How do homesteaders pay for water? How can you learn homesteading? How many people give up homesteading? Can you still get free homestead land? Free seeds? Short answers to common homesteading questions all in one place.
Who pays for water for homesteaders?
Most homesteaders get drinking water from a well, and don’t have to pay for water.
Deep water wells are drilled at the same time the house is built, and drilling costs are typically considered part of the mortgage or house construction costs. Off grid homesteaders generally use solar to power an electric well pump, although hand pumps are also an option. There is no monthly cost for well water beyond maintenance, and energy costs if applicable.
Some homesteads use some combination of spring or surface water sources (rivers, streams, lakes, etc). While some state require that you apply for a “water right” in order to access surface water on your land, which may have an application fee, there is not an ongoing cost associated with surface water usage beside equipment maintenance.
For more info on how off grid homestead water systems work, see:
- Off Grid Water Guide | Well, Septic, Sewer, Grey Water, and More
- Gravity Flow Water Systems
- How to Run a Well Pump on Solar
Another free option that is growing increasing popular among homesteaders is rainwater collection. I cover this in detail here:
How does homesteaders get free things from seed companies?
Many seed companies give out free seeds with their yearly catalogs. Signing up to receive a catalog is no cost, and they are sent right to you in the mail.
Here is a list of seed companies that are known to give out free seeds.
- Brent and Becky’s Bulbs
- Burrell Seeds
- Baker Creek Heirloom
- Botanical Interests
- Burnt Ridge Nursery & Orchards
- Seed Savers Exchange
- Annie’s Heirloom
- Burgess Seed & Plant Co.
Seed companies and retail businesses will sometimes give out free stuff as part of a promotion or charity event. Follow as many seed companies’ mailing lists, social media, and announcement pages as you can to find them early.
If you are willing to look beyond seed companies, there are many fugal ways to supply yourselves with seeds. For example:
- Getting free seeds from the USDA
- Local seed libraries
- Seed saving
- From food scraps
- Garden clubs or seed exchange events
- Social media
- Charitable organizations
I cover all of these methods in detail in my full article:
How many people give up homesteading yearly?
Almost everyone I’ve talked to who has actually tried homesteading in the modern day has given up.
The fact is that homesteading is a difficult and lonely lifestyle. Eventually, most people find themselves worn down and retreat back to a more familiar modern way of living.
However, the rewards of living off grid and on a homestead are immense. Just like homesteads, most businesses also fail. Yet, those who make them work reap huge benefits. In my mind the benefits homesteading in terms of independence, security for you and your family, health, connection to nature, and sustainability or worth the risk.
My goal with this website is to share skills and knowledge necessary to make a new form of “modern homesteading” attainable to anyone with the courage to try.
Are land grant for homesteading still available in 2021?
There are currently no homestead land grants available in the United State or Canada. The Homestead Acts in the US and the Dominion Lands Acts of Canada are no longer in force.
However, some remote towns in the US and Canada offer free land in exchange for agreeing to build there. There are also a number of free or cheap land options which I discuss in my popular article:
Who are the best teachers on self sufficient lifestyle and/or homesteading?
Many people learn about the off grid lifestyle and self-sufficiency through YouTube videos. Some of the most popular are:
- OFF GRID with DOUG & STACY
- Pure Living for Life
- Fouch Family Off Grid
- Guildbrook Farm
- Weed ’em & Reap
- Off Grid Permaculture (my channel)
See below for a list of homesteading courses and apprenticeship opportunities:
I also offer a number of homesteading related courses, both online and in person. See: