see how much I could grow on such a limited space. Many creative solutions to be thought of! Also, walking in nature, collecting seeds or cuttings from wild plants and then try to grow them on the balcony to learn about the plant is a fun thing to keep me busy. Wild harvesting however is hands down my favorite hobby/ skill to learn. I love hiking, and combining that activity with wild foraging has conditioned me to be constantly actively scanning the ground and shrubs around me to see if there's anything worth while. It also has the added benefit of not stepping on snakes! By lack of having a garden of my own, the forest became my garden, and after only two years of living there and observing well, I already knew lots of places by heart where to go to when the forging season came back round. It's quite possible in spring time to substitute a large part of the greens in your diet by whatever you can find in the forest (provided you have a healthy forest / meadow in your neighborhood). Summer is best to find wild berries, during fall it's time for fruits and nuts. Even mild winters offer some fun to be had for foraging. We've had patches of wild onions pop up as early as mid January. So you can really keep yourself busy all year round with exploring what nature has on offer!
Now that we bought land of our own, I don't have time for any of that currently though, haha! Now I've got so much prep and construction work to do, I'll never get to leave the house/garden! x-)
We own our land but we have a year of building ahead of us before we are living out there.
We are both office workers so we are having our house built for us, being so close to the national forest has brought all sorts of permitting issues. So we are leaving it to a professional and we are getting several of our goals there: passive solar warmth, wood stove, garage/workshop
The current set up is in an apartment complex that we just relocated to. I will have a patch (2ft by 6 ft metal bin) in a community garden and I have a balcony with Southwest Facing sunlight.
Each year I can the following:
I freeze the following:
Mix of carrots, onion and celery
I purchased the stuff in bulk either at a farm stand outside of town or the farmers market depending on deals. We also do not eat any factory-farmed meat, instead, it is all from local farms to support our local farmers.
My tomatoes have been started and are under the grow light. I need to start my peppers seeds today. While I won’t be able to grow enough to cover the amount I will need to store, it does help with the grocery bill. I recently also purchased a lemon, lime and pink lemon tree. I love citrus and I am going to see if I can keep them alive in a container.
I spent time last year learning how to play the fiddle and I am going to double down on that this year. I also want to learn how to make my own beeswax candles. In addition to forest skills.
Our future home is located on a 5-acre forested lot and while we are doing some clearing for the house and garden, we want to keep as much tree cover intact as possible. I want to learn more forest skills and I recently received The Woodland Homestead by Brett McLeod that I am slowly devouring. I have never grown in a forested area, my whole life has been up in the mountains but the area was cleared a long time ago.
So I am learning what I can. I also want to learn how to forage and wildcraft. There are so many things that I want to learn how to do and not enough time. I run my own company and that takes up most of my time, and I squeak by doing my canning and gardening.
I'm doing laundry! Look how clean this tiny ad is: