Hunting for your own meat and growing fruits and vegetables at home may seem like a time-consuming and impossible task for the average person. Though it might seem easier to get your food from the grocery store, hunting and growing your food allows you to control all aspects of what you consume.
From where it was sourced to how it was raised and the nutritional value and taste your food will have, you can feel confident in what you’re putting in your body. Hunting for your meat can be time efficient if you’re using the right tools like a professional grade hunting blind like the ones on this site.
A deer blind can fit in the bed of your truck for easy transportation to new hunting grounds. They have plenty of room to store your gear and hunt comfortably. Growing your food can also be simple once you understand what plants work best in your area. Planting crops is easy, and you can be harvesting your produce in months. Learn the steps to take so you can start hunting and growing your food as soon as possible, making the transition to a more sustainable lifestyle.
How to Start Hunting
Hunting is a great way to provide your family with organic, natural meat you can afford. Even if you’ve never hunted before, it’s possible to get started relatively quickly with the correct permits and education.
Hunter’s Education Program
Most states require hunters to go through an education course before they can legally hunt. These courses cover hunter safety information, and you can find specialized programs to learn more about bowhunting and rifle hunting.
Find Books, Podcasts and Websites on Hunting
You can find guide books that teach you how to hunt, butcher and cook wild game. You’ll learn practical information like what hunting, butchering and cooking equipment you need, along with basic and advanced hunting strategies.
Wild game is lean meat and has to be cooked differently from conventionally farmed cuts. Finding wild game cookbooks provides you with recipes and cooking tips to make delicious meals with your hunt.
Forums and podcasts on hunting are popular, and they allow experienced hunters to share their tips and expertise with large audiences. You can find a wide range of hunting information, including how to hunt different types of game, equipment information and hunting issues like the use of public lands.
Look for Hunting Clubs to Join
If a hands-on experience is more your style, look for local hunting camps or clubs to help you get started. Some clubs are membership-based and offer training, equipment rentals and guided group hunting and fishing options.
Some states also offer programs to encourage underrepresented groups, like women, to start hunting. States partner with local nonprofits and community organizations to provide educational events so residents can get a taste of hunting without investing in all the equipment first.
Get the Right Hunting Gear
Investing in the right kind of hunting gear can make your time in the woods more successful. You’ll need good quality hunting boots and wool socks to keep your feet warm and dry while waiting for your prey.
You’ll also need to invest in a hunting blind. From elevated hunting blinds to ground blinds, they will keep you completely concealed — a key for successful rifle and bowhunting. They also contain your scent, so the animals can’t detect you. A good blind will also protect you from the elements and keep you comfortable while hunting.
Steps to Start Start Growing Your Food
Growing your fruit, vegetables and herbs can save you money and is also a therapeutic hobby. The costs to start growing your food are minimal; you’ll need to buy seed packets or plants of the produce you want to grow and eat. You may also need to purchase gardening tools like trowels, rakes or shovels before you can begin planting in your garden.
Grow Food for Your Climate
When selecting the type of food you want to grow, make sure it’s suited for the climate in your region. Certain varieties of fruits and vegetables prefer specific weather for optimal growth. Find out what planting zone you live in and which plants will thrive in your locale.
Plant Your Seeds or Crops
If you’re growing food from seed, you can find important planting information on the seed packets. The packets provide instructions on the best time of year to plant your seeds and how to space them in the ground so they have sufficient room to grow. The packet should also indicate how much sun your plant prefers and the amount of water it requires.
You may choose to buy seedlings instead of seeds. These are small versions of the plants, so you can get a head start on the growing season. Seedlings allow you to see the number of plants that will fit in your garden from the get-go.
Managing and Harvesting Your Crops
All plants need the care to grow strong and healthy. You’ll have to maintain your plants by watering them and regularly weeding your garden. You may need to find food-safe sprays to deter bugs and pests from eating your plants.
If you live in a rural area, keep small animals like groundhogs out of your garden by putting up chicken wire fencing. When your crops are ripe, you’ll have to harvest them. Many vegetable plants will continue to produce food after their first harvest, so you’ll have multiple batches of food to enjoy.
How to Grow Food if You Don’t Have a Yard
If you don’t have a large yard or are confined to a balcony, consider container gardening. This method uses pots and smaller raised beds to grow plants on your deck or patio. Almost all fruits and vegetables can be grown in containers, but some need larger pots to thrive.
Plants like herbs, tomatoes, peppers and lettuces all grow well in container gardens. Choose smaller varieties of plants like growing cherry tomatoes instead of large heirloom tomatoes. Ensure your container is big enough for the plant once it reaches full size and water your container garden often.
How to Grow Food Inside
You can grow plants as a food source without any outdoor space by using a windowsill inside your home. Herbs and microgreens grow well indoors and in smaller pots that fit on your windowsill or ledge. You’ll need to turn the pots every few days to ensure all sides of the plants are getting enough sunlight and keep your plants adequately hydrated.
Start a More Sustainable Lifestyle
The educational tools are out there so you can learn how to hunt for your own meat and grow your own produce. You don’t have to be an experienced hunter or have a large yard to provide your family with nourishing, all-natural food. You can even make hunting or gardening into a family activity so that everyone can contribute.
Hunting and gardening are great ways to start living a more sustainable lifestyle; these practices reduce your carbon footprint since you produce and consume your local food. They also help you reduce plastic waste from store-bought foods, bringing you one step closer to producing zero waste.