It is no secret that Whitney and I have dreamed of homesteading a piece of land in the mountains for years. We envision a large swath of land in the foothills surrounded by pines with a central clearing for our home. We want goats, chickens, and bees to keep us company and a large greenhouse and garden to grow our own food. We want to be as self sufficient as possible.
While we are still in residency, we are living in an apartment until we can finally move to our future home in Montana. Over the last few years, we began the process of urban homesteading. We have a community garden plot where we grow as many vegetables as possible, and rely on the farmer’s market and fruit share programs in the city to provide nearly the rest of our produce. We still have a stretch of a few months in the winter when we rely on the grocery store, but it is a work in progress.
Throughout the years, we have learned how to freeze, dry, and can fruit and vegetables to store them through the winter. By going zero waste, we buy dried goods in bulk and cook from scratch. We hope that by learning bit by bit how to be self sustaining and zero waste, we can ease the transition to a full homestead in the future.
One key factor for a homestead is a garden, and starting seedlings for said garden is a great way to ensure a self sufficient model for producing food. Instead of relying on baby plants from the garden store (in plastic tubs), we started our own tomato plant seedlings in our apartment. We used old egg cartons that will decompose as the holders and grow lights indoors to keep them at a warm temperature. Once they outgrew the egg carton, we transferred them to compostable paper pots until they were ready to be transplanted into the garden in May. Growing tomatoes from seeds is a great way to get a head start on the growing season and avoid any unwanted plastic. It is also significantly cheaper than buying baby plants from the store.