Epic Homesteading Book: A Supplemental Guide

First and foremost, thank you for purchasing a copy of the book! This page is meant to be a supplemental guide to help you on your homesteading journey. Thank you for being a part of the Epic Gardening family, and I hope you enjoy!

Epic Homestead With Flowers and Veggies

Contents

Epic Homesteading Overview

If you want to turn your home into a thriving homestead, Epic Gardening founder and CEO Kevin Espiritu’s Epic Homesteading: Your Guide to Self-Sufficiency on a Modern, High Tech, Backyard Homestead is the comprehensive guide you need. You’ll learn:

  • Site selection – learn to build your homestead wherever you currently live!
  • Outdoor food growing
  • Indoor food growing
  • A productive orchard 
  • Composting
  • Energy Systems 
  • Water conservation
  • Mini “livestock”
  • Food preservation & storage

Don’t Have the Book Yet?

The Epic Homesteading book is the ultimate companion for transforming your garden into a thriving homestead oasis.

buy at Epic Gardening Shop
buy at Amazon Canada

buy at Amazon UK

buy at Booktopia (Australia)

Site Selection

Site selection is paramount. Before planning, figure out your zoning, climate, and the projects you want to do. Here’s how I picked the perfect location for my own urban homestead.

Once you’ve picked the perfect site, you get the joy of planning and designing your very own homestead. The most productive homesteads start with an outline of what edibles you’ll be planting and where you’ll be planting them. Now you see why site selection is so crucial.

Once you’ve started planning, think of creative ways to leverage the conditions in your growing space for a productive harvest. Whether you’re choosing planting beds, grow bags, in-ground beds, or trellises, there are so many different options.

Not sure what types of edibles you should grow? This largely depends on your local microclimate and the upcoming growing season. Here are some resources from our library that will help you make the best decisions for your situation:

Outdoor Food Growing

When it comes to how you want to grow your garden, there are several options. You can choose wooden or metal raised beds, like Birdies beds. Fill these with a good quality soil mix, and you’re sure to have successful yields you can enjoy all year long.

If you don’t have space for raised beds, container growing is an option. The Epic Team is partial to grow bags, but any will do as long as they are filled with a good mix. In-ground beds are an affordable option, too. Start with a soil test to know if you need to amend and build out your bed.

I’ve learned maintaining soil health is the most important part of gardening. As you consider the plants you’re growing, choosing the right soil is crucial to success. How much food do you need to grow to feed yourself and your loved ones?

The final step before you plant out your garden is seed starting! Don’t forget to label your starts and provide adequate light, moisture, humidity, and temperature. Need a little more information on starting a garden? Our library has a catalog full of information waiting for you:

Indoor Food Growing

I maximize my yields by growing indoors, too. Grow microgreens, sprouts, or both! An indoor hydroponic system is yet another way to grow inside your home, and tower gardens are adaptable to both indoor and outdoor growing. They also pack in a huge amount of growth in a smaller area.

One thing you absolutely need when you grow indoors is good grow lights. Select a light that is best suited to what you want to grow. Exercise proper placement, and you’re off to a great start.

This year, I got my first greenhouse from BC Greenhouses. These provide a controlled environment where you can cultivate even more plants with less risk. If you’d like to know more about indoor growing and all the supplies needed to be successful, take a look at our library:

A Productive Orchard

It can take quite some time to develop a productive orchard, but I’ll tell you, it’s worth the wait if you’re invested in growing fruit. Make that dream a reality easily with thoughtful planning and patience! There are plenty of choices for container gardeners as well.

As you decide which trees to plant, pick varieties for your climate, think about space, and choose self-fertile cultivars. Alternatively, plant grafted varieties by choosing your rootstock and grafting them on your own, or plant either bare-root or potted trees (grafted or not) from a reliable source.

Fruit trees require more maintenance than vegetable crops. We have a slew of information on that very topic. If you want to know more about growing and caring for fruit trees, take a look at these posts in our collection:

Composting

The most rotten thing about homesteading is also one of the most important things: compost! You won’t be sorry you waited for what I call garden gold. Properly layer the pile and monitor moisture and temperature. A five-bay system is a great project to undertake.

Vermicomposting, or composting with worms, is a great way to boost soil nutrients and water retention. Selecting the right worms ensures you can harvest some awesome castings when they’re done. Worm castings are an essential part of my seed starting these days.

Bokashi composting is yet another way to get more out of your leftover food scraps. This Japanese composting method uses inoculated grains to break down food waste. Unlike a slow compost pile or bin, you can compost fats and oils alongside your raw scraps.

Composting can even be done indoors. Using a countertop composter, you can make a viable soil nutrient inside your own home. If you want more on the wide world of composting, we have tons of information available in our library:

Energy Systems

Incorporating energy-gathering systems into your homestead is one of the many ways to increase your self-reliance and self-sufficiency. Solar panels help you go off-grid and give you a return on your investment, saving and earning you money in the process.

Battery power is a great fallback for a solar system. You get the best energy rates from your electrical company when you have a backup battery system and stay mostly off-grid. Mini-split heating and cooling is yet another way to conserve energy and money.

You can apply conservation to your lighting systems as well. For instance, fire pits add ambiance to your homestead, and you can use fire pit ashes in the garden as an amendment (but only if they’re 100% wood ash!).

Water Conservation

Water catchment is such a crucial part of homesteading because water consumption is a major concern for gardeners. Especially in drought-prone areas, catching rainwater keeps you self-sufficient. My system provides water in Southern California, where it can be scarce.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JMcnjyAX4Kg&ab_channel=EpicHomesteading

You can design your own greywater system or passively boost your garden’s growth with rainwater capture. This is practically a no-brainer. Most cities in the US allow a substantial amount of rainwater storage and use.

Functioning, efficient irrigation is key to a thriving homestead garden. Automate your system and employ passive modes of watering your crops to save water. You also conserve when you mulch the garden, which locks in moisture, suppresses weeds, and provides nutrients.

If you want to dive deeper into water conservation, our library has some great resources available to you:

Mini “Livestock”

When we say mini “livestock,” we aren’t talking about miniature cows or horses. We’re talking chickens and bees! The little guys.

Egg-laying chickens are an excellent food source on the homestead, and their manure is the perfect high-nitrogen soil amendment. If chickens aren’t your thing, ducks and quail work, too. Of course, I’m partial to the Epic Thiccies.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o1EdvZE7vLU&ab_channel=EpicHomesteading

Bees provide delicious honey but also boost the pollination of your crops and ornamentals, increasing your harvest size. Your garden can be designed and planted with all the animals you care for in mind. This keeps the homestead efficient and reliable.

Want to know more about animal husbandry? We’ve got you covered:

Food Preservation and Storage

The last stop of homesteading activities is canning and preserving your excess yields. Even in areas with cold, freezing winters, doing so makes enjoying the harvest possible year-round.

Store your dehydrated, air-dried, canned, or freeze-dried crops properly; they’ll be available longer. I like to pickle and ferment them to add an extra dimension of flavor. I’ll even make syrup from some and will candy others for even more delightful tastes!

If you’d like more information about storing, canning and preserving food for your homestead, we have plenty on that topic:

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