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I was blessed to be born into a family with generations of farming or homesteading experience. Just because someone like me is a “lifer” doesn’t necessarily mean we know all there is to know on the subject. As my Papa always said, “There’s as many ways of gettin’ a farm job done as there’s farmers. Ya gotta be willing to listen, help, and learn from ’em, even if it’s just to see what not to do.”
This lifestyle means we are ever learning and that’s part of the excitement and joy we find in it. Learning new skills or how to utilize old skills in a more modern, efficient way is one of my favorite things about the homesteading life.
If you’re just beginning your homesteading journey, you can quickly become overwhelmed with all there is to know and learn. I want to put your mind and heart at ease by telling you it’s ok. Take small steps. Choose the skills you want to learn, set the goals you want for your homestead, and just start. Dread of a thing is half the battle.
We all must start somewhere. Some of us start as a child learning from our family. Some of us start in our teens, others as young adults, and some as more mature individuals. You don’t have to be anyone but yourself.
I am a serious list maker. I always suggest to new homesteaders and experienced homesteaders looking to be more productive to make a list of homesteading skills they want to learn and just get started.
Keeping a list will help you know when you’ve reached a goal and to determine where you want to focus your energy next.
To help you get started, I’ve come up with a list of 8 essential skills for the modern homesteader. You may already have mastered these, if so, share with us what you’re working on now. If you’re a new homesteader, just pick one or two and begin.
A garden journal will help with accurate crop rotation. It will give you information on what grew well and what didn’t, what you liked and what you didn’t. Keeping track of your soil maintenance and insect problems will save you heartache in the end.
Get these free printables for your harvest and crop planning record keeping here in How to Plan Your Best Garden & Harvest for a Years Worth of Food
If you want to make a profit from your homestead, an accurate record of productivity, expense, and income will guide you. There are all kinds of records which will can be helpful to you. You have to decide what you want from your homestead and choose your record keeping from there.
Don’t be afraid of using a pressure canner to preserve your harvest. There are a few basic safety rules to know and if you follow them, you’ll be thrilled with your results. I dehydrate more than I can these days. This is my personal favorite method of food preservation, but you will find your own preference.
Some people choose to raise chickens for the eggs only. Some homesteaders have a wide variety of fowl from quail to geese. You will have to decide for yourself what want for your homestead. You will also have to choose the right breeds for your goals and climate. Besides eggs and meat, you’ll have a source of entertainment and endless pleasure.
For more on raising chickens check out these articles
I’m not suggesting this list is comprehensive. It’s only meant to be a list of basic skills for the modern homesteader. We could go on for hours on each of these skills and add endlessly to the list.
What skills would you add to the 8 essential skills for the modern homesteader list? Share your experience and knowledge with us.
Safe and Happy Journey,