What is a Homestead Farm?
Homesteading has a long history in America, going back to the 1860s, when a series of government Acts began to allow applicants to take ownership of more than 160 million acres of public land in parcels called homesteads, to encourage the growth of the American West.
Today, the idea of homesteading generally means someone who wants to live more self-sufficiently. Its reality encompasses a wide spectrum of forms. From those who want to go full-on, off-the-grid, live-off-the-land mode, to urban and suburban dwellers who want to dedicate a small patch in the backyard (or even a few containers on their apartment balconies) to growing fresh veggies and herbs, the homesteading life is drawing more and more interest.
Take Time to Prepare Yourself
If you are entertaining the possibility of homesteading, especially on a large scale, it’s smart to take time to familiarize yourself with some specifics. There are many informative books that can help you see the big picture of the homesteading lifestyle and how transitioning to it will affect your everyday life. If you know someone who has taken the plunge, ask them to share what has worked and what mistakes they may have made.
As you become more comfortable with the realities of homesteading, here are some important starting points that may benefit your journey as you take the first steps to self-sufficiency:
- Start with a small project. Try your hand at building a raised bed to grow vegetables. If you live in the suburbs, check local ordinances and see if you can build a chicken coop and start supplying your own eggs. Build a simple greenhouse. Or can your own tomatoes or pickles.
- Decide what your priorities are. Growing and preserving your own food? Energy sufficiency? Raising animals? Don’t try to tackle all three at once. Decide what your first priority is, and consider what you may need to put off for later.
- Does your homesteading dream includes owning land? Think through how you would want your homestead to look, and how much space it will take. Educate yourself on purchasing land, and start looking.
- If you’ve never farmed, but you see that as a major component in your homestead vision, devour information about animal breeds and their requirements. The same goes for crops.
- Stop and think before you quit your job in the city and change your family’s lifestyle. Sit down and come up with a plan for your first year of homesteading. Keep in mind that plans rarely go exactly as stated. Issues of finances, insurance, state or municipal regulations and other unexpected realities that you haven’t dealt with before should be accounted for—never mind the everyday changes in how your household is run.
Florida is Great for Homestead Farms
Thanks to its mild climate, Florida makes a great location for homesteading. This is because growing seasons are longer, which makes it a draw for those considering taking the leap.
If homesteading is a dream of yours, ease into the idea slowly. Read everything you can find and imagine yourself living the lifestyle every day. When the time is right, you’ll be ready!
Homesteading at any level can be a rewarding lifestyle that fits your goals and needs.
Protect Your Homestead Farm with Farm Bureau Insurance
Have you purchased expensive equipment for your homestead farm? It may not be covered under your existing homeowners policy. Make sure that this equipment is covered by contacting your local Florida Farm Bureau insurance agent.