To provide the knowledge and resources needed to live in a more self-sufficient way.

chickens at Underhill Farm in Dryden NY
Image by Sandy Repp
Fruit, Dehydration, Master Food Preserver
SMSJ garden urban
tyrkey hunting

Homesteading and Self-Sufficiency

Whether you are on 1/10 th of an acre or 100 acres there are numerous ways to be self-sufficient and establish your own homestead. Homesteading by definition is a lifestyle of self-sufficiency. It is characterized by subsistence agriculture, home food preservation, and may also involve the small-scale production of textiles, clothing, and craftwork for household use or sale. Being more self-sufficient means living within your economic means which may require a new mindset regarding your definition of success.

From small raised beds to fields of crops, there are so many ways and styles of providing food for yourself and your community. Preserving that food through canning, freezing, drying and fermenting will allow you to sustain your family through the winter and spring. The cultivation and preservation of food is an idea and practice we have become removed from, and it is something worth finding our way back to.

Rather than relying on commercial agriculture, raising livestock on a smaller scale can be personally and financially fulfilling. Raising live stock for meat, eggs, dairy or fiber can provide you with the necessary resources for moving one step closer to becoming self-sufficient.

We started as hunters and gathers, and one of the best ways to provide ourselves with meat is hunting and fishing. Utilizing the woods and the bountiful trove of resources, there are numerous ways to increase your self-sufficiency using what nature provides, whether you hunt for meat or trap for furs.

Becoming a homesteader requires getting back to the basics to provide wholesome food and a sustainable way of life for your family and community. We hope you’ll join Cornell Cooperative Extension on our Homesteading and Self-Sufficiency journey.

Click on each of the photos to explore the different areas of homesteading:

undefinedFood Preservation & Preparation

undefinedHunting & Gathering

undefinedLivestock and Animal Husbandry

undefinedPlanting and Growing

Last updated March 4, 2021