When I was younger, my father and I always discussed planting him as a fruit tree when he passed away. He passed away this year and while I knew he wanted to be a tree, I really could not decide which tree.
I mean, how do you pick the best fruit trees to plant?
I have had fruit trees, but somehow the idea of planting one with my father’s ashes seemed so permanent. I really began thinking it over on what tree exactly he would be best as based on a variety of factors.
What are the best fruit trees to plant?
This is highly dependent on your area. Citrus will not do well in Alaska. But like, I mean, that is pretty much a given.
For me, deciding what the best fruit tree to plant is entirely up to you and your family. My family loves eating apples. I’m talking like 5lbs a week. This makes apples an important part of my homesteading plan.
Not only that, but deciding on the best possible variety is important, too. All of these are based on your location. This is also based on the availability of varieties; luckily with the internet, getting varieties is easier than ever!
With code NEW10, you can get 10% off your order at Garden Goods Direct! This company has so many amazing trees that I love!
Which fruit tree is easiest to grow?
For me, I love my orange tree. It has produced hundreds of oranges with little maintenance. But honestly, I really think this is dependent on your environment.
The truth of the matter is that there is no true easiest fruit tree to grow. Most trees require some work. Unlike a garden, the amount of work is usually pretty minimal!
I have also found that more native fruit trees are much easier to grow than others. Like mulberry trees and elderberry. These grow wild around me and the ones we own have flourished with minimal effort.
Elderberry is known to contain immune-boosting properties and is renowned for making gorgeous syrups!
Which fruit trees bear fruit fastest?
Peaches are by far the fastest to produce fruits. This is because they mature much faster than others. They have been hands down one of my favorites to grow due to their beautiful blooms and delicious fruits.
Disclaimer: Some of the products listed below I have an affiliate link to. This does not reflect on their quality!
With backyard homesteading on the rise, chickens have become one of the most popular livestock to have! This is due to their versatility, size, and ability to produce a sustainable protein source.
When I was first starting out, I really wondered, how easy is it to raise chickens? Well, the answer came with a shrug from my friends and family.
We struggled to really learn how to raise chickens economically for us as a family. You see the tragic secret that is me is I hate eggs. This made chickens a hard sell when I first asked for them.
Is it worth it to raise chickens?
The worth of raising chickens really depends on your values. If you are solely doing this as a means to save money, there are ways to do this. You will sacrifice some of the better attributes by doing so but it can be done.
Chickens are omnivores. That is the saddest truth of the agriculture industry when you see ‘vegetarian fed’ in the stores. Chickens are not vegetarians.
Chickens can be completely raised on free-ranging and scraps. I mean look at Miami, they have a massive chicken problem and cannot keep them contained. Nobody is feeding these chickens and yet they are thriving.
There are not many chickens that can’t and won’t eat. I even caught ours eating an opossum carcass once!
I have my compost inside the chicken coop now. I just give them the scraps and let them go wild. I add bedding as needed. Once they are finished turning the compost and it is ready to cure, we just start over.
The garden feeds the chickens and the chickens feed us. We all win!
How do you raise chickens at home?
The best thing to do is build your coop first. I do not care if you buy chicks or adults. Buy your coop or build it first. This makes sure that by the time you have those cute chicks, there is somewhere they can go when they are no longer little and cute.
I make sure my coop is very well predator-proofed. I do not use chicken wire but instead a heavier grade.
Chickens need an ample supply of water. This is crucial to their survival. They also prefer to have roosts as well.
Different breeds of chickens produce different amounts of eggs a day. Breeds like the Rhode Island Red produce better than a breed like a silkie. This is due to selective breeding.
A rule I like to follow is two chickens per every member of my household (I include dogs in this number). This ensures we have eggs for breakfast and for baking.
Though the amount and quality you feed them also play a role in how many eggs you will receive and if you are only free-ranging and feeding scraps, you may need more birds to keep up with your family’s demand.
Purchasing seeds from True Leaf Market may be a great idea to grow your own feed. They sell plenty of varieties where you could grow a cheap garden solely to feed your flock.
What do I need for chickens?
The most important thing you can have is a clean source of water. Will they drink from muddy puddles? Yes. Should you leave them the option for freshwater? Yes.
For the most part, chickens are the easiest livestock to own. You need a coop, you need feeders and waterers, but there is no need for anything fancy.
They are pretty easy to start up and you can even just put them in an outdoor dog run with a roof on it.
Chickens happen to be one of my favorite livestock due to their versatility and easy care needs
Disclaimer: Some products listed below I have an affiliate link for. This in no way sways my views on them!
When I was younger, I always struggled with growing vegetable gardens. Not sure if it was the soil, my knowledge, or if I just was not taking care of it, but my gardens forever sucked.
I remember the dying plants that filled my small corner of the backyard; they obviously died of neglect and teenage me was off showing rabbits, forgetting to water my thirsty plants.
It wasn’t until the pandemic that I truly discovered my love for the garden. I always raised chickens for food, but in the garden, I saw no point in it.
I will say that no matter what, there were always a few vegetables that I could grow no matter what. These were the easiest vegetables that really anybody, including teenage me, could grow!
What vegetables are easy to grow?
This is the question of the hour, I remember really asking myself what would grow in my yard of death. I needed plants that would thrive with no water, occasional dogs trotting through them, and, well, the chickens.
Beans for me have always been foolproof. This can be true for both pole and bush beans and I always have a great harvest. Every year, I grew beans in our garden and we ate those even as everything else died.
Now, I love to pickle the beans and grow many varieties to change up our colors. Purple beans are one of my favorites to feed to the kids!
There are a few considerations to be had before growing beans. While they are more hardy and resistant than plants like tomatoes, knowing if they are pole or bush is important.
Pole beans grow up and bush beans bush out. If you have a pole bean variety, you will need to trellis them. Bush beans can produce the entire season too, and will only produce more as you harvest!
Disclaimer: Some links below I have an affiliate link. This means I make a small commission on purchases bought through my link! It holds no representation of how I feel about these products.
I was sixteen when I discovered permaculture. I was a major agriculture nerd, but I felt a severe disconnect from what class was teaching me. I saw the pig farms with crowded animals and the various other issues in agriculture and I began to wonder, how do we fix this?
It was then that I realized that my longing for a natural farm was intertwined with permaculture.
Permaculture has since called to me in every aspect of my life. When my father passed I swore I would start the homestead we planned together.
I find peace within my garden and chicken coop. By watching the way the ecosystem interacts with one another, I find myself also interacting within my garden and farm systems. Rather than working against these forces, I work with them.
Catch and store energy
This is one that I have yet to fully work on. It is a plan for the future when I am on my permanent homestead. Though the idea of being able to use solar to run my home really appeals to me considering our electric bill was over $300 last month!
Obtain a yield
The yield for me has been the happiness and joy the garden brings me, but also, being able to feed my family diverse and healthier food options.
It is the happiness that my garden brings that keeps me going. Because, as my husband often points out, bell peppers are 50 cents in the store.
Apply self-regulation and feedback
I began trying to reduce my family’s waste through cloth diapers when I had my first son! Now we compost and recycle.
Slowly, I am learning to reduce my impulse shopping and other factors that draw me into consumerism!
Use and value of renewables
As I said previously, we really began researching solar energy! I have tried to switch to other renewable energy sources like a rain barrel. However, this is not our permanent homestead so I do not want to continue
Produce no waste
Aside from cloth diapers, we use reusable products like menstrual cups, reusable zip lock bags, and other sustainable products.
With the uncertainty of the world, many of us are turning to self-sufficiency to help ensure the security of our families’ food. This can seem like such a daunting task when you first begin to look at doing homesteading.
Like you, I once wondered where to start when it came to homesteading.
Homesteading can be relatively simple with the right planning and resources. Here we will discuss resources to help simplify the process of becoming more self-sufficient.
How do I start a homesteading garden?
There are a few things to think about when you start to decide how you want to go about growing food. The main one is planning out your garden. A well-planned garden can help simplify your growing season and thus help amplify your overall yield.
I am a big fan of Jess from Roots and Refuge. Last year she wrote The First Time Gardener: Growing Vegetables and honestly, it is amazing! She goes over in-depth on starting gardens and is a valuable resource for every beginner.
Deciding what your family eats can go a long way when you are planning your garden. Why would you want to take up valuable space with beets if you do not eat them?
Transitioning to homesteading was probably the hardest part for my family. We love our sleep! But, the fresh food made it worth it.
Don’t quit your day job!
With these three tips, your transition will be much easier!
Setting alarms before you have a cow to milk and chickens to feed can help you adapt to the lifestyle well before you are in it. This can help the transition into the lifestyle since you will not have the exact responsibilities of homesteading!
Please start small. I see it every day where someone goes all out. You can burn yourself out and overall, set yourself up for failure. Many people will try and expand faster than they are ready. Start out with a few chickens before moving on to a flock of a thousand.
Some may be tempted to quit their job and follow the calling of homesteading. While for some this is a valid thing to do, it may not be feasible for everyone.
Where is the easiest place to Homestead?
Homesteading can be done anywhere that you want. This question can be slightly overthought when many ask me this.
There are considerations that need to be thought of when deciding where you want to homestead and many of which have to do with legality.
Goals on your homestead
Cost of living
These all should play a factor in where you decide to permanently settle down. Some states have laws in regards to living off-grid and some counties do not allow certain animals. If these are important for you considerations should be made when deciding where to live.
Other things like the cost of living should always be considered when settling down. These are factors that affect our everyday lives.
Your goals should be first above all. Deciding where to homestead is somewhat permanent and shouldn’t be taken lightly! Climate is another factor because if you are wanting to grow things like citrus then Alaska is not the place for you!
Does homesteading save money?
Homesteading can save money. This is only if done correctly.
Having a budget in place is important to help you and your family save money when growing your own food. This and careful planning are on the front lines to success.
Disclaimer: For some of the products listed I have an affiliate link meaning I earn a small commission for sales. This in no way reflect my views on these products!
When we begin to plan our homestead, we start looking for livestock. I remember when we started buying animals. It started with rabbits and eventually progressed to chickens and a goat.
You may be wondering, what is the best livestock for a homestead?
Well, it really just depends. We all have our own versions of wants, tastes, and needs to pursue in our homesteads. For my family, we value farm-fresh eggs. It is also something we are able to do easily. For your family, it may be alpacas or goats!
Here we will discuss what is best for many different types of homesteads!
Is it worth it to have chickens?
Chickens can be a wonderful addition to any homestead or backyard farm!! They can be used for a variety of purposes and are a cost-effective way of raising your own food.
Pigs can be a wonderful source of meat for your family. If you cannot butcher at home,
you may need to see if there is a slaughterhouse near you that will butcher your pig. With the right infrastructure in place, pigs are a good option for homesteads!
Is it hard to raise goats?
Goats have the reputation of eating everything or being lawnmowers. That is far from the truth. However, they are escape artists. This makes them slightly difficult to keep.
A benefit of goats is their ability to eat brush. This makes them fantastic to use in denser portions of your homestead.
Goats can give you milk, meat, and fiber if you get the right breeds. Angoras are beloved for their fiber and ability to milk.
Goats can be slightly more at risk for things like parasites and predation. This can be remedied with proper care and maintenance. Dewormers like Safeguard work well but you should consult a veterinarian. Goat manure can also be composted for use inside your garden!
Overall, goats are wonderful to use on the farm for clearing, their products, and overall comedic relief.
Are sheep good for a homestead?
Unlike goats, sheep do eat grass, which makes them wonderful lawnmowers. Like goats; however, these animals are at a higher risk of predators. Coyotes love making sheep and lambs their meals, but luckily a livestock guardian will help remedy any predation that may occur.
Sheep can convert grass into meat, milk, and wool, which makes them a very efficient animal for the homestead.
Sheep milk can make wonderful cheeses and be used just like a cow or goat milk.
Is raising meat rabbits worth it?
Rabbit meat has grown in popularity on homesteads everywhere within the last ten years. This is because they can be raised just about anywhere.
Rabbit manure makes great fertilizer due to its ability to be used right away because it does not burn plants. Another benefit of rabbits is their quiet nature.
Rabbits can also be grown for their fiber. Angoras are loved for their wool and can fetch a good cost on markets.
Rabbit pelts can also be sold once tanned to help earn an income on the homestead.
These animals are arguably the most controversial but best animals for homesteads. Many of us view them as pets and that can cause some of those who do not understand to become upset.
Overall, animals on the homestead can provide enough protein for your family for the year. Whether it is eggs or meat, livestock can provide a lot of food. With the right infrastructure, you may want to consider adding a species or two to your home!
Disclaimer: Products listed below I may have an affiliate link to them, under no circumstance is this a reflection on the quality of produce. I only endorse items I love myself!
In the sustainability and environmental community, many discuss the effects our trash has on the global warming crisis. The real issue, nobody is talking about is the soil crisis
What is the soil crisis?
Soil erosion has been a decimate to the agriculture industry. Iowa was once filled with rich dark topsoil, fantastic for farming. Now, due to erosion, the soil is only a foot or a little deeper. This means eventually our fertile lands will be nothing more than a desert.
The soil is lacking in nutrients. In an article written by National Geographic, they touch on the deficiency of phosphorus in our soil. Phosphorus is important for DNA replication. The problem with obtaining it is commercial fertilizers, which allow for better absorption, also cause water pollution.
Recomposeis a company specializing in human composting. It is a fantastic alternative to modern practices. Useful land is being taken up to bury our dead, cremation releases emissions and burns fossil fuels.
The bodies are turned into rich compost in 60 days. The cost is $5,500 and the compost can either be donated, picked up by family, or a combination of both.
Some other commonly known ways to help our soil crisis include:
Composting at home
Better crop management
This is an everyone problem. No single change is too small.
Why should this matter to me?
Our planet should matter to everyone. You specifically should be concerned due to the fact you consume agricultural products. By being a consumer you are directly impacted by the soil crisis. Food security and cost directly impact every person on this planet.