Apartment Homesteading: How to Start a Homestead in Your Apartment

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Many people find themselves wanting to live a homesteading lifestyle, but are discouraged by the reality of living in an apartment within city limits. Cheer up! There is SO much homesteading you can do no matter where you live! Read on for some great ways to practice apartment homesteading.

Can you homestead in city limits?

First, let’s go back and remember what homesteading really is. When you hear the word homestead, you may think of a big, lovely, old house nestled on hundreds of rolling acres of crops and livestock.

Really though, homesteads come in a variety of forms. Most modern-day homesteaders focus on building a life of self-sufficiency. This can mean growing food, raising animals, cooking from scratch, preserving, making your own cleaning supplies, trying your hand at textiles, and so much more.

The good news is that nearly all of these skills can be practiced at some level no matter how small your house or yard. You may even be able to do all of them from the comfort of your apartment!

How do you start apartment homesteading?

Whether you hope to move out to your dream acreage or you see yourself staying in an apartment for the foreseeable future, it’s easy to fill your time with learning and improving your homesteading skills. The possibilities are nearly endless!

As an added benefit, if you do plan to move out to the country eventually, solidifying some basic skills while living in the city will give you an excellent foundation for larger-scale homesteading.

Cooking from scratch is a great place to start when you’re working on apartment homesteading. Start with basic meals and recipes, learn to make your own bread, become proficient at reading a recipe (or making up your own recipes!), and cook with in-season foods. Make it a goal to stay away from boxed, processed foods, and instead, cook it yourself whenever you can.

Next, consider how you can start preserving food from your apartment. Learn to can, freeze, dehydrate, or ferment. At harvest time, you can usually get large quantities of fresh food at a lower-than-normal price. Take advantage of this and preserve some food for later.

If you’re feeling limited space-wise, get creative. Store your canned food on top of your kitchen cabinets or in other unsuspecting places. Dehydrating could also be a great option, since it actually shrinks the food.

Cooking and preserving are just a few valuable homesteading skills that you can learn in an apartment. But don’t stop here. Keep learning whatever homesteading skills best suit you, your resources, and your needs.

How do you homestead in a city?

Whether you’re in an apartment or on a city lot, here are some more skills you can start with — with or without any land.

  • From-scratch cooking
  • Preserving: canning, dehydrating, freezing, fermenting
  • Sewing
  • Crocheting
  • Knitting
  • Making your own cleaning supplies
  • Foraging (if you live near a park or any area with some open land)
  • Gardening

Connecting with local farmers and homesteaders is another great way to learn more and grow your homesteading skill set. Your local farmers market is a great place to start. By shopping at the farmers market, you can purchase nutritious food that’s in season, and you may even be able to strike up some great learning conversations with the vendors.

In addition, many people who have land may be happy to have your help. If you know someone with land, consider asking them if you can assist with gardening or caring for the animals. Perhaps you can learn from them and take a few vegetables home, too!

Lastly, maybe someone near you has more land than they can adequately use. Perhaps you could borrow a few square feet to raise some meat chickens, rabbits, or honeybees at a friend’s property. They’d probably love to exchange a small plot of land for a chicken dinner!

Can you garden in an apartment?

Yes! You can absolutely start gardening in your apartment. Whether you have a patio or just a windowsill, there are plenty of options for beginning your gardening journey. Even if your lighting is very limited, you can use supplemental lighting, like grow lamps, to grow some of your own food inside.

Before you choose your plants, take your surroundings into consideration. Find plants that work well with the amount of sunlight that you have available. Invest in some good-quality potting soil that will drain well. Also, keep in mind that potted plants often require more frequent watering.

What food can you grow in an apartment?

If you only have a windowsill, herbs are an excellent place to start. Here are some of the best herbs for growing inside:

  • Rosemary
  • Thyme
  • Basil
  • Oregano
  • Mint

Next, greens are another valuable choice for apartment homesteaders. Microgreens can be a perfect way to start out, since they can be grown all year long. They make a delicious addition to your salads, and add plenty of vitamins and nutrients, too! If you have space for some small pots, you could also try spinach, lettuce, chard, kale, and arugula.

With a small amount of patio footage or even some well-lighted, indoor space, it’s easy to grow lots of your own vegetables right in containers. Here are some of the best vegetables to grow in a small area:

  • Tomatoes
  • Beans
  • Peas
  • Peppers
  • Carrots

Ready to get started on apartment homesteading?

Which skills do you plan to tackle first on your apartment homesteading journey? Let us know in the comments!

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