The Principles of Permaculture (And How to Make Them Work For You!)


* This article contains an affiliate link. For more information, please read my Affiliate Disclosure.

 

Learn the 12 design principles of permaculture and how to implement and apply these principles to benefit your garden, homestead and life. #permaculture #permcultureprinciples #principlesofpermaculture #permaculturedesignKnowing how to apply the principles of permaculture to your property can make your homestead more productive with less effort on your part. But first you have to understand what the principles of permaculture are and, of course, what permaculture is!

Permaculture has been a buzz word in the homesteading world for a while now. It’s also a practice that’s been featured in various mainstream food and environmental documentaries, and is often touted as the solution to all sorts of environmental problems ranging from climate change to topsoil erosion and desertification to large-scale industrial agriculture.

But permaculture can also be a bit of a tricky concept to grasp at first, mostly due to the academic sounding principles and philosophies that guide it. However. once you understand the basic principles behind permaculture, not only does it start to make sense, it can start to make so much sense that you might wonder why more farmers, gardeners and homesteaders aren’t applying the principles of permaculture to their own properties already!

 

What is permaculture?

Permaculture comes from the root words “permanent” and “agriculture.” It aims to make food production (aka. agriculture) easier and more sustainable by mimicking the permanent, regenerative systems that can be found in nature.

The idea is that in the wild, ecosystems don’t need any input from human beings. They regenerate all on their own. Permaculture, therefore, aims to replicate many of the natural systems that exist in order to produce more (higher yields) with less human input (aka. time, energy and resources).

In short, permaculture works with nature rather than against it, which is in sharp contrast to conventional agricultural models that require constant management and input (ie. planting, fertilizing, irrigation, herbicides, pesticides, etc.) in order to produce a yield, and typically do a lot of ecological and environmental damage in the process.

But permaculture isn’t just some hippy dippy environmental movement (not that there’s anything wrong with that;) It’s actually a super practical way to design your homestead, your home and even your entire life in order to make things easier, cheaper and less time consuming overall. Because once you do the initial work of setting your permaculture systems up, you get to reap the benefits of those systems without having to constantly manage them, which always ends in higher yields for less work.

Related: How to Grow More Food In Less Space

 

The origins of permaculture

The term “permaculture” was first coined by friends and coworkers Bill Mollison and David Holmgren in Australia back in the 1970’s. They envisioned a new agricultural design that was both permanent and sustainable, using available resources in a way that offered high output (yields) while producing little to no waste.

Mollison and Holmgren envisioned a set of 12 principles that permaculture practitioners could use to design everything from a small backyard garden to a large piece of property. While many of the principles apply to the initial phases of the design process (ie. designing a brand new garden or homestead), they are certainly beneficial to anyone interested in improving their gardening or homesteading setup, no matter how well established.

 

The ethics and principles of permaculture

While we often think of permaculture as being directly related to agriculture, it’s actually more of a design concept than an agricultural practice (although it is both).  

Permaculture design can be applied to everything from our gardens to our homes to our communities and even ourselves. It’s all based on a code of ethics and a set of principles that can be applied to everything we do.

 

Earth Care, Fair Share & People Care

Permaculture is based on 3 main ethical standards: Earth Care, People Care and Fair Share

Earth Care is all about making sure that our actions improve (or at least maintain) the earth and the natural environment. So for example, when it comes to gardening that means we are using organic methods to make the land more productive and diverse and steering clear of herbicides, pesticides and GMOs.

In the home, Earth Care could mean using natural cleaning products and practicing good habits like turning lights and taps off when we’re not using them. In the community, Earth Care could mean walking or cycling instead of driving or picking up litter.

People Care is all about making sure the needs of the people around us are met in sustainable, self-sufficient ways. Feeding ourselves, our families and our community members with the food that we grow is one way of caring for people, but it is certainly not the only way.

Fair Share is all about taking only our fair share. In other words, take only what you need from nature and allow renewable resources time to regenerate. Cut down on consumption and waste as much as possible and harness the power of natural energy from sun, wind, rain and biomass instead of relying on the grid to support all of your activities.

 

The 12 design principles of permaculture

Permaculture follows 12 basic design principles. While you don’t have to follow every principle in order to implement permaculture design on your own property, the more of them you understand and incorporate, the more sustainable, efficient and self-sustaining your homestead (and your life) will be! It’s best to start with the first principle, and then move through each of the remaining principles in chronological order, although it’s not required to implement each one in order

Here’s a summary of each of the 12 principles of permaculture…


Widget not in any sidebars

 

1. Observe and Interact with Nature 

Observe the land and the systems that are already functioning naturally to help you decide how to make these natural systems work for you.

Familiarize yourself with your land. Walk it throughout the year, observing such elements as climate, weather, soil types, areas of sunlight and shade, and water movement during periods of rain. Getting a good feel for your property will allow you to decide on the best place for your garden, where to plant fruit trees, where to put your chicken coop or barnyard, where you can add more growing space or increase your yield by utilizing the natural microclimates that exist around your property, and so on. 

 

2. Catch and Store Energy 

Collect natural forms of energy when and where they are available to use when needed.

This could also be translated to “catching and storing resources.” This means finding ways to harness and use natural energy and resources like solar energy, wind and rain. Examples include harnessing the sun’s energy by planting in full sun or using solar panels to power your home or equipment. It could also mean designing your home in a way that captures the sun’s heat in the winter while keeping it cool in the summer.

When it comes to harnessing natural sources of water, collecting rainwater or diverting runoff water to the garden are good examples.

Related: Homemade Rain Barrel DIY Project

 

3. Obtain a Yield

The goal of permaculture is ultimately to produce as much food and as many useful resources as possible from your land.

When we think of a yield in the traditional sense, we tend to think of the annual yield we from our garden crops. But in permaculture, a yield can be anything that is useful in some way (ie. fruits and vegetables, herbs, firewood, nuts, seeds, or even flowers). Even weeds and pests that are typically seen as a nuisance can produce yields of food and medicine, food for livestock (chickens love weeds and bugs!), and organic matter for your compost pile.

Meat, eggs and dairy are also yields that can and should be counted on a permaculture property, along with the fertilizer that animals like chickens, rabbits and cows produce.

Likewise, a rain barrel can produce a yield of rain water, and solar panels can produce a yield of solar energy. 

 

4. Apply Self Regulation and Accept Feedback

Always assess and reassess what is and isn’t working and make necessary adjustments.

Feedback can come from several sources; Our own reflection on our gardening practices, our successes and failures and advice from experts are just a few examples. Permaculture teaches that we need to listen and be open to receiving feedback from all sources, and most importantly we need to be willing to make changes when necessary.

 

5. Use and Value Renewable Resources 

Try to use resources that are renewable over those that aren’t. Don’t take too much, use only your fair share and allow these resources the time the need to regenerate.

The backbone of permaculture is sustainability, so we should always be looking for ways to use and value renewable resources whenever possible. There are many easy and inexpensive ways to do this.

Your property can produce food (both garden vegetables and weeds) that can feed your chickens and your compost pile, and then your chickens and your compost pile will produce fertilizer which can then feed your garden. Perennial plants and trees are renewable, along with the yields they produce. So are the seeds that we collect from our annuals to plant the following year.

Trees provide firewood, which is a renewable source of energy that we can use to heat our homes. Leaves, wood chips and grass trimmings provide a great mulch in the garden, which acts as a weed barrier, feeds the soil, helps retain moisture and provides protection from frost and cold temperatures to our perennials. 

 

6. Produce No Waste

While it is difficult not to produce any waste at all, try to make use of the waste you do create (ie. use grey water to irrigate, repurpose old packaging, fix old tools, compost, etc.)

Some practical ways you can do this include feeding unwanted or unappetizing portions of your harvests (including bugs and weeds) to your chickens and then using their manure as fertilizer for your garden, or feeding kitchen scraps (including meat and dairy) to your pigs.

It could also mean composting food scraps and weeds, using straw or wood shavings as bedding for your hens or other animals and then using it as next year’s mulch, reducing the number of plastic bags of garden soil you purchase by building your own compost, or using wood ash produced by your wood stove (a byproduct of heating your home) to amend your garden soil or to make lye for soap. 

Producing no waste also means being conscious of what we are bringing onto our homesteads and making a concerted effort to give everything more than one use. You can do this by reusing any single use items that do find their way onto your property in new and innovative ways, such as using old milk jugs as cold frames or using plastic cups as seedling pots in the spring. Be mindful of any and all waste and let your imagination provide solutions! 

Related: 11 Frugal Ways to Use Kitchen Scraps

 

7. Design From Patterns to Details

Be intentional with the way you design your garden, homestead and property. Observe first and then design your property to take advantage of the naturally occurring systems already in place. 

First of all, look for the patterns found in nature: water, sunlight, wind, slopes, shady areas, etc. How can you use these patterns to design or improve the functionality of your property? For example, for the best yield, you’ll want to plant sun-loving plants like tomatoes and peppers in full sun. But tender greens grow well in partial shade. A slope on a hillside can mean erosion during the wet season and could be a very difficult pace to grow food, but if designed correctly with swales and berms, this could be the perfect place to plant fruit and nut trees along with other edible perennials.

Another important pattern to look for is how you and your family use and interact with your property. What areas of your property do you naturally visit the most? The least? Design your property so that the things that you use or need to visit the most (ie. your herb garden or your chicken coop) are closest to where you go in and out of your house, and things that you need visit the least (ie. your orchard or forested areas) are farthest away. 

 

8. Integrate Rather Than Segregate

Set things up to work together and make connections between different elements of your homestead so that they can benefit each other through their interactions with one another. 

For example, you might want to integrate your chickens with your vegetable garden by placing your chicken coop next to your vegetable garden so that you can easily toss your chickens weeds and excess produce to eat, and then easily shovel fertilizer from the chicken coop back to your garden beds. By integrating these two elements rather than keeping them segregated from each other, it makes your workload easier and produces a symbiotic relationship between your chickens and your vegetable garden.

Companion planting also falls under this principle. Growing vegetables, herbs, fruits, nuts and flowers together (either in your garden or in a food forest) rather than separated in market-style rows can help to deter pests, suppress weeds, attract pollinators and even provide shade or support for other plants. Some companion plants are even said to improve the flavour of others, such as companion planting basil with tomatoes.

 

9. Use Small and Slow Solutions

Focus on establishing plants and systems that take time to set up and produce up front, but will produce massive yields later on. Likewise, when changing anything on your homestead, start by observing and making small changes over time.

take your time, observe, accept feedback and adapt as you go, and don’t dedicate all of your time, energy or resources to a big change that might not work out. Again, the goal is to mimic nature, and nature adapts and changes slowly.

This principle can apply to big things changing things like your soil’s PH balance or planting an orchard, but it can also apply to trying out new vegetable varieties or adding new garden beds.

Want to try a new variety of vegetable, but you’re not sure if it will thrive in your garden or if you’ll even like it? Try growing just a few plants next year while dedicating most of your growing space to tried and true crops. That way you’ll still get a good harvest of things you know you like to eat, and if the new variety doesn’t work out, it won’t be a huge loss. Don’t have time or money to build all those raised beds this year? That’s ok.  Build what you can and save the rest for next year. Use the extra time to gather your building materials (you might even be able to get them for cheap or free!) This is more sustainable in the long run, and sustainability is the backbone of permaculture.

 

10. Use and Value Diversity 

Plant a variety of different crops and raise a variety of different animals (if you choose to raise animals). The more diversity, the healthier the ecosystem on your property and the better chance you’ll get a harvest even if one or more crops fail.

Growing and raising a diversity of plants and animals not only makes things more interesting and provides you with a more well-rounded harvest (and diet), it also helps to maintain the health of your garden and property and improves the efficiency and output of your homestead, as well as helping to ensure that if one crop fails, you’ll still have others to fall back on.

As the famous saying goes, “don’t put all your eggs in one basket.” And never plant just one variety of tomato;)

 

11. Use Edges and Value the Marginal

Utilize as much of the space on your property as you can. The edges of your property are great for planting fruit-producing shrubs and bramble or trees for harvesting wood. Don’t neglect or overlook the far corners of your property.

As you walk around your garden and property, pay close attention to areas that are not being used. A couple prime examples of this are fence lines and shady areas. Could you use your fences as vertical support to grow pole beans, peas or squash? As for shady areas, there are numerous varieties of vegetables and herbs that grow very well in shade and partial shade. Adding in those varieties could substantially increase your harvest. 

If you have pastured and forested areas on your acreage, consider the edge of your pasture where it meets the forest. Edible weeds like nettles like to grow in this area, and so do some fruit trees and berry bushes. Livestock like cows and pigs (but also chickens, geese, goats, etc.) also like to hang out along the forest edge because it provides a variety of different forage, as well as shade. Forest edges are also great for hunting and harvesting firewood. 

 

12. Creatively Use and Respond to Change

Find a way to adapt to the changes instead of fight them. Grow things that thrive in new environments. Start at square one again. Observe and then design. Always work with nature, never against her.

Every gardener knows that no two growing seasons are the same. Nature is always changing, and as homesteaders and gardeners, we’re constantly having to adapt and respond to this change. The climate is changing, new pests can emerge seemingly out of the blue, seasons change, and of course the weather is always unpredictable!

Maybe you’re noticing that your summers are getting hotter and drier. This might mean that lettuce and brassicas bolt earlier in the season, so you might want to adapt your gardening plan to plant these crops in your fall garden instead when the weather will cool off. At the same time, you might consider planting more tomatoes, peppers, melons and heat-loving plants in your summer garden.

Understanding, adapting and planning for the inevitability of change is another key aspect of sustainability and a way of life for those following the principles of permaculture. How we respond to that change is laid out for us in the previous 11 principles of permaculture: Observe nature, diversify, use creative solutions and work with nature and both you and your homestead will thrive!

For a more comprehensive understanding of the 12 principles of permaculture, check out David Holmgren’s book Permaculture: Principles and Pathways Beyond Sustainability.

For a practical guide to designing a home-scale permaculture garden or homestead, I recommend Gaia’s Garden by Toby Hemenway.


Widget not in any sidebars

 

Permaculture zones

A permaculture homestead can typically be divided into five zones. These zones provide a design template that can be personalized to suit you and your unique property, as well with how you interact with it. No two zone maps look exactly the same, because it all depends on your individual needs and goals, along with your behaviour and your property.

Ideally, the five zones are set as concentric circles with your home being the centre point, or “Zone 0.” Immediately next to Zone 0 is Zone 1, which would be the next most highly trafficked area, and then Zone 3, Zone 4 and finally Zone 5 is the zone you visit the least (typically the farthest zone from your house).

As with all things permaculture-related, the point is to “work smarter, not harder,” and permaculture zones help you do just that. Think of each zone as containing tasks that need to be completed or resources that need to be accessed. Those tasks that require daily attention or resources that you use most often should be located as close to your house as possible. Conversely, those tasks or resources that require the least amount of attention should be located farthest from Zone 0.

Here is a breakdown of the permaculture zones and suggestions for what should (or could) go in each one.

 

Zone 0

Your house. This is considered the nexus or centre point of your homestead, even if it’s not at the geographical centre of your property, because this is where you spend the most time. 

 

Zone 1

This zone requires the most thought because, aside from Zone 0, it’s the one you will frequent most often. Herb gardens, potagers (aka. kitchen gardens) and small chicken coops are often found in Zone 1.

Other ideas for Zone 1 would be recycling bins, worm compost containers, and perhaps a small greenhouse with seedlings that need to be tended to frequently. Small animals like rabbits could also benefit from being in this zone.

 

Zone 2

Tasks that need to be completed a few times a week are located in Zone 2.  Large annual gardens, market gardens, greenhouses, berry patches, compost piles, sheds and barns are well suited for Zone 2.  

Livestock are typically best suited for Zone 2. While some (like a small number of chickens or rabbits) might end up in Zone 1, typically most livestock will be houses in Zone 2.

 

Zone 3

Zone 3 is also called the “Farming Zone.” Elements in this zone will still find their way on your “to do” list, but on a much less regular basis. Pastured land, grazing animals. animals, beehives, mushrooms, grains such as wheat and corn, and fruit and nut trees would all be good choices for Zone 3.

 

Zone 4

Some uses for this “semi-wild” zone include fishing and hunting, foraging for wild edibles, forestry and wood harvesting. 

 

Zone 5

This zone is the “true wild” and is typically used only for observation, conservation, reflection, and learning. If you’re lucky enough to have a wilderness zone on your property, you might consider building a small cabin or packing your tent up for an overnight camping trip to Zone 5!

 

Zone 6, 7, 8, 9 and so on…

While there are 5 “true” zones in permaculture, the zones could technically keep going forever. So long as you start at zone 0 and then work your way out, you could look at your larger community, your county, state or province and so on as zones. Maybe you forage for food in parks in your community.While that’s not technically on your property, it can still be considered a zone.

There are no hard and fast rules about what constitutes a permaculture zone. And the idea of zones can be applied anywhere, even to an individual person! A good friend of mine who practices permaculture once told me that he considers his consciousness to be Zone 0, his thinking mind to be Zone 1, his physical body to be Zone 3 and his environment to be Zone 4. As with most things in permaculture, how you apply the design principles are highly personal, adaptable and up for interpretation:)

 

What about you? Do you practice permaculture principles on your own homestead or in your life? What does this look like for you? Let me know in the comments below!

 

 

 

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave


CATEGORIES
HOMESTEADING
REAL FOOD
NATURAL LIVING

2 Comments

  1. Kelly

    We have begun mulching our garden walkways and some of the beds with either straw, wood shavings or chipped tree trimmings. We put our kitchen scraps in a compost pile and use all our animal manure on the garden and fields. I’ve begun shredding all our paper for a compost pile too. We haven’t produced our own usable compost yet, but it is one of the next things on our list. We bought an old farm, so it can be challenging to work with what is already here rather than being able to put things where you would prefer them. I have learned that having vegetables in two different places is inefficient and creates more work. We’ve come a long way and have a loooong way to go, but life is a journey.

    Reply
    • Tish Painter

      It sounds like you are well on your way then, Kelly!
      It is definitely an ongoing journey. 🙂

      Reply

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

ABOUT ANNA
Hi! I’m Anna, and I’m a city girl turned modern homesteader who’s passionate about growing, cooking and preserving real food at home, creating my own herbal medicine and all-natural home and body care products, and working toward a simpler, more sustainable and self-sufficient life each and every day. 
You Might Also Like
What does it really mean to be self-reliant?

What does it really mean to be self-reliant?

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about what it really means to be “self-reliant.”  We talk a lot about self-reliance (or self-sufficiency) in the homesteading community, and outwardly it may seem as if the goal of “achieving” self-reliance is what ultimately...

read more

How to Make Your Own Indoor Grow Light Stand

How to Make Your Own Indoor Grow Light Stand

* This article contains affiliate links. For more information, please read my Affiliate Disclosure.   If you grow plants from seed (or if you want to), you’re likely going to want to start a few of them indoors. And if you start your seeds indoors,...

read more

And then there were 3 😔

Despite fending off an eagle attack the other day, a sneaky raccoon got into the chicken run early this morning and took out one of our girls.

Having animals die is definitely the hardest part of homesteading, but it’s a reality of this lifestyle that everyone must come to terms with sooner or later.

While we care for our chickens and want to give them the best life possible while they’re here, we understand that they’re livestock, not pets, and that we’re not the only creatures who see them as a food source.

Luckily we have a new flock of up-and-comers who will be ready to lay in a few months. Until then, egg production around here is gonna be pretty scarce.
...

15 2

So this is 35…

I decided to read my horoscope today (since it’s my birthday and all). I don’t really buy into the horoscope predictions, but I do think there’s something to be said for the personality traits we’re born with when the stars are aligned just so. Here are a few snippets that I found to be almost eerily on point:

“Tauruses born on May 18 are characterized by love of freedom and independence…They possess extraordinary creative energy, and they are never without an important cause to champion. They enjoy taking risks, but only when they believe the risk really matters.

As a rule, most decided early in life what they wanted to do and are not likely to deviate from that path. Their independent spirit makes them ideally suited to careers where they are their own boss, or are at least autonomous within a larger structure.

May 18 people want to make it on their own. No matter how successful they become, they never forget their roots and may even draw upon them for inspiration.”

Every year on my birthday I reflect on where I’m at, where I’m headed and where I’ve come from, and all I can say is that each year I’m only more grateful to be living life on my own terms, doing what I love most next to the people I love more than anything else in the world.

I’ll never forget where I came from and I’ll never have any regrets, because I wouldn’t be right where I am now without all of the experiences -good, bad or otherwise- that I’ve had along the way.

I knew when I was a little girl that I wanted to be a writer and a content creator. Homesteading came a little later in life, but when I knew, I knew.

I hope to be doing what I love and sharing it with you all for the next 35 years too! (Well, actually, if I’m being honest, I’d like to retire and throw my phone in the river long before that;) But until that day comes, thanks for being here to celebrate life with me today and every day. Cheers to another turn around the sun 🍻
...

53 10

My daughter stayed overnight at her grandma’s last night, and this morning when I talked to my mom she said “Evelyn told me she’s never been to the doctor before.”

Proudly, I replied “no, she hasn’t, because she’s never needed to.” This is thanks in large part to the fact that we keep a well stocked natural medicine cabinet at home and do our best to treat everyday illnesses and ailments ourselves.

Having a well-stocked home apothecary (and the know-how to use herbal and natural medicine at home) is yet another important piece of the self-sufficiency puzzle, and one that we’re working on a lot right now, both in our home and in my membership program, the Society of Self-Reliance.

If herbal medicine and building a home apothecary is on your to-do list as well, I’ve got some great tips and a printable checklist of items you’ll want to start stocking up on now so you’re prepared to make all sorts of medicinal preparations in time for cold and flu season later this year.

This is also a great time to plant certain medicinal herbs so that you’ve got a personal, sustainable supply of herbal medicine at home, because who knows what supply chain issues are gonna hit next!

To help make building and stocking your home apothecary or natural medicine cabinet a little easier, I compiled a list of all the ingredients I like to keep on hand for making my own medicinal preparations, as well as a suggested list of herbs to start growing or stocking up on, and some other great resources to help you get started preparing and using your own herbal medicine at home.

Link in bio @thehouseandhomestead to read the full article and download the checklist, or go to https://thehouseandhomestead.com/stock-a-home-apothecary/
...

34 1

Stinging nettles are one of my favourite things to forage for in early spring. They’re ready to harvest well before just about anything is ready in our garden, and they’re a superfood as well as a medicinal plant packed with antioxidants, vitamins and minerals including vitamins A, B, C & K, calcium, magnesium, potassium, phosphorus and iron, plus they’re super high in protein.

As a medicinal plant, nettles are a natural antihistamine and can help with season allergies, they have properties that reduce inflammation and especially joint inflammation and arthritis, they can be used to treat of urinary tract infections and enlarged prostate symptoms, the e been shown to lower blood pressure and control blood sugar and more!

Some people even swear by harvesting stinging nettles with their bare hands as the sting itself is said to help with muscle and joint pain/arthritis!

I, however, am not that brave. I definitely recommend wearing gloves, long sleeves, long pants and boots when harvesting stinging nettles! But the good news is that once you cook or dry the nettles, they no longer sting you. My favourite way to prepare them is to dry them and enjoy them as a herbal tea! But they’re good sautéed in stir fry or added to soups (in place of spinach or Kale) too. Whatever you do, just don’t put them fresh into a salad!

Stinging nettles grow wild all over North America (as well as other places), and spring is the best time to forage for them. To learn how to safely identify them, harvest them and prepare/preserve them, check out the link in my bio @thehouseandhomestead or go to https://thehouseandhomestead.com/harvest-and-use-stinging-nettles/

Have you ever foraged for stinging nettle before?
...

89 14

If you're looking to increase production in your own home garden, you know how important bees and other pollinators are to your overall yield.⁠

Honeybees get a lot of the glory, and for good reason: It's said that honeybees alone are responsible for pollinating 80% of our fruits and vegetables! Not to mention, they make honey... Sweet, glorious, highly nutritious and DELICIOUS honey!⁠

In this day and age of global food shortages, we need to do whatever we can to help increase food production at home and abroad, and helping honeybees is one of the best ways to do just that.⁠

Click the link in my bio @thehouseandhomestead or go to https://thehouseandhomestead.com/3-easy-ways-to-help-save-the-bees/ to learn what you can do at home to help save the bees, and the many, MANY reasons why it matters!⁠
...

24 1

I don't know about you, but around here spring officially marks the beginning of what we call "busy season."⁠

I always remind myself, though, that the payoff from the work we put in at this time of year is so totally worth the extra elbow grease and long hours.⁠

The seeds we sow now will provide us with food and medicine to stock our pantry and apothecary with in the summer and fall.⁠

The projects we start now will (hopefully) be finished and ready to serve us later in the year.⁠

And the deep cleaning and organizing we do now in our homes will set the stage and the tone for the rest of the season.⁠

Personally, I don't operate very well in a disorganized, messy or dirty environment. Whether I'm working or just relaxing, if my home is in disarray I feel like I can't fully concentrate on or enjoy whatever I'm doing.⁠

For most of the year this means sticking to a daily routine of tidying up and light cleaning when necessary. But in the spring, I like to take a few days to deep clean our home so that the rest of the season runs smoother; So that when I'm in the thick of gardening and harvesting and preserving season, I'm not also contending with dirt and stains and pine needles from Christmas!⁠

That being said, I don't like to use any commercially produced chemical cleaners, so I always make sure to keep a few natural ingredients on hand to get the job done.⁠

Over the years I've tried a lot of store-bought "natural" cleaners, and honestly I haven't been impressed with most of them. In fact, I find some white vinegar, baking soda, dish soap, water and a few essential oils are all I really need to clean most of my house!⁠

If the spring cleaning bug has bit you too, be sure to check out my DIY Spring Cleaning Recipes via the link in my bio. Every recipe is made with simple, natural ingredients that you probably have on hand already. I also like to add essential oils to my cleaning products for their scent and natural cleaning and disinfecting power, but you can omit them if you like:)⁠

Link in bio @thehouseandhomestead or go to https://thehouseandhomestead.com/spring-cleaning-recipes/
...

25 0

If there's one thing we should all be doing to hedge against looming food shortages and inflation right now, it's growing some of our own food at home.⁠

I've been preaching the many benefits of homegrown food for years now... Long before any of the madness we're currently experiencing took hold.⁠

A couple years ago when I launched my first gardening course, I mentioned in my sales video that we were just one emergency situation away from grocery store shelves being cleared out entirely. Within two weeks of that video, the pandemic hit, and the rest is history.⁠

The fact is, whether you're worried about shortages, the skyrocketing price of EVERYTHING, or you simply want to eat better, healthier foods free from GMOs and chemical sprays, learning how to grow even a little bit of your own organic food at home puts power and food security back in your hands.⁠

That's exactly why I’ve teamed up with 16+ other speakers for the Backyard Vegetable Gardener's Summit: A free, 3-day online event where you can learn how to get started or get better at growing food and creating your own personal grocery store, right in your own backyard!⁠

Here are just a few of the presentations coming up this week:⁠

🌱 7 Ways To Maximize Space In Your Urban Garden⁠
🌱 Creating a Personal Seed Bank⁠
🌱 How to Generate Income From Your Garden⁠
🌱 Easy Ways to Quickly Improve Your Garden Soil⁠
🌱 Indoor Container Gardening⁠
🌱 Growing Turmeric & Ginger at Home⁠
🌱 How to Use Succession Planting for Higher Yields⁠

And more!⁠

Plus, don't miss my masterclass where I teach you everything you need to know to grow a BUMPER CROP OF TOMATOES in your backyard! 🍅🍅🍅⁠

From starting your seeds to planting out and caring for your tomato plants all season long, I'll show you the exact method we use to grow hundreds of pounds of tomatoes at home for fresh eating and preserving each year.⁠

The summit officially starts TODAY! If you haven't registered yet, click the link in my bio @thehouseandhomestead or go to https://thehouseandhomestead.com/bvgs to save your seat and start watching and learning right away!
...

79 3

“When I think of self-reliance, I think of any ability to rely less on ‘the system.’”

I sat down with Ashley Constance from @dirtypawshomestead and the @alittleselfreliant podcast to talk about what it means to be self-reliant, if it’s even possible to be 100% self-reliant and why it’s a goal worth striving for even if complete and total self-reliance isn’t possible.

Be sure to check out the full interview in the latest issue of Modern Homesteading Magazine!

Subscribe @ modernhomesteadingnmagazine.com

I’d love to know, what are you currently doing to become a little (more) self-reliant? Let me know in the comments!👇
...

26 2

What self-reliance skills do YOU want to learn most??

If you've been reading my posts or getting my emails lately, you've probably heard me mention my brand new private membership program called the Society of Self-Reliance, which is set to launch for the first time TOMORROW!!!

I'm so excited about this project as it's something I've been dreaming of creating for a long time. With everything going on in the world right now, I knew I had to stop overthinking it and just go for it!

The membership will include video lessons and downloads on a wide range of topics related to homesteading and self-reliant living, as well as a private community message board (ie. OFF social media;)

Each month we'll focus on a different theme or aspect of self-reliance, and then once a month we'll get together for a live group coaching call to discuss that month's topic (and whatever other questions you have and self-reliance topics you'd like to discuss!)

Since we're just starting out, I'm offering new members a special introductory rate of just $20/month. This is the only time I plan on offering it for this price, so if you want to get in and lock in at this rate, you'll be able to do so as soon as the doors open tomorrow!

If you haven't yet joined the waitlist, click the link in my bio @thehouseandhomestead or go to https://thehouseandhomestead.com/society to add your name and save your spot. Waitlist members will be the first to know when enrollment opens tomorrow morning!

Hopefully you're just as excited as I am about this new venture! I've already got the first 8 video lessons up, as well as a few sweet bonuses too:)

We'll be kicking things off with the theme "Grow Your Own Groceries," and then we'll move into other topics like herbal medicine and food preservation over the summer months. But I'd also love to know from you, what self-reliance topics would YOU like to learn most over the next few months?

Let me know below 👇

I hope to see you inside!
...

27 0

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about what it really means to be "self-reliant."

We talk a lot about self-reliance (or self-sufficiency) in the homesteading community, and outwardly it may seem as if the goal of "achieving" self-reliance is what ultimately drives many of us to live this lifestyle in the first place.

But what does self-reliance look like in the 21st century? Is it actually achievable, or just a pipe dream?

Is it even possible to be truly self-reliant?

A few years ago, Forbes published an article titled Dear Homesteaders, Self-Reliance is a Delusion.

In the article, the author argues that "self-reliance is for the most part a myth. Unless they live in an extremely remote region, use all homemade tools, and will refuse the safety net if they need it, most homesteaders are far from self-reliant."

While he makes some compelling points, but I've always felt as if he missed the point of what self-reliance actually means in real life.

No man (or woman) is an island. None of us can ever be 100% self-reliant without ever relying on anyone other than ourselves. But that doesn't mean that we should give up trying altogether.

Even one small step toward being more self-sufficient is a step in the right direction.

Maybe the point is not to ever BECOME self-reliant, but rather to become MORE self-reliant as we progress on our journey. Maybe self-reliance isn't a destination, but a pursuit.

Like just about everything that's worth doing, working toward greater self-reliance and independence is worth doing imperfectly. It's better to take a single step in the right direction than no step at all.

I decided to unpack this in more detail on the blog this week. (Link in bio @thehouseandhomestead or go to thehouseandhomestead.com/what-is-self-reliance to read the full article).

With the doors to the Society of Self-Reliance opening in just a couple more days, I wanted to be sure I can confidently provide an answer to the question "what is self-reliance?"

But I’d also love to hear what YOU think!

Is self-reliance just a delusion? Is it an achievable goal? Or is it more about the journey than the destination?

Share your thoughts in the comments below!
...

38 0

🌱 Have you started any seeds yet?

If not, NOW is the time!

March is a great time to start tomato seeds, peppers, lettuce, brassicas (broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, kale, etc.) and direct sow peas in most gardening zones.

Starting from seed is exponentially cheaper than buying starts from the nursery, especially is you’re growing on a larger scale. But seed starting supplies can add up quickly if you’re not careful.

In the spring issue of Modern Homesteading Magazine, contributor Kayla Adams of @oatsandhoneyhomestead shares her best tips for finding cheap or even free seed starting supplies. From pots and lighting options to soil and the seeds themselves, Kayla covers everything you *actually* need to start your edible garden completely from seed (and not break the bank).

Check out the full article, along with a preview of the spring issue at modernhomesteadingmagazine.com

Link in bio @thehouseandhomestead to SUBSCRIBE or login to the magazine library and read the full issue (for current subscribers).

What are you MOST excited to grow in your garden this year??

Let me know! 👇

#seedstarting #seeds #springgardening #growyourowngroceries
...

35 3

© The House & Homestead | All Rights Reserved | Legal