When I first heard of homesteading, the only topics I knew of were gardening and raising livestock. I had no idea that so many other categories and topics fell under the homesteading umbrella.
Flash forward a bit, and I’ve found myself dabbling across new areas, and I’m still surprised when I come across more.
Whether you’re looking for ideas, research, or hobbies to take on for your homestead, here are 20 topics to get you moving.
1. Sustainable living
It’s no secret that sustainable living is one of the main focuses of many homesteaders. Recycling, reusing, and regrowing brings a certain pride when you know that you’re reducing waste.
But, it’s a tough journey to get there, and I’ve barely scratched the surface myself.
So, to get a more experienced look into sustainable living, check out this video of Peter from TreeEater Farm & Nursery showcasing his 13 years of homesteading.
2. Recipes and food storage
Making your own recipes with the food you’ve grown really ties everything in on your homestead. Plus, there are a lot of others who stand to gain from new recipes.
On the other hand, learning more about food storage can save a ton of time and effort on homesteads, which is why it’s such a big topic. Aim to make batches of food that last, especially if you’re in a climate that gets a serious winter.
Preparedness goes beyond food, and helps make sure your homestead won’t run out of supplies or even money when times get tough. And times will get tough.
Poor weather, long winters, and uncontrollable pests can prevent a productive crop and create challenges. But there are things you can do to minimize the impact these will have on your homestead.
By developing your preparedness skill, you can reduce the chance of disaster and increase the chance that you can bounce back.
4. Home remedies and natural health
With many homesteaders getting closer to nature, there’s a revived interest in home remedies and how to improve health naturally. While there might be a bit of woo-woo alternative medicine here, there is also some truth to it.
We’ve learned that our current health system is failing us and making the majority of the population sick (at least in the US). Because of this, many people are looking to go back to the basics.
Relearning nutrition, especially when it comes to farm-fresh foods, has already benefited many and is becoming a larger market daily.
5. Herbs and foraging
Along with getting back to the basics of nutrition, growing herbs and foraging is as basic and ancestral as one might get.
Herbs are one of the easiest vegetables for households to grow, and foraging is becoming popular as people take to the forests searching for edible foods.
While foragers might have a grocery store nearby, there’s a certain appreciation I have for using forests other than logging and camping.
Gardening is the obvious choice of topic for many homesteaders. And why not? All you have to do is put a few seeds in the ground and you get food! Well, okay, it’s not that easy.
There’s a lot of good that can come from a garden. Learning patience, testing methods, and improving systems are all very rewarding skills for anyone to develop. There’s a reason why this is one of the top categories in homesteading.
From the obvious choices like chickens and pigs to the less obvious like quail and rabbits, these animals offer many reasons to include them on your homestead.
Not only do they provide a source of food, but they have a direct impact on the health of the homestead.
Snails eating your garden? Just another tasty snack for ducks. Fertilizer just isn’t cutting it? Rabbits and their miracle droppings to the rescue.
As you can see, homesteads have much to gain from working with livestock.
Living off-grid has a certain appeal and makes for a worthy topic for homesteading.
Disconnecting from the power grid and being self-reliant on most of what you need is the goal for many homesteaders. By using energy from solar, water, or wind, they make living off-grid look like a breeze.
Minimalism is one of my favorite topics for homesteads. It’s so counter-intuitive, not many people think about it first.
But by starting with minimalism, you can reduce your waste, stress, and expenses when adding anything new to your homestead. All from having the right frame-of-mind.
10. Rainwater collection
Capturing rainwater is essential in many areas of the world as the weather simply isn’t predictable.
To make sure you, your plants, and your animals have enough water to last through the dry periods, making rainwater collection a priority is a smart choice. Especially if you’re planning on going off-grid.
11. Buying land
Land is a finite resource, so it makes sense that the prices are constantly going up. Buying land is one of the top concerns for many aspiring homesteaders (including myself). That, and finding out how to homestead on smaller plots of land.
However, there are still ways to get cheap, or even free, land in the US. You just have to know how, and where to look.
Homeschooling has long been popular with homesteaders, but it’s no surprise that it’s gaining popularity due to the recent outbreak.
As with most things, there are many pros and cons to homeschooling. Along with balancing time, most parents worry about how to properly socialize their kids.
However, if done right, homeschooling can have quite a positive impact on their future.
13. Carpentry and repairing
While homesteading is about growing, it can also just as easily become about repairing.
No one wants to have to constantly repair their homestead, but it definitely pays off to have the tools and the knowledge to fix fences, doors, coops, and more.
If the sustainability and gardening topics had a baby, it would be permaculture.
Named from “permanent agriculture”, permaculture is all about how to create a holistic, regenerative ecosystem on your homestead. This means using everything natural to your advantage. The sun, water, wind, animals, and more, all in sync and working with each other.
15. Baking and cooking
Baking and cooking are oftentimes the heart of the homestead.
When you spend a long day working outside, the best relief is often homemade food. And probably comfort food too.
What better way to put those fruit and veggies to the test than cooking and baking them into delicious meals?
Hunting is deeply controversial, and for good reason. But one thing that’s hard to disagree on is that in many ways, it’s a better alternative than factory farming.
Factory farming has become a global environmental and ethical issue as many animals are mistreated and fed unnatural food to promote weight gain.
While the situation is slowly improving with grass-fed and pasture-raised animals, hunting is still as close to natural as we can get.
While saving forests is becoming a bigger topic, many homesteaders are taking up the skill of managing their own trees in their backyard.
Trees are great for separating carbon and oxygen from the air (in the form of carbon dioxide) and then storing the carbon in their trunks, branches, and leaves.
And aside from reducing pollution, forestry promotes diversity and growth in ecosystems. Since we as humans are part of that ecosystem, we of course benefit as well.
18. Animal products
Livestock can provide you with much more than meat. Eggs, milk, butter, cheese, leather, fur, and more can become a resource, and potentially–a business for your homestead.
Animal products are one of the best opportunities for increasing your homestead income and specializing in something a little more niche can really make your business stand out.
For example, if you decide to raise a rare breed of chicken, goat, or sheep, you’ll have less competition and likely have more control over the pricing. If you do enough research and testing, you can create a very profitable space.
Depending on where you live, fishing can become a great way to put fresh food on the table for cheap.
Fish are often expensive at grocery stores, but if you have a lake, river, or ocean nearby, consider getting a license and utilizing it as part of your food production on your homestead.
Last on our homesteading topic list, is beekeeping. While this can require some work and maintenance, there are several products and benefits your homestead could use.
- Royal jelly
Many of these items sell for a high price and can make for excellent income or bartering with neighbors.
Homesteading has many categories ranging from gardening to homeschooling. And while mastering this entire list isn’t too likely, taking away just a couple ideas for your homestead can definitely change things for the better.
As always, start small, and over time you’ll feel more confident expanding your skills and expertise across your homestead.