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Beginner’s Guide to Apartment Homesteading: Starting Your Homestead Journey

Apartment Homesteading
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“Homesteading” is a broad term – especially when it comes to modern homesteading. Traditionally, homesteading refers to a self-sufficient lifestyle, or living off the land. This can mean growing and preserving food, providing your own electricity, and even making your own fabric and clothing. But ultimately, the homesteading lifestyle is a spectrum, and urban homesteading is a subset along that spectrum. 

Many times, people picture homesteaders living in wide-open spaces – usually somewhere with a large garden, acres and acres of fields, and a rural expanse of crops. But if you live in an apartment, you can still be a homesteader! It truly boils down to the apartment homesteading mindset of self-sufficiency and embracing a productive, generative state of mind. Believe it or not, you can even homestead in a tiny studio apartment. 

If you are wondering how to start homesteading in a smaller urban space, you are in the right place. In my collection of articles on the topics, I will share numerous homesteading ideas that will help you maximize your self-sufficiency even when outdoor space is limited. Many an urban homesteader and suburban homesteading are growing more and more common, so if this lifestyle is something you want to achieve, keep on reading for ideas to get started. 

How To Start Your Apartment Homesteading Journey

Are you ready to start homesteading in your apartment? Good news – you are in the right place. There are many ways to embrace the homesteading lifestyle in a small space. For instance, you can grow herbs in a small windowsill garden, introduce micro-greens to your community garden, or even create a full-blown vegetable garden indoors. And that is just the beginning! The modern homesteading movement is flexible, and there are many creative ways to make the most of indoor spaces in urban environments. 

Benefits of Urban Homesteading

Homesteading in urban environments is an amazing way to promote food preservation, boost healthy eating, enhance food security, and up your access to affordable organic produce. Instead of buying lettuce or herbs with insane markups at boutique grocery stores, you can grow them in your own home. You will also learn a unique set of homesteading skills that are sure to enhance your life even in a tiny apartment. 

Your urban homestead is more attainable than you might think. A sustainable lifestyle might start with visiting a farmer’s market and eating local produce. But homesteading today takes self-sustaining living to the next level, even without a lot of space to work with. It can also be an amazing way to save money, as you will be able to grow your own food, learn how to sew, and even reduce food waste – meaning you will get the most out of everything you purchase and grow. 

The impact on the environment is also pronounced. It is a great natural living strategy that puts less strain on the environment by focusing on waste reduction, local consumption, and making the most of the products you have. With all of these countless benefits, what are you waiting for? You can get started with apartment homesteading today. 

How To Start Apartment Homesteading

As an apartment homesteader, you will likely need to get a little bit creative. You don’t have acres of land to work with, buy you can still accomplish homesteading in an apartment. Even if you live in what I like to call the “urban jungle,” apartment homesteading is a great way to give back to the planet, enjoy fresh produce, and embrace a cleaner, more wholesome lifestyle. It is also a great way to challenge yourself to become more independent. 

There are many ways to start apartment homesteading. Of course, it is important to start small so that the task does not become overwhelming. If you are looking to homestead in an apartment, there are a few different ways to get started. 

First off, you will want to utilize your outdoor spaces and the areas that you get natural light. For instance, if your apartment has a balcony, you can turn that area into a productive container garden, growing vegetables, herbs, and even fruit. No balcony? No problem. You can also utilize window boxes or windowsill spaces to grow small plants for sustenance. 

You can start composting, saving vegetable scraps, and canning food in jars all from the comfort of your apartment kitchen. There are also ways to extend your growing season in apartment living spaces so that you can enjoy fresh produce year-round. All in all, homesteading requires a commitment to sustainable living – but you do not need a huge tract of land to get going. I’ll share some tips and tricks help you get started next. 

Choosing the Right Plants for Your Space

Even if you live in a tiny apartment, you can still get a robust homesteading experience. Oftentimes, this starts with choosing the right plants for your space. The best plants for apartment homesteaders are ones that produce edible components and can thrive in small spaces, like a studio apartment in a city. Here are some of my top picks: 

  • Vegetables: Most vegetables are annuals (meaning that they live for only one season and then must be replanted) and many can grow in containers. You can even harvest the seeds from your vegetables to replant them next growing season. Have extra crop yields? There are some ways to preserve vegetables. You can even ferment some of them, such as leeks, cabbage, or carrots. Many leafy greens thrive in shaded areas, such as a covered balcony or a garden situated between tall buildings – so even if the afternoon sun isn’t hitting your area, you can still grow vegetables without living off the land. 
  • Herbs: You can grow plenty of herbs in small pots or containers with only the light that comes through your windows. Basil, thyme, rosemary, dill, and chives are some of the most common cooking herbs that can help you spice up your dinners without going to the store to buy pre-packaged items. 
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DIY Projects for Apartment Homesteading

As an apartment dweller, there are plenty of different projects you can do to promote the apartment homesteading lifestyle. Growing vegetables and herbs is a great place to start, but it is not the end-all-be-all. In fact, composting is an essential homestead staple that is easy to do at home. Here are a few other top projects to help you save money and eat healthier as a homesteader: 

  • Save your coffee grounds to use as fertilizer in your home gardens. 
  • Learn how to make your own cleaning supplies and other herbal home remedies.
  • Start a home apothecary to treat common issues with the power of nature’s medicine. 
  • Retain your meat and vegetable scraps to make your own soup bases, like vegetable and chicken broths. 
  • Learn to preserve food and store fresh produce longer with methods like freezing, canning, drying, and more. 
  • Lean into the idea of homesteading by repurposing what you already have instead of buying new items. 

Building a Community

Especially if you are planning to homestead without a lot of land, it can be crucial to find a community of fellow homesteaders that you can collaborate with and support. Oftentimes, community gardens or crop-sharing organizations are prevalent in urban environments. Perhaps you can start a bartering or trading system to share some of your crops with a neighbor in turn for a portion of their crops, adding some variance to your diet. 

Surrounding yourself with others who are striving for the same goals is one of the most important aspects of homesteading, and it can make the entire process much easier – especially when you are in an urban living situation. 

Resources for Urban Homesteading

If you are looking to learn a new essential homesteading skill, there are many places to turn. Here are some of my favorite resources for the urban homesteader: 

  • Check out your local Office of Sustainability. Many times, these municipal departments offer programs or incentives to shop, eat, and grow local produce. Some even have classes on topics like herb or container gardens. 
  • Find a forum of fellow homesteaders. This goes hand in hand with building a community of like-minded individuals who can support you. I personally enjoy r/homesteading
  • Explore your local community college’s class offerings. Sometimes, there will be learn to sew classes or other artistic endeavors that can enhance your homestead lifestyle  – think basketweaving or other similar crafts. 


No matter your living situation, there are ways to live into the best homesteading practices and provide a self-sufficient lifestyle for yourself and your family. Maybe you follow someone on Instagram who makes homesteading look impossible – but you do not need lots of land to get going. It is easy to start this lifestyle even if you are in a studio apartment – and in my series of homesteading articles, I will help you find the resources you need to make it happen. 


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