Apartment Homesteading

Part of living more simply is self sufficiency – Growing and hunting your own food, composting, recycling, reusing, etc. When most people think of self sufficiency, glamorous images of farmhouses on acres and acres of land drift into their minds. The exact opposite of city living. But, most people don’t realize that there are steps one can take to start a more self sufficient lifestyle, even if they live somewhere as small as an apartment.

I have lived in Wilmington about a year now, and while it’s not my favorite place in the world, I have done more to increase my self sufficiency here than anywhere else I’ve lived. I live in a two bedroom, two bathroom apartment and have already started making the steps and learning skills I’m going to need when I finally do get my dream farmhouse on acres and acres of land!

So what can you do to start a more self sufficient lifestyle today?ย Here are six simple changes to make:

1. Porch or windowsill garden. I got lucky and my apartment came with a sizable porch. So I have cherokee purple tomatoes, cayenne peppers, strawberries, thyme, basil, rosemary, lavender, and dill growing a couple feet from my front door! Even if you don’t have a large porch, many plants can still grow wonderfully in pots. My neighbors are even garnering and small orange tree, right in a pot! If you only have a windowsill, herbs are so easy to grow, and will save you money. Fresh herbs from the grocery store can be very expensive! They’re almost $5 here at the local grocery store.

2. Composting. This one may be a bit tricky for an apartment, but it’s not impossible! In a well ventilated receptacle, begin composting eggshells, coffee grounds and filters, tea bags, and fruit and veggie scraps. This will help your garden, too.

3. Rain bucket. Summers in Wilmington mean brutal storms, so I have a bucket set up on the edge of my porch to collect rainwater. I use itย to water my plants!

4. Canning. This is a skill I have not learned yet, but canning in your apartment is totally doable! Research the best way for your living situation, and start preserving your porch harvests!

5. Utilizing local farms and farmer’s markets. Even in cities, sometimes farmland is just a drive away, and farms sometimes sell their goods right from their land! And if not, most cities have a farmers market where you can get fresh, organic produce, eggs, dairy honey, and meat, and you’ll also be supporting local farmers! It’s a win win!

6. Recycling. In my apartment, bottled water is a no-no. But on a recent trip to a farther away beach, I forgot my water bottle and was dying, so I had to buy some at the one gas station during the long drive. While I initially felt bad, I realized I could continue using the bottle afterward. I poked multiple holes in the lid and now I use it as a watering can! Reuse and recycle constantly. I have three bins for plastic, aluminum, and glass that I regularly take to the recycling center.

Here are some shots from my porch:


Rosemary, Lavender, Thyme, and Spearmint




Basil, Goji Berry, Dill and Peppers


Closeup of my peppers



Cherokee Purple Tomatoes


Eggshells are really good for tomato plants!


This is my recycling area. It’s a bit cluttered right now but we have aluminum, plastic and glass.


And my rain collector. It’s empty now, we have a heatwave going on and I’m keeping my plants hydrated, but a storm is probably on it’s way! They usually are.

I hope everyone is having a great weekend! If you’re in my neck of the woods, please stay hydrated and don’t stay out in the sun too long. Be safe!



13 thoughts on “Apartment Homesteading

  1. We live in a house here in Austin, Texas … different housing situation and different climate than Wilimington for sure. We compost, we recycle, we have a cistern and we just starting growing cilantro, parsley and basil.

    I love the composting part because it’s so fascinating just putting all leftover veggies, eggshells and what-not we didn’t eat back into the earth! Just love that idea.

    Anyway, good luck on your veggies! The tomato is looking great BTW! ๐Ÿ™‚


    • That’s so awesome! I cannot wait to live in a house! I’m sure the climate is different, you probably have more dry heat where I have more humidity. I also love composting. Right now we have a spot in the woods where my neighbors and I kind of dump our compost but I’m keeping my eye out for a good, small porch compost system. Thank you for your comment! I will definitely post more as my plants progress ๐Ÿ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

      • For our compost we keep a container in the freezer and just fill it up as we go. And, well, we do have a lot of humidity here … maybe you have more because you’re near a beach, but trust me, there’s plenty of humidity here … not as much as Houston or Orlando though by any stretch! ๐Ÿ™‚


      • So good to know! I love learning about different climates – probably a little strange haha. I mean I knew Texas is huge of course but the only western state I’ve spent time in was Colorado, so I had no idea ๐Ÿ™‚ Thanks for the info!

        Liked by 1 person

      • I’m FROM Colorado. Colorado is so arid — one of the driest states! My lips crack, my skin gets flakey and my skin is also itchy! Although CO is beautiful — for the most part — my body can’t handle how dry it is. I’m so glad to be around some humidity with my dry skin!


      • Colorado is beautiful for sure! I don’t know if I would live there again though. My hair is super dry so I’m sure the humidity is good for it in some ways, and I recently noticed my skin being dry too! Not sure how I can pull off flakey skin in the humidity. Maybe I need to drink more water!


      • Yeah, Colorado … a desert for the skin for sure! Nice place to grow up, great place to live if you love to ski and/or have oily hair & skin! HA! I’m so dry too! It only gets worse as you age my friend! The only bonus about dry skin is that I never suffered through acne! My husband has lovely olive skin — I tell him when we’re 50 I’ll look 100 and he’ll look 40! Oh well …


      • Ah yes, Garden of the Gods … my husband was blown away when I took him to CO and showed him around.

        Yeah, coconut oil … that would be good. Just good to have coconut oil around for so many things!

        Don’t miss CO, though. I love Texas after years of adjusting to it. Love the warmth … hate cold weather. Now when I go visit other states the people just don’t seem as friendly as Texas. I haven’t made it into the deep south though … maybe they’re even friendlier there … I don’t know.


      • My sister lives in Florida, but I don’t know if that’s considered deep south. I had a nice time there but I never really left the hotel when I was helping her move. I prefer cooler weather, but not too cold. It’s a little too hot for me these days in Wilmington, but I guess it wouldn’t be so bad if it weren’t so dang humid!

        Liked by 1 person

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