Original Homesteaders were brave, strong and independent often facing unimaginable hardships but, they had tenacity and perseverance to build the life of their dreams. These people needed skills to survive. You can learn and practice many of these same homestead skills that can be done anywhere…… no matter where you live!
Long ago, people were able to claim lands from the federal government on which to build their homesteads. The Homestead Act was established on May 20th, 1862. This Act allowed people to apply for and claim government lands on which they agreed to build their homes, ranches or farms and live on the land for 5 years before gaining ownership of the land.
Homesteaders in the 21st century:
Many people today are deciding to make this similar heartfelt, lifestyle choice. They are yearning for a simpler way of living. This desire is to be more connected with everyday life. Some of us enjoy the challenges of providing for ourselves and our families, plus we love trying new things and developing new skills.
Maybe you are a hands-on type of person concerning many aspects of your life from survival to protecting and providing. Some of us really enjoy being involved in many aspects of our daily life. Maybe it is starting a mini-farm, milking the cows or goat and raising a flock of chickens.
Or, maybe it is planting a few seeds in the dirt and picking our radishes, scallions or basil. These things do not need to be huge to be very satisfying. Think about simple heirloom homestead skills and projects for sustainable living. Read on for more tips and ideas of homestead skills that can be done anywhere, no matter where you live!
QUICK RESOURCE LIST on Homesteading Skills Started Anywhere:
• Homesteading in the City – Click Here for more on Urban Homesteading
• Encyclopedia of Country Living is a must-have for beginning and expert homesteaders
• Backyards are a great place to begin basic homesteading skills, read more here: Backyard Homesteading
The busyness of life is overwhelming; many people want to slow down but do not know how to make any changes.
With that said, it is not surprising that searches for homemaking and vintage skills and homesteading skills are increasing at a very rapid rate. With the internet, we can Google vast amounts of helpful information to assist in finding skills and ideas on simpler living.
The good news in all of this is, that a number of these types of skills and activities can be practiced in most locations; whether homesteading in the city or rural, town or country. Let’s look at some of the easiest things that can be done, no matter where you live, to develop skills and practices for simpler, more frugal hands-on living.
The first step is how you can simplify your life by incorporating some Beginning Homestead Skills into your daily routine to be more involved with your food by providing for your daily nutritional needs. Consider some of the following sustainable living tips and ideas that can help you on your way to more a self-reliant lifestyle.
10+ EASY Ways to Start Homesteading….No Matter Where You Live!!!
Here are some ideas that will help you get started today!
If you are really up for the challenge, take a look at The Homesteader’s Skills Checklist to see what you already know and what you can learn!!!!
#1 LIMIT BUYING PREPACKAGED FOODS:
One of the easiest ways to begin being more involved with your daily life is to simply stop buying a lot of prepackaged food. This saves money and is usually healthier for you and your family. For example, consider buying heads of leaf lettuce and washing them at home. Leaf lettuce is fantastic to have on hand.
In the winter, we are not able to grow anything outside or even in our greenhouse due to the extreme temperatures so I enjoy buying heads of leaf lettuce and washing it at home. The problem of having to wash and dry leaf lettuce is a hassle.
But, by having a Salad Spinner, leaf lettuce is freshly washed, dried and ready to go! I do ahead of leaf lettuce at a time, so it is fresh, clean and crisp, all ready to go for sandwiches or salad! Super big time saver and healthier!
Leaf Lettuce in Salad Spinner
Also, start planning your daily and weekly meals. It is much easier to have a written plan instead of just winging it every day. With a plan, everything is more organized. Jot down ideas for breakfasts, lunches, and dinners plus snacks. Gather up some good cookbooks that are easy for you to use with recipes that your family will enjoy.
#2 GROW A SMALL SALAD GARDEN OR POT OF LETTUCE:
Consider planting a complete Herb Garden set, small salad garden or even a garden pot of lettuce and radishes. Start your plants on a windowsill, in a flowerpot on a back porch or deck, even on an apartment balcony. For ideas, take a look at Growing Lettuces and Greens This article will give you some easy-to-start ideas for growing greens. This is also a great survival skill.
Plant a garden and grow your own food. Here are some great resources. All Orginal Homesteading Gardening Posts
Or, if you do not have the time to gather the necessary supplies to get started, try one of these gardening kits: Organic Grow Ease Seed Starting Success Kit and Plant It and Forget It Vegetable Garden Organic Seeds, Set of 11
These kits will help you get started today!!
Container Gardening from the Urban Survival website!
Related Post on Apartment Gardening from Apartment Therapy!
#3 LEARN TO MAKE BUTTER:
Learn How to Make Butter from Heavy Cream. Making butter is an age-old practice that is still fun to do today. All you need is a quart jar with a screw-on lid and a pint of heavy whipping cream. Make sure the cream is chilled. Pour the cream into the jar and begin to shake it.
Now, this step will take some time. Just keep shaking it until the butterfat in the cream creates a lump of butter. What you are doing is forcing the butterfat molecules to collide together and then stick together. It is quite fascinating the things that our forefathers figured out.
Once a butterball has formed, strain off the buttermilk into a separate container. This buttermilk can be used for baking or as fresh skim milk. Now, take the butterball and squeeze out the excess milk. The butter will keep fresh longer if all the milk is squeezed out.
The next step is optional but it does make the butter more flavorful. Add about 1/2 teaspoon of salt to the butterball and work it in completely. Now, place the ball into a container, store in your refrigerator until you have completed the next step of making bread.
Remember to Bloom Where You are Planted and Just Get Started with One Simple Homesteading Skill at a Time!
If you want to take this to the next level, seek out a local source of fresh cream. You might even be able to find organic cream!
How to Make Butter in a Jar from Playdough to Plato!
#4 LEARN TO BAKE BREAD:
Baking Bread is an art. This is a wonderful step in working on Beginning Homestead Skills you should know. Bread is a staple food and an important source of nutrition. The healthier the ingredients, the healthier the bread.
Basic French Bread Recipe:
To Begin, add the following to a large mixing bowl and let sit for 10 minutes.
- 1 Tablespoon Dry Yeast
- 2 Cups Warm Water
Once the yeast has dissolved and started to foam, add:
- 2 Cups Whole Wheat Flour
- 3 Cups of Unbleached Flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon Avocado Oil or Olive Oil
If you are having a hard time trying to decide what is the best all-around oil to use……look no further. I use this Avocado Oil for everything from cookies, to cake, to salad dressings, to sauteing, and making my Creamy Butter Spread. It has all the benefits of Olive Oil PLUS……it can take the higher heat for sauteing and frying. It is the best!
Stir to combine flour and mix for about 4 minutes, This mixing helps to reduce the first rising time.
Adding Additional Flour:
Now add 1+ more cups of Unbleached Flour just so the dough can be easily kneaded and is not sticky. The dough will start to hold together. Mix as much as you can by hand and then turn dough onto a floured surface so you can knead it.
Knead the bread dough for 10 minutes or until you can lightly touch the surface and it springs back.
Once the dough is springy to the touch, place the ball into an oiled bowl to rise. Set this bowl in a warm spot in your kitchen or the oven with the oven light turned on. It just needs a warm spot out of a draft. Let rise for approximately one hour or until it doubles in volume.
Turn the risen dough back onto your floured surface. Knead for one minute. Divide your dough in half. Shape each half into French Bread style long loaves. Place each loaf on a lightly oiled baking or cookie sheet. Now, take a sharp serrated knife and gently cut diagonal slits in the top of each loaf. I usually cut 3 to 4 slits in each loaf.
Now, let bread rest and rise in a warm location for 30 minutes. They should about double in size.
Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Place the risen loaves in the oven and bake for 35 to 40 minutes. Double-check on the bread at 30 minutes to make sure the bottom of the loaves are not getting too brown. Rotate loaves if necessary.
Once your bread has finished baking, remove loaves from oven and set on cutting board or wire racks to cool. Now, slice and spread with your Creamy Healthy Butter Spread!
#5 LEARN TO FREEZE PRODUCE:
Having staple type foods in the freezer is a wonderfully secure feeling. It is also nice to have the knowledge base on how to take advantage of local specials at Farmer’s Market or the grocery store. Here are a few very easy to freeze fruits: Raspberries, Strawberries, and Blueberries.
None of these need to be blanched before freezing. Blanching is boiling the fresh vegetables or fruits in water for 1 or 2 minutes to stop the enzyme action so they last longer in the freezer.
Check out how to freeze berries:
Related Post on CANNING from my friend Victoria at A Modern Homestead
Related Reading on Homestead Blogs: Top Homesteading Blogs of 2019
#6 LEARN TO MAKE JERKY:
Jerky is a super easy, super delicious way to preserve meats. Jerky can be made with many different types of meats. Our family hunts so we make our jerky with elk, deer, and antelope. But the recipes that are listed in Making Your Own Jerky can also be made with beef.
One of the huge benefits when making your jerky is that control the ingredients. These 2 recipes do not have any Nitrates and Nitrites.
#7 FIND LOCAL SOURCES FOR EGGS & MILK:
Finding locally sourced food products is a huge step in becoming more self-sufficient. If you are not able to have chickens, a milk cow or dairy goats due to location or time, then buying locally sourced eggs and milk are the next best thing.
#8 LEARN TO MAKE HARD TACK:
#9 STOCK YOUR PANTRY WITH BULK STAPLE FOODS:
Here is an easy-to-follow list of Healthy Bulk Foods to have in your pantry
- Whole Wheat Flour* can be purchased in 5#, 10#, 25# and 50# bags
- Unbleached Flour* can also be purchased in 5#, 10#, 25# and 50# bags
- Cocoa Powder 1# Bag
- Coconut Sugar 5# Bag
- Olive Oil can be purchased in small 8 oz bottles, 24 oz, 1/2 Gallon or Gallon size
- Avocado Oil is the best; I buy Chosen Foods Avocado Oil
- Walnuts can be stored in the freezer
- Sunflower Seeds
- Chia Seeds
- Flax Seeds
- Hemp Seeds
- Sun-Maid Organic Raisins
- Organic Milk Powder
- Himalayan Pink Salt
- Bragg’s Liquid Aminos
- Organic Quinoa
- Peanut or Almond Butter
- Simple Truth Chocolate Chips
- Organic Honey
- A Variety of Teas and Coffee
- Florida Crystal Organic Cane Sugar
- Baking Powder & Baking Soda
- A Variety of Spices
- Rolled Oats
These are some of my very favorite staple foods that I keep on hand at all times. So many different recipes can be made with these staple items.
#10 START COOKING & BAKING FROM SCRATCH:
Now, that you are thinking about stocking your pantry with wholesome whole foods, start gathering good recipes for cooking and baking. Here are a few to get you started. I will be adding more as I have time.
These are recipes that I have personally used for many, many years. They have been tried and tested by all family and friends. They are my go-to standby recipes.
Cooking from scratch does time planning and time but the rewards are great with better quality and better nutritional value. Start small and build your skill level as you go. I have always been one to just jump in and begin. Here are a few to get you started!!
Start Building your set of cast iron cookware.
#11 START with A SIMPLE HOMESTEADING TYPE SKILL TODAY:
Make some Homemade Dog Treats!!
#12 EDUCATE YOURSELF :
My all-time favorite resource has been: Encyclopedia of Country Living
#13 LEARN to MAKE HOMEMADE GIFTS
Plus, think about starting some homemade and handmade gifts. These are really nice and very inexpensive to make! Start early on Christmas Gifts♥
Take a look at Healthy Wholesome Recipes
Also, try: Make-Ahead Bacon to speed things up on a busy morning.
Here are some more ideas on Beginning Homestead Skills to think about as you explore a Homesteading lifestyle:
Starting a garden is a wonderful way to begin on your Homesteading journey.
If having a small flock of laying Hens or Dairy Goats are in your future, then take a look at:
This article on Homestead Skills Done Anywhere was first published on OriginalHomesteading.com