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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
- We grind our own (ancient) grains and bake two different types of bread.
- Our raw milk comes from our herd share. From that, we make butter, kefir, yogurt, buttermilk, and cheese. The last, I am still learning!
- 95% or so of our meals are cooked from scratch.
- The vast majority of our cleaning products are homemade from very simple and non-toxic ingredients. Better for us and better for the environment!
- 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.
- We hang-dry our laundry most of the time and use an old-fashioned method to damp-mop our floors.
- 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.
- If something breaks, we try to repair it, such as our kitchen chairs.
- 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.
- 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.
- We compost.
- My husband is an avid fisherman and catches a lot of salmon. He has perfected a cold-smoked salmon recipe that is just to die for.
- 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/