Checklist for Homesteaders - Before You Start!
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Michael and Jackie Bigar
Checklist for Homesteaders
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Homeschooling His Children Podcast
Season 1 Episode 24
Things You Can Do Before You Start Homesteading!
- Start collecting items- If you are moving out of state this may not be the best choice but you can start thinking about where you could find homesteading items used or even free. Yard sales are always a good idea for looking for tools or things homesteaders use. If you do not have luck with yard sales in your area consider looking at autions and estate sales!
- Start Learning New Skills- You can definitely start learning new self reliant skills. You can take a gun safety class. My dad is taking me to go shooting this Friday and I am hoping he'll show me how to load, unload (fun part), and gun safety. There are many self reliant classes you could take such as hunting, food preservation, animal processing, wood working, building, and first aid classes. There is a lot of free information online, in books and magazine about those topics or you could look for in person classes.
- Start Practicing New Skills- You could start practicing how to make homemade bread and pasta. You could also start canning food with fruits and veggies from a farmers market. You could get used to washing clothes by hand with a big tub and a scrub board. One of my favorite ways to start practicing is gardening! Gardening is so fun and makes you feel so self reliant! If you can you can start recycling and reusing items. Remember as a homesteader out in the country you probably will not have trash services so the materials you bringing your home from stores typically will be there awhile, including the wrapping that they came in.
Checklist for Homesteaders
- Mathmatics- You are going to be building, problem soliving and more on the homestead so you should have a good understanding of basic math skills.
- Musical Instruments- You want to fit in right? Well out in the country where there isn't much to do people need to have some self entertainment.
- Hand Looms and Spinning Wheels- You may want to pick up spinning skills if you have animals on your land that could provide you wool. You could sell the hand spun wool or use it for your own homestead.
- Doing Laundry By Hand- This is a pretty self explanitor skill but you will need to know how to do your lanudry without electricity.
- Gardening- There is a lot to learn about gardening. When is the right season to plant your fruit and veggies? When do you harvest them? How do I preserve my harvest? Many questions. But it is easier once you start doing it.
- Indoor Growing- How to start plants from seed indoors and then take them out when the weather is right. You could also learn about greenhouse gardening.
- Seed Saving- You do not want to have to purchase new seeds for every growing season! Seeds are expensive and easily harvested from your own garden.
- Composting- This is a essential skill to maintaining a healthy garden. Compost is rich life giving matter that you can create with leaves, lawn clippings, and food waste (not meat). I have heard that chickens can help you turn your compost! Win win, Chickens get fed and help do some of the work. I have heard of people putting larva on their compost pile for our feathered friends. You will also need to learn how to keep your compost pile the right tempeture.
- Rainwater Collection- How to collect rain water and how to preserve the water. Some folks add chorline to the water to keep it safe and some do nothing. Rainwater collecting is defintally a great way to have water for you, animals and your homestead needs so learn all you can about it!
- Animal Processing- This is a essential skill to learn on a hobby farm or homestead! Taking your animals down to a butcher would cost you hundreds of dollars and us homesteaders are all about saving money. Learn this skill!
- Learn about Permaculture- Permaculture is simply learning how to create ecosystems! It is so important to learn about how to work with nature verse using man made tactics and skills.
- Companion Planting- We need to learn which plants grow well together. We have seen people planting all sorts of veggies and fruits together and under fruit trees. We need to learn how everything can grow together and help one another thrive.
- Build a Orchard - You will need to learn when and how to plant trees. Planting tree as soon as possible on your homestead is super important. I heard planing trees is best in spring as soon as the ground thaws. If you wait until fall the trees may not have taken root enough to last threw the winter.
- Cob Construction Techniques- We have seen a man at The Self Reliance YouTube channel build a cabin from scratch with hand tools and we love it! He also used cob construction techniques.
- How to Make Wine- We do enjoy a drink occassionally. It would be nice to learn this skill and make our own homegrown wine.
- How to Grow Yeast- We would like to learn how to grow yeast for bread making.
- Natural Family Planning- We have learned somethings about natural family planting. But this is a family type of blog so if you want more information about this you'll have to ask someone else ;)
- Different House Building Techiques- People can build homes with logs, wood boards, straw, ect. I am not a building expert but I do know there are many ways of building a home. This is a important skill to learn if you will be building your own home.
- Recycle and Reuse- This is defintally a lost art form. I remember my grandma would make me open my presents very slowly so that I wouldn't tear the Christmas wrapping so that she could reuse it. She was raised in a time of The Great Depression. Resources where conserved and reused back then. Very unlike our American mentality of buy, consume and throw away. The time is now to go back and think about how to conserve our resources.
- Eat When in Season- Learn to eat when the food is in season. As a homesteading you will need to eat what you grow on your own property and that means eating what is in season. Oranges don't grow well in the winter but you can have some squash and if you have preserved fruits from the summer now would be a great time to break those out of the cubboards.
- Learn to Sow- You will need to be able to pick up a needle and thread and mend your and your families clothing, bedding, ect.
- Learn to make Your own Cabniets and Furnature- My grandfather had made this babies crib and they used it for all five of their children. This is a lost skill for sure!
Essentials for Homesteading
- Water Collecting Cisterns and Gutters
- Wood Burning Stove + Wood + Fire Source (Matches or Lighter)
- Clothes Line
- Washtub and Scrub Board
- Hand Gardening Tools (Shovel, and Rake)
- Green House
- Growing Containers
- Small Envelopes to Keep Seeds You Save + Marker to Label Envelopes
- Composting System (Build it yourself) +Bins or Piles + Worms/Larva
- Ice House and/or Ice Box
- Housing for Chickens (Coop or Barn) + Chicken Water System + Wood Chips for Ground Maintenance
- Rabbit Hutch (If keeping rabbits for meat and/fur)
- Create Wood Lots for Firewood and Building + Keep Snow and Water Off
- Hand Gun + Shot Gun
- Hunting Knife
- Sharpening Stone
- Fishing Pole and Reels + Worms + Bucket
- Cleaning Towels + Bucket
- Rags for Cleaning and Women's Monthly Time
- Cast Iron Cookware
- Rolling Pins, Flour Shifter
- Neighbors (Make Friends!)
- Hand Grinders for Grain Mill, Meat, Nut, Coffee, Spices
- Outdoor Fire Oven or Fire Ring Cooking Area (Essential for Summer Time)
- Crock Pot for Wood Burning Stove/ Dutch Oven and Maybe a Solar Oven
- Oil Presses also know as Oil Extractor
- Mortar and Pestle
- Soap Making with Animal Fats
- Gas Powered Generator
- Small Solar Battery Charger and Rechargeable Batteries
- Natural fiber Rope
- Hand Tools #1 Since You May Not Have Electricity
- Electric Tools #2 You May Have Access To a Generator
- Ax, Sledgehammer, Wedge
- Paper and Ink for Writing
- For Us Internet and Computer (We run a online business and blog so we must have access to the internet.)
Additional Homesteading Item (Not Completely Necessary But Nice to Have)
- Siphon Hose
- Water Wheel
- Garden Cart and/or Wheelbarrow
- Hand Pump for Water
- Hand Pump for Air
- Hand Loom and Spinning Wheel for Animal Fur
- Pressure Cooker for Stove Top Not Electric
- Boiling Bath Water Caner
- Mason Jars + Lids
- Create Your Own Sun/ Solar Dehydrator or Use a Wood Stove on Low Heat
- Board Games (Used - Save Yours Self Some Hard Earned Cash-o-la)
- Playing Cards
- Steam Engines
- Wine- Making Equitpment
- Rolling Pins, Flour Shifter
- Threshing Machine (Used to Separate Grain from Plants)
- Tortilla Press/Roller
- Pottery Wheel
- Pottery Kiln
- Big Pot to Dye Fabrics + Plants for Dye
- Quilt Frame + Supplies (Remember to reuse what you can!)
- Schools ( If you choose not to homeschool)
- Medical Center
- Fun Hobby- Paper Making, Ink Making, Bookmaking
- Leather Crafting
- Painting Supplies
- Jewerly Making Supplies
- Basket Making Supplies
- Natural Perfume and Incense
- Chalboard and/ or Bulletin Board to Display at Farmers Markets
- Natural Makeup (Obviously Optional)
- Water Well
- Small Town and Community
There are so many essential homesteading skills to learn. We also have to start collecting some of the needed items to have a productive hobby farm. Although some of these items may not seem necessary they can make your life much more enjoyable. Living on a farm in the country is much different than the city life. Even if you live in the city you can incoruperate these lost skills back into your everyday life. I hope you find what works best for you and your family.
Homeschooling His Children