What ever happened to all of the things our grandparents used to do? There are many skills our grandparents had that have been lost today. Various homesteading skills are lost on the modern city dweller. Providing food and water for yourself are absolutely crucial. Knowing things like how to collect and purify water, from any source, including rain, is a crucial skill in the event of disaster, water contamination or even water shortage.
During World War II almost everyone had a Victory Garden. They were essentially edible gardens that people used to produce some of their own food in order to reduce the demand and to supplement their food rations.
Gardening is probably one of the homesteading skills that many people still have, but most gardening now is done with non-food producing plants. Maintaining a garden to provide vegetables, fruit, nuts, and herbs is a critical homesteading skill. Food is necessary to life, so knowing how to grow food is one of the first skills any new homesteader should learn.
2. Preserving the harvest
Alongside growing food, preserving the food grown is probably the next most important of the homesteading skills to acquire. Preserving food is using one of the most common methods of canning, dehydrating, smoking or freezing it. Knowing how to store the food for the long-term will keep the food on the table in the long-term. This will allow the food we grow to be used out of season when food cannot be grown as easy.
Emphasis should be placed on preserving food. Canning, fermenting and dehydrating are probably the top three ways to store fruits and vegetables. Freezing is good, but can result in freezer burn over time, and is dependent upon having continuous electricity. Depending upon electricity for food storage without having your own solar electricity generation makes the homesteader just as dependent as anyone else on the grid.
Cooking food from scratch is a homesteading skill that many new homesteaders will also want to learn. Simple things like making fresh bread from wheat is quite a process, but if you know how to do it, you would have bread cheaper and more delicious than what can be bought in stores.
4. Raising & Butchering Livestock
Raising and butchering livestock like chickens, rabbits and ducks is something few people can do these days. Having the knowledge to do this will keep protein on your table in good times and in bad. There is nothing more satisfying than being able to say that your entire dinner was produced on your own land.
5. Other Skills
There are other homesteading skills that are good to learn too. Sewing, soap making, candle making, building, herbal remedies, harnessing solar and wind power, hunting, fishing, mechanical repairs, the list is long, but and all of these skills will only make the life of a homesteader easier in the long run.
Homesteading is a very rewarding lifestyle that is about getting back to the basics of providing a life for yourself and family. Whether you are on a large rural homestead or on a small urban lot, you can have the dream of having your own homestead and knowing some of these homesteading skills will make your journey a little more pleasurable.
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