New Homesteader Advice

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Are you starting you new homesteader or thinking about homesteading? It can be overwhelming to figure out where to begin. What do you do first? Get chickens? Plant a garden? I asked 23 homesteaders what advice they would give to someone new to the homesteading lifestyle. Many of their answers are relatable for current homesteaders too. I learned a lot myself from gathering the responses.


1.      I guess it would be to not be a perfectionist, just do what you can do at this time. Even if it’s growing a couple pots of tomatoes on your patio, it is good enough for now. Don’t be afraid to dream big, but be realistic, and just do what you can do now. It all counts!  The Reid Homestead


2.      Our advice for a new homesteader would be to make sure if nothing ese you have a clean water source on property.  A Table Full in the Woods


3.      Start small. There will always be a list that is about 1.5 miles long of projects to do or things to try. As you learn new skills you’ll be ready to tackle the next thing on the list. Just keep plugging away at it!  Homesteading But Not


4.      Don’t be afraid to ask questions! I think not asking questions will make homesteading feel lonely and tough at times, especially if you just dive right in. Know that it’s OK to make mistakes. We all do. Learn from them and move on, don’t beat yourself up over it. Find new ways to handle certain situations. Get creative and use your imagination to solve problems. Keep a homesteading journal. You’ll thank yourself later for doing so! If you fall down, pick yourself up, dust yourself off and get back at it! Whispering Moon Homestead


5.      My best advice for a new homesteader would be to start slow and ease into it, especially if you’re brand new to it. Don’t get 25 chickens, 15 ducks, goats, rabbits, a cow, bees, and plant a huge garden your first spring. How do I know that isn’t a good idea? Well, we got pretty excited when we first started and then had to take a step back. Get enough chickens to provide eggs for your family, set up a bee hive, and plant your garden – something manageable and enjoyable! Then go from there and have fun. There is so much you can do to make your life more sustainable and so fulfilling.  The Young Homestead


6.      You shouldn’t take advice from me. We barely know what we’re doing. We just make it up as we go along here. I guess, don’t be afraid to try new things. You don’t have to already know all the answers to start working on something you think might be cool.  The House that Never Slumbers


7.      My advice for a new homesteader would be to only bit off what you can chew or be prepared to chew like crazy. Be clever with your resources, the less expenditure, the sweeter the reward. Seed save, barter and swap goodies with your neighbors. Write out your pan and work to make it a reality – even if it takes a lot of work, it is so worth it when you wake up and realise, you are living the lifestyle some people could only dream of.  Dela Pond Homestead


8.      Start small! I cannot stress this enough. Overwhelm is the biggest reason folks give up and walk away. Start with just 3-4 chickens or 2 dairy goats or maybe 1 pig. When it comes to animals, it is not a good idea to dive in head first. Do your homework, find a homesteading friend you can ask questions, and read…read…read! There is nothing more rewarding than serving up a meal grown or raised entirely on your own land and picked, cleaned and prepared by your own hands. I can honestly say, nothing tastes quite as good.  Simple Living Country Gal

 Advice for a New Homesteader Beginner

9.      Don’t be afraid to ask for help and share not only your good times but the fails too. Sharing has given me a wealth of knowledge.  Melinda Kunst


10.   Take it one new skill at a time, or you can easily get overwhelmed. Learn one new thing today, and master it. Then move on to the next thing.  As For Me and My Homestead


11.   My advice for a new homesteader is to learn as much as you can! There are so many sources out there to learn how to homestead: Pinterest, Facebook groups, and YouTube. Plus our blogs have a plethora of information available right at your fingertips! There are so many DIY tutorials on how to do things more efficiently while saving money, time, and heartache! Just learn as much as you can…and learn from experience, too. You don’t “need” to have it altogether to get started! I love the fact that each year I garden, I always find something else to make better: how I can maximize my garden space, what I shouldn’t plant the next year, and so much more. It makes life interesting learning as you go!  Minnesota Country Girl


12.   Just do it! If you love the countryside and have a dream that you’re willing to work hard to get then nothing can stop you. You’ll discover things about yourself you never knew, work harder than you ever have before and enjoy every moment of it. Don’t expect anything to happen quickly. Reach out to the people around you for support, you need a network when you live in the middle of nowhere!  The Farmish Collective and Getting the Good Life


13.   Take the good with the bad and learn as much as you can from whoever you can.  Pandora Acres


14.   START SMALL!!! It’s fine to have grand dreams and a master plan, but keep things small and realistic those first few years. Small wins can be hugely satisfying and less pressure on you. Write down all your hopes and dreams for your homestead then narrow it down to 3-5 goals each year and focus on knowing the steps to complete those. Most of all, be flexible! Things will not always go as planned and that’s OK!  Grit and Grace Homestead


15.   Take it slow. Don’t rush to build all your pens and get a long list of animals and a huge garden. Choose your favorite veggies to grow and start with a small manageable garden. Decide what animals you want and add one each year. You don’t want to be overworked, overwhelmed and exhausted from the start. Take breaks during the hottest time of day. Go inside and do something unless you must be outside. Chores can be done early in the morning and later in the afternoon when it’s not scorching hot. And lastly…Never give up on a bad day.  Rustic Traditions Homestead


16.   The most important advice I can give those who are new to homesteading is the ability to forgive yourself. There will be a million and one things which you will not complete. Forgive yourself. There will be a million and one things which you will often have to redo. Forgive yourself. There will be a million and one things (plus 1) that you WILL fail at. Forgive yourself. This lifestyle is about hard working and working it through. Things will change every year and that’s okay.  A Farm Girl in the Making


17.   My advice for a new homesteader is do your homework. I can’t stress this enough. I scoured any book I could get my hands on and followed fellow homesteaders on every form of social media I could find. Their tips and tricks gave me the confidence to finally take that leap. Also, never be afraid to ask questions. Everyone has to start somewhere.  Hell or High Water Homestead


18.   Don’t try to do everything at once! Building a homestead takes time (years!). Make a plan of everything you would like to grow/have and prioritize. Add a few new things each year. Oh, and have fun! The Hayes Homestead

 Advice for a New Homesteader Beginner

19.   Don’t give up. There are hard days, but the good outnumber them. Tammy Beasley


20.   Start when you are younger and make sure your heart wants this lifestyle. It’s often messy and gross and exhausting. You’re working in less than optimum environments. There are no mandatory twice daily 15 minute breaks and a half-hour lunch. Often you eat on the go or when the work is done. This lifestyle will change you…for the better. You will grow in confidence and knowledge, you will begin to value money and time more, you will begin to live with intention.  Misty Meadows Homestead


21.   Record everything. All your numbers, from each egg you get a day to the cost of every bag of feed. This information is incredibly important to see what is REALLY working for you. Also, read everything you can get your hands on. We live in an incredible age where so much information is right at our fingertips. Read articles, read books, read discussions from online groups. All of these different resources will provide you with more knowledge to feel prepared. On the flip side to that, a lot of what you are going to learn will be hands on. While reading is a great prep tool, you really won’t get a full understanding of what works for you until YOU do it. Be prepared to make a LOT of mistakes, and keep at it.  Hatch End Homestead


22.  Take it slowly and don’t think you have to be good at all of it at once.  Homesteading Unrefined


23.   Start now. Start with whatever skills interest you. Start where you are with what you have. You can start learning in so many ways: how to make bread, how to make your own soaps and body products, how to blacksmith, how to knit/crochet, how to preserve your own foods…Oh my gosh! It’s endless. So just think about what you are interested in and what would be most helpful to you and start there!  Healing Harvest Homestead

Did you pick up on the theme? A new homesteader should start small where they are. There is one piece of advice I would add, and that is to not be afraid of outsourcing. If you have never built an animal pen and have no desire to learn how to build an animal pen, hire someone else to do it. There are people in your community who love to build animal pens and could use the work. We outsource jobs around the homestead often, sometimes due to Dave’s health condition, sometimes because we don’t have the time or knowledge to complete a task, and sometimes because we simply have no interest in doing it.

If you enjoyed this post, please read the other posts in my interview series on homesteading: