When I moved to the country 11 years ago, it was a culture shock. I had lived in the suburbs of a big city for a long time. I was used to the fast paced way of life.
One of the big differences I noticed was that everyone knew how to do more stuff than I did. I became friends with many farmers and they were so resourceful!
They new how to drive tractors, fix cars, grow food, can and preserve food, hunt and so much more. I felt like I was lost and pretty pathetic. The city life had not prepared me for self-sufficency! So I started my homesteading journey and learned along the way.
Even though I have been slowly becoming a homesteader over the past few years, I still have tons to learn.
Here is just the start of what I want to learn on this journey…
I have had chickens for 3 years, but I still don’t know all there is to know. I will be starting over this year with a new batch of chicks. I will be trying some new things to get my flock off to the right start.
We had 3 does and 1 buck last year, from which we had several litters of bunnies. It was our first set of rabbits and we learned alot. With our new rabbits, I hope to learn more-including how to breed and butcher more efficiently.
Starting a Beehive-
This is a new venture for us this year. There are so many things to learn-from how to build a hive to how to keep the bees healthy in the winter. But it would be great to have our own honey and to make beeswax products at home.
Caring for a Fruit Orchard-
We want to learn how to water, protect, prune and harvest fruit for our family in the best ways possible. This can take time and patience, because unlike the garden, fruit can take several years of growing before you get your reward.
I have been gardening for several years now and I truly enjoy it. I have had many successes and failures, but I have never regretted trying new things.
I would like to try new seeds and new philosophies to see what works best in my area with my garden. This includes trying the deep mulch method of gardening, help keep down weeds.
I have always had an ideological view of sewing. I can sew on a button or a scout patch, but that is as far as I have gotten. My husband bought me a sewing machine last year, but I haven’t given it much effort. I would like to learn to sew quilts, aprons and anything else that might be needed around the homestead.
Canning isn’t something I grew up doing, but I do love it. I love bottling the summer to eat during the winter. I love to see all of the beautiful jars lined up on the pantry shelf. I want to learn more recipes and helpful tips this year.
Besides canning, there are many other food preservation techniques: dehydration, freezing, freeze drying, and cold storage are just a few that I would like to learn more about.
My husband has done all of the butchering in the past, but I hope to learn how to do it this year. It makes me a little squeamish, but I just need to put on my big girl pants and do it. Whether we are talking about chickens, rabbits or wild game, it’s a good skill to learn.
I’ve dabbled in composting, but I’m definitely not very good at it. I’d like to learn how to turn my leftovers and scraps into black gold soil. I might even throw in some worms too.
It seems like such a basic skill that everyone should know. Sadly, cooking is something that I need to gain much more practice and increase my skills. And since healthy food is important to our family-home cooking is the best way to accomplish this goal.
This is a skill that I have only heard about in the last couple of years. I always bought my seeds from the store or catalog. I never thought about saving your seeds for the next year. I guess that’s the city girl in me. I would like to start with simple seeds like tomatoes, beans and peppers and see how that goes before I venture into the harder plants.
This is also a skill I never attempted while growing up in the suburbs. But where we live now in Colorado, there are many hunters and many opportunities to hunt. I would like to learn this skill so that we can provide meat for our family now and have the knowledge for the future. It would be an essential preparedness skill.
I have been wanting to learn how to bake homemade bread for many years. I’ve never been very good at it, mostly I think, because of the high altitude here in Colorado. We have to use the high altitude instructions for baking or they don’t come out right. I would love to find a few amazing bread recipes and make fresh bread weekly for my family.
My husband and I have worked together to build some furniture around the house. This is a skill that we would both like to improve upon. It is something that would save us money and give us an immense amount of satisfaction.
Well, that was quite the list. It’s a little overwhelming if you think about it all at once!
Homesteading is about learning how to live off the land and within your means. These homesteading skills are essential to this lifestyle.
It may take a long time for this city girl to become skilled in the country ways, but I am willing to learn and grow. And boy do we have alot to learn!
What homesteading skills would you like to learn or improve on this year? Leave us a comment and let us know! And if you found this post helpful, please share. Thanks!