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Homesteading curious? Try these small steps.
Getty Images/Bettman

Homesteading curious? Try these small steps.

Just a few containers and a little know-how is enough to get a taste of self-sufficiency.

The first generation to grow up with food-delivery apps is looking to get their sustenance straight from the source.

Homesteading is trending, and it’s probably the healthiest thing the internet has ever inspired.

Influencers like the couple behind Ballerina Farm have romanticized the agrarian lifestyle and reinvigorated enthusiasm for starting from scratch in every aspect imaginable.

Making your own cheese, growing your own vegetables, and feeding the chickens you keep on your 10 acres has become a dream for many a young woman.

And a dream it remains.

Unfortunately, most of us don’t have 10 acres on which to frolic as we harvest spinach for dinner from our perfectly manicured gardens.

Then again, homesteading is the concept of doing what you can with what you have. So what if it doesn’t look like the picture-perfect image you saw on your favorite influencer’s profile? Your ancestors certainly didn’t care about that.

It's OK to start small. Here are two steps I've taken that have improved my life.

Start a small garden

Who needs a patch of land if you have a few containers? Grab some large enough for the number of plants you’d like to sow. Pro tip: You don’t have to fill them entirely with potting soil. Put some mulch on the bottom of the pots. Eventually, it’ll turn into soil and it’s SO much cheaper. Proer tip: Buy the damaged bags of mulch and soil. It might make a small mess in your car but it will save you stacks of cash. You’re welcome.

Read up on which fruits and veggies grow in the season you’re hoping to plant in for your specific region of the country.

Keep the soil moist, fertilize every month or so, and have fun with it!

It’s not as hard as it seems. Here’s mine a couple weeks after the plants sprouted.

Phoenix Painter

And your first harvest is the most satisfying part.

Phoenix Painter

Learn how to ferment your food

Me, personally? I’m a self-proclaimed kombucha addict. It’s an expensive habit. So, I embarked on an adventure to ferment my own. I’m not gonna lie, I got pretty good at it.

If you, too, are a kombucha addict, here’s a handy guide to making your own brew.

I tried SO hard to make sauerkraut. I really did. However, it remains a work in progress. You may have better luck. Here's the method I used.

I recently helped a friend ferment his own yogurt, starting with a gallon of milk and a cup of store-bought yogurt. This recipe made it surprisingly simple. We ended up with a gallon for less than the price of a quart of off-brand Greek yogurt from Kroger!

Admittedly, these few skills won't get you off the grid, but you might save a little money. And who knows — they may just whet your appetite to develop more self-sufficiency. Can't hurt to plant a few seeds.

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