How do I start?

This is where you’ll find resources to answer your questions and help you get started with urban homesteading or do-it-yourself projects.We hope you’ll find this information helpful, but of course you’re always free to contact us directly!


Compost Guy’s Aquaponics Page. A primer on aquaponics and list of resource Backyard Aquaponics. An Australian-based magazine, but has an extensive learning section with lots of visuals. Nelson Pade. A company website but again has lots of great educational materials. Try the Learn and See menus.


Baking Stories! Artisan bakers Florin and Lisa weave recipes and baking tips into their charming blog. Sourdough Companion. A beginner-friendly resource page for everything sourdough, and an active forum. Great place to start if you want to get into sourdough baking! Sourdough Home. Another great resource with tons of information.


Two Bees Apiary! A local apiary supply company, they keep us in stock of all our beekeeping equipment. Check out their Resources page for tons of useful information: The Barefoot Beekeeper Website of Paul Chandler, author of The Barefoot Beekeeper. There's a lot of good starter information on the website, and free downloadable plans to build a top-bar beehive. Also check out the forum for active discussion and Q&A on natural beekeeping. Strathcona Beekeepers Association. A great blog maintained by a group of local beekeepers, just a stone’s throw from the store! Apiaries and Bees for Communities. Check the Free menu for a list of resources and beekeeping associations across Canada. Beekeeping Guide for All Ages. A list of helpful articles on beekeeping, sensibly divided by topic and laid out in the order that one might read them - from getting started to researching specific concerns. The Guide to Beekeeping for Adults and Kids. Another resource page with links to further reading on many aspects of beekeeping. Thanks to Mrs. Lowe's class for this one!
David Suzuki Foundation's Guide to Bee-Friendly Gardens A very helpful, local guide on making your garden bee-friendly, featuring a video with our friend Brian Campbell!


Candle Tech. A great beginner-friendly website with photo-rich instructions for candle making projects. A great starting point. How to Make Candles. Very helpful website with articles about wax and other materials, techniques, instructions, and formulas. Making Your Own. Photos and step-by-step instructions for making beeswax taper and molded candles.


Homesteading Mamas. Natalie and Anna run great canning workshops at Kiwassa Neighborhood house. Plus, Anna runs Baaad Anna’s! Fresh Choice Kitchens. This program of the Greater Vancouver Food Bank Society promotes and supports community kitchens across BC. And they have canning classes! Bernardin. Yes, this giant company has useful information! Visit the Get Started section for their extensively tested canning guidelines. USDA Canning Guidelines. This incredible resource has specific safety guidelines, recipes, and illustrations for a huge variety of preserved foods. Homestead Revival Great write-up of using Tattler reusable canning lids, with photos!


The Way of Cheese. David Asher Rotsztain, affable host of cheese making workshops throughout BC, offers recipes and advice on his appealing blog, Fankhauser’s Cheese Page. David B. Fankhauser, Professor of Chemistry and Biology at the University of Cincinnati, offers recipes, instructions and photos of many hard and soft cheeses. He suggests starting with his link to Beginning Cheese Making, and we agree.


Duncan’s Backyard Henhouses. Duncan Martin, builder of the Vancooper, remains a prominent figure in Vancouver’s backyard chicken community. Check out his website at and head to the Helpful Resources section for chicken-related info. Backyard Chickens. isn’t Canada-specific, but it has tons of great information on how to raise hens in your backyard.


Burnaby Red Wigglers. Local vermiculture expert Bintoro Gunadi’s site. There’s not much to the website at present, but he announces upcoming workshops and has some photos. Very knowledgeable guy. Cheap and Easy Worm Bin. This Washington State University website has instructions for building and starting a very simple, common style of nesting worm bin. World of Worms. A great website with info on caring for your worms and building your own composter. Red Worm Composting. Did you need another worm composting site? If so, here it is! Photos and resources here. Microbe Organics. Everything you ever wanted to know about compost tea! Great Day Bokashi. Vancouver company that supplies the Bokashi Bucket to our store. Lots of info on using Bokashi available here. Compost Here. A community site designed to link people with food waste to people with compost bins.

Farm & Garden

Farmer’s Filmanac. A video project consisting of interviews with local farmers. Ecology Action. A group promoting biointensive farming. Their website is mostly about their organization, but has some potentially useful information here: Organic Seed Alliance. A group that researches and produces organic seeds. Their website makes for some interesting reading. Seed Saver’s Exchange. Primarily a heritage seed catalogue, they also encourage and promote seed saving. They have instructions for saving many types of seed. The Silent Gardener A garden contractor that operates without noisy fossil-fueled engines blaring in your yard. Soon to be Climate Smart!

General DIY Site advocating electronics repair, as opposed to disposal. Complete walkthroughs of disassembling many household electronic devices. Maker Shed. From the producers of Make magazine and Maker Faire, a website devoted to making stuff yourself. There’s a bit of a bias toward the digital microcontrollers they sell, but overall pretty cool. Instructibles. A site where users write instruction sets for all kinds of do-it-yourself projects, from gardening to cooking to carpentry.

Knitting and Fibercrafts

Baaad Anna’s. Just up the street from Homesteader’s, Baaad Anna’s is pretty much the go-to for yarn, knitting supplies, and the like. Urban Weavers A blog that details weaving fabrics and baskets with urban-available materials. Also has information on growing flax!


The Queen of Green. Lindsay Coulter of the Suzuki Foundation offers tips and fields questions on green living. Mommy Footprint. A great blog about engaging kids in nature, reducing household chemical use, and shrinking our environmental footprints. Worth a read by anyone, not just parents!


Soaping 101. A great YouTube channel with dozens of soap making tutorial videos. The Soap Dispensary. Awesome shop on Main Street in Vancouver where you can buy or refill eco-friendly soaps and cleaning products. Also, they are really nice there.


Sprout People. A website all about edible sprouts. They sell seeds and other supplies, but no word yet on whether they ship to Canada. Lots of great information anyway.

Sustainability and Self Sufficiency Community

Village Vancouver. This online Transition Community now has over 1000 members working to make Vancouver a more sustainable and resilient place. City Farmer News. One of the best sites to keep up to date on all aspects of urban farming, from policy to dirty fingernails. Based in Vancouver but covers a wide area. BC Urban Farmers Listserve. A very active mailing list and a great way to keep in touch with local urban farmers.!forum/BC-urban-farmers Earthineer. Touted as a “Facebook for Farmers” this social networking site has some interesting features and articles, with more in the works.

Teaching Farms

Southlands Farm. A beautiful educational farm near the Fraser River, Southlands offers fun programs for kids and is also home to Pony Meadows riding school.

Whole Animal

Eatwild. A Vancouver-based company that offers a range of training programs on harvesting wild food, especially hunting. Stuffers Supply Company. The Lower Mainland’s premier sausage resource, they offer a great free recipe book: Wedliny Domowe. An excellent and comprehensive resource on home sausage making, smoking, and curing meats.

Other Homesteading Stores

Portland Homestead Supply Co. A great store in a converted heritage house. They even have chickens and goats living in the backyard! It’s definitely worth stopping in if you’re in Portland.

Educational Institutes

The Ploughshare Institute. This residential center offers hands-on courses in lost homesteading skills. Based in Texas, they are opening an Idaho campus soon. The Evergreen Institute. A renewable energy and green building training centre.