With a bit of creativity, even people who live in small apartments can practice homesteading. If you want to homestead in your apartment, here are some tips that can help you become more self-sufficient. (h/t to UrbanSurvivalSite.com)
Try apartment gardening.
Turn your apartment into a mini-garden by growing berries or tomatoes in hanging baskets and vertical gardens. Alternatively, you can plant garlic, onions, or potatoes in pots on your balcony. (Related: How to start an indoor garden in your apartment.)
If your home isn’t spacious enough for pots, consider growing herbs in a container garden. You can grow the following herbs in pots on your windowsill.
- Basil – Grow basil in a pot placed in a south-facing window that gets at least six hours of sun daily. Water your basil if the topsoil feels dry. After several weeks, you can harvest basil and make pesto or a delicious pasta sauce.
- Chives – Chives can give dishes an amazing flavor similar to onions. After you pot your plant or start from seed, keep the pot in a south-facing window that receives around six hours of sunlight daily. Water the pot if the topsoil feels dry to the touch.
- Mint – Mint will grow well indoors. Plant mint in a pot with solid drainage and good potting mix. Mint doesn’t require a lot of sun exposure so you can leave it in indirect sunlight. Place the pot in an area that gets some sunlight throughout the day but isn’t directly on a windowsill. The plant must be kept moist.
- Rosemary –Rosemary is the ideal house pant because it doesn’t need too much water. Plant rosemary in a pot with good drainage and place it near a natural light source. Keep the dirt in the pot moist at all times.
Use natural cleaning products.
Store-bought cleaning products usually contain harmful chemicals that are bad for the environment. These toxic chemicals are also linked to negative side effects.
To avoid these side effects, use homemade and natural cleaning products. There are many resources online that can teach you how to make cleaning products using simple ingredients like baking soda, borax, hydrogen peroxide, lemons, liquid castile soap, and white vinegar.
Buy organic food from local farmers.
If you don’t have enough space for a garden in your apartment, you can practice homesteading by supporting local farmers. Purchase organic eggs, meat, and produce from local farmers’ markets.
Learn how to preserve food.
Put excess produce to good use by learning how to preserve food. Use simple methods like pickling or canning that don’t require complicated equipment.
Learn how to re-purpose old items.
Before you throw away anything from furniture to food waste, ask yourself if it can be re-purposed. These tips can help you get started on re-purposing.
- Harvest seeds from organic vegetables.
- Use plastic tubs and toilet paper rolls as seed starters for your container garden.
- Turn cardboard and newspaper into weed barriers.
- Turn five-gallon buckets into planters or rain barrels.
- Reduce food waste. For example, you can turn leftover bread into croutons for salads or bread pudding.
- Start composting using food scraps and organic material like leaves and eggshells.
- Use PVC pipes to make a vertical garden.
The ability to homestead doesn’t depend on the size of your property. To become a homesteader, you just need to be resourceful and care for the environment. Be mindful of the resources you consume and try to re-purpose things before throwing them away to minimize the waste you produce.