If you have ever wanted to become a homesteader, then you should start working on some of the skills that you will need when the time comes. Going into the process half-informed will get you much further than if you were to go into it without a clue.
I started my homestead with very little knowledge and experience, learning as I made mistakes. When I write blogs posts I am hoping that others can learn from those mistakes so they don’t have to go through the same thing. The more you read and learn before attempting something for the first time, the faster you will pick up on it.
Even if you aren’t planning on homesteading, most people are acutely aware that the economy could crash at any moment. If the economy crashed right now, could you sustain yourself and your family? These homesteading skills could help keep you and your family alive and well if that time should come.
Growing Your Own Food
If you live on a homestead, you should be growing your own food. The food that you grow will be healthier and tastier than anything you can buy at the grocery store, and will not cost nearly as much. This is the most common reason that people start homesteading in the first place.
Growing a garden is a lot easier than you think it is, even if you have a brown thumb. The key to growing anything is to stick with it. If you forget to water for a day, you are going to lose your plants and be back at square one. Just put in the effort and you will enjoy the “fruits of your labor”.
Make and Use Compost
Compost will take your plants to the next level if you use it in your garden. Just keep all manure and scrap foods in a pile, which you will need to rotate occasionally, and you will have compost a few months later. It is so simple, it improves your crop yield, and it saves you money. There is honestly no reason now to make and use your compost on a homestead.
Most homesteads will need to know the basics of animal care in order to thrive. Meat is a big part of the human diet, and anything you can produce on your own is healthier and cost effective. At the very least, you should probably have chickens on your homestead to give you a good source of eggs. Once you feel comfortable with the chickens, I highly suggest getting something bigger, such as pigs or cattle.
I am not saying that you should know everything about animals, inside and out, but you should have a good grasp on general care. Know what your livestock should eat, when it should eat, and how much it should eat.
One of the biggest parts of being successful on a homestead is keeping costs down when you can. If you can figure out how to replace that gutter yourself, that’s less money you need to spend on a repair man. Learn how to be proficient with all the basic tools a homesteader uses on an everyday basis.
Learn To Can
Most successful homesteaders are obsessed with canning food. If you really want to remove the trips to the grocery store, canning is the only way to achieve that.
The concept of canning is that you grow extra produce during the growing season, the preserve it in cans for the winter months. The preserved foods can be easily stacked and stored, and the jars can be reused next year for more produce. Canning can really help ensure that your family eats healthy year round and saves you a good amount of money.
Heating Your House with Wood
Before we bought a wood stove, we were heating our house with oil for over $1000 a month. Now we heat our house with the wood that we cut down in our own back yard and chop throughout the year.
This process has saved us a ton of money, but also has taught our kids to work hard. They know that they are expected to get out there and chop some wood a few times a week to ensure that we have plenty encase anything happens. Like many other homestead skills, this one can save money and teach your kids life lessons!
We try to barter for anything that people are willing to barter for. If we can avoid spending money on something, we will at all costs. Bartering actually saves you money because you don’t have to pay sales tax to earn money and the other side doesn’t have to charge you sales tax on the product. This is a great way to stick it to “the man”.