Here's How to Get Started

  • Chickens

Homesteading is a lifestyle. It is a way to live sustainably and self-sufficiently. UNH Extension Education Center Assistant Program Manager Sean O’Brien believes that homesteading can take on different meanings for different people. “I think, generally, it’s a movement that involves people wanting to grow their own food, raise their own animals, preserve their own food and so on. There is also an element of sustainability to it,” he says.  

New Hampshire is a great state in which to homestead. Here are some simple ways to get started and why homesteading can benefit you! 

Start small: For those who are new to the concept of homesteading, it can be overwhelming, so it can be important to start small. You can begin by building a raised bed, a small garden, getting a few chickens or even learning new skills like canning or pickling. UNH Extension has resources on all these topics. It can be as simple or as complicated as you want it to be. Once you get comfortable with one or two of those things, you can then build up from there.  

Learn new skills: Gain homesteading expertise by learning new skills like gardening, animal husbandry and carpentry. Read some books on it, take classes or even watch online videos to learn these new skills.   

Connect with other homesteaders: Another great way to immerse yourself in the homesteading lifestyle is to connect with other people and communities who are interested in it. Don’t be afraid to ask for support and advice. Consider joining a local homesteading group or participating in UNH Extension volunteer programs to meet folks who share similar passions.  

Being a homesteader or practicing homesteading even on a small scale has many benefits. It is nice to know exactly where your food comes from, what ingredients go in your meals, and you can save money on groceries. There is a very satisfying feeling to growing your own fruits and veggies, in addition to the fact that they will be fresh and tasty. You can even try to grow some foods that are not sold in grocery stores – how cool is that? 

By creating a more sustainable way of life, you will leave less of a carbon footprint and help the environment. Homesteading can be a fun activity for families to engage in, including children. Overall, it can have many health benefits and is worth trying! 

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