How we created our Urban Homestead

I am sharing how easy it is to create an urban homestead whether you’re living in a city condo or suburban home.

Homesteading can take many forms and you do not need to live on big acreage with cows and chickens to do so.

For us, it is a lifestyle that we have slowly grown into – and that really anyone can do!

This post is a collaboration with some of my blogging friends who are all sharing what homesteading means to them and how they do it. Make sure to check out their offerings at the bottom of this post!

Also, if you would like to learn how you can create your own urban homestead, I have created an e-book, just for you: 40+ pages jam-packed with tips, information, resources, and recipes so that you can get started. Get it here.

This post contains affiliate links, which means I make a small commission at no extra cost to you.

Homesteading roots

It really all started when I was a kid growing up in Germany. We would visit my grandparents often. They had the quintessential urban homestead, except they lived in an old farmhouse in a very rural village. They no longer had cows, goats, chickens, or pigs but were growing most of their food in their garden. Employing all-natural practices they were ‘organic’ before that was even a word.

My grandpa tended the vegetables and fruit trees in the garden and my grandma would be in the kitchen cooking, baking, preserving, and canning.

On our visits, they would send me to the local dairy in the village to get milk at milking time. It was so fresh that it was still warm!

Twice a year they drove to a farm to buy their grains that they would grind into flour and bake bread.

All this deeply influenced and inspired me.

Anja in our urban homestead kitchen

Slow beginnings

For decades, I have been baking bread exactly like my grandma and my mom made it. In my mind, there is nothing better than using freshly ground grains for that.

Eventually, I looked into making my own yogurt and found that is so ridiculously easy! It is so much healthier than store-bought and a lot cheaper.

At the same time, I always enjoyed making things. Whether sewing, knitting, crocheting, or DIYing, there was always some project or other I was working on.

homemade bread

Getting deeper into creating our urban homestead

Now, that I was already making so many things and cooking and baking from scratch, I started to research and learn more and more.

How about growing our own tomatoes? Sure, they grow in a pot and I was looking at pictures of thick plump tomatoes that other people grew.

Here’s the thing, though: we do have quite a bit of space on our property but since we live in a 1910 urban farmhouse, we also have a lot of beautiful mature trees there. That means a lot of shade! Those first tomatoes did not make it!

Nevertheless, I didn’t give up. I delved more into what vegetables we could grow in our somewhat shady garden. I also found a spot that gets a lot of sun, although that was on a concrete pad. So I grew vegetables in pots and containers.

growing vegetables in containers

Homesteading as a lifestyle

In the last few years, homesteading really came together for us. And at the same time, I realized that there is no one definition of homesteading. Everyone’s situation is so vastly different.

Since it is a lifestyle, I believe anyone can do it! It doesn’t matter where you live. Is your home a city condo or do you have a bit of space in your suburban home?

What matters more than the size and location of your home, is your attitude. For us, this urban homestead journey really is a desire to be more self-sufficient, minimalist, and sustainable.

It is not about being rigid or perfectionist. Sure, we do have store-bought pasta sauce in our pantry for those evenings when I am out of ideas and time. I mean, we live in the 21st century with a lot of conveniences that we do appreciate.

Our urban homestead today

In writing this post, I was thinking about the various things we do:

  1. We grind our own (ancient) grains and bake two different types of bread
  2. Our raw milk comes from our herd share. From that, we make butter, kefir, yogurt, buttermilk, and cheese. The last, I am still learning!
  3. 95% or so of our meals are cooked from scratch.
  4. The vast majority of our cleaning products are homemade from very simple and non-toxic ingredients. Better for us and better for the environment!
  5. For years, we have been making our own toothpowder (dentist-approved!), body wash, and shampoo. However, I am constantly researching other recipes and methods and upgrading as we go.
  6. We hang-dry our laundry most of the time and use an old-fashioned method to damp mop our floors.
  7. Whenever I need a certain item, I see if I can make it myself. That is how I made my own apron, potholders, linen baskets, and beeswax wraps.
  8. If something breaks, we try to repair it, such as our kitchen chairs.
  9. We repurpose as much as we can: we use old toothbrushes to clean tight spaces and grout and use egg cartons to start our seeds.
  10. Over time, we have found fruits and vegetables that do thrive in partial shade and focus on those, rather than being frustrated by trying to grow food that needs a lot more sun than we have.
  11. We compost.
  12. My husband is an avid fisherman and catches a lot of salmon. He has perfected a cold-smoked salmon recipe that I’ll be sharing soon!
  13. And most of all, we are having so much fun with all of these practices!

Can you create an urban homestead, too?

Of course, you can! You might just adopt a few of these above-mentioned practices or completely different ones. Everybody’s situation is different so it’s all about adjusting and adapting.

Urban homesteading guidebook

I am so excited to offer my guide book “How to create an Urban Homestead“! On over 40 pages, I have compiled ideas, resources, tips, and recipes for anyone who would like to create their own urban homestead. It is meant as a launching pad for you to see how easy it really is and to start your own homesteading journey!

As a bonus offer, there will be a reduced price until February 20, 2021. After that, the price will go up to $6.95. Grab your copy here: https://www.ourgabledhome.com/product/how-to-create-an-urban-homestead-e-book/

See what other homesteaders have to say:

Brandy @  www.thestylishhomestead.com talks about balancing a full-time job with a homestead and what homesteading means to her

Brittany @ www.thehomesteadchallenge.com talks about her definition of a homestead,  reaching goals through homesteading (sustainability, health, financial freedom), and different definitions and things we can learn from each other

Wendy @https://themountainfarmhouse.com/ talks about what homesteading means to her:  Independence, self-sufficiency, and how to achieve this by applying Permaculture principles on the homestead.

Debbie @ simplyjad.com talks about what homesteading means to her (1-raising her family with strong moral values/work ethic; 2- increasing self-reliance; and 3-freedom) learning how to make homemade whole wheat bread (increasing self-reliance).

Alexa @ www.churchstreethomestead.com 

talks about having a complete transition from being a full-on city girl to a full-time homesteader including 1. learning how to raise animals without any experience from herself, her husband, or their families;  2. Learning how to make everything from scratch and what that means for her health and well-being. 3. How This lifestyle has positively impacted her relationship with God & His creation, on top of relationships with others/building a community. 

Steph @ www.spruceacreshomestead.com talks about what it means to homestead,

how homesteading empowers her, specifically for her in 3 areas: Health, Teaching the next generation, and having a community that gets you + supports you 

Megan @ www.simplyrootedfarmhouse.com talks about “What to Plant in a New England Garden”, planning a garden, growing crops in New England, and of course, homesteading and what gardening does for her family! 

http://thecrooksfamilyfarm.com/how-to-start-a-homestead

Samantha @ Thecrooksfamilyfarm.com talks about How to Start a Homestead, what is homesteading, why she chose homesteading, what homesteading means to her, and 10 steps to start a homestead

Do you homestead? Let me know all your comments and questions below!

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How we Actually Created our Urban Homestead

27 thoughts on “How We Actually Created Our Urban Homestead”

  1. I love how you say homesteading is a lifestyle and an attitude! Making little changes over time to be more sustainable is all it takes! We started out in suburbia and now have some acreage to build a bigger homestead!

    1. Hi Jamie, yes, I think it’s all about attitude and lifestyle! So good for your to transition from suburbia to your acreage! Happy homesteading ~ Anja

  2. Pingback: How to make Homemade Whole Wheat Bread - Simply JAD

  3. I love all of your ways that you’re living the homestead life! You’re so right, it’s definitely a whole lifestyle and it’s so rewarding and healthy!

  4. Great post. I truly admire the homesteading lifestyle. Unfortunately due to my health it’s not something I can do. Very motivational information.

  5. It’s so cool you were able to grow up learning all of these things and are passing it down to your kids! I unfortunately grew up on tv dinners and spaghettios haha! Hopefully I can learn as much as possible and my kids will catch on!

  6. I have all sorts of warm and fuzzy homestead feelings about this! I love the list you shared about what you already do. I’m so excited to start adding to our repertoire; you’ve given me some ideas of things I hadn’t thought of trying yet! You’re so inspiring!!
    Ps. What area of Germany is your family from? I love Germany and the language!

    1. Yay! I am so glad you found this inspirational 💛. PS: I have lived in too many different places but consider Berlin my hometown (my mom and my brothers live there)

  7. Pingback: Permaculture Principles on the Homestead | The Mountain Farmhouse %

  8. Pingback: Slowing Down on the Homestead | Meet Our Family - Living Like We're Country

  9. Pingback: How to Plant in a New England Garden - Simply Rooted Farmhouse

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