Suburban Homesteading

While talking with a group of friends, each of whom expressing a wish to buy land to homestead on.  I couldn’t figure out why my friends felt the need to wait until they had a bigger plot of land to begin their journey to self sufficiency.    Why not start homesteading in your own backyard?   Right now!

Suburban Homesteading. It really is a ‘thing’!

Let’s face it.  Not all of us are going to be able to move from suburbia into the wilds of Nowhere, USA.   Postponing self sufficiency until all conditions are deemed perfect, could result in being unprepared in an emergency situation.

I’m of the mindset where you do the best you can with what you have now, while following a well thought out plan of where you want to be.  My in between is suburban homesteading.

Suburban Homesteading

What Does Suburban Homesteading Look Like?

We live on your average 1/3 of an acre in your average suburban neighborhood.  There is a stream that runs through my back yard from April to October that provides irrigation to the farmers living further out.  It used to run heavy and deep, but we’re in a dry cycle right now and it’s been much more shallow the last several years.

My neighborhood consists of about 60 homes and we are surrounded on one side by a private golf course and on another by a fairly busy road.  Luckily we are tucked deeply enough into our neighborhood that we don’t see or hear the traffic.

Most of my neighbors garden for summer salad and October pumpkin kind of reasons.  I often think of several neighbors getting together to plan out who will grow what, and then sharing.  This makes even small space gardening more profitable.

 

basil

My Spring garden includes, kale, mustard greens, swiss chard, broccoli, beets and peas. The Summer garden  boasts  tomatoes, cucumbers, summer squash, beans, pumpkins, winter squash and peppers.

I was thrilled  to recently plant  both an apple an a cherry tree.  Neighbors have several of both so I know we’ll be fine pollination wise.

You can find raspberry bushes in diverse places and a large section for blackberries in our back yard.  I love having a freezer full of berries to last the year.    Half a whiskey barrel is home to a thriving black currant bush.

garden 2

Along one side of my lot I have my herb garden.  It’s also home to a few cabbage plants, lettuce, arugula and dikon radishes.

Herb wise I grow Sage, Thyme, Oregano, Parsley, Basil, Chives, Rosemary,  Peppermint, Spearmint, Anise, Heal All, Horseradish, Horehound, Comfrey, Vervain, and Chamomile.

This is my first year to really grow medicinal herbs, and I’m excited for how things will turn out.  Rosemary Gladstar’s books have been inspirational as I grow my family’s self sufficiency and as we grow our homestead.

I’m thinking of an Elderberry Bush too, as I make our own Elderberry Syrup to help ward off colds and flu.

 

 

Bail Grows Easily in Backyard Suburan Homestead Gardens

There is a big stack of homesteading books just waiting in my Amazon cart that  I can’t wait to dive into.  Dreaming is a big part of the fun of having a suburban homestead.   Using the experiences of others, I’ll create a suburban homestead that reflects the unique needs a capabilities of my family.

garden

Can I grow all the food my family eats on my Suburban Homestead?

Growing everything my family would need here on our suburban homestead simply isn’t possible, at least not yet.  But like all  homesteaders I am pretty creative and resourceful.  

To help us become more self reliant as we grow our backyard homestead, we implemented a few new ideas.

*Trading bumper crops for things I can’t grow in my back yard.

*Paying close attention to the FB yard sale posts and watch for those inviting people to come and glean from their trees and gardens.

*Planting early Spring seeds and plants.

*Growing a Fall garden for fresh greens through the colder months.

*Storing long term food items such as beans, rice, sugar, and flour.  Daisy Luther’s The Pantry Primer is a great source of information on getting a year’s supply as cheaply as possible.

*Purchasing long term freeze dried food at the best possible prices using the plans offered by  Thrive’s Montly Q Program.  Having freeze dried food on my shelf in case of an emergency offers great peace in these turbulent times.

blackberries

It’s a win-win.  More time in the garden.  More fresh, organic food and I don’t have to worry if there is a recall with it’s name on it down the road.

Self sufficiency.  Homesteading.  Food security.    Part of the fun is in the journey that gets you to where you are going.

What goals have you set to become self sufficient?   Is suburban homesteading something you might try?

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Top Preppers on Pinterest

The social networking site Pinterest is a a great place to get ideas on prepping, homesteading and self-sufficiency. Last March we wrote a post on the top 5 pinners on Pinterest which became wildly popular. This fall we are discovering some new pinners (to us) and want to share this resource with you all. So, without further ado, we present….

Top Preppers on Pinterest

Top Preppers on Pinterest

Of course, you know we are always going to list ourselves so those of you who are not yet following can start seeing the pins we share! Click on the picture of the profile to follow us and all of the preppers in this post!

Simply Preparing on Pinterest

Top Prepper on Pinterest

Glenn H. Levy on Pinterest

One of our favorite prepping friends, Mom With a Prep, suggested our Simply Preparing facebook page that we check out this monster prepping pinner and we sure weren’t sorry. Glenn focuses a lot on survival skills, weaponry and alternative shelters.

glenn levy-prepper on pinterest

Family Preparedness Board on Pinterest

Another one of our favorite boards is curated by Mom With A Prep. We were invited to contribute to this fine collection and are proud to do so. You will find lots of “quick tip” prepping posts links here.

family preparedness

Are You Prepared? Pinterest Board

ConnieSmith1 created a great Pinterest Board called Are You Prepared? You will be after reading through all the tips and tricks she posts here.

Are you prepared? pinterest board

Prepared Housewives on Pinterest

I love when people take the time to organize their board covers to make it easier for people to find things! I really need to do this but for now I will simply enjoy those pinners that are more organized than myself!

prepared housewives on pinterest

Backwoods Home on Pinterest

Backwoods Home is a print magazine that is coming to life on Pinterest. They post mostly their own uploaded photos and tips from the magazine to their Pinterest profile.

Backwoods Home on Pinterest

Of course, we still highly recommend our Top 5 Pinners For Prepping from last spring so click the graphic to visit them.

top 5 pinners to follow for prepping

 

We certainly don’t claim to be perfect and we are sure to have missed some great pinners! Who are they? Leave us their name and pinterest profile URL in the comments so we can check them out and maybe include them in our next roundup!

 

 

How To Turn Off Water To Your House: Todays Sunday Skill

There are many reasons that you would need to know how to turn off water to your house: broken pipes, frozen pipes, and outside water contamination are just a few. For today’s Sunday Skill you will need to find where the water comes into your house. If you have a house with a basement, it is probably there. Mine happens to be housed in the basement next to the sump pump. If you have a single story house in a warmer climate, chances are your water shut off is in the garage or near your washer and dryer. This is what my water shut off valve looks like. Your valve may look very different than mine, it could have a lever, a screw or a hose bib.

How To Turn Off Water To Your House

As you can see in the picture, I took a sharpie and wrote on the concrete so that anyone in the house would know exactly which levers to turn and how. You could always create a nice looking direction sheet to keep near yours. Mine is in a closet so it didn’t matter.

How to Turn Off Water To Your House Video Instructions:

I’d love to have you check in by leaving a comment if you have done this simple prepping project and any hints you have for others trying to complete this weeks skill!

Flu Preparedness Supplies: Are You Ready?

Admittedly, its a little late in the season to be talking about getting together your flu preparedness supplies. However, every time I open my facebook page I am finding another friend lamenting that the flu has just hit their home. It starts with the littlest one throwing up in the middle night and quickly spreads to all the other kids. Just as mom has the final load of sheets in the washer, bam, the all too familiar wave of nausea hits her and dad. All across America this scene seems to be playing out. If you have been lucky enough to escape it thus far, today is the day to get prepared for the flu! Having sick kids is really hard, but having sick parents trying to take care of sick kids is the worst!

flu preparedness supplies

I keep my flu preparedness supplies in a separate bucket in the storage room. I do this because my kids are little gatorade hounds and it isn’t something that I normally keep around. If they get even the smallest hint it is in the house, it will be gone! I can’t tell you how many times I would get the flu and crawl into where I knew I had gatorade stored to find that one of the boys happily stole it for basketball practice. By having a dedicated flu kit I know I always have what I need put away.

My Flu Preparedness Supplies:

  • Powdered Gatorade (easier to store the powder, lasts longer, and I can mix it as strong or weak as needed)
  • Ramen. I don’t know why but when I turn the corner and start to feel better I crave chicken flavored ramen. Probably the high sodium in a dehydrated body.
  • Ginger tea and manuka honey
  • Peppermint tea
  • Hard peppermint candy (helps sooth stomach and get rid of bad tastes in mouth)
  • Peppermint essential oils
  • Ginger Ale
  • Homemade canned broth
  • Motrin and Tylenol (don’t take aspirin)
  • Immodium
  • Zofran (ask your doctor for a prescription to keep in the house)
  • Jello
  • Garbage bags for throwing up in
  • Paper plates and cups. More sanitary and just plain easier on a sick parent.
  • Crackers
  • Frozen peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. These are a super easy, bland lunch to  keep around for healing tummy’s and worn out parents. Obviously I don’t keep these with the kit.
  • Otter pops (throw them into the freezer as soon as you open the kit)
  • Freezer meals for people that are not sick in the house
  • Emetrol
  • Disinfectant wipes
  • Masks and gloves for containing the spread of germs.
  • Extra laundry detergent
  • Shelf stable probiotics for the mending process. We like the Jarrow brand.
  • A new movie, book or video game to entertain those kids that always seem to bounce back quicker than we do!

No one can predict when the flu will hit your family but being prepared for the fact that it will should make it easier to get through. What is in your flu kit that I didn’t mention? I am always looking for new ideas!

*List created with Tammy from PrayingForParker.com