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Get off the Couch and Start a Homestead

Welcome to Couch to Homestead!

I’m Tyler, a certified permaculture designer from Orlando, Florida. When I’m not gardening, I’m most likely working on this site.

It’s my goal to make a self-sufficient lifestyle as easy as possible for you. Hence the name Couch to Homestead 🙂

On this page you’ll find:

  • What is Homesteading?
  • What is Permaculture?
  • What Are Food Forests?
  • My Favorite Books For Beginners
  • A Gift From Me To You

Let’s jump in.

What is Homesteading?

Definition for homesteading couch to homestead graphic

Homesteading was kinda the crazy thing to do, until 2020 happened.

Since then, homesteading seems like a better and better idea.

Here’s the short version:

Homesteading = self-sufficiency

Here’s the long version:

In 1862, The Homestead Act provided 160 acres of land free of charge to anyone willing to settle and improve the land by living on it continuously for 5 consecutive years.

While The Homesteading Act was a fantastic way of obtaining land, it stayed around until a drop-off in the 1930s and ended in 1976.

Today, people have adapted the definition of homesteading to more or less mean self-sufficiency.

If you’d like to learn more about homesteading, see my other posts:

What is Permaculture?

Definition of permaculture couch to homestead graphic

The name permaculture comes from permanent-agriculture. It’s a way of managing land to mimic natural systems.

Examples of permaculture are:

  • Planting flowers near fruit trees
  • Capturing rainwater from a roof
  • Using the sun for passive heating in homes

The result is a self-sustaining and self-sufficient lifestyle.

For more about permaculture, feel free to refer to these posts:

I also run a 30-Day Permaculture Design Course, so if you’re interested in harnessing the power of permaculture (and saving an average of $1450), then check it out.

What Is A Food Forest?

Definition of food forests couch to homestead graphic

A food forest is a type of garden that grows edible plants and trees together in a way that mimics a natural forest ecosystem. Compared to conventional farming methods, food forests are designed to be sustainable and require much less maintenance.

There are 7 layers of a food forest (pictured below). Each layer is a “niche” and is designed to have a different function.

Layers of companion plants in a food forest graphic couch to homestead

For example, the trees that make up a canopy regulate the ground temperature and protect smaller plants from the elements, while the ground cover layer retains moisture in the soil and prevents erosion.

Each niche and plant has a part to play. And food forests are one of the coolest ways to minimize your inputs (time, money, energy), and maximize your outputs (yields, income, energy).

My Favorite Books For Beginners

Below are some of the books I found to be transformative for homesteading, permaculture, and self-sufficiency.

  • Gaia’s Garden by Toby Hemenway
  • Introduction to Permaculture by Bill Mollison
  • Ishmael by Daniel Quinn

I recommend Gaia’s Garden for the backyard gardener, Introduction to Permaculture by Bill Mollison for the budding permaculture designer, and Ishmael for anyone who wants one of the best perspectives on nature that I’ve ever seen. Seriously, I don’t go a day without thinking about that book.

Other good books that I enjoyed and recommend are:

  • Hidden Life of Trees by Peter Wohlleben
  • Permaculture: A Designers’ Manual by Bill Mollison

A Gift For You: A Free Companion Planting eBook

If you haven’t already, make sure to get your free copy of my ebook, An Organic Companion Planting Guide. Use it to learn how to maximize your garden’s productivity simply by planting the right combinations.

Just enter your email below and I’ll send it to you (no strings attached).

an organic companion planting guide ebook square

    Lastly, if you’re looking for some self-sufficient inspiration, below are my 3 favorite videos.

    Stay in touch!

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