You've bought a homestead property… now what? Do these 14 things FIRST before anything else!
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You’ve bought your new homesteading property and you’re ready to move in. But don’t go buy the cow just yet! There are some key things you need to check off your list so you can be better prepared as you start to settle in.

Josh and Carolyn talk about the mistakes they made when they first moved in and how setting a strategy, learning your environment, and taking it slow can set you up for success on your new property.

Time Stamps
0:00 – Chit Chat
5:58 – Question of the Day: Is butter made from clabbered milk a fermented butter?
7:18 – Main Topic
7:42 – Get Moved In
13:25 – Meet Your Neighbors
15:33 – Know and Understand Access Issues
17:28 – Take Care of Your Preps
18:54 – Have Electrical Backup
19:32 – Build Your Food Storage
21:13 – Get Medical Supplies
21:30 – Fuel Supply
23:18 – Always Be Observing
25:54 – Study Permaculture
26:06 – Plan Your Zones
29:30 – Plan Your Gardens
30:17 – Evaluate Your Soil
31:13 – Plan For Animals


WELCOME! We're so glad you're here! We are Josh and Carolyn Thomas. Together with our nine children, we are The Homesteading Family where we’re living a self-sustainable life in beautiful North Idaho. Let us welcome you and show you a bit about us here:

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Click any of the links below for instant access to free video training resources:

– Healthy Healing at Home- Free 4 video workshop on our herb course Herbal Medicine Cabinet: Colds
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Click any of the links below for instant access to these free downloadable PDFs:

– Homesteading Family's Favorite Holiday Recipes – A PDF download filled with our family’s favorite holiday recipe.
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– Thrive Wellness Checklist- A simple PDF download for healthy living.
– Permaculture for Your Homestead- PDF download that is an introduction to permaculture with some strategies for applying it to one’s homestead and garden.
– Carolyn’s Cottage Garden herb list- PDF with Carolyn’s favorite herbs for growing at home.
– Carolyn’s Make-Ahead Breakfast Casseroles- Carolyn’s favorite make-ahead breakfast casseroles.
– Your FREE Guide to Preserving Eggs- PDF download with multiple ways to preserve eggs.
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– Save the Crumbs- Several Recipes for using bread leftovers, a less committal entry to bread than the workshop.
– Fearless Fermenting- A PDF on basic lacto-ferments.
– Fermenting Tomatoes- PDF download on fermenting tomatoes.
– Preserving Culinary Herbs- Downloadable, step by step directions to drying, freezing and salting culinary herbs.
– Render Your Own Lard- PDF with instructions on how to render your own lard.
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  • lynn elliot

    If its any help to you, i put a leaf from the grape into my jar of pickled cocktail onions, they have kept well.

  • kalan talton

    I’m laughing 🤣 been at new property a month and have a 🐄 big Holstein!!

  • Teri Pennington

    I put Alum in my pickles ( second day after 24 hr brine ) then fill with cold water for 24 hours, drain and fill with brown vinegar for 24 hours. Then sugar X 3 days before water bath. Sweet pickles are crisp for 4 years!

  • KimbaLion5

    One thing to research. Where is your nearest hospital? What can it handle? Trauma, pediatrics, burn unit, cardiac catheterization lab, CCU/ICU? Not every hospital has all services and has to transfer patients.

  • The Vagabond Witch in the Woods

    Im happy to have a clear cut path down to the pond; that’s how new my land is! I need a dog kennel and chicken coop/run and after that, the rest of the fall season will be spent clearing trees for next year’s garden and making more paths! Our motto while exploring the land yesterday was “We like paths”!!!!

  • Carol Hamilton

    When you find that perfect recipe for crunchy shelf stable pickles especially dill, please share.

  • Sharon Allen

    What a wonderful video. I’m going to fuss at my sons to watch it DAILY until they get it. They want to rush out and just do something. I’m screaming for a plan! Well, a final committed to plan. One wants chickens. I envision 50 chickens with no fencing or coop and the poor things being picked off or aggravated by hawks or snakes. Not gonna happen on my watch. We’ve been watching and learning our property for 3 years and I’m finally feeling confident enough to have an idea of what needs to go where and the finances to make it happen. It takes time. Now the work begins – putting in interior fences, building shelters and massive building up the soil. Then we can talk animals but I refuse to have an animal suffer because of my poor planning. The first project we handled was the orchard. It takes a long time for an orchard to start producing so we got that done right a way. It’s been in 2 years now. You are right – 1st year or so just watch. It will save headaches in the future. I so enjoy your easy way of speaking. Very pleasant to listen to. ~Sherrie in South Carolina

  • Sebrina Luc

    Great video! Living out in the country can get rough at times. We have issues with trees coming down and then we are all out of electricity. We are on the bottom of the list for the electricity company to come out to. We make a joke that this is the generator village. There are 8 families that share the same lane but only 4 tend to help keep it maintained esp in the winter. We have a pond with running water all year which we keep an bucket full for emergency.

  • Pamela DeCicco

    Excellent advice. Y’all are amazing. Despite the fact that you “NEVER”…thanks guys. The children working on their bedrooms is fabulous. Nothing like seeing a finished product. Love from Ireland.❤🍀🇮🇪

  • Jean Israel

    Thank you for the videos you post. I enjoy everyone of them even though I’m stuck in the suburbs. Makes me feel informed and connected to where I would love to be.

  • L S

    Basically, what you’re advising is to plan out and put in infrastructure where possible. Power and water are priorities. Set up your house, which is your base of operations, and then you are able to work out from there. Great advice. Thank you so much!

  • Time 2 Enjoy Crochet

    Focusing on the inside of our home and only chickens this winter for us and focusing on bulk buying. We are going to be really rural.

  • Sherri Jackson

    Wonderful video! We are moving this year to a new property so this was really helpful! You guys are by far my favorite channel. I love the opening where we get to see you with you children.

  • Clover Doll

    22:22 Completely agree.
    Starting out… prep to make it through the following season. Once you’re ready for that, add in 2 seasons of preps, so on and so forth. A few years of that and you will be ready to begin presp for TEOTWAWKI scenarios.

  • Natasha S.

    Haha, as someone who moved to our new place 4 mos ago…they are so right. I say that having done everything wrong. Granted, I’ve done this a couple of times now, but this year we went ahead and accepted the cost of jumping in right away. It is a heavy cost in time, work, and stress and not for everyone. I look forward to the winter months to get caught up moving in the rest of the way and making things smoother. But especially if you are very new to livestock, gardening, preserving…it is essential to start slow and have those stores for when you are learning.

  • Jenn Milne

    My husband and I were talking about our property plan earlier today. We will be moving onto 40 acres in a couple months. I’m like Carolyn and my husband is like Josh 😊. Love watching y’all

  • Little Willow Homestead

    We got our coop and chickens within 2 weeks 😳 we did heed others advice though and didn’t pick a garden space or plant trees and bushes til the following spring.. we really looked and watched the property and I’m really glad we set things up the way we did.. we did find better places for the wood pile and our stack of pallets but other than that we’ve been happy with our setup..

  • Leah Olson

    Perfect timing! We are moving into our new house in a couple weeks.

  • Nicole Marcotte

    My mother in law and myself have used her mothers dill pickle recipe for years and they never fail. Always crunchy and nummy even after a year or more. 🙂
    10 cups water
    3 cups vinegar. (we use 5 or 7 depending how much “smack” or “punch” taste we want)
    1/2 cup picking salt

    Fresh Cucumbers. Preferably kept in cool water until ready for use, using them dry never works well. We put them in a large cooler with water to keep while we set up and get the rest ready. We usually account for about a pound per jar give or take.

    Boil water, vinegar and salt in stainless steel pot.
    Put as much garlic and dill (as much as you want, at least one clove and one head each or load it up!!!) in clean, sterilized 1 litre jars.
    Fill with cukes.
    Pour hot brine over top.
    Put lid and rings on. Put in rolling boil water bath for about 10 minutes. Remove carefully to avoid major disruptions, LEAVE THEM ALONE FOR AT LEAST 12 HOURS, no touching or poking. Any that don’t seal we put in fridge to ferment for a couple weeks.
    Leave for about 10 weeks and then enjoy. Some of our pickles are still crunchy after 2 years. :0)

  • Dianne J

    We were lucky to have record rainfall the first year we bought our land. Now we plan everything with flood and drought in mind. Lest you think we bought some bottomland, we’re in an area of low mountains near the top of a hill on a gentle slope nowhere near the creek further down. Didn’t know a hillside swamp was possible, but yup! Best advice is the permaculture idea of observe and plan.

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