Showing posts with label Homesteaders. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Homesteaders. Show all posts

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Back to the Basics... Homesteading 101

So, I recently read this article posted on and kind of found some inspiration in what Tracy and her family live by, standards wise.

We are stuck in a society where it is all about material possessions, who has what...keeping up with the Jones...and less about truly living a great, meaningful life.

Now, I am not ready to stop shopping...but I get it, I read it and I wanted to share because some things hit close to home about the ideals that I want to set up for my own family.

Here is what Tracy had to say (I have to share!) :

Back To Basics.

Let me tell you a story…
Once upon a time there was a couple who was overwhelmed by consumerism and drowning in debt, doomed to a live a life of unsatisfying purchases and surrounded by like-minded people. As Americans, they gladly followed the crowd to fit in, but behind closed doors they dreamed of a life where how much they made and what brand of clothes they wore didn’t matter.  With one swoop of a for-sale sign, and a business up for auction they traded in a life of possession obsession for a life of personal fulfillment.
back to basic living

Determined to live a life where what we had was more than enough to survive, they sold everything and moved to the country to live on a farm.  Fast forward six years and the “Back to Basics Movement” is in full swing. Who would have ever thought twenty years ago when consumerism was at its highest those same consumer-driven people would now be looking to simplify their lives by living off the land?
By now you probably have realized that this is our pitiful as it sounds it was us drowning in debt and living in a house that was far too big for two people and working long stressful hours just to keep the bills paid.  It wasn’t an easy task to sell everything we had and move to the country, but it was what was needed to keep our sanity.  We can now do more with what we have, and that is the heart of our back to the basics living philosophy.
We had to look at what we had...
How has this back to the basics living changed us?
  • Instead of shopping, we work in the garden.
  • Instead of looking for things to do on the weekend, we have endless DIY projects that keep us busy.
  • Instead of dinner and a movie, we have drinks under the stars.
  • Instead of buying new, we reuse and recycle what we already have.
  • Instead of looking for money to bring us happiness, we are happy by not spending what we have.
  • Instead of dreaming of all the places we can go when we retire, we dream of what the fruit trees will produce in ten years.
  • Before we were empty, now we are fulfilled!
Let me end this by leaving you with one thought that hit us hard many years ago…
If you are working a 60 hour work week

DISCLAIMER:  This article is not affiliated with Life at Gray Gables.  Credit goes to

Friday, September 11, 2015

Top 5 Reasons to Choose Nigerian Goats for Your Homestead

So, the "A" Family here, we are pretty new to the whole idea of Homesteading.  

We started with our first "official" garden this year.  Added in some chickens for fresh eggs. Threw in a bunny for giggles

Now the talk of the town is adding to our "farm".  There have been whispers of sheep (OK, this is totally from ME) and a pony (totally the 4 year old) and GOATS (from the Hub).  

I have been on the fence about goats. I mean, we visit petting zoo's with goats and it seems that all they want to do is munch on your clothes... 

What happens next...I open the great wide world of the web and check out GOATS
(Warning: this could result in our Fam having a GOAT soon...)

We live on five acres of land.  Our house takes us probably an acre. Our carriage house, pole barn and pond take up probably an additional acre and a half (or so). The back half of the land is a jungle. (I seriously want wood cutouts of elephants, giraffes and a lion!) 

Our climate is mostly cold, rainy and we probably could not support a cow (but I did see this dwarf cow that was pretty awesome, js) - so I guess I see why goats might come to mind for Hubby. 

I mean, goats are light on their feet, great browsers, and require much less space than said cow...or pony!  They also produce milk, although I'm not to sure about this point. 

So, after this research, it seems like a Nigerian Dwarf goat might be a good option, if we were in the market and all

Here are 5 of the TOP REASONS why YOU should choose Nigerian Goats for your homestead:  

  1. They are a smaller goat, which might be a good introduction to this newbie, considering they are not much bigger than our chickens. A Nigerian buck weighs about eighty pounds.  Fencing doesn't have to be quite as high or strong to keep this breed of goat contained either, but we would want a good fencing to keep predators out.
  2. The Nigerian Dwarf Goats also pay for themselves quickly by regularly kidding twins, triplets, and quads more often than any other goat breed.  They rarely have difficulty kidding and they make excellent Moms. Also, if you have a purebred, registered Nigerian Dwarf, the babies sell for about $400 each.
  3. Unlike other goats, Nigerian Dwarfs also can be bred throughout the year, allowing for a continuous milk supply. If you choose, you could have each goat kid once a year, in the spring and the fall to avoid winter kiddings.
  4. Nigerian Dwarf goats are trendy right now. Trendy means that we would not have any trouble selling the babies, at a decent price! (Plus)
  5. Nigerian Dwarf goats produce a lot of milk for their size. A good Nigerian dairy goat, after maxing out at about 2 qts. a day several weeks post-kidding, will produce on average 1 qt of milk a day. Their milk is the sweetest (no goaty flavor) and the richest, averaging about 8% milk fat. This also helps to make yummy yogurt, cheese and ice cream!

And, not to mention, they have an excellent disposition also.  The babies are about 2-3 lbs at birth and very cute. 

Nigerian Dwarf collage

Thursday, September 10, 2015

133 Skills for the MODERN HOMESTEADERS to Master

As many of you know, we have taken on chickens. They are pretty easy, considering Hubby went hog wild in building their custom chicken coop. 

Then, we added a bunny to our little "farm".  

We also started a small garden, which was kind of a disaster, considering it was our first year really trying to be gardeners. If nothing else, we have learned what works...and sadly, what doesn't!

So, this has me curious... What are some skills that are needed for Modern Homesteading? 

The key to a successful homestead is not just growing your own food, after all.  So, I did some (google) research and found 133 tips/skills that will help us all successfully build our "farms" into urban homesteading.

I think that it is important to keep in mind that learning these skills will take time, patience, perseverance, and not all of these skills will be required in all situations. If nothing else, hopefully we can all pick up some great ideas to help inspire the fruits of our own land!

Let the journey begin:

1. Canning ALL your garden produce.
Preserving fruits and vegetables from your homestead naturally, so you can eat holistically all year long. (winter is coming)

2. Compost your odds and ends.
Don't throw out all your recyclable odds and ends. Instead, put them in a compost and make your garden thrive with compost tea. It is as easy as getting a compost bin for your kitchen and using it!

3. Bake Bread. 
It is super easy to make/bake bread and will allow you to stop relying on bleached flours or expensive healthy loaves from the store. You will taste the difference with your homemade bread right away. It just makes sense!

homeremedies4. Make homemade remedies for naturally treating ailments.
Take the time to heal yourself (and family) naturally. There are tons of do it yourself treatments all over the internet. 

5. Make homemade laundry detergent.
If you start making your own chemical-free detergent, you will find it is super easy, cuts down on suds and you can choose to make either a liquid form or a powder form. (cute storage options also!)

6. Make your own Playdough.
My kids are obsessed with Playdough. Why not make your own, and let them help! The best part is that if they eat it, it is made from organic ingredients, so it is not a risk to their health and they can even color it!

7. Make cheese from scratch. 
If you use milk products, you can make your choice of fresh, yummy cheese. It really is not as hard as it sounds.

8. Learn how to make an outdoor Compost Bin.
Correctly storing your compost will save your backyard from smelling like the dump. Plus, it is a fun weekend project for the whole family.

9. Grow plants in your climate. 
Every climate has a different time period for planting. Find the best one for your homestead. There are plants that are winter hardy also. Just do your research! Or think about an indoor greenhouse. 

10. Know how to save seeds for future harvests.
Create a never-ending supply of seeds for your garden by learning how to correctly save and store seeds. 

11. Know CPR and First Aid.
I know it sounds silly, but when there is an accident, this is important. You should always be prepared!

12. Learn how to drive a Utility Vehicle.
This can greatly decrease the amount of time you spend walking back and forth from various chores on the homestead and is a great help when you need to carry heavy loads of supplies from one place to another.  

13. Know how to ride a HORSE.
If you are considering a HORSE on your homestead (we are not there yet...) you need to know how to ride your animal. This can also help with making trips from point A to point B, depending on the amount of land you have.

14.  Train your animals. 
It will save you loads of time in the future if you train your animals, and this is not limited to just your dog. You can train horses, chickens, rabbits, and the like. If you have to stop gardening to discipline your animal, i.e. your dog is honing in on his digging skills in your garden, you will waste more time replanting, then properly training him to mind. 

15. Learn how to tie various knots. 
If you have a very stubborn dog or horse that you have to keep tied up to stay out of trouble or if you just want to hang a line for your laundry, you will need to know a variety of knots. 

16. Make simple booby traps.
I know you are all thinking McGevor here!  Booby traps come in handy when trying to keep that pesky squirrel out of the cow feeder or trapping a ground hog (or 5) to get them out of your yard.  (warning: the picture is a little extreme!)

17. Know HOW to change a tire and change Oil. 
Life on a homestead means that there are no guarantees that someone is nearby at any given time. Learn this self-reliant skill so you don't lose a whole day of work due to a busted tire.  Lucky for us, we are still somewhat in the city, but this is still good to know, especially since my Hubby is a mechanic.

18. Learn how to forage for wild herbal plants that can be used as medicine.
Preparation for emergencies is key, but in the event of injury, or in a natural disaster (zombie apocalypse) you may have to forage for plants with healing properties. Be cautious when using herbs you did not plant yourself, and do not use them unless you are 100 percent sure that you have the correct plant! 

19. Make your own fire starter. 
Many people still make their own, natural fire starters today. This saves time when you need instant warmth and it is a wintry, cold day.

20. Know how to start a fire without a match. 
I know that you have all seen "Stand by Me" - which is one of my favorite movies btw. I think I learned a valuable lesson from that movie, if you don't have a match, you can't start a fire. Well, that was WRONG. No one should ever rely completely on one method or another. There are a variety of ways to start a fire, just in case you are without a match. 

21. Know how to properly handle, shoot, and clean a gun.
Predators and threats on the homestead are inevitable. Don't let lack of gun knowledge be the reason your family doesn't get the protection they need. (we have coyotes on our land) 

22. Store your GUN safely and PROPERLY.
Part of knowing HOW to use a gun, is learning to store it safely away from children and possible attackers.  You will sleep more soundly at night knowing it is in a safe place too.  (p.s. in your side table is NOT safe. Lock IT UP!) 

23. Know basic mechanic skills so you can fix your tractors and other vehicles.

Again, you wouldn’t want to lose an entire day of work just because a switch needed flipped or a bolt needed tightening.

24. Know how to hunt wild game.

Make sure you have the proper licenses to hunt game and provide more protein for your family and keep your livestock’s predators at bay.

25. Know the relevant legislation and regulations regarding hunting wild game in your area.

It is only legal to hunt certain animals during specific seasons and the consequences for hunting game outside of it’s respective season can end in costly fines or the restriction/loss of your hunting license.

26. Make your own meat smokehouse. 

Whether you butcher your own livestock or hunt wild game you will need a way to preserve the meat properly.

27. Use a smokehouse to smoke and cure meat.

Learn which techniques work best for different types of meat.

28. Know how to milk a cow and goat.

You may think that one is exactly like the other, but I assure you it is not. Learn the basics of milking your livestock. Every cow and goat is different and so you will have to learn to adjust your techniques accordingly, but the basics remain the same.

29. Learn how to fish.

Fish is packed full of rich vitamins our bodies love. Hopefully your nearest waterbed is also packed full of fish. Make sure you check any rules or legislation regarding catching different breeds of fish as they can be seasonal as well.

30. Know how to clean and cook fish.

It can be tricky to clean a fish because of all the tiny bones. Learn the proper way to clean and cook fish so that you can avoid any sharp bones while eating your catch.

30. Make your own candles.

Electricity is another luxury on a homestead, especially during storms and power outages. Making your own candle’s will save you money and keep you from early evening’s spent in the dark.

31. Learn how to sew clothing.

Save your husband’s favorite pair of jeans, upcycle an old dress into a beautiful blouse, or adjust your children’s hemlines so that they’re not tripping over pants that are too long.

32. Learn how to wash clothes without using a washing machine.

Power is not only never a guarantee, it is also costly to run this large machinery. Save money and electricity by cleaning your washables by hand.

33. Dry laundry using a drying rack or clothesline.

Give your clothes a breath of fresh air and dry them outdoors instead of opting for the costly electric dryer option.

34. Learn how to bake without any power.

Every homesteader should know a few ways to cook without any power. We’ve gone a step further and made a tutorial on how to bake without the help of electricity.

35. Know how to humanely kill, gut and clean an animal.

Butchering time is never a happy time on the farm, but it’s necessary to know how to humanely put your livestock down so they do not suffer. You must also know how to gut and clean them so the meat does not spoil.

36.  Know how to properly kill and pluck a chicken.

Once chickens have stopped laying eggs and are ready to be butchered, they must also be killed and cleaned properly to ensure there is no spoilage to the meat. They require a little extra work due to the plucking process, but it is well worth it.

37. Make and maintain your own sourdough starter.

My mother always used a portion of others starter’s and would be reluctant to leave it for more than a couple days, worrying that it would die and she would be forced to bum more from a friend. That’s why I learned to make my own (I also like being the generous friend who shares).

38. Learn how to make homemade cleaning supplies.

Cut the chemicals and opt for natural ingredients in your cleaning supplies. You’ll spend a little time to save a lot of money.

39. Know how to cut, bale, and stack hay.

Keeping your hay organized will cut chaos out of your homestead.

40. Know how to knit, quilt,  or crochet.

This skill will provide a relaxing hobby that the whole family can benefit from.

41. Make your own greenhouse.

Grow produce all year long in a homemade greenhouse.

42. Grind your own wheat for baking.

Never spend money on flour again! Grind your own grains and create an assortment of flours. If you have a grinder this process is infinitely easier.

43. Prepare wheat without a grinder.

If you don’t have a grinder or wheat mill, there is another technique I learned to prepare wheat.

44. Set up your own chicken brooder.

Skip the hassle of feeding your chickens by hand every day by setting up this easy chicken brooder.

45. Make your own chicken feed.

Find a recipe that works for your chickens. You may even be able to use things you have on hand already!

46. Learn how to tell if your chickens are molting.

Deciphering chicken behavior is important so that you will know when health problems arise or what to expect during certain seasons or times in a chicken’s life (like molting season).

47. Build a geodesic dome.

You can use this structure for extra storage, a chicken coop or as a greenhouse. Either way, these domes are useful additions for homesteads.

48. Grow herbs.

Herbs can be used for their medicinal properties, to flavor an otherwise bland meal, or just to look pretty in your garden. Generally they are low maintenance plants with a wealth of uses.

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Survival Seeds

49. Know how to dry herbs.

Preserve your herbs for teas, spices, or to hang in your home as an acting air freshener.

50. Learn how to make herbal extracts, salves, infusions, poultices and tinctures.

Herbs have long been used as natural medicines. Learn this art and heal yourself and your loved ones naturally before you head to the pharmacy.

51. Know how to make organic mosquito repellent.

The ingredients in mosquito repellent can be harmful to skin and some have even been linked to cancer. Make your own natural mosquito repellent free from these harmful chemicals.

52. Know how to make a natural mosquito trap.

Learn how to trap these pesky insects with traps made from all natural ingredients.

53. Prepare your homestead for wildfire.

Be sure that you are taking every precaution against wildfire spreading across your homestead.

54. Prepare your homestead for tornadoes.

Every homestead should have a storm shelter in the event that this natural disaster blows through your neck of the woods.

55. Prepare your homestead for blizzards.

Make sure your family and your livestock are protected against freezing temperatures.

56. Wax cheese for long term storage.

Make your homemade cheese last throughout the year(s) with this storage method!

57. Know how to plant and grow tomatoes.

I find myself putting tomatoes in almost every recipe during the summer. Tomatoes are easy to plant and maintain once you get into the habit.

58. Know how to preserve and can tomatoes properly.

Nothing makes me more excited for the summer than popping open a can of salsa or canned tomatoes on a cold winter day.

59. Dehydrate foods to preserve them.

Each food requires a different amount of time and slight variations on the dehydration process. Using this method means that you can enjoy your favorite foods even when they’re not in season.

60. Make your own all-natural skincare items.

Reduce the amount of harsh chemicals you expose your skin to and protect it from the harsh conditions of the environment organically with these recipes.

61. Make homemade beauty products.

Even though I spend most of my days covered in mud and smelling like a barn, I like to take care of myself and look good the natural way.

62. Make your own dog food.

Give your pups an organic diet to keep them healthy longer.

63. Make your own doggy treats.

Give your dog the treats they deserve. After all, they’re part of the family too.

64. Learn vermiculture.

If you’re composting you should be using this method to help breakdown all the contents of your bin.

65. Learn permaculture.

I promise you your entire homestead will thrive if you implement permaculture correctly.

66. Cook using a cast iron skillet.

Cook like your grandmother with a cast iron skillet – but first learn how to properly season and clean it!

67. Learn how to plant a tree.

Depending on the varieties you plan to plant, you may need to learn a few different processes. Also, you should learn to prune and harvest anything that grows on your trees.

68. Know how to properly cut down a tree.

If a tree has reached the end of it’s cycle or poses a threat to your safety, you should cut it down carefully using the correct techniques. Do not assume you know how to do this without having the knowledge you need.

69. Know how to propagate plants through root cuttings.

Just like seeds can be harvested and replanted, so can roots of certain plants. Save yourself some money and a trip to a nursery by re-planting roots of certain plants.

70. Learn how to assist an animal having difficulty giving birth.

I’ve learned the hard way that you can’t always wait on a vet to assist in an emergency situation. Pregnant animals will not always give birth with much warning so you have to be prepared to jump in and help where you can.

71. Learn how to assist with foaling, kidding, lambing and calving.

Even in a healthy birth, you will still need to be near to take care of your animals after they are born. Be sure to do your homework for whichever animals will be giving birth and learning anything you can do to help the process go more smoothly. Mostly be there to keep the mother calm and hydrated.

72. Learn to tell whether an animal needs to be taken to the vet or if you can just do the doctoring yourself at home.

If you live way out there it can be quite a hassle (and a fee) to get a vet to come out for something that could have been easily fixed yourself. Learn about your animal’s anatomy, behavior and special needs so you’ll be better equipped to help them before you make a phone call.

73. Learn how to keep bees and harvest honey.

Even if you have an urban homestead, you can keep bees in your backyard! Learn how to keep your hive healthy and honey harvesting tips and techniques.

74. Learn how to build your own chicken coop.

Each flock is different and requires a different amount of space. Learn to scale and build your own chicken coop in 4 easy steps.(we mastered this one- Hubby does not do easy though!) 

75. Know how to purify water in different ways.

Use various methods to make sure that you always have access to clean water. (Guess you kind of need to know where I work- and why this is IMPORTANT) 

76. Make your own still which can be used to purify water.

Purify your water or, if you’re of the right age, make some moonshine in your own distiller.

77. Learn basic carpentry skills.

Building things with your hands not only will save you money, but will also make you swell with pride when you see your handiwork.

78. Know how to build and fix a fence.

Keep your livestock in and predators out by learning to build and repair a fence.

79. Learn how sharpen a knife, ax and other cutting tools.

Keep your tools sharp and prolong their lives by sharpening them yourself.

80. Understand the basics of animal breeding.

This will save you lots of money and could even earn you some if you decide to sell some of the animals you breed.

81. Make meat stock from scratch.

Using every part of the animal has always been very important to me. Not only does it reduce waste, it also seems more respectful to the animal to me.

82. Recycle and repurpose everyday items. 

Avoid buying things over and over again when what you have can be used for what you need. This will challenge your creativity!

83. Know how to use non-electric lighting.

Pay close attention to any safety precautions that should be taken with non-electric lighting.

84. Make your own oil lamp.

This lamp made from organic materials is an easy project that provides a good light source for those nights without power.

85. Make your own solar lamp.

Use a different energy with this homemade solar lamp.

86. Know how to use alternative energy sources like solar or wind to power your homestead.

This could save you lots of money in the long run and provides a natural source of power for cleaner energy.

87. Know how to use a sewing machine.

Just learning to thread the machine took me a while. But the more you know about your machine, the easier time you will have using it.

88. Make your own vinegar.

This can either be used for cooking, cleaning or even for medicinal properties. Either way, it’s a handy thing to know!

89. Build an outdoor rocket stove.

Learn to make an outdoor stove for warmth or too cook outdoors.

90. Know how to protect your livestock from predators.

Some things may be as simple as creating a predator-proof lock or home for your livestock, other times you may have to take more drastic measures with brute force. Know your predators and figure out your best line of defense.

91. Make your own cheese press.

To make certain types of cheeses, you will absolutely need this equipment (which can be expensive, so it’s best to make your own).

92. Understand and learn the process of home brewing.

Making your own beer is rewarding and delicious. Also, the process is easy once you get the hang of it.

93.  Learn the art of haggling.

This may seem like a game for cheapskate’s, but it is actually handy to make sure you’re not getting ripped off when you know what something is worth.

94. Know how to paint concrete.

Make a dull place appear brighter with a couple coats of paint. You can even stencil a design on it if you’re feeling fancy. This is also a great alternative for creating beautiful, inexpensive countertops.

95. Learn how to properly determine an animal’s age by its teeth.

This will be especially helpful when a stray wanders into your home or to when buying animals it will help you determine whether or not the dealer or farmer you are buying from is being honest about the age of livestock.

96. Learn how to swap and barter goods.

Give and get back on equal ground by learning how to swap and barter goods fairly.

97. Know how to properly restrain livestock.

Animals can be a bit unpredictable at times and if they need to be restrained for one reason or another, you should know how to do so for each animal on your homestead.

98. Learn how to trim the hooves of goats or sheep properly.

This is a process that occurs naturally in wild goats and sheep who roam rocky areas, but on a homestead they may not be exposed to these elements. Trimming hooves is important for your animals comfort and health.

99. Learn how to use a pressure tank garden sprayer.

This will save you loads of time when your garden is in full bloom.

100. Learn how to dig and properly use a shallow well.

A well ensures a continual water source for your homestead and can be a great assistance if placed strategically by your garden or barn. Just be sure that you are not digging it in a place that will contaminated by waste.

101. Learn how to pasteurize milk.

To keep milk longer and break it down into a form that our bodies can find more friendly than raw milk, learn to pasteurize it.

102. Learn how to read the weather.

Forecasting can be possible with subtle clues from Mother Nature. Predict when a storm is coming, how strong it is likely to be, and when it is likely to occur.

103. Know how to properly use a chainsaw.

Believe it or not, this one has come in handy more times than I would have expected. Get rid of that fallen limb with a little chainsaw power (and safety, of course). Plus, playing with chainsaws is fun.

104. Know your own physical and mental skill limitations.

Often times I start to get down on myself for not accomplishing an impossibly long to-do list. Just accept that you are human, imperfect and only capable within your limitations. That doesn’t mean you’ve failed, it just means you have to adjust your expectations and ask for help when it’s needed.

105. Live within your means and get out of debt.

In case you haven’t noticed, most of these skills are about learning how to use what you have or make what you don’t have to save some money. That doesn’t mean that I’m cheap, it just means that I like to live with what I have and get what I need without accumulating a mountain of debt. Lift the burden of owing money and learn to live within your means!

106. Learn how to use a garden shovel, spade or hoe properly.

This may seem simple, but you can save yourself backaches and blisters by adjusting your grip slightly or using one muscle rather than another.

107. Learn how to identify the difference between edible and poisonous mushrooms.

This is the difference between life and death. Don’t ever eat it unless you are sure. Learn where the varieties of mushrooms grow and any subtle differences between varieties. When in doubt, don’t eat it!

Foraging for Wild Edible Plants108. Learn how to forage for wild edibles in your area.

Again, if you are not growing the food yourself you must take every precaution before ingesting anything. Learn what edibles grow in  your neck of the woods and which markers indicate a safe plant versus a harmful plant.

109. Learn how to create a 72-hour kit for emergencies and Bug Out Bags.

In the event of an emergency that requires you to be ready to leave your home at a moments notice, you should have kits or bug out bags put together so you can live temporarily with the essentials.

110. Make your own jams, jellies, salsas, chutneys and sauces.

This will keep your produce in your cupboards and filling your belly all year long.

111. Know how to butcher an animal and the proper cuts of meat.

The art of butchery is different for every animal. Different cuts should be cooked different ways so you should know which cuts work for every animal you are butchering before you start making cuts.

112. Learn to heat your home with wood.

This will save you from those large heat bills during the winter if you use this in place of electric heat or it can act as an emergency  heating source when your power goes out.

113. Make your own yogurt and butter.

If your milk supply is too much for your family to keep up with, make your own yogurt and butter at home! It’s a tasty, natural alternative to store bought dairy.

114. Learn how to build a fire in the rain.

In case you find yourself temporarily removed from your home and in need of a heat source, you should be prepared to start a fire even in inclement weather.

115. Learn how to prevent plumbing pipes from freezing and how to thaw them out during winter.

Ever turned the faucet on in winter only to get creaks and groans instead of water? I’ve been in that boat before, and it is not fun, my friend. Learn how to prevent freezing pipes and how to thaw them just in case they freeze up anyway.

116. Learn how to handle eggs and tell if they are fertilized or not.

If you have a rooster in your flock, this is crucial. You do not want to crack open an egg to find an unpleasant surprise – especially if you are trying to hatch chicks.

117.  Know how to incubate fertilized eggs and hatch your own chicks.

Ideally the mother would hatch her own chicks. However, if your hen is not to be trusted around her eggs or if your homestead does not allow the proper time or housing for hatch-lings you should know how to incubate eggs and hatch chicks properly.

118. Manage your pastures better by mastering the art of intensive grazing.

If you let your livestock roam they will not only benefit from nutrient rich pastureland, but your pasture will also thrive from this natural management and maintenance.

119. Learn how to do no-till gardening.

Certain types of earth do not require a till to create the perfect garden space. Learn more about the soil on your homestead and how to create a garden without a till if possible.

120. Know how to properly tan a hide.

I mentioned earlier that I believe every part of the animal should be utilized, and that include it’s hide. Learn techniques for tanning the skins of all your wild game.

121. Learn how to harvest, split and stack firewood.

Not all woods are good for fire – especially in an indoor fireplace or furnace. Learn which woods grow in your area and how to split it so that it will be easy to stack and store.


122. Learn to Reuse Your Citrus Peels

123. Know what flowers are safe to eat

124. Know the Benefits of Charcoal, and how to use activated charcoal around the homestead

125. Know Essentials To Keep on Hand at the Barn

126. Know The Basics of Aquaponics

127. How to Make Your Own Soap

128. How to Freeze Herbs So They Stay Fresh Longer

129. Know the Best Spices to Always Have On Hand

130. How to Vacuum Seal Food for Wise Food Storage

131. How to Make Epic Pancakes… (A Homesteading MUST!)

132. How to Build a Hydroponic Garden

Great for Indoor Gardening

133. Know The Alternative Uses For Honey

True homesteader’s have a soft spot for bees.

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How To Make Your Blog Go Viral

Blogging, Lessons on working, Stay at Home Moms by: Kel Amstutz Last year, I posted a blog post that went viral . (much to MY surp...