In todays modern world you might think that learning homesteading skills seems old fashioned antiquated and unnecessary, but I'm here to tell you that is not the case. These versatile homesteading tips and skills are valuable for anyone no matter where you live or what you do. Are you interested in living a more sustainable, slow and meaningful life? Modern homesteading might be just what you are looking for.
What is Modern Homesteading
Modern homesteading might not be exactly what you picture. The fact is very few people live on enough land to support acres of crops and livestock. Believe it or not you can be a modern homesteader on an acre of land or less. The principals of homesteading haven't changed and we can make them fit into whatever situation we are living.
Modern homesteading is in essence, creating a lifestyle that goes back to basics and relies less on consumption and more on production. For some this might be starting a backyard garden, getting a few chickens and learning to be more self-sufficient, for others it may be buying that large piece of land you have always dreamed of a filling it with livestock and food crops.
Learn to love the land
No matter how much land you have a major component of becoming a modern homesteader is learning to love and appreciate your land. Learning to work with the land not just on it is one of the primary components of modern homesteading. These ten modern homesteading skills will help you become more dependent and appreciative of the land around you. It will also give you a greater connection to your food supply and help you to be prepared no matter what circumstances you may face.
1. Learn to Garden
Learning how to grow your own fresh produce is a great step in the direction of becoming more connected to your food. Not to mention growing your own veggies can be an economical way to have fresh or preserved produce available to your family at all times! Every modern homesteader should try to create a backyard garden, no matter the space you have the reward will be worth it!
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2. Learn how to hunt, fish or raise livestock. Or make friends with a rancher.
Okay this one was totally out of my wheelhouse until about ten years ago, but let me tell you the joy of procuring your own meat is truly unmatched. I love filling my freezer with 100% grass fed venison, elk and even sometimes a local cow. If you
3. Start cooking from scratch
Knowing how to take a few basic ingredients and turn them into something tasty and healthy is a skill that everyone should have. Learning to cook with just ingredients can be fun and easy not to mention rewarding. By cooking from scratch you will save yourself money on groceries and eating out as well as insure your family is eating healthy Whole Foods. Cooking from scratch doesn't have to be complicated, you can make it as simple or as elaborate as you wish.
Cooking from scratch will also allow you to meal plan based on ingredients you are growing, have preserved, or already have on hand. This will eliminate costly last minute trips to the grocery store or fast food runs.
4. Learn how to stock your pantry
A well stocked pantry is like a savings account. It's a security measure in times of emergency and you can count on it to bail you out when you are stuck in a pinch. You are more likely to make good food choices when you have healthy food stocked in your pantry. You are also more likely to skip the take out, and save money eating at home when you keep a well stocked pantry.
Stocking you pantry well doesn't mean stuffing it with convenience and junk foods. Having a well stocked pantry means that you have certain whole food staples on hand at all times, making it easy to menu plan and cook from scratch on a regular basis.
5. Learn how to keep chickens
Learning how to keep chickens is a simple segway into having farm animals without the commitment to livestock. Raising chickens also can benefit your home or homestead in so many ways. Chickens not only produce eggs, they also produce manure, which in turn can be used as fertilizer in your garden. Chickens are also great at eating invasive insects (but watch out they'll eat the good ones too). If your looking for a lower waste lifestyle chickens eat most kitchen scraps and their manure can improve your compost as well!
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6. Learn how to maintain your home and property
Regardless of size, your home and land need maintenance and learning to do it on your own can help you save money and become more self reliant.
Hefty repair expenses can spring up when you are trying to live a more self sustainable lifestyle. Learning to maintain your home without outside help can prevent you from having large repair bills. I highly recommend brushing up on basic plumbing (this can even come in handy for garden irrigation), septic and well maintenance, as well as basic home maintenance and carpentry skills.
7. Learn how to preserve food
If you have ever gardened before you know that when it's harvest time there is usually more than enough to go around. Learning ow to preserve and store the excess will allow you to enjoy produce you grew year round!
Learning to preserve food, not just veggies, but meat and dairy makes meal planning and prep easier and can save you a ton of money on your grocery bills!
8. Think about being more prepared
I'm not a pepper. However I do often wonder, if the power went out for the next week would my family be okay? This event has actually happened to us before, not for an entire week but for several days. We live in the country and rely on a well for water. Without a generator to power our well we would be completely without a water source, with kids and animals that's just not an option.
I don't think going overboard is necessary. I do think it's important to consider the ramifications of unexpected circumstances. no mater where you live or what your situation is I think it's important to think about the potential for power loss, job loss, even the inability to get groceries at the store. In any one of these situations are you prepared? What can you do to be more prepared? Who and what are you responsible for in an emergency or unexpected situation? Can you care for those that you are responsible for and yourself? Are all questions you should ask yourself.
9. Find reliable water sources
To add on to the point above. Check where your water comes from. If it's municipal water supply, could a power outage effect it? If it's a well, consider getting a backup generator. We depend on water to survive so do our pets and any farm animals or livestock we may have on our homesteads. Be sure you are being the best steward of those you are responsible for. Make sure that you will always be able to provide fresh water for those around you.
10. Never stop Learning
For me the very essence of homesteading is to be a lifelong learner. I don't think that this lifestyle allows for an end to learning. Keeping an open mind and continually learning researching and finding better ways of doing things is the lifestyle.
11. Build a community
One of the most important parts of modern homesteading is finding your community. You can not do it all alone and you weren't meant too. Finding others who have done what you are doing and have similar goals and live expectations will help you on your journey.