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How to Be a Modern Homesteader

Modern homesteading is a movement to live more simply and self-sufficiently. See if you have what it takes.


  • TIP: Explore the practicality of harnessing the sun or wind as a power source for your home.
  • Step 1: Practice the 4 R's: reduce, reuse, recycle, and repair. Because modern homesteading isn't just about becoming more self-reliant -- it's about being kinder to Mother Earth.
  • FACT: The federal Homestead Act of 1862 gave American pioneers who moved west 160 acres if they farmed the land for 5 years.
  • Step 2: If you have a fireplace, rely on that for most of your heat. Consider installing a wood stove for both warmth and cooking.
  • Step 3: Knit and sew most of your clothes. Hand-wash them and let them line or flat dry.
  • Step 4: If you live in a rural area and own land, keep chickens for eggs and poultry; a goat or cow for milk, and a steer or pig for meat.
  • TIP: If you live in an urban area, check local laws before you purchase livestock.
  • Step 5: Learn how to make staples such as pasta and bread from scratch. If you like beer, learn how to homebrew.
  • Step 6: Start a garden and grow most of your own food; then can, freeze, pickle, and dry enough to get through the winter. If you don't have land, investigate community gardens in your area, or start a container garden to grow a few veggies.

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