While it does help to have lots of money to create a homestead, there are some ways to help build a homestead with little money involved. The first step is structures and fencing.
I know I am guilty of daydreaming about a homestead for us that includes a huge property with many animals and outbuildings and maybe even a pond (or two). To be honest, that just doesn’t fit in our budget. We are lucky to have found a home on just over 2 acres in Southern California (Mojave Desert area). This is much more room than the apartment we were in prior to this! This is how we created our homestead.
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We have been here almost 2 years, slowly building up the homestead, and fixing up the house. The house came with a not-so-pretty “barn”, and a lot of bare property. Most of it is hilly and includes a wash in the backyard. Like I said before…not ideal, but it’s working for us so far. It took a little imagination to see what this place could be to see how we want to build it. Everyday it seems like I keep coming up with more ideas and things to add! It drives Greg crazy.
First thing was to fix up the “barn” as it looked like it was about to blow over any day. We added some new plywood to the sides for a warm shelter for future animals. It helped our costs by doing this first (before wood prices jumped up so high).
The roof was also in need of repair as it leaked like a sieve. While we did not put up a new roof, we did patch the leaks/holes in the roof so it doesn’t leak anymore and keeps the animals dry. Since we do live in the Mojave Desert, we do get the occasional rain storms that seems to flood everything out for a day or two. Lucky for us, this cost us nothing as the previous owners left a bucket of roof tar behind. The roof will need to be replaced one day but it has lasted this long so far.
The property was also needing to be cross fenced as we did not want to wake up to animals at our windows. For this, we used some U-posts, 5′ welded wire, concrete (to place the posts), and some fence ties to hold it onto the posts. Almost 2 years later, and the posts are holding up great! The wire on the other hand did not. We have had goats and pigs in that area and they both destroyed the fence! I know we should have gone with woven wire to begin with, but it wasn’t in our budget at the time. We still have the welded wire up and have “fixed” it so the pigs do not get out anymore (goats have been sold). Some of the chickens and turkeys still get out but they don’t go far from their home. (We “fixed” the fence recently by welding some poles at the bottom to run horizonal to keep the pigs in.) We went with U-posts versus T-posts as we were not running the fence a super long distance, didn’t have huge animals like horses to contain, and were more cost effective (same with the welded wire).
After these adjustments to the property, we added chickens, turkeys, ducks, goats, and pigs. The goats torn through the welded wire with little-to-no problem! After the goats tore through, then came the pigs! It was havoc! I would definitely suggest starting with welded wire to save yourself the headache that we got. We sold the goats not too long after, and fixed the fence enough so the pigs are unable to break out anymore. The chickens and turkeys are able to get out through the smaller holes in the fence and some also jump over the fence. They usually don’t go too far from their coop though so no waking up to bird poop on the back patio!
We did add some more to our property down the line but that’s going to have it’s own story.
Once you have the structures and fencing in place, you should be ready to add animals to further create a homestead!