Before you get very far into Homesteading, you will realize how much work there is to do.
So if you have some time now it would be a good idea to learn a few Homesteading skills (because once you are in full Homesteading mode, you won’t have time to even read this).
Here are some Homesteading skills and tips I learned from Happypreppers where you can learn more.
Homesteading skills anyone can try
List of skills on homesteading, prepping and survival
Start a homestead where you are now, so you can enjoy and learn traditional American skills without buying the farm.
Become a backyard homesteader! Preppers yearn for the down-home kind of self-reliance that our great grandparents took for granted. Self sufficiency begins at home one project at a time. So start thinking of old fashioned ways of doing things!
Today you can begin to have some good old-fashioned fun, starting with this list of homesteading basics for preppers to learn and try.
71 ways to Be a Homesteader (without having a farm)
Here are 71 homesteading skills to try if you’re a prepper and not a farmer…
#1: Turn off the lights, and light the candles.
One of the easiest ways to become more self-sufficient without a homestead is to turn out the lights. Get a match and light candles, an oil lamp or use solar lighting.
- Get out the candles. Get cozy and tell ghost stories at dinner tonight by candlelight. Place candles in a solid base away from drapery and pedestrian traffic. If you have children, always discuss fire safety (keeping sleeves and hair away from the flickering candles).
- Light an oil lamp. The charm of yesteryear is yours with an oil lamp.
- Go solar. Solar lighting is a modern homesteading luxury. By day you can put solar stakes in the ground and then by nightfall bring them inside. Just prop them in an empty mason jar.
#2: Hang something to dry.
On the homestead there are many things to hang out to dry! While it’s mostly laundry, you can also dry produce from your backyard.
- Laundry: String a clothesline with wooden clothes pins and let your clothes hang dry the homesteading way! Hang the line on a fold up drying rack for indoor use, a patio, the porch, a greenhouse, sun room or outside. You’ll save money on the drying expenses as you practice your homesteading skills. Here’s how to do the laundry without electricity.
- Herbs: Dry herbs from the garden. You don’t need any fancy equipment. Just get a clothes pin or some twine and wrap the plant at the stems and hang upside down somewhere indoors. You don’t want nasty pollution or birds to target your herbs.
- Fruits and veggies. Hang fruits and veggies to dry using the hanging solar dehydrator, pictured left, which keeps everything organized and free from pests. This is one of the natural ways of dehydrating.
#3: Give composting a go.
Start by throwing the leftover coffee beans in the garden. Eventually you’ll want to get yourself a compost bin, but start small with a compost bucket and put in egg shells, lemon and orange rinds, apple cores, celery stalk, potato and carrot peels, tea bags or tea leaves, and nut shells, excluding black walnut, which is toxic. (No meat or bones either.) You’ll get the hang of it quickly. Pretty soon you’ll find yourself routinely saving food scraps for your compost pile. Want to get a little more advanced in your homesteading? Get a composting toilet.
#4: Make it yourself, Make do (or do without).
Get into the homesteading spirit by cutting back on something or substituting something for greener living. For example:
- Do without paper towels. Get some quality cotton kitchen towels for your food and some old rags for the other stuff, and see if you can go a week without paper towels.
- Make do without baking powder (make it from scratch instead)! Epicurious.com shows how simple it is to mix baking soda with cream of tartar for an easy homemade baking powder. It will taste better without the chemicals and you’ll start to feel like a clever homesteader.
- Do without plastic bags: You can do without plastic sandwich and snack bags by stitching together or buying cloth sandwich bags, pictured left, or sending kids to school with a steel bento box, also pictured left, or a tiffin.Never throw away bits of soap. Melt soap bits back to a larger bar, or continue to use the bits and pieces by putting them in mesh bag.
#5: Cook and cut a whole chicken.
You don’t need to know how to pluck a chicken, just yet; however, you should know how to cook and cut a whole chicken! From a whole chicken you can make dinner and then a soup or broth from the leftover bones, and chicken salad for lunch. Better Homes and Garden provides the skills you need for how to cook a whole chicken. You’ll need a proper pair of kitchen scissors, pictured right.
#6: Reuse or re-purpose something.
Homesteaders have mastered the art of upcycling! So see to it that you craft, renew, re-use and re-purpose something that’s in your home right now. Here are some quick ideas to get your mind thinking.
- Old cowboy boots. Add some country charm to a pair of cowboy boots with cut flowers from your garden and an old glass jar. Voila – you’ve created a noteworthy vase. Or put a clean and emptied peanut butter jar into a pair of kiddie cowboy boots and turn it into a nostalgic pencil holder.
- Tissue box: Use an empty tissue boxes to store plastic grocery bags or the dog bags. An empty tissue box is also good for stashing used tissues at a sick bed.
- Cantaloupes and oranges: Turn a half of a cantaloupe into the fruit bowl! You’ll amaze your family with creativity and you won’t have to clean the bowls. Cut the cantaloupe in half, then scoop the contents for your fruit salad. Borrowing on the idea, kids will love a gelatin dessert chilled in orange halves.
#7: Make soup from scratch.
There are five basic considerations for making soup from scratch you’ll need to:
a) choose a type of fat
b) select a base
c) pick the meat
d) pair the complementary veggies
e) include the right spices
Of course, after you’ve mastered your soup making skills, the grand finale is to select the perfect apocalypse soup toppings.
Once you get the basics for making soup from scratch, you’ll throw in leftover veggies and turn tonight’s dinner scraps into tomorrow’s soup for lunch!
#8: Grow a Windowsill Herb Garden.
You don’t need land to grow herbs. All you really need is a sunny place inside your home. Here are the top ten herbs to grow according to organicgardening.com.
Start a container garden of any size! Even someone in an apartment can have a little homestead on the patio or deck with a container garden of herbs, tomatoes, peppers, even potatoes!
#9: Build a bird feeder, nesting box or birdhouse.
Why would you want birds on the homestead? Birds are natural pest control! They eat a variety of insects, including aphids, mosquitoes, and spiders. Building a bird feeder or bird house will help your garden grow. You might also install a birdbath.
#10: Make gravy from scratch.
Get out the fancy gravy boat instead of the can! Making gravy is a skill every homesteader should know. You can learn to make gravy worthy of filling your finest gravy boat.
Martha Stewart shows how to make an easy gravy from scratch.
#11: Bake biscuits for your home-made gravy.
You’ll feel close to the farm if have biscuits and gravy. Biscuits are just as good for breakfast as they are for dinner; and home made gravy tastes so much better than what you get from a can.
#12: Braid a rug.
An art that grew out of necessity, your rags of warn clothing could be transformed into something new and useful: a rug! Much of homesteading revolves around not letting anything go to waste, so if you have clothing your children have outgrown or that no longer fits, then put it to good use with a do-it-yourself rug.
Craft a braided rug from plarn. If you have too many plastic bags, you can craft something new with plarn (yarn made of plastic). From “plarn” you can make just about anything. Here’s the tutorial for how to braid a rug.
#13: Become a “Knit Wit” and get knotty.
Knitting is among the skills prepper kids will love. One form of knitting, not often recognized is crafting with paracord. Both are knot tying! Whether you knit with yarn or craft with paracord, hone those knot tying skills and make something.
#14: Grind your own wheat into flour.
Get out of the daily grind and start grinding! Among the top ten of essential homesteading skills is grinding wheat, but don’t stop with wheat! Explore the other daily grinds…
In addition to wheat, a grain mill is also useful for grinding:
- oats into flour or to make oats milk;
- popcorn into cornmeal;
- beans into flour or hummus;
- nuts into flour or butters
Grind popcorn into flour. During World War II people made their wheat last by grinding in some corn. At the time, corn was more plentiful and less expensive. Left is a cast-iron popcorn mill grinder that is surprisingly affordable! It takes some work, but is well worth the effort and ideal for life off the grid. Today, preppers use grain mills to grind wheat, popcorn,and also coffee, oats for oat-milk and baking, almonds into almond flour for baking, nuts for nut butters, and beans into flour for baking. Consider popcorn for your pantry!
#15: Sprout something!
With the seed sprouter, left you can sprout anything from alfalfa for the rabbits, fodder for the chickens or sprout for human consumption — crunchy toppings for your sandwiches and salads.
Read more at Happypreppers
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