Do you dream of one day having a homestead, a piece of land to be able to grow things and maybe raise animals on? One day can seem like a distant dream, but if you take steps to work toward that dream now, you’ll feel like you’re actively working toward something, not to mention how much easier it’ll be once you’ve acquired a few homesteading skills (before you even have a homestead).
If you live in a city or suburb, as I do, it may seem like it’s impossible to work on your homesteading skills. It turns out that there are quite a lot of things you can do now to prepare for your one day homestead.
Below is a list of 10 homesteading skills you can learn and practice before you have your own homestead:
- Record Keeping – This is a useful and important skill to have in many areas of your life:
–financial planning (bank account information, mortgage documents, etc.)
-gardening (knowing when and where things are planted, what).
–food preparation and preservation (knowing what I’ve tried, the outcome, and figuring out what I could do differently).
–vehicle maintenance (having a record of the dates when you had things repaired or replaced).
- Water Bath Canning (or pressure canning) – Buy extra fruits and vegetables from a farmer’s market or grocery store when on sale and preserve them using this classic food preservation technique. One of my
favouritethings that I’ve canned was peaches. They tasted so delicious over vegan vanilla ice cream throughout the year!
- Eat Locally and in-Season – Find out what fruits and vegetables grow locally and eat them in-season.
- Small-scale Composting – This will help you learn how quickly certain things break down, what you can and can’t compost, and also a bit about waste management.
- Local Flora and Fauna Identification – Learning what plants and trees are native to your area can be interesting and useful.
- Electric Service – get familiar with how electric service works. Know the difference between neutral and ground, the two hot wires, voltage, current and all that. Even if you don’t plan on installing your own electrical, it’ll be useful to know a thing or two for an emergency or smaller jobs.
- Conserve Energy and Produce your own – Use the energy of the sun whenever possible. Renters and owners alike can perform plenty of home energy fixes. String up a clothesline outside or dry your clothes on clothes rack instead of using the dryer.
- Simple Clothing Mending – Learning how to sew a hole in a sock or patch jeans will save you money and allow you to keep your
favouritethings for longer.
- Grow Windowsill Herbs – Grow these from seed if you can, or simply purchase and maintain pre-grown herbs.
- Make Home Remedies – Start with cold and flu remedies using essential oils and herbs and work up to first-aid treatments.
Where to learn these skills
My local library branch has monthly “urban homesteading” workshops with guests who come in to discuss different skills and topics that would be of interest to those who want to one day have a homestead. A couple that I’ve attended so far have been around cob building and balcony gardening.
If you don’t have a library close by or your branch doesn’t have workshops related to homesteading, you may be able to take courses or attend workshops at a community college or community
As you can see, you don’t need to start fresh when you have your own homestead – you can practice homesteading skills beforehand. Skills such as record keeping, eating locally and in season, and making home remedies can be started immediately!
I’m a 40-something writer who enjoys cooking, being outside, travelling, participating in community and cultural events, and learning new things. This website is my journey of discovery – to allow me to learn how to be more self-sufficient in order to be better prepared for the present and the future.