Urban Homesteading: A Beginner's Guide - gardenhomex.com (2024)

Welcome to our urban homesteading journey! I’m thrilled to introduce Tory Stender, a passionate advocate for sustainable living and urban homesteading. While Tory typically operates behind the scenes at The Ginger Home, her expertise extends to her own blog where she delves into millennial life, natural living, and the art of homesteading. Today, Tory graciously shares her insights into the world of urban homesteading, proving that you don’t need acres of land to embrace a self-sufficient lifestyle. Here’s Tory to guide us through her urban homesteading adventure.

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Hello, everyone! I’m Tory, residing in Alberta, Canada, with my husband, furry companion, and a baby on the way. Today, I’m excited to delve into the realm of urban homesteading, a journey close to my heart.

Despite our dreams of owning vast acres for farming and sustainable living, our reality situates us in a modest city bungalow. However, rather than succumbing to disappointment, we’ve embraced our urban setting as an opportunity to cultivate our homesteading aspirations within the confines of our space.

I’ve been tending to our urban homestead for several years now and would love to share some beginner-friendly tips for those eager to embark on their own backyard homesteading ventures.

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As with any new endeavor, it’s essential to begin with manageable steps. While the allure of transforming your backyard into a full-fledged homestead may be enticing, taking on too much too soon can lead to overwhelm and financial strain.

Start by introducing one or two elements at a time. Perhaps this year, you’ll venture into raising chickens and initiate a composting system. In subsequent years, gradually expand your efforts to include vegetable gardening and exploring food preservation techniques.

Homesteading demands both financial investment and significant labor. By pacing yourself and tackling projects incrementally, you’ll find the journey more manageable and enjoyable. Plus, it gives your partner a chance to breathe a sigh of relief – mine certainly appreciates the approach!

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While visions of chickens and sprawling gardens often dominate discussions on homesteading, the lifestyle encompasses a myriad of traditional skills beyond agriculture.

Delve into the art of food preservation, whether through canning, freezing, or drying techniques. Mastering these methods ensures self-sufficiency long after the harvest season fades.

Additionally, explore the realm of scratch cooking. Learning to bake bread or craft homemade yogurt not only yields delicious results but also fosters a deeper connection to your food and saves money in the process.

Traditional crafts like sewing, crocheting, and quilting also hold a place in the homesteader’s repertoire. Use the quieter winter months to hone these skills and enrich your homesteading journey.

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Our urban oasis spans approximately a quarter-acre, nestled amidst the cityscape of Alberta. Despite its modest size, our homestead boasts a thriving chicken coop, verdant vegetable garden, and flourishing perennial beds.

1. Backyard Chickens:

Last summer marked the realization of our chicken-keeping dreams. Despite residing in an urban locale, we discovered that keeping a few hens was not only feasible but highly rewarding.

Beginning with four mature hens, we ventured into the realm of egg production with ease. While our white leghorns may not be the most affectionate, their prolific egg-laying abilities compensate for their reserved demeanor. This year, we expanded our flock with hand-raised chicks, anticipating a more amicable dynamic and a colorful array of eggs.

Constructed primarily from recycled materials, our coop exemplifies sustainability and resilience against Canada’s harsh winters, proving that urban homesteading knows no seasonal bounds.

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2. Vegetable Garden:

Our garden serves as a sanctuary during the summer months, teeming with life and abundance. Starting modestly with a single raised bed, our garden has evolved over the years to accommodate an array of crops suited to our Zone 3b climate.

From root vegetables to leafy greens and sprawling vines, our garden reflects our commitment to self-sufficiency and culinary diversity. This year, we’ve dedicated an entire bed to garlic, anticipating a winter stocked with aromatic bulbs to flavor our meals.

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3. Compost Pile:

Composting epitomizes the symbiotic relationship between urban living and sustainable practices. Despite lacking an aesthetically pleasing wooden bin, our makeshift compost pile – repurposed from an old tote – fulfills its purpose admirably.

Transforming food scraps and yard waste into nutrient-rich compost enriches our garden soil, completing the cycle of sustainability within our urban oasis.

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In conclusion, urban homesteading offers a fulfilling path towards self-sufficiency and sustainability, regardless of space constraints. By starting small, embracing traditional skills, and maximizing the potential of your urban landscape, you can embark on a rewarding journey towards holistic living. Join me in cultivating your own urban homestead – one step at a time.

Urban Homesteading: A Beginner's Guide - gardenhomex.com (2024)
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