What You Need to Know About Homesteading – (Part 1)

We started our homesteading journey 5 years ago and there have been ups and downs and sideways and upside-downs. Yep, we’ve experienced a lot: predators, septic problems, well problems, etc.

First the Land – Where do you want to homestead?

Research, research, research! If the current lot you are staying at is not your ultimate homesteading goal then research where you want to be. For example, Colorado is a challenging state to homestead in – between never knowing what the weather will bring. Within 2 years we have experienced extreme drought and extreme flooding. Last year we had no rain this year we had too much. Lots of rain here keeps the temperatures down. Too much water is great if you have a prepped garden area that allows for drainage and won’t water log your plants.

Even this last week, my weather app said sunny until the weekend when we are supposed to get our first snow. Guess what? It has been over cast and misty with dense fog. All that means waterers need to get heaters. Heat lamps checked and ready to go – though not quite ready for the heat lamps. And the temp dropped to 23 degrees last night — when the weather said above freezing until the weekend.

Maybe you want to do an urban homestead? City water, sewer, close proximity to city life – all you need is to figure out city regulations and HOA regulations. I would not recommend urban homesteading in HOA neighborhoods. HOAs have regulations above and beyond city ordinances (beauty over function). Most of the time small livestock, like chickens, are not allowed but the city ordinance may allow small flocks (3-4 chickens and even 2 goats). HOAs can, also, attempt to control what you can and can’t do in your yard.

Your House Infrastructure – Support Structure

Also, when you decide to move out of the city you can potentially take on certain infrastructure costs that normally the city provides for you, like water and sewer.

If you choose to buy a property, are you going to live on it? If so, what is the water source and what does it need in terms of maintenance? What about sewer/septic? What about fencing? Pasture maintenance?

Water Infrastructure

Let’s talk about water – since water is life. Different water sources can present several challenges that may affect water quality, usability, and maintenance. Here are some things to consider from different water sources:

  • Sources like lakes, rivers, or reservoirs often receive water runoff from surrounding areas, which can introduce pollutants, sediment, or bacteria. Treating surface water for consumption usually involves filtration, disinfection, and, in some cases, additional chemical treatments.
  • Collecting rainwater can be a sustainable practice, but it may require proper filtration to remove potential contaminants like pollutants from the atmosphere or debris from roofs and gutters. Additionally, seasonal variations in rainfall can affect the availability and consistency of rainwater as a resource.
  • Desalination is necessary to make brackish or saltwater sources usable for drinking, irrigation, or industrial purposes. The desalination process can be energy-intensive and costly, making it less accessible in certain regions.
  • Wells can provide a reliable water source, but they may be prone to specific issues. These include bacterial contamination, low yield during droughts, or vulnerability to surface pollutants if the well construction or location is inadequate. Well water can vary in quality depending on the geological characteristics of the area, as well. High mineral content, such as iron, manganese, or sulfates, can lead to staining, scaling, or unpleasant tastes and odors.


Watering crops and/or livestock is an important aspect of homesteading. The larger the garden the longer you spend watering it. Gardens need more water during high temperature days as well. Does your water sources provide enough water pressure for everything you need to do? Should you consider automating irrigation? Automating it also leaves you more time to do other things like processing your harvests or your animal products.

I have had to split this post up into several parts because there’s just a lot of things to consider about homesteading. This post alone took quite a bit of time to write! So, stay tuned!


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