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Homesteading Skills for Self Sufficiency.

If you are a seasoned homesteader or you want to begin your homesteading journey, below is a list of skills for self sufficiency that will keep you busy and never get bored again.

You do not have to master the entire list, but it is essential to learn more skills to add your homesteading authenticity.

Knowing where to get accurate information without going through a wide range of irrelevant posts, is also another act of self sufficiency that goes along with learning more physical homesteading skills.

If you want to move to the countryside to begin your homesteading lifestyle, now is the best time to learn new skills that will help you in a lifetime. Master the skills, practice, and grow where you are before heading out of the city.

Take your time, invest money, and energy to learn the skills that interest you on your own schedule. Go through the homesteading list of self sufficiency and determine your weaknesses and strengths, then plan your next move.

Beekeeping

Bees are the best pollinators. Offering them shelter and care comes with various benefits not only in your garden but also on your breakfast menu. Native bees are the most beneficial. They make the sweetest viscous foodstuff that is rich in various nutrients, help in pollination, beeswax, bee venom, and royal jelly. Make suitable hives for them and learn the techniques that will help you reap enough honey among other benefits for your self sufficiency.  

Pottery

Learning this unique skill can help you craft various things from a lump of clay. It is a skill that can help express yourself. It might seem difficult at first, but as you progress and learn more, it becomes more fun. You can try stretching your imagination as you become more creative with your work and try out new techniques. You can harvest your own clay around your homestead for your craft projects. With a little effort, you can craft something as advanced as a backyard bread oven.   

Leather working

This homesteading skill is vital for frugal homesteaders. Leather working involves making leather into works of art or craft using shaping and coloring techniques. Learning leather working skill will not only help you better provide for your family but also you can trade or sell your leather goods to others. After hunting that rain dear, or slaughtering your goat, ensure to preserve leather properly to avoid damage. Dry the leather properly and pick out a project. Ensure to make something that interests you.

Shoe making

With quality leather and shoe making skills, you are well equipped to make footwear. With the right tools such as a utility knife, glueing brush, and a hole punch, you can make quality shoes for your family at a very low cost.

Winemaking

Learning various methods of producing wine is one of the vital homesteading skills for self sufficiency. It is also an effective way of preserving fruits such as grapes if you have high yields. The process is simple since it includes selecting ripe fruits, crushing them, and allowing the final product to ferment for a few days. When you bottle the finished liquid, you can shelf it for an extended period.

Cheese making

If you can make butter, you are ready to learn the skills of self sufficiency, including cheese making. Whether you like it soft or hard, flaky or creamy, it is perfect for salads, pizzas, and sandwiches. The cost of cheese making at home is around a quarter the price of buying the product. When making your own cheese, you only pay for the ingredients. Properly homemade cheese is much better than store-bought cheese. This is because homemade cheese does not have much preservatives or hazardous, artificial ingredients.   

Smoking

Equip yourself with smoking skills for self sufficiency to not only extend the shelf life of meat but also add a distinct flavor that no one can duplicate with other cooking techniques like baking and grilling. Smoking meat and fish also help reduce the fat in food since the fat drips during the process where you end up with a healthier final product. In addition, smoked meat is rich in iron content, while fish has high nutrients such as omega-3 fatty acids.    

Storing

Storing of materials is essential to protect your goods or food from losses brought by damage and quality deterioration. You can store food such as fruits and vegetables from going bad using techniques such as canning, drying, salting, curing, and freezing. You can use any of this process depending on the type of produce you want to store, the storage facilities available, and the quality desired. With different storing skills, you can minimize wastage to minimal.   

Preserving

You can hardly hold fruits or vegetables indoors during winter months. Therefore, learn how to preserve your yields to enjoy on snowy days. Whether it is a water bath or pressurized canning depending on the ingredients’ acidity, it keeps food fresh and secure. However, it is essential to learn the right techniques, since bacteria are not friends of canners. Bacteria is vital for fermentation, but there are plenty of cool recipes for delicious flavors and shelf stability. Either on a burner, dehydrator, or in the open air, you can dry up nearly everything.

Vegetable growing

Growing nutritious food just outside your house is among the most reliable self sufficiency acts. When you cannot commute to the grocery store to get food, you have peace of mind since your small garden can provide for your family. You can also produce more than enough to pass to some to your friends and neighbors.

Vegetable growing is difficult, and it comes with various challenges. You agree that fresh sun-ripened tomatoes from your garden beat the store-bought ones. The same goes for beans, lettuce, peas, and carrots.  

Crop rotation

Various homesteading skills are very helpful in the long run. Crop rotation is one of the vital skills for self sufficiency that help prevent disease in organic gardening. Farming the same plant for an extended period in the same place encourages disease to build up. It is essential to skip between 2 and 3 years of growing the same crops to maturity. Non-cereal and cereal crops have different diseases that may switch back and forth as much as possible.

Animal husbandry

While homesteading, it is essential to raise animals such as dairy cows, chicken, goats, and sheep’s for milk, eggs, as well as meat supply. For better production throughout your homesteading journey, it is essential to learn and practice animal husbandry. It involves the day-to-day care of these animals, selective breeding and raising. This can help raise your homesteading standards through higher production of animal products leading to an increase in income. That means you can produce more than enough milk, eggs, or meat and start selling the products to your neighbors.    

Raising fish

Fish farming is among the best skills for self sufficiency. It involves raising fish in tanks or enclosures such as fish ponds for food. The skill is easy, convenient and does not affect the environment unlike large scale wild harvesting or aquaculture. Apart from feeding your family with healthy home grown fish, the high production can help you sell your fish for a profit. You only need a small space for a common size circular culture tank of between 12 to 30 feet in diameter can fit.  

Hunting

For practicing omnivores, gardening is fine. However, you can collect a lot of protein within the local animal community. Learn several hunting techniques using the available weapons. Ensure to learn the laws of your homesteading region and make sure you are safe when searching for prey in the woods. Unless you intend on taking your kill to a processor, learn to gut, clean, and butcher the carcass.  

Fishing

Fishing is one of the homesteading skills that can come in handy, especially for those with homesteads near a river or a dam. Learn the various techniques of fishing, including hand gathering, netting, trapping, spearing, and angling. You can buy fishing guide books, or join a group of experienced fishermen and learn the basics. This activity can help you unwind and put food on the table for your family.

Butchery

When you raise chicken, turkey and other birds, you will want to eat more than their eggs. At first it may seem difficult to handle both harvesting your meat and the process that it involves. However, you will get the experience with time. Learn how to butcher the birds, or small animals such as goats for self sufficiency. You can also ask an experienced person to help you the first time you butcher and impart support and knowledge.

Curing

Learning various homesteading skills is vital not only for self sufficiency but also comes in handy in taking care of yourself. Curing is not only about extending the shelf life of food, but also creating the best flavors possible. You only need basic ingredients, equipment, and some degree of organization for successfully curing a wide range of year round or seasonal produce. Invest in curing guide books and learn various curing skills for self sufficiency.    

Carpentry

Some of these homesteading skills for self sufficiency may seem difficult to learn, but once you learn they become even more exciting. Structures such as decks, shelves, chicken coops, barns, fencing, play structures, and shelves are some things you may need on your homestead. Learning carpentry skills can also come in handy in making repairs. Some home stores, and even carpenters offer carpentry classes for beginners. In addition, you will also need to invest in various quality tools and learn how to use them.

Masonry

The best way to learn basic skills for self sufficiency such as masonry is to do it. It requires basic knowledge and practice to succeed. Stone, concrete, brick, and mortar are the materials for masons trade. You may need to build walkways and foundations that act like a beam to support wooden structures around your property. This skill may also come in handy during long-term repair. You can learn the basics of this skill online and practice with someone with a few years of experience in the same field.   

Bread making

Majority of homesteaders claim that you have to learn the art of making sourdough bread, an important aspect of home-made skills. However, it is true you will definitely need it, eventually. However, sourdough can be unpleasant for new bakers. Therefore, feel free to buy dehydrated yeast so that you start on your journey.

Forestry management and coppicing

Learning woodland management skills for self sufficiency comes with a wide range of benefits. The repeatedly felling of trees at the base and allowing them to regrow not only provides a sustainable timber supply but also enjoys the benefit of minimal soil damage during harvest. It also helps increase the diversity of tree by allowing certain species to reach maturity. Coppice trees can also help in maintaining the long-term fertility of lands. It is also a continuous stand of nitrogen fixing.

Making charcoal

Charcoal making is one of the basic homesteading skills for self sufficiency. It involves burning wood and other organic matter in an environment with low oxygen supply. That helps in extracting water and other volatile elements such as hydrogen, tar, and methane to allow the final product, which is charcoal, to burn at high temperatures while producing very little smoke. This process can take a few days.  

Cooking

Self sufficiency involves various activities, including preparing your own meals. You will need to cook nutritious meals after you harvest your garden yield. Yes, carrots or raw cod can be nibbled, but cooking enhances the bio disposition of certain nutrients to optimize the use of fruit and vegetables for energy. Aside from science, home-cooked food is a fun and tasty. Customizing your food to how you like it is also fun. 

Soap making

While homesteading, you may need a hot shower after cleaning for your pigs, goats, or cows. Therefore, soap is essential for this case and other cleaning activities. Learning to make your own may can help in self sufficiency. There are various levels of commitment to this activity, including melting and shaping the soap to making soap from lees and fat. You can make the lees from ashes from the fireplace depending on how you want to make the product.

Foraging

If you are homesteading in the woods that provide food, but you dislike killing animals, the forest ground can provide your dining table with lots of food. However, remember that careful identification of the edibles on your dining table is vital to avoid ending up with poisonous plants and fungus. Invest time to learn the plants and ensure you carry a guidebook. If you are not sure about a particular plant, it is better to leave it alone.

Thatching

Before you begin your home steading journey, learn the art of thatching using dry vegetation such as rushes, palm branches, rushes, water reed, straw, sedge or heather. This is one of the most vital skills for self sufficiency that does not require much apart from time. Layering the vegetation on the roof can protect you and your family or your cattle from rain. You can use the old roofing technique in both temperate and tropical climates.

Whittling

When homesteading, it is essential to learn whittling skills for self sufficiency. The skill involves carving shapes from raw wood or bone using a knife. All you need is a light, small-bladed pocket knife. The skill can help you have fun when free and come up with a unique product such as a spoon, or wooden toy. The primitive skill-building is a unique exercise in self-sustainability.

Metalwork

Learning the art of making things out of metal is vital homesteading skill that can come in handy during your stay. The art of metalworking has allowed secondary processes to develop and can help you develop wealth through coming up with useful tools. Professionals categorize metalworking processes into three categories, including:

  • Forming
  • Cutting
  • Joining

It is vital to note that casting is among the most widespread techniques of metalworking that involve pouring metal into mold, cooling, and solidifying it to any shape.   

Oil pressing

While homesteading, you will want to cook your favorite meals every day using fresh oil. However, you need to learn the skill of pressing quality oil. Fresh oil is richer, flavorsome, and fuller tasting. As a result, you may use less oil compared to cooking with oil from grocery stores. You can use an oil press to squeeze fresh oil under high pressure from raw materials like seeds, algae, nuts, and vegetables.

Tree tapping

Learning homesteading skills for self sufficiency is essential. However, you also need to take care of yourself. It is essential to learn tree trapping skills for self sufficiency. It is the transfer of sap from the tree and root below the ground. It takes between 4 and 6 weeks for the sap to flow. The sap is a natural anti-inflammatory, astringent, and antiseptic that not only treats but also bandages wounds. You can chew the softer sap like gum if you are having a sore throat or a cold.

Mushroom growing

Learning the skill of growing mushroom for self sufficiency adds flavor and nutrition to your dinning table. Producing your own mushroom is way cheaper compared to buying from grocery stores. If you take care of your mushrooms properly, they can continue to grow and sustain themselves for an extended period without planting more or preparing a new bed. You can produce more than enough mushroom from a very small space.

Textiles & Knitting

If you are skilled in textiles and knitting, you will soon have a wide range of thread to choose from. However, there are several local farmer’s markets, online shopping, and local yarn stores to fulfill your textiles and knitting needs for making things using your hands.

Textiles and knitting are vital skills for self sufficiency. You can use the skills to make clothes for winter months. You can begin with a hat, or a scarf, the move on to socks and sweater.

Basket making

With the irregular bounty to take home from your garden, you will want to do it in a basket when your apron cannot hold all the items. Learning to make a basket takes time, especially if you are outsourcing the weaving material. However, if you are homesteading in an area with numerous weaving materials and you love baskets, learning to make one may be a future way to earn extra money for yourself sufficiency.    

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