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How I Homestead in the City

Homesteading has really taken off as a concept these last few years, and as our lives get busier, it’s not hard to see why. But the majority of us can’t just up-sticks and move to a big farm in the country. So what’s a wannabe homesteader to do when she lives in a little house in Surburban England?

Believe it or not, there are actually lots of different ways to start living more self-sufficiently in the city. There are tonnes of new things to learn so that, when you finally get that house in the country, you’re already equipped with the basic tools to make your dream of self-sufficiency a reality.

For those of you just starting out, let’s start with the basics – and there are two very simple steps that will get you on the right track:

  • Growing herbs/simple vegetables

  • Cooking from scratch

Growing herbs and vegetables

This is my herb planter. (Andy made it for me out of an old pallet) It’s filled with the herbs we love and use the most. (Except basil – supposedly the easiest herb in the entire universe to grow and I cannot get that sucker to do a single thing for me!) It looks after itself for the most part, and provides us with herbs as long as I keep it watered and keep harvesting it. Wall planters are great for herbs as they cope well with less soil, it stops them spreading and taking over the garden (I’m looking at you, Mint!) and you don’t need a lot of room, so it’s perfect for tiny gardens and balconies. You can grow herbs in pots on windowsills and patios -anywhere it’s sunny and reasonably sheltered. Herbs are a great way to start out, as they grow quickly, and give a high yield, so you get that sense of achievement nice and quick.

Potatoes take a bit longer, but are equally simple. I grow mine in large pots since I don’t have the ground room, and I don’t have to dig them up – I just tip the pot out into a wheelbarrow or tarpaulin sheet when they are done. (You can even grow potatoes from that really old one you found at the back of the cupboard – you know, the green looking one with the sprouts?)