6 Tips to Urban Homesteading in the Hill Country

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Urban homesteading has been a growing trend throughout the United States. It seems more people are looking to add a little self-sufficiency to their lives, and who can blame them? Some cities are not making it easy for their citizens to achieve this goal. However, the cities of the Texas Hill Country are not among those. From community gardens to beekeeping, Texas Hill Country cities have seemingly embraced the notion of urban homesteading. So, if you are thinking of starting up your own little backyard homestead, look no further. Here is a bare-bones guide to get your started!

1. Check your county regulations, city code, Homeowners Association (HOA) rules, and rental lease contract.

This cannot be stressed enough. If you add a couple of goats to your backyard, but the city or the HOA does not allow goats, then you have wasted valuable time and money. Not to mention the attachment you may have for your new critters! Check these rules first, make a list of what is or is not allowed, and go from there. If you are unsure, make a phone call to double check.

urban homesteading goatPhoto: Shannon Salas

2. Be neighborly.

You have done your homework and found you are allowed so many heads of livestock and a certain number of chickens. You know that your livestock or birds will be kept so many feet from the nearest structure. You’ve set up the proper housing and you’ve stocked up on feed. You’re excited now. Great! Keep in mind your neighbor may not be. Regardless of your relationship with your neighbor, you will want to keep complaints to a minimum. Roosters are loud, and so are donkeys. Compost stinks and bees swarm. Keep this in mind when setting up your urban homestead.

3. Check into gardens.

Gardens are the easiest place to start a homesteading adventure. It can be as simple as growing some herbs on your windowsill or as complicated as setting up a small hydroponic vegetable garden. Most urban homesteaders stick with a patio garden or a small raised-bed garden. If you don’t have room for either one, consider getting involved in a community garden project, if your city offers one, or support local farmers through Community Supported Agriculture (CSA).

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