The idea of homesteading and preparedness, which go hand in hand, can be so overwhelming, most will never begin. My goal is to teach you, step by step, with a system. This system is built on daily activities, which are the building blocks to building your homestead and gaining preparedness. The tasks will be rotated and done once a week . The daily tasks are posted each day in the P.O. Box.
The journey begins with the decision to grow and store food and you need a place to do both.
Storing surplus food is essential for preparedness. You will store, rotate and use the food you store. We will work on accumulating one month’s supply of food. You may want to increase this over time, but working on one month at a time eliminates the feeling of feeling overwhelmed and at least gets you set for an entire month of food preparedness. I would rather see you have a complete month of food than one year’s worth of a few items and not be ready, at all.
The place to store your food can be anywhere that is cool and dark. A closet or large kitchen pantry will store about one month’s worth of food. If you already know you want to store more than a month’s worth of food, you will likely have to find room in a basement or somewhere else or have multiple spaces. Avoid garages and attics. Due to lack of extreme cold or heat, many foods are not safe there long term. However, dry goods like pasta, rice, or paper products can be stored in those places. Look around your home. What space can be emptied, the contents either relocated or disposed of? Think outside the box! Take 15 minutes a day and work on clearing a place to create your pantry space. Grab a bag for “give away” “throw away” or “put away” and clear your space! Then begin reading the letters in Pantry and begin with Storing Water, then Planning Your Menus and How To Use Your Pantry Inventory.
Your garden is a must for homesteading but not essential in preparedness. Since this is a homesteading and preparedness neighborhood, we will assume you will have a garden. Did you know you can grow a substantial amount of food in a garden as small as 10 by 10 feet or 100 square feet? Where will you find that space? Look around your yard. You may be cutting a lot of grass. You can sod out some of your lawn and use that space for your garden. What about the borders around your yard or home? Are they currently full of foliage or flowers that do not bear food? Even if you live on concrete, you can garden in raised beds right there on top of your concrete. You can grow up, down and all around! You may need to be creative and daring to carve out your spot or spots for your garden. Keeping your garden close together is easier for you and eliminates forgetting parts of it. Don’t give up- you can find a space.
A homestead journal will be your organizational tool. Every detail of your homestead will be kept in your homestead journal; a simple three ring notebook with several different categories as needed. Details will be under the Homestead Journal.
Your next step is to read the Getting Started letters, Steps 1-6, copying off each one and adding to your homestead journal. These will give you the details of how to do the daily task prompts you will see each day.
Now you are on your way to backyard homesteading. Have fun on your journey and remember, many little steps take you where you want to be: Prepared and independent.
Happy homesteading, S