The Urban Homesteading Almanac: Thriving in the Concrete Jungle


Homesteading is a way to get closer to the earth by living a more self-reliant and holistic lifestyle. From growing your own produce to making candles, there are plenty of ways you can adopt a more natural lifestyle, even in the city. Here’s how you can get back to your roots by adopting urban homesteading.

Urban Homestead and Farm Stand with Apples and Blackberries

My Instagram feed is filled these days with posts about garden harvesting, sewing flowers onto fabric, collecting eggs from the hen house, and many other posts about homesteading.

People want to return to using the land and nature as a resource. I think the last few years have made people realize how important self-reliance can be and how nature can boost your mental health.

Homesteading can involve many aspects, from preserving goods and practicing agriculture to making textiles or producing one’s own energy. Traditionally, to live a household life you need a lot of agricultural land.

But I’ve seen many ways in which people have turned the household on its head. Making it useful even for small spaces. If you live in a city or town with limited space like I do, there are many homesteading practices you can adopt at home.

There are lots of projects and ways you can start urban homesteading!

This post will cover…

What is homestead?

Homesteads are a return to traditional living, with self-sufficient homes on farms or off the grid. Theoretically, they get everything they need to live on their property.

Homeowners live as far away from the land as possible. They plant gardens, raise animals, hunt and gather things to survive.

Of course, being 100% self-sufficient requires a lot of hard work and land. There are many people these days Taking these old homestead practices and applying them to a more modern and urban lifestyle.

Many of the things I talk about in Garden Therapy can be considered home practices. After all, gardening is a major component of a household. But did you know that I live in urban Vancouver, a small town?

You don’t need a lot of space to get started. Urban homesteading is very possible, and I can’t wait to share with you some projects you can do to start homesteading on your own property.

Stephanie in the garden of her urban homestead
In my old house, I grew a lot of herbs.


As you can probably tell from the name of this website, gardening is a big part of my life and a staple of urban homesteading. The biggest misconception about homesteading is that you need several acres of land to grow enough food to be self-sufficient. Let me tell you that this is a great achievement even for an experienced gardener.

is a more practical goal Grow plants to compensate for what you buy From the grocery store or farmer’s market.

I practice regenerative gardening, which is a sustainable method of organic gardening that encourages your garden to be more self-sufficient and in harmony with existing ecosystems. It may seem complicated, but getting started is actually simple. You can check out my post on 25 practices to get started with regenerative gardening or check out my book, regenerative gardenFor everything you need to know.

Another important thing to remember is Anyone can do gardening, even in an apartment without a balcony. There are many ways to grow food indoors or join a community garden.


Some people grow lots of vegetables or flower fields—each gardener has his or her own passion. For me, My love is in herbs. They can be beautiful, great for wildlife, edible, and medicinal. I like plants that can be multifunctional.

you will get it Many plants are more beneficial than you think. Roses are very beneficial for skin care. Feverfew may help prevent and treat migraines and headaches. Hops may help with insomnia and digestive problems. I could go on!

You can check out all my herbal guides to learn about the benefits of plants – you may already have some in your garden.


You will find that no matter how well you plan succession planting, you will get more than you need at one time. This is where canning comes in! Try canning, pickling, and making all kinds of preserves and jams with your extra profits.

Here are some recipes I use for my harvest:

This is how your garden preserves are made Thoughtful gift. If I’m visiting a friend for dinner or bringing Christmas gifts, I can easily grab something from my stash. Decorate your preserves with these free printable canning labels.

making soap

Many years ago, our ancestors used to make soap from oil and wood ash. Luckily, things have become a little easier for us urban householders these days!

For beginners, I always recommend starting with melt and pour soap. this method Uses existing soap base And allows you to add colors and fragrances and pour them into the mold of your choice. This is a great way to dip your toes into the soap making process.

The second method of making soap is my favorite method, the cold process. Through the cold process, you mix a combination of oil and lye. This produces a chemical reaction known as saponification, resulting in hard bars of artisan soap.

I make cold process soap constantly, so I have several recipes at Garden Therapy that you can try. But here are some of my favourites.

candle making

Candle making is one of the easiest ways to get into the urban homemaker mindset. It also doesn’t require much space or suppliesWhich makes this a quick and easy project.

I’ve been making my own candles for years and I even wrote a book about fun and unique candle projects, Making and giving candles at home,

Here are some of my favorite candle projects for you to try!

You can easily get started by purchasing this candle making kit, Or you can go out and buy stuff Reuse containers. This list includes all the supplies you may need to get started with candle making.

Classification of container candles in glass jars
Homemade candles burn without any chemicals and artificial scents.

prevention and treatment

Plants are powerful allies in our medicine cabinets. Often, I can find help for common ailments by going into my backyard and putting together some natural ingredients. Whether you’re looking for prevention or treatment, there’s a plant ally you can turn to.

I make several salves and balms using the infused oil. First, I dry the plants with desirable properties and benefits and then Put them in oil to transfer those properties. Here is a complete list of all the healing ointments and balms I make on a regular basis.

Additionally, these are other common natural healing methods I like to use:

green cleaning

In addition to using the medicinal properties of plants to help my body heal, they can also be wonderful cleansers for the home.

I avoid using chemical cleaners at all costs, instead I use staples like vinegar and alcohol derived from plants in my garden. They are just as effective at cleaning and disinfecting as store-bought cleaners.

You can find lots of natural cleaning products for the home in my cleaning roundup post. my book, Handmade Soaps, Sanitizers and CleanersThere are also tips for cleaning your home and purifying your body.

Bee keeping

Are you on TikTok? I’ve learned a lot about bees, from breeding queens to making coupes. It seems like everyone is becoming obsessed with taking care of the bees, and I’m here for it!

I’ve been a big fan of bees for a long time without actually delving deeply into beekeeping. It’s all about creating a safe space for them and making them realize that your yard is theirs too!

Here are three great things everyone can do for bees:

  • Create a safe home. Building a bee house on your property gives solitary bees a safe place to nest.
  • Build a bee bath. Like bird baths, bee baths give bees a safe and accessible place to stop and drink water.
  • Succession planting. Make sure you have flowers blooming from early spring to late autumn to give the bees a constant food source.

If you want to try traditional beekeeping, you must check out these gorgeous painted beehives. Maybe you can do something similar to decorate your garden and bee habitat!

Bug Hotel attached to wooden fence with flowering quince
Bee and bug hotels also double as beautiful garden art!

backyard chickens

When people think of urban housing, they think of chickens. While not all bylaws will allow chickens in urban areas, yours might!

I’m no big expert on raising chickens, as I’ve never had chickens. However, over the years I have had a few guest bloggers who have shared their knowledge about caring for chickens.

urban homesteading for beginners

If you’ve reached the end of this list and are a little confused about where to start, I’ve got you covered. Here are some projects that are very easy to do And it’s great for people who want to start urban homesteading without a full commitment:

FAQs about urban housing

How much space do I need for an urban homestead?

There is no magic homestead number. A standard urban area should have plenty of room to grow food and host wildlife and animals. However, the idea here is that anyone can set up a home, even those who do not have outdoor space. Activities such as soap making, candle making, herbal remedies, green cleaning, canning and even growing food can be done indoors.

More Tips for Creating an Urban Homestead


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