10 Ways to Create a Sustainable Homestead on Your Property | askBAMLand

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Picture your dream homestead—is it a reality yet?

Achieving a sustainable, self-reliant lifestyle on your own property can seem like a lofty goal, but it's more achievable than you might think.

With a dash of dedication and the right knowledge, your homestead dream can flourish.

Creating a sustainable homestead is all about smart planning and earth-friendly practices.

Learn the essentials from using renewable energy to conserving resources and dive into making your property a beacon of sustainability.

By leveraging renewable energy, employing water-smart strategies, and nurturing the ecosystem around you, the road to sustainability can be both rewarding and enjoyable.

In this guide, you'll discover practical steps to make your homestead thrive in harmony with nature, ensuring that you and your land can support each other for years to come.

Key Takeaways

  • Turning to renewable energy and water collection systems is essential.
  • Emphasizing food production and resource conservation ensures sustainability.
  • Fostering ecosystems contributes to a homestead's longevity and health.

Table of Contents

Install Renewable Energy Sources

Hey there!

Eager to power your homestead with some clean, renewable energy?

You're in good company.

Tapping into the power of nature isn't just good for the planet—you'll be joining a savvy group of homeowners harnessing the elements right in their backyard!

Solar Panels: Your own personal powerhouse!

With enough sunlight, solar panels can contribute significantly to your energy needs.

Suppose your homestead sees plenty of sunny days.

In that case, photovoltaic systems are a fantastic way to capture those rays and turn them into electricity.

And guess what?

They come in various sizes, perfect whether you've got a tiny cabin or a sprawling farm.

Wind Turbines: Got wind?

Get power!

If you're lucky to live where the breezes blow at an average speed of at least 10 miles per hour, consider a residential wind energy system.

These can range from 5 to 30 kilowatts, depending on your needs.

Just make sure you've got the space—ideally an acre or more.

Micro-Hydro Systems: If a stream or river runs through your land, you're sitting on a hydro-power goldmine.

Micro-hydro systems can offer a consistent and efficient energy source.

No need for a massive dam—small scale is the name of the game here!

Quick Tip: Check your local codes and requirements before investing.

So, what's it going to be?

Solar serenity, the whisper of wind, or the mindful flow of micro-hydro?

Your sustainable homestead is about to get a whole lot greener.

Time to tap into that eco-friendly energy and make your property a beacon of sustainability!

Harvest Rainwater

Ever considered catching those raindrops as they fall from the sky?

Rainwater harvesting is your ticket to a sustainable supply of H2O right in your backyard!

It's as if the clouds are sending you a gift, and all you need to do is catch it.

Here's how to get started:

  1. Setting Up Barrels: Place rain barrels at your downspouts. It’s like putting a money jar under a leaky faucet – except it’s water you’re collecting!
  2. Size Matters: Want to know how much you can catch? A quick calculation: your catchment in gallons is 0.05 times the rainfall in inches times your roof area in square feet. Isn't math fun when it means more water for you?
  3. Bigger Systems: For the more ambitious, a large-scale system with cisterns can store enough for the long haul. Think of it like your personal water bank.
  4. Use Wisely: This water is perfect for watering your garden, flushing toilets, and washing cars. Just remember, it's not for drinking unless properly treated!
  5. Save and Reduce: By harvesting rainwater, you're easing up on your well or municipal supply. Imagine reducing your water bill - sounds nice, right?

If you’re ready to turn your homestead into a model of sustainability, rainwater harvesting is a straightforward and effective step.

You’ll be tapping into an ancient practice that's just as relevant today.

Every drop you collect is one less drop you have to pay for or pull from the earth.

So next time those clouds roll in, get ready to catch the downpour – your garden (and wallet) will thank you!

Remember, it’s not just about being frugal; it's about being smart with the resources mother nature freely provides.

Now, go on and give it a try – the rains are waiting!

Grow Your Own Food

Have you ever tasted a tomato fresh off the vine?

If not, you're in for a treat when you start growing your own food!

A vegetable garden is your ticket to enjoying wholesome, tasty produce right from your backyard.

Step 1: Plan Your Veggie Patch Start with what you love to eat.

If salads are your thing, lettuce, cucumbers, and cherry tomatoes are a must.

For fresh herbs, try easy-to-grow options like basil and mint.

Here's a simple breakdown:

  • Leafy greens: Lettuce, spinach, kale
  • Root vegetables: Carrots, beets, radishes
  • Herbs: Basil, parsley, cilantro
  • Others: Tomatoes, cucumbers, beans

Step 2: Fruit Trees and Berry Bushes Your sustainable homestead would be incomplete without fruit trees and berry bushes.

They take a while to bear fruit, but the wait is worth it.

Imagine making your own jams or pies with fruits from your garden!

  • Apple trees
  • Cherry trees
  • Strawberry plants
  • Blueberry bushes

Step 3: Embrace Permaculture Permaculture is a sustainable way of gardening that works with nature, not against it.

It's about creating a garden that cares for itself.

Consider companion planting — it's like setting up a plant buddy system where each plant helps the others grow better.

Step 4: Maintenance and Care Your plants need love and attention.

Water them regularly, but not too much!

Get your hands dirty, and don't be afraid to prune when needed.

Remember, happy plants make for a bountiful harvest.

Start small, dream big, and let your garden flourish.

Happy planting!


Ever thought about what happens to those banana peels after you've enjoyed your smoothie?

Instead of tossing them in the trash, you could turn them into 'black gold' for your garden.

That's right – compost!

Let’s break down the dirt on how to get started.

Why compost?

Well, for starters, by composting your kitchen scraps and yard waste, you’re doing the planet a solid.

You cut down on landfill fodder and create something that your plants will absolutely adore.

It’s like a full-circle moment, right in your backyard!

Here’s a simple guide to get you composting like a pro:

  • Set up your bin: You can either buy a compost bin or make one using repurposed materials. Place it in a convenient spot—not too far from the kitchen, but also in a place where any odors won’t be bothersome.
  • What to include:
  1. Kitchen scraps like fruit and vegetable peels, coffee grounds, and eggshells.
  2. Yard waste such as leaves, grass clippings, and small branches.
  • What not to include: Avoid meats, dairy, oils, and diseased plants, which can attract pests and cause issues.

Maintaining your pile:

  • Mix it up: Give your compost a good stir every now and then to oxygenate the pile. It's like making a salad – you want everything evenly mixed.
  • Moisture matters: Your pile shouldn’t be too wet or too dry. Think 'wrung-out sponge' consistency. If it's too dry, it’s time to water your pile as if it's a thirsty plant on a hot day.

Before you know it, you’ll have a rich, earthy compost to feed your garden.

Remember, your plants are only as healthy as the soil they grow in, and there’s nothing better than home-grown compost to boost that health.

Happy composting!

Use Sustainable Building Materials

Hey there!

Are you thinking about the best way to build up your homestead with a gentle touch on the planet? 🌱 Let's talk about using sustainable building materials that not only look good but do good, too!

First off, have you considered reclaimed materials?

Reusing old bricks, stones, or metals can add character to your build while cutting down on waste.

An old barn's wood can find new life as your kitchen cabinets!

Here's a nifty table for quick material picks:

Material Description Why It's Green
Reclaimed Wood Sourced from deconstructed buildings or pallets. Reduces deforestation.
Clay Natural and widely available. Low environmental impact.
Timbercrete Sawdust mixed with concrete. Repurposes waste.

Insulation matters, too.

Investing in high-quality, eco-friendly insulation means you'll use less energy to heat or cool your home.

Pink fluff is out, cutting-edge, green insulators are in!

Did you know that clay is one of the champs of sustainable building?

It's not just for pottery class; clay-based materials are versatile, durable, and low on the carbon footprint chart.

You can shape it into blocks, tiles, you name it.

Lastly, think local.

Materials sourced from your area reduce travel pollution and support your community's economy.

It's like a sustainability high-five!

So, when you're planning your sustainable homestead, keep these materials in mind.

They can make a big difference to Mother Earth, your conscience, and ultimately, your wallet.

Ready to build green? 🏡💚

Practice Natural Pest Management

Got a problem with pesky pests in your garden?

You're not alone!

But before you reach for that bottle of chemical spray, let me show you a way that's kinder to Mother Nature and just as effective.

It's all about working with nature rather than against it.

Companion Planting

Ever heard of plants having BFFs?

Just like you and your buddies, some plants work better together.

Cultivate friendships between your crops by using:

  • Marigolds: These sunny flowers are more than just pretty; they repel nematodes and other garden pests.
  • Basil: Plant it near tomatoes for an aromatic way to deter flies and mosquitoes.

Beneficial Insects

Invite some crawly critters to your garden party.

They're not just freeloaders; they'll work hard in exchange for an invite:

  • Ladybugs: They love to munch on aphids.
  • Lacewings: These guys take care of a variety of pests, including whiteflies.

Here's a quick table to help you match these defenders with common pests:

Beneficial Insect Pests Managed
Ladybugs Aphids, mites
Lacewings Whiteflies, aphids

Homes for Predators

Why not let birds and bats do the heavy lifting?

Encourage them to hang around by:

  • Birdhouses: Provide a cozy spot for pest-munching birds.
  • Bat Boxes: Bats are great for night-time pest control.

Remember, these creatures are part of your team, so roll out the welcome mat for them.

By practicing natural pest management, you're not only keeping your plants healthy, but you're also helping out the local wildlife.

It's a win-win! 🌿✨

Keep Livestock

Have you ever imagined waking up to the gentle clucking of chickens, or the soft bleating of goats in your backyard?

Keeping livestock can be a rewarding aspect of a sustainable homestead.

Here’s how you can do it responsibly:


Chickens are a great starter livestock.

They require relatively little space and can provide you with a daily supply of fresh eggs.

Here’s what you need to know:

  • Space: At least 10 square feet per bird in the coop and run
  • Food: Layer feed, kitchen scraps, and space to forage
  • Care: Fresh water daily, regular coop cleaning, and protection from predators


Bees not only give you delicious honey, they're vital for pollination.

  • Space: A small corner of your property can house a hive
  • Setup: Obtain a hive, protective gear, and possibly a starter colony
  • Tip: Join a local beekeeping club for support and advice


If you've got a bit more space, why not try goats?

They are versatile animals providing milk, and they can help manage vegetation.

  • Space: About 200 square feet per goat to roam
  • Diet: Pasture grass, hay, and specific goat feed
  • Care: Regular vet check-ups, hoof care, and secure fencing

Remember to check your local regulations to make sure you comply with zoning and animal welfare laws.

With good planning and compassionate care, your homestead can be a little slice of animal heaven on earth!

Preserve and Conserve Water

Hey you!

Yes, you who dreams of a greener planet and a sustainable homestead.

Did you know that a few clever tweaks in how you handle water can save the precious resource and cut down your bills?

Let's dive in.

Drip Irrigation: Swap traditional sprinklers for a drip irrigation system.

It directs water to the base of each plant.

That means practically no evaporation and all the water your plants want, straight to the roots.

Fancy, right?

  • Mulching: Think of mulch as a cozy blanket for your soil. It keeps the moisture in and the water-thieving sun and wind out. Wood chips or straw can work wonders. Say goodbye to constant watering!
  • Xeriscaping: This is landscaping, but cooler (and drier). Choose plants native to your area that are already pros at handling the local climate. They’ll demand less water and look stunningly in sync with your homestead.

Remember, every drop counts!

Are you ready to give your water hose a bit of a rest?

Your plants and your wallet will thank you! 🌱💧

Create Wildlife Habitats

Hey there!

Want to see some fluttering butterflies, hear birds singing, and watch squirrels at play in your very own homestead?

Let's turn your property into a wildlife wonderland!

  1. Water Wonderland: Every creature needs to sip and splash! Start with something easy like a birdbath, or get creative and build a small pond where frogs can ribbit-rally and birds can bathe.
  2. Feed the Flock: Whip up a wildlife diner by setting up feeders. Seeds for the birds, a bat house for your nocturnal neighbors, and sugar water stations for hummingbirds can turn your yard into the trending spot for feathered and furry friends.
  3. Plant Power: Go native! Planting local flora isn't just good for the earth, it's like setting out a welcome mat for wildlife. Choose shrubs and trees that offer tasty treats of nectar, pollen, or even fruits and nuts.
  4. Bug B&B: Construct a cozy bug hotel from natural materials to attract beneficial insects. These little critters are the unsung heroes, helping with pollination and keeping pesky pests in check.

Have a dead tree?

Before yelling timber, think twice!

A standing snag can be a high-rise for woodpeckers and other critters.

Creating wildlife habitats isn't just rewarding; it makes your homestead a beacon of biodiversity.

Enjoy the daily surprises as you sip your morning coffee accompanied by the sights and sounds of nature.

Your homestead will be the place to be for all manner of critters, and that's a sign of a thriving, sustainable space.

Isn't that amazing?

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

Ever looked at your homestead and thought, "How can I make this sustainable?" You're not alone!

Sustainability is a journey, and where better to start than the classic three Rs: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.

These aren't just catchy words; they're a lifestyle, and tailoring them to your property can make a world of difference.


Start small.

Do you really need that new gadget?

Remember, every purchase has a footprint.

Reduce your consumption and watch your waste (and costs!) shrink.

Cut down on single-use items and switch to durable alternatives, like metal water bottles or cloth shopping bags.

Oh, and composting kitchen scraps?

That's a gold star in reducing!


Got an old ladder?

It could be your next bookshelf.

When something breaks, flex those DIY muscles and fix it up.

With a bit of creativity, anything can have a second life.

Check this out:

  • Empty jars → Storage containers
  • Old tires → Garden planters
  • T-shirts → Cleaning rags

Reusing helps maintain the charm of your homestead while saying no to unnecessary waste.


Finally, what about the things you can't reuse?

Time to recycle!

Create a space on your property to sort recyclables.

Metals, glass, paper – they all have a place.

Not only does this keep them out of landfills, but recycling also conserves resources.

It’s a win-win!

Remember, you're steering the ship towards sustainability, and every little action counts.

Embrace these steps and watch your homestead transform!


Brittany Melling

Brittany Melling

Brittany has been in the land business since 2020 when the world was starting to shut down. Since then, we’ve sold to dozens of people from ATV weekend warriors to camping enthusiasts to retired truck drivers. Our inventory spans mostly in the western United States. We’ve been trained by experience, land acquisition courses, and hundreds of hours meeting with county assessors and clerks, zoning officials, realtors, and land investors. We’ve answered hundreds of questions from people regarding the buying and use of land.

Read More About Brittany Melling