Hang tight while I consult Wikipedia.
Broadly defined, homesteading is a lifestyle of self-sufficiency. It is characterized by subsistence agriculture, home preservation of foodstuffs, and it may or may not also involve the small scale production of textiles, clothing, and craftwork for household use or sale.
OK, that I can handle. Ghon always calls it "living off the grid." I'm not ready to go all hardcore. I am still a city girl and always will be. However, I can see the good in being able to grow some veggies and fruits, have chickens (and eat them too!), and the like. Ghon is really hoping to turn Hummingbird Farm into a profitable business a few years down the road. I'm happy to take care of my family.
A couple days ago, Becky shared a post from the blog The Prairie Homestead, 101 Skills for the Modern Homesteader.
So credit given to Jill over at The Prairie Homestead. Here are her 101 Skills for the Modern Homesteader. Links within each skill will open to "how to" blogs on her site. Anything the either Ghon or I know how to do, I am going to
1. Learn how to milk a goat, cow, or sheep.
3. Learn how to make the perfect pie crust. As much as I love baking, I don't do pie. Between this and Ghon's dream, I guess I have to learn.
5. Learn how to grow a vegetable garden in your climate. We have varied success, so I'm not scratching this off yet.
6. Learn how to prune a tree. We will be learning this in the fall. Our fruit trees should need a pruning.
7. Learn how to read the weather. Weather.com right? Hmm, I wonder what this means.
8. Learn how to tell time without a clock by using the sun. Morning, noon, dusk. What more do I need to know?
9. Learn how to give an animal an injection. I've given Ghon injections. Does that count?
10. Learn how to foal, kid, lamb, and/or calve.
11. Learn how to pull a calf or baby goat during a difficult birth.
12. Learn how to grow a windowsill herb garden. I grow herbs in deck boxes. I should be able to manage this.
16. Learn how to drive a tractor.
23. Learn how to butcher an animal and the proper cuts of meat.
29. Learn how to tell if you can doctor an animal at home, or if it needs to be taken to the vet.
31. Learn how to make your own laundry detergent. I've wanted to try this.
34. Learn how to make hard and soft cheeses.
35. Learn how to make yogurt.
36. Learn how to make sourdough bread. I've made my own bread, but never sourdough.
37. Learn how to keep bees and harvest honey.
38. Learn how to make basic yeast dough which can be turned into loaves, rolls, buns, pretzels, etc. Pizza dough uses yeast. Does that count?
41. Learn how to cut and bale hay.
42. Learn how to stack hay.
43. Learn the art of intensive grazing so you can better manage your pastures.
44. Learn how to make your own soap.
45. Learn how to make your own candles.
48. Learn how to sew clothing from scratch.
50. Learn the art of no-till gardening.
54. Learn how to trim the feet of your goats and sheep.
57. Learn how to tan a hide.
60. Learn how to lacto-ferment foods to preserve them.
61. Learn how to use a pressure canner and/or cooker.
62. Learn how to make saukerkraut.
63. Learn how to forage for wild edibles in your area.
64. Learn how to identify the difference between edible and poisonous mushrooms.
66. Learn how to grind your own wheat.
67. Learn how to repurpose everyday items to save them from the landfill. I try to do this, but not enough that I'm ready to scratch it off the list.
70. Learn how to prepare for a wildfire.
71. Learn the basics of animal breeding.
73. Learn how to halter-break an animal.
75. Learn how to make butter.
76. Learn how to use essential oils properly and safely.
77. Learn how to build/use a greenhouse or cold frame to extend your growing season.
79. Learn how to store food in a root cellar or in a cool basement. I am totally going to use our root cellar. Just need to learn the right way how.
80. Learn how to make vinegar.
81. Learn how to make your own skincare items. This website had a 'recipe' for deodorant that I totally want to try.
82. Learn how to make your own cleaning supplies. More than just vinegar?
83. Learn how to make herbal extracts, infusions, poultices, and tinctures.
84. Learn how to render lard or tallow.
85. Learn how to chop ice.
86. Learn how to make and apply whitewash.
87. Learn how to tap trees for maple syrup.
88. Learn how to repair a roof.
89. Learn how to humanely euthanize an animal.
90. Learn to identify the weeds in your yard/pastures and figure out which ones are edible.
92. Learn how to purify water.
93. Learn how to make bone broth.
95. Learn how to put together a 72-hour kit for emergencies.
97. Learn how to put food scraps like eggshells, coffee grounds, apple peels, and whey to good use.
98. Learn how to make bacon and cure hams.
99. Learn how to protect your livestock from predators.
100. Learn how to make your own chicken feed.
101. Learn how to live within your means and get out of debt. Almost, but not quite.
Wow. We are almost half way there! We apparently know, or almost know all of 41 things on the list. However, if you take out those that I either learned with Ghon or am totally dependent on him for, my total is somewhere near 14. See? City girl, not a country girl. I need my redneck to make it when it comes to farm life.
I am going to try to learn more of these skills. And I'm pretty sure Ghon does as well. Keep an eye out for updates on our homesteading skills! Anyone care to join me?