Living on a remote homestead, producing and storing enough food to eat each day is paramount to your very survival. Learn how to do this fast, simply and effectively so that you don't find yourself in serious trouble from starvation!

Producing your own food when you dwell on an off-grid home is often fairly easy to do for yourself with some forethought as well as enough knowledge and skill in growing, small scale farming and storage. Owning a decent sized plot of land in the right location will naturally lend itself to the growing of crops, while you can keep farm animals to supplement your needs.

Growing Your Own Food

vegetable gardenThe first place to start is to set aside an area of flat land that can be used for crop growing. There are several ways of going about this, but probably the best in terms of ecological soundness is to opt for organically grown vegetables and fruit.

That will mean preparing the soil with organic material for fertilizing and enriching such as your own home made compost, leaf mold and manure if you can get it. Of course the best source of manure is from your own animals such as horses or donkeys, cattle, goats, pigs and fowl, depending on what you are prepared to keep.

Then you will need to divide the ground into at least three separate beds that you will use for rotating your crops each year. This is mainly to reduce the possibility of a build up in soil based diseases and pests while ensuring the crops themselves get the right balance of fertilizing material for their needs.

As a general rule of thumb, the crop division will look something like this:

It is also a good idea to include a fourth area aside from the rotational areas for perennial crops that do not need rotation. These can include mainstays such as perpetual spinach, welsh onions, globe artichokes, asparagus etc.

Then you simply plant your seeds at the right time (usually early spring) and keep the ground watered, fed and weeded until the plants grow.

Growing fruit trees and bushes is also a great idea and one that will produce increasing yields of fruits and berries year after year once they are established. This takes up more space, but if you have it, planting trees and bushes is a good investment of your time and budget.

Farm Animals

At the very least, you should have some chickens that will produce eggs so that even if you are vegetarian there will be a protein supply for your diet aside from purely vegetable matter. Chickens will produce some useful manure to help your crops grow or enrich your compost heap.

If you are a little more adventurous, you could keep pigs for meat, cows or goats for milk, cheese, butter and yogurt, a horse or two for manure (and riding!) or pulling manual farmyard equipment such as a plow if you really want to go totally back to nature and maybe some sheep for their wool (and meat if necessary).

Some people get even more adventurous and branch out into keeping llamas or alpacas, ostriches and other more exotic fowl such as turkeys, guinea fowl, ducks, geese etc. There is lots of scope to boost your food supplies as well as produce goods for barter with other homesteaders in the area for different produce.

Storing Food

How you store your food for the times when there is not a bountiful supply as is usual during the winter months will depend on what you have available to you. If you have ample electricity from wind or hydro generators or a particularly large solar panel array and batter bank, then a domestic freezer and refrigerator will store a fair amount of food to get you through the lean months.

Of you don't have the luxury of ample electricity and a freezer is out of the question, then you will need to revert to traditional methods such as canning and bottling to store food. This is not as difficult as it might seem and I have included detailed articles on these aspects to help you through it.

There are other methods such as smoking and sun drying for long-term storage that works well with some foods. These methods are also included in their own info articles in this section.

Food Production and Storage Related Articles

I have included a collection of articles related to the production and storage of foodstuffs for homesteaders in the list below: