Wondering where to start when it comes to brushing up on your homesteading skills? Here are 3 areas to focus on, and some helpful resources for improving your skills.
Homesteading is very much a personal journey, and what works for you might not be the best approach for someone else, but anyone can learn how to improve their homesteading skills and live more sustainably in your own way.
There are literally thousands of ways to practice more sustainable living, but when it comes to homesteading skills, they typically fall into 3 main areas, as covered below.
There are also some helpful resources listed to provide further info on aspects of these three areas of sustainable homesteading:
In the Garden
Permaculture is a philosophy and practice of gardening that has great value for the self sufficient, sustainability seeking homesteader. You may not have heard the term permaculture before but perhaps you have heard of Back to Eden, Lasagna Gardening or even Square Foot Gardening? In brief, permaculture gardening methods seek to mimic the systems of nature to produce food in copious amounts, even in small spaces. To learn more, please consider the book Gaia’s Garden, by Toby Hemenway – a fantastic book for newbie permaculturists!
In the Kitchen
Food production is a big part of a homesteaders life and to see that nothing goes to waste, we learn, not only to grow as much of our own food as possible, but we also learn how to preserve it in any way we can. Canning, dehydrating, freezing, smoking and fermenting are all various methods a sustainable homesteader employs when it comes to making provision in our pantry for our family throughout the year.
For more information on homesteading, permaculture, fermenting and more, please visit Grow, Forage, Cook, Ferment and Homespun Seasonal Living.
For a great book, try Nourishing Traditions, by Sally Fallon.
In the Home
The modern homesteader is very concerned with living as frugally as possible so as to ensure that we are not consuming more than we produce and to keep our family living within our means. This practice is part philosophy, part skill. To learn the homemaking skills that our grandmothers knew requires some work on our part because these things simply aren’t a part of our culture anymore. Industry, upcycling, sewing, economy and more are all abilities that you and I can acquire – we just need to put in the effort. To learn those granny skills, please visit Joybilee Farm and Melissa K Norris.
Our homes are the place where we practice resource management and that can include learning NOT to consume something. Or, to consume less of it. Capital savings and energy savings, even energy production through technology like solar power, certainly has a place in the modern sustainable homestead. Wrapping our heads around the idea of conserving, recycling, repurposing and making do with what we already have takes practice. That’s all. We just commit to begin to day to do more, use less. To help inspire you in that goal, please visit Attainable Sustainable. For practical, down to earth advice on every day, homestead family life, please visit Schneider Peeps and Farmish Kind of Life.