The Backyard Homestead

"No man but feels more of a man in the world if he have a bit of ground that he can call his own. However small it is on the surface, it is four thousand miles deep; and that is a very handsome property." 


What does the word "Homestead" mean to you?

According to Merriam-Webster dictionary, a Homestead is a house, especially a farmhouse, land and outbuildings.

In the earlier decades of the 20th century, most of the U.S. was rural, and the word Homestead always meant just that, a house, barn, silos, etc. on acreage.

Mother Earth News Magazine, 1st Edition

However, the 1960s and 70s brought about a "back-to-the-land" movement in the U.S., complete with it's own journal (Mother Earth News).

In the 1990s and 2000s, concerns about our economic future as a nation prompted a general "self-sufficiency" movement. This helped move the self-sufficiency and survival philosophies to not only rural acreage, but also into suburban and even urban settings. 

A catchall term for this movement is "urban homesteading", or as we call it "The Backyard Homestead". Although this term implies that you must have a "yard" in order to homestead, that is not the case.

More and more urban apartment-dwellers and inner-city residents have found ways to live in a more self-sufficient and ecologically-responsible manner. (Such as community gardens and cooperative small livestock holdings).

It is not where you live, but how you live that makes you a homesteader.

Our homestead is called Buck Hill.

We live on 3 acres in a National Forest, so have plenty of room for all our projects. Read about some outdoor homestead accessories and equipment we use and recommend here.

According to Wikipedia:

Homesteading is a lifestyle of self-sufficiency.

Neighbors working in a homesteading cooperative garden.

Most proponents of homesteading practice at least some of the following:

  • Home grown vegetables, herbs and fruits (often including heirloom vegetables)

  • Preservation of foods by canning, cold storage, fermenting and dehydration

  • Composting to make productive use of vegetable wastes

  • Raising of small livestock like rabbits, chickens, goats, bees (often heritage livestock)

  • Home production and/or recycling of clothing and/or craftwork to use or sell to support the homestead

  • Self-sustainable energy sources such as solar panels and windmills; line-drying clothing

  • Water conservation, including the use of rain barrels

The Backyard Homestead
Books To Get You Started

We own and use this item and personally recommend it.

Our favorite. If you only get 1 book, get this one.

We own and use this item and personally recommend it.

Availability and pricing on Amazon varies, so it may take some searching in used-book sites. Worth it for some unusual and helpful tips.

We own and use this item and personally recommend it.

Traditional Homesteading and Crafts

We relied on published information and reviews to recommend this item.

Produce all the food you need on just a quarter acre (the size of a typical suburban house lot)! 

We relied on published information and reviews to recommend this item.

Looking for a truly squirrel-proof bird feeder? Read about our bird feeders and other outdoor accessories we use and recommend here. 

Interested in building a survival greenhouse

Need some wood splitters to help get that firewood stacked up for winter?

  1. [Gadgets HOME]
  2.  ›
  3. [You Are Here (Homestead)]