Here are 3 good ways to learn or enhance your homesteading skills in the modern world…
Once upon a time, most people grew up knowing the skills you would need to grow, preserve, and cook your own food, raise animals for meat and other purposes, make clothing for your family, and otherwise maintain a homestead. Just a few examples are canning, pickling, and fermenting fruits and vegetables, milking goats, butchering chickens (or other animals), weaving fabric or sewing, building things (chicken houses, sheds, compost bins, etc.), caring for fruit trees and vegetable gardens, keeping bees, making cheese, and making cider.
Today, these homesteading skills are much harder to come by – unless you happened to grow up on a farm like I did (and even I still have a lot to learn). That doesn’t mean you can’t start learning now, though! If you’re a modern homesteader, there are more resources available to you than for any generation before, when it comes to learning valuable homesteading skills. The internet alone is a vast wealth of knowledge where you can learn to do just about anything you can imagine.
Below are just 3 ways that you can learn new homesteading skills, or further your knowledge in the areas you may already be familiar with, suggested by Marjorie at The Grow Network:
1.) Get Online
The first place to start is the Internet. Search for any skill in which you have an interest, and there is likely a video online of someone doing that. Even if this is not “hands-on” learning, it will still give you an idea about what you may be getting yourself into.
Some videos are better than others, so you may have to watch a few to find one that features a good teacher.
This will usually take you to that person’s website and other written resources that may be available on that skill.
While online tutorials can be a great way to learn the basics about a particular skill, there’s no doubt that the very best way to learn a new skill is “hands on.” Here are 2 ways to do that:
2.) Connect With Locals
When I started researching resources for our property, I found people in the area who were already doing some of the things I wanted to do: raising goats, raising ducks, and growing vegetables and fruit trees.
You can always ask someone questions about how to do what they are doing, so that’s exactly what my husband and I did. One woman gave us free goat-milking experience. A local fruit tree grower gave us useful hints on how to successfully raise fruit trees and bushes in our area.
3.) Take a Class
A more intensive way to connect with people who already have the skills you want to learn is to take a class in a specific skill.
Recently, my husband and I attended a weekend at the John C. Campbell Folk School in North Carolina. He took a class in beginner wood turning and I took a beginner class in weaving on a loom.
We both had a great time and enjoyed working with the instructors in our respective classes.
These last two methods are not only a great way to brush up on your homesteading skills, they can also help you find wonderful resources in your community, and build lasting friendships with those of like interests – both of which are key to a successful and fulfilling homesteading experience!