Homesteading for Beginners: Tips & Resources to Get Started

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Homesteading can help you build the life of your dreams and provide fresh food for you and your family. Are you ready to homestead for real? Read tips for starting homesteading here.

I’m sharing more than 50 resources to help those who are learning to homestead. Perfect for beginners – the very basics & tips to help get you started. 

Over the last few years, we have moved a few different times. So to say that we are adept at this beginning homestead thing, is a little bit of an understatement.

new chickens getting acquainted with each other

This post has been updated from its original publish date of May 19, 2019. It has been updated to provide better photos, additional helpful information, and step by step tips.


Long story short, we have started our homestead journey, got settled, built structures, created new gardens, set up fencing, etc. Just in time to move within a couple of short years. 

We’ve had our share of building from scratch, trying different things. And then doing it all over again and yet again. It hasn’t been a bad experience, we have kind of gotten the hang of this. 

However, it would be great to finally settle into one place for a bit longer term. And I believe this is our next journey. We have moved onto my husband’s family ranch and the process of building/moving a new home has begun. 

It will be a long road ahead. We need to build all of the animal structures, fencing, and gardens over again. But it will be a joyous road for our family. 

Homesteading for Beginners

Are you a beginner homesteader? Where do you begin when you need to start from scratch? I’m sharing some of my favorite resources for the beginner homesteader. 

Homesteading is the practice of self-sufficiency. Homesteading is not just for farmers, but for anyone living in a rural community or even an urban community.

Of course, you don’t need to have a ton of acres to begin homesteading. I think one of the most important things about beginning any homestead journey is to start small.

To learn a variety of different skills.

Self-sufficiency takes time, a whole lot of effort, and a ton of diy projects.

And it really isn’t for the faint of heart.

Creating your ideal homestead lifestyle will look different from my ideal version and goals.

For us it may look like having an acreage on the ranch, raising animals, and growing a variety of foods on acres of land.

For you it could be totally different. Like growing a small patio garden or herb garden in the kitchen window and food preservation. Or backyard homesteading with bees, gardens, and raising chickens for eggs.

And then for the next person it could be living off-grid and focusing on fiber arts and other trades. 

So, homesteading really is what you can do where you are and within your means, skill level, and ability. And varies so much for different people.

I think if you make a plan to learn a new skill a little at a time, you will really set yourself up to be successful. 

sheep in a pasture of a farm.

Preparing to homestead

Let’s talk about some things you could do now if you’re preparing to build your dream homestead. Or maybe dreaming up the day when you can raise your own backyard chickens and grow more of your own food.

Before I started homesteading, I grew a few tomatoes, peppers, lettuce, and herbs on the balcony of my apartment building.

I didn’t dream of raising my own food for self sufficiency. But I did believe in supporting our local farmers by shopping small and frequenting farmer’s markets.

DIY Natural Laundry Detergent
A simple DIY natural laundry detergent made without using bar soap! It is super simple, free of toxic chemicals, and only requires four ingredients!
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laundry detergent in mason jar, with measuring spoon
egg carton filled with a variety of colorful eggs

Beginning Homestead Skills

Before I got married, I was a city girl very focused on my career in Human Resources Management and Business Operations.

I grew up in Los Angeles. And so I knew nothing about country living, or homesteading for that matter. I mean, I was born and raised deep in the heart of the city.

I never ever in my wildest dreams desired to learn how to milk a cow or help a goat during kidding. The closest that I was to homesteading was growing a small container garden on my apartment balcony.

My husband grew up on his family’s cattle ranch in the middle of nowhere Nebraska. So, definitely opposites attracted in this situation.

I literally married a real life cowboy.

The culture shock was real, but I quickly fell in love with the the country life. And when we got married and began raising children, I wanted a more natural & simple life for our children.

This is where I began to learn some of the basic homesteading skills and self-sufficient lifestyle. And over the last decade, we’ve grown to learn more.

So, I get it. I know where you’re coming from as a beginner and I want to share what I’ve learned with you.

Self Sufficiency on the Homestead
Being self sufficient is something that is very important to my family. But how do we make self sufficiency work on the homestead?
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Self Sufficiency on the Homestead
Annual Homestead Schedule
Creating an annual homestead schedule is helpful for the success of the yearly goals on the farm. It helps to keep focused and plan out month to month goals
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Annual Homestead Schedule
Modern Homesteader
I think that there is a notion that modern homesteading is an old fashioned or pioneer type of life. Or often is confused with the homestead act. So what exactly is a modern homesteader anyway?
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Modern Homesteader
Homestead Inspiration
Around our family farm, I like to draw my homestead inspiration from two of my favorite TV series – either “The Waltons” or “Little House on the Prairie”. So many great life lessons on frugality, self-sufficiency and homesteading can be found while watching these series.  I put together this list of some of the inspiration that I’ve drawn from them while running our homestead.
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Homestead Inspiration
Having the Courage to Homestead
Are you dreaming of a homestead but don’t know how to change your life? Do you fear the outcome if you leave it all behind and try to make the transition? Find out what it really means to have the courage change your life.
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Having the Courage to Homestead
My Top Five Homesteading Lessons
Over the past few years of our homesteading journey, I have learned many lessons. If I could narrow it all down, here’s my top five homesteading lessons.
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My Top Five Homesteading Lessons
10 Tools to Make Homestead Life Easier
Over the past several years we have found our favorite tools to make homestead life easier. We’ve narrowed our list down to our top ten favorite tools. 10 Tools to Make Homestead Life Easier
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10 Tools to Make Homestead Life Easier
How to Prepare for Power Outages
Learn how to prepare for power outages that may arise during bad weather, blizzards, or during the winter months. Tips and tricks for items to stock up on before the outage.
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How to Prepare for Power Outages
standing in the tomato garden with a basket full of harvested tomatoes.

Gardening tips for beginners

As homesteaders, we all want to rely less and less on the grocery store. Growing your own food has so many great benefits for healthy living.

In this section, we are sharing our favorite gardening tips to help you get started.

Vegetable Gardening for Beginners
Are you new to gardening? And looking for tips to get started? I’m sharing awesome tips for getting started with vegetable gardening for beginners.
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Vegetable Gardening for Beginners
Gardening to Feed Your Family
Can you grow enough food to feed your family? How about for a years worth? Learning how much to plant per person in the vegetable garden takes some planning.. learn those tips here.
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Gardening to Feed Your Family
Permaculture Basics: Getting Started
What are the Permaculture Basics? And how do you get started with permaculture? Sharing a beginner’s guide to permaculture basics.
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Permaculture Basics: Getting Started
Herb Gardening for Beginners
Starting an herb garden is a rewarding way to begin (or expand) your gardening knowledge. What are the basics of herb gardening for beginners?
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Herb Gardening for Beginners
How to Create a Potager Garden
How to create a potager garden. A potager is basically a French ornamental kitchen garden. It’s filled with practical things like fruits, veggies and herbs, but is also ascetically pleasing and filled with a variety of florals.
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How to Create a Potager Garden
Creating a Kitchen Garden
When creating garden plans each year, I always start with the potager or kitchen garden and then move my way over to the larger gardens.
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Creating a Kitchen Garden
10 Fast Growing Vegetables
Grow your best garden and get veggies harvested quickly with these 10 fast growing vegetables. Learn how you can grow a garden in about 60 days.
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10 Fast Growing Vegetables
Benefits of Companion Planting
Learn what plants grow well together and how to get started with companion planting. What are the benefits and tips to get started.
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Benefits of Companion Planting
How we grew HUNDREDS of pounds of food without weeding or watering a single time!
Do you love growing your own food but hate all the labor that comes along with it? Check out how we spent 2 hours on bed prep and planting time and grew over 300lbs of food without weeding or watering at all!
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How we grew HUNDREDS of pounds of food without weeding or watering a single time!
How to Build a Greenhouse (free plans!)
How to build a greenhouse for a small farm or homestead. Plus, inside of this tutorial, there are free plans that can be printed out for reference!
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How to Build a Greenhouse (free plans!)
What to Grow in a Greenhouse
There are many possibilities with starting greenhouse gardening. But you may be wondering what vegetables you should grow in a greenhouse.
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What to Grow in a Greenhouse
Save Space with Vertical Gardening
Space is at a premium, and this is particularly important if you like to garden. If you’re limited on space, consider vertical gardening.
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Save Space with Vertical Gardening
Benefits of Raised Bed Gardening
Like any garden method, there are both pros and cons. However there are also many benefits of raised bed gardening and I’m highlighting a few amazing benefits.
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Benefits of Raised Bed Gardening
How-to Fill a Raised Garden Bed
Gardening in raised beds is a good way to save space, but filling it can become expensive. Learn how to fill a raised garden bed on a budget
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How-to Fill a Raised Garden Bed
5 Things I Wish I’d Done Before the Harvest
Find out how to prepare for the harvest with these 5 steps! We all dream of a huge garden that produces enough food for our family and animals… but if you’ve never had a garden
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5 Things I Wish I’d Done Before the Harvest

Preserving the harvest

In this section, we are sharing our favorite ways to preserve the garden bounty. So you can enjoy jars of beautifully preserved foods from the garden and fruits from the orchard.

From canning resources (both water bath canning & pressure canning), cold storage, and dehydrating — my favorite method!

Beginner’s Guide to Canning and Preserving
How do you get started with canning and preserving when you’re a complete beginner? I’ve found some really great tools and resources to aid in your journey!
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Beginner’s Guide to Canning and Preserving
Dehydrating Tomatoes: A Step By Step Guide
Preserving your own food can save you a lot of money. Dehydrating tomatoes is one great way to preserve food for later use.
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Dehydrating Tomatoes: A Step By Step Guide
Harvesting and Storing Pumpkins
Harvesting and storing pumpkins is a great way to preserve this fall vegetable. With step-by-step instructions on preserving for storage.
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Harvesting and Storing Pumpkins
The Food Preservation Planner
Do you get overwhelmed during the harvest season? A wonderful tool for keeping track of all of your food preservation efforts – canning, freezing, and dehydrating. Plan, organize, and track your preserves & storage.
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food preservation planner on a tablet.
Quick Start Guide to Water Bath Canning (eBook)
This guide will get you set up for water bath canning success! An essential for every new home canner. Learn how to water bath can your own jams, jellies, salsa, pickles, and more!
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Quick Start Guide to Water Bath Canning (eBook)
Quick Start Guide to Pressure Canning (eBook)
This resource is perfect to keep in your kitchen after the garden harvest. You’ll find it full of useful information for beginning your pressure canning experience. Learn how to water bath can your own meats, vegetables, soups, and more!
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Quick Start Guide to Pressure Canning (eBook)
group of cattle grazing in pasture

Raising livestock for beginners

Do you have goals for raising your own livestock on the homestead, small farm, or family ranch? We’ve compiled our best tips for raising chickens, cattle, goats, ducks, and more to help you get started.

How to Raise Chickens for Beginners
The basic information you need to know when you get started with raising chickens. How to raise chickens for beginners, from chicks to hens.
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How to Raise Chickens for Beginners
Raising Chickens – Resources to Get Started
Are you new to raising chickens on your small farm? Or maybe you are just looking for a bit of a refresher when it comes to raising chickens.
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Raising Chickens - Resources to Get Started
Why Not Free Range Chickens
When raising chickens, you may want to free range chickens. But often times it isn’t the safest option to keep the flock safe. Here are many pros & cons.
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Why Not Free Range Chickens
How to Protect Chickens from Predators
I’m sharing a few awesome solutions on how to protect chickens from predators. This guide is helpful for anyone who wants new ideas to keep chickens safe.
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How to Protect Chickens from Predators
9 Best Chickens for Colorful Eggs
What are the best chickens for colorful eggs? In this post we will review the top 9 breeds that will give you a multi-colored egg basket.
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9 Best Chickens for Colorful Eggs
How to Introduce New Chickens to the Current Flock
Now, I’m sure that there’s folks out there who will tell you the right and wrong ways on how to introduce new chickens to the current flock.
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new chickens getting acquainted with each other
Guide to Raising Chickens in the Winter
Keeping chickens during the winter time can be tricky business. I’m sharing some tips for raising chickens in the winter.
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Guide to Raising Chickens in the Winter
How to Keep Chickens Cool
No one wants their chickens to get ill from heat exhaustion. That’s why learning how to keep chickens cool in the summer heat is important.
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How to Keep Chickens Cool
Raising Ducks and Chickens Together
There are several benefits of keeping a variety of fowl on the homestead. But what about raising ducks and chickens together?
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Raising Ducks and Chickens Together
How to Hatch Duck Eggs
Have you ever wanted to add little ducklings to the homestead? Learn just how to hatch duck eggs using an incubator at home.
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How to Hatch Duck Eggs
Cow Calving Stages – What to Expect When Your Cows Expecting
What are some of the signs to watch for when your cow is expecting? Sharing some of the cow calving stages to keep an eye on when checking cattle.
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Cow Calving Stages - What to Expect When Your Cows Expecting
Livestock Safe from Poisonous Plants
Yes, goats are pretty incredible at clearing land. But how do we ensure we are keeping all of our livestock safe from poisonous plants?
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Livestock Safe from Poisonous Plants
10 Awesome Benefits of Goats
Goats are just plain awesome. I’m going to share my reasons why we find them so fascinating and why every homestead needs goats.
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10 Awesome Benefits of Goats
How to Raise Goats on a Small Farm
For a homesteader or small land owner, goats make an excellent livestock option. And maybe you’re wondering, how to raise goats?
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How to Raise Goats on a Small Farm
Raising Goats for Beginners
Raising goats can be quite rewarding and pretty entertaining. Here are a few things that are necessary for keeping goats healthy and happy.
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Raising Goats for Beginners
Best Dairy Goats for Beginners
Goats are a great animal of choice for most small farm owners. If you have a small amount of land to work with, here’s the best dairy goats breeds to start.
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Best Dairy Goats for Beginners
Pregnancy and Postpartum Goat Care
New to raising goats? Or maybe looking for info on how to care for pregnant goats. I’m sharing some lessons I’ve learned over the years in postpartum goat care
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Pregnancy and Postpartum Goat Care
Guide to Baby Goat Care
Are you new to kidding and raising goats? Here is the essential information needed for baby goat care. And tips for taking care of goat kids.
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Guide to Baby Goat Care
Using Goats for Grazing & Land Clean Up
Goats are amazing at clearing up unwanted brush and weeds. In this post you’ll learn more about the benefits of using goats for grazing and land clean up.
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Using Goats for Grazing & Land Clean Up
How To Build A Hay Feeder For Goats: A Step By Step Guide
Want to learn how to build a hay feeder for goats? Discover how here. Hay feeders keep hay clean and prevent wasted hay!
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How To Build A Hay Feeder For Goats: A Step By Step Guide

Are you a busy goat keeper?? Learn skills you need for managing your flock and stay organized with this goat management binder.

More homestead book recommendations:

These are just a few of my favorite books to help the beginner get started with homesteading. 

Folks, this Ain’t Normal

Everything I Want To Do Is Illegal

The Family Garden Plan

Your Successful Farm Business

Medicinal Herbs: A Beginner’s Guide

The Backyard Homesteader

Guide To Raising Farm Animals

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