Many individuals are becoming more self-sufficient due to everything that has happened in the world recently. So how to start homesteading in an apartment?
We all have our priorities. For some, being self-sufficient means subscribing to the idea that we should be able and willing enough for any situation in life without depending on others – friends or foe alike! But maybe you’re more like me; I believe it’s important but not necessary because there are so many other aspects beyond just survival (like living comfortably) that take up most of my time these days.
Fortunately, there are various methods to begin apartment homesteading in whatever area you have.
The disadvantages of homesteading are evident for both renters and city-dwellers. Most tenants, for example, will be unable to complete projects like building a barn or a root cellar that other homesteaders can do. Even if your landlord allows backyard chickens, other animals, and even livestock, many cities prohibit them.
The urban homesteader’s most important limitation is space since it necessitates the separation of living and working areas. Space limitations, supply constraints, or bylaws make the urban homesteader more creative. These pointers will provide you with an overview of apartment homesteading and what you can do to begin homesteading right now.
Why Do You Need Homestead In Apartments?
The idea of apartment homesteading might seem bizarre to some people. Why bother learning how to cook fresh food when you live in an area so close to a near-unlimited supply? Growing your food is better for the environment and saves you money. And if that isn’t enough of an incentive, think about how much easier it will be when stores don’t need to rely on store-bought goods that are often out of stock!
As I write this – for example – major retail chains are talking about rationing certain food staples, and there are large sections of store shelves near me that have been empty for a while.
Homesteading is a perfect way to get off the grid and live an independent lifestyle. When you have your own house, it can include anything from growing your food to making a shelter out of materials on-site or construction projects.
Homesteading an apartment may begin with anything as simple as vermicomposting or learning to bake bread. You might also attempt to cultivate herbs on a windowsill indoors, and you can grow some small patio tomatoes in a spare room or on your patio or balcony if your apartment has one.
The desire for self-reliance often brings people into the world of urban homesteading. Learning skills and gaining experience doesn’t just help you when it comes time to move off-grid, but also provides other benefits such as increased knowledge about how our food system works or where your clothes come from.
How To Start Homesteading In An Apartment
Living in an urban environment can make it challenging to start a homestead. However, there are many things that you could do in your apartment without owning any land or going into debt.
Here are a few ideas on homesteading projects you can get started on in an apartment.
Grow Herbs (& Other Things)
Window gardens are a great way to get your hands on some fresh herbs. With few windows in my house, I had to go creative this spring and make the most out of what little sunlight was available!
If you don’t have a sunny window, you can get a self-contained hydroponic garden – complete with light and everything else you need – usually for around $45 to $55 depending on which brand or model you go with.
One of my favorite herbs to grow is purple basil. There are multiple varieties, it tastes great, it’s easy to grow, and it gives you fresh herbs whenever you want.
I also am growing tomatoes in a similar setup (dwarf varieties that only get to about 2′ tall), and I’m about to start experimenting with cucumbers – all grown indoors in a room with no access to sunlight. You don’t need to be limited by your apartment.
Make Your Own Cleaning Solutions
Another thing you can try is making your own, natural, cleaning solutions. It’s not that hard to create perfect soap, carpet, and laundry spot removers and an orange cleaner from scratch without any harmful chemicals or irritants like most commercial products do nowadays.
This is a great way to get away from harsh chemicals.
Dirty Sink? Either sprinkle baking soda across the bottom of your sink and clean with a scrub brush, or sprinkle salt and scrub with half a lemon.
Dirty shower? Warm up a cup of vinegar, put it in a spray bottle, and add an equal amount of dish soap (such as blue dawn). Swirl gently and spray on your shower. Let it sit for 10 minutes and scrub clean.
There are plenty of other DIY solutions just waiting to replace those awful smelling chemicals.
Learning to cook is an excellent way for people looking towards self-sufficiency and financial savings. You can start incorporating more healthy recipes into your life by learning the basics while cutting back on costs at restaurants or grocery stores!
As well as saving money on food —which you would otherwise spend if you didn’t make it from scratch– you’ll also get valuable experience working on skills you would need if you got your own homestead anyway.
Learn To Preserve Foods
The best way to maximize how long your product lasts is by learning how to preserve it.
It is common to freeze food to keep it fresh for longer. Frozen food can last up to six months, with frozen meats often lasting from 1 to 3 months. The main thing to be aware of when freezing food is that it must be done properly.
Learn which foods should be flash frozen to improve texture and reduce damage. Berries, fruit pieces, and some vegetables are ideal for this, as it minimizes damage from freezing and prevents them from freezing into a solid block.
Other foods, such as eggs, shouldn’t be flash frozen. You can often get a vacuum sealer to keep your frozen food fresh for longer periods of time, however.
Freezing doesn’t preserve food permanently, however. When food is left in the freezer too long, bacteria can start grow. Food can also get freezer burn and lose its flavor and texture.
Adding meat and vegetable scraps with water in a stock pot is a great way to use food waste to create stock for use in soup or with rice (or, if you’re a vegetarian/vegan, make vegetable broth).
To make food stock, it is necessary to use a large pot or large saucepan. You need to cover the stock with water and add a bay leaf and some salt. Then, you will need to add some vegetables like carrots, celery, onion, and garlic. Cook the mixture with the lid on for five to six hours.
Learn how to can and fill your pantry with fresh pickles, applesauce, preserves, tomato sauce, and other preserved foods. Just make sure you learn what can be preserved with water bath canning (easier, but fewer foods can be preserved) vs with pressure canning (more involved, but can preserve more types of food).
Pickling – another method of preserving – refers to preserving a wide range of foods, including fruits and vegetables, in vinegar. You can pickle almost anything if you have the proper equipment – and luckily, you don’t really need much. Vinegar, water, salt, sugar, some spices, and an airtight glass jar are all you need.
You probably already have most of them at home. We used to pickle our own hardboiled eggs, and the process was extremely easy.
Pick up fresh food from a farmers market, or grow your micro garden and pickle the fresh veggies to create your own tasty and long-lasting snack. Apples are easy to cook with, and you can even take it one step further by making your applesauce.
Dry Clothes Without Dryer
Nowadays, many people are turning to alternative methods of washing their clothes. This one may appear straightforward, but it’s a simple method to save money on energy bills (or, if you don’t have an apartment sized washing/drying unit, laundromats) while still keeping your home cool during those hot summer days.
One such option gaining momentum is the drying rack–perfect for those who live in apartments or rental homes without access to a balcony! Personally I get some extra shower bars and hang them in my shower when I need to dry clothes (with a fan pointed on them).
Composting at home when you live in an apartment can be a bit of a challenge. Luckily, vermicomposting is an easy and (if you do it right) smell free way of turning your food waste into compost.
Vermicomposting is the process of using worms to turn organic materials like vegetable peelings and fruit scraps into compost. It’s a great way to recycle food waste.
- The first step is to get a worm bin. You can make one, but it’s often easier to just buy – they aren’t that expensive and are a one time investment.
- The second step is to get your worms. You can purchase them online or find them at your local bait and tackle shop.
- When you get your worms, they will need some bedding, so shred some newspaper/cardboard or find someone who is willing to part with sawdust. Moisten it and add it to your worm bin along with your food scraps.
- Over time, the worms will eat the food and bedding, and you can remove the worm castings and add more scraps.
Do It Yourself
Homesteading is all about self-reliance and independence, which makes learning how to do things like making your candles or creating new soap recipes an invaluable skill. You can be a DIY genius without having any land! Learn to be a DIY-Genius. To become a whiz at making your candles, developing new soap recipes, or coming up with non-toxic bug repellents, you don’t need to be a landowner. The most fun part about homesteading has been learning how to be a DIYer–and it hasn’t required a single acre.
Homesteading is a lifestyle that takes determination, drive, and craziness no matter where you live. But taking small steps to change your living situation can equal better health with newfound passions for life- lessons on how to take care of yourself and share what’s yours too! A fun time learning all about something different than before, which will help make this world a little better.