30 Skills to Build While You’re Homestead Dreaming

Discussion in 'Back to Basics' started by Motomom34, Mar 27, 2017.

  1. Motomom34

    Motomom34 Monkey+++

    This is a good list. Some skills I have been practicing for a few years now. I have had success and failures. But keep learning how to do these things correctly because they are skills we all need. I saw the skill of brewing your own alcohol and at first dismissed it because I do not drink but then realized that I was forgetting that alcohol can be medicinal. I have now desire to make soft cheese but hard cheese is something I would like to perfect.

    Please follow the link for the rest of the list. 30 Skills to Build While You're Homestead Dreaming - Reformation Acres
  2. Bishop

    Bishop Monkey+++

    I am in the same boat I want to learn how to make cheese and alcohol but I don't drink either but know I could make some good stuff but would never try it cheese on the other hand I would love eating it
  3. Dunerunner

    Dunerunner Brewery Monkey Moderator

    I thought maybe they missed a few things until they mentioned, Educate Yourself at the end...

    Freshly milled grains are great if you know how and have the acreage to grow them or have a ready source.
    I would rely on sour dough before trying to capture wild yeasts.
    You do need yeasts to produce fermented alcohols, but wild fermentations usually produce sour brews.
    Cream, Butter, Cheese and other dairy products are nice to have but are worthless without refrigeration.

    31. Basic to advanced carpentry and woodworking skills using hand tools not power tools.
    32. Logging skills and the knowledge, skills and ability to mill that timber into usable lumber.
    33. Basic to advanced plumbing and electrical skills.
    34. Basic to advanced construction (building) skills.
    35. Diesel mechanics, Diesel fuel synthesis, (Tractor maintenance and Power production).

    Just my thoughts....
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2017
    duane, chelloveck, Yard Dart and 6 others like this.
  4. UncleMorgan

    UncleMorgan I like peeling bananas and (occasionally) people.

    Once milk has been converted into cheese, butter, yogurt, buttermilk, etc., the various products can keep for long periods of time even without (electric) refrigeration. A root cellar is enough to keep most of such for months.

    Or, a cool-box that works by simple evaporation.

    A family can only drink so much whole milk a day. Converting several gallons a day into diversified food products that can be stored a while (or bartered) is a good way to minimize waste and maximize value.

    Some other skills to bone up on:

    Basic medicine, both human and animal.
    Beekeeping, including hive construction and maintenance, plus swarm capturing.
    Basketmaking (reed, bark, hide. Also woven fish traps, bird and small animal traps, cages, etc).
    Rope-making from various materials both natural and repurposed (e.g. strip-cut plastic bags).
    Plaiting for hats, sandals, rain capes, rugs, quilts, etc.
    Tinsmithing: Sheet metal plus solder, rivits, etc. Make anything from tool boxes to evaporative coolers, including food cans.
    Primitive tanning and rawhide work. Everything from leather strings to mocs, clothes, and whips.

    On the eighth day, sleep late.
  5. oil pan 4

    oil pan 4 Monkey+++

    I was thinking there would be stuff more along the lines of carpentry, black smithing, armorer, arborist, something to do with fixin yur tractor or tiller.
    Maybe plumbing, electrical to include propane related.
    Trouble, Dunerunner and Motomom34 like this.
  6. Sgt Nambu

    Sgt Nambu RIP 4/19/2018

    That was a fun read, I especially enjoyed the, "Laura Inggals leading the cow" logo! :) It sucks to get old and busted up, now days I hope like heck I never have to live on a homestead! A different story from when I was in my 20's. I am reasonably competent at several of the listed skills, and have observed a lot more. My mom was born on a Canadian homestead, and we lived that lifestyle in my formative years in NE Nevada. After we moved to PDX in OR, I worked on my grandparents dairy farm! It's a good life but it's hard! There's always a problem, be it animals, weather, fire, famine, flood! :) Or, just people!
    I hope every one of you, with a desire to live a self sustaining life get the chance! Learn, learn, learn!
    BTW, I recommend that folks that want to engage in a rural life haunt flea markets, yard sales and the like for Hand tools, heavy duty cooking and food processing, utility clothing, just everything you might need, including weaponry if that fits your bent. Again, good luck! :)
    Legion489, Trouble, Oltymer and 3 others like this.
  7. Motomom34

    Motomom34 Monkey+++

    Getting rid of the modern conveniences is a good suggestion. Drills, chainsaws and microwaves. When do these things the old fashion way it takes time. My son and I took care of a downed tree with a hand saw and ax. It would have been done in a matter of minutes with a chainsaw but we hacked away at it.
  8. ghrit

    ghrit Bad company Administrator Founding Member

    I would argue that the modern tools will do it a LOT faster, thus leaving you time to learn to use the old timer's stuff, and good on you for attacking that tree by hand.
    Motomom34, chelloveck and Sgt Nambu like this.
  9. DKR

    DKR Raconteur of the first stripe

    There are a large number of historical "living farms" all over the US.

    It would be worth your time to volunteer - esp if the farm is active (like the LBJ ranch in TX) and butcher animals, run looms and so on. Lots of opportunity to gain some mad skillz for the aftermath.....
  10. oil pan 4

    oil pan 4 Monkey+++

    Why would any one give up their chainsaw, just on the very remote chance there could be a zombie apocalypse.
  11. Dunerunner

    Dunerunner Brewery Monkey Moderator

  12. Motomom34

    Motomom34 Monkey+++

    Our chainsaw is gone. We have axes, hatchets and hand saws. As for Zombies, we have a few homemade weapons that will take care of them.
  13. 3M-TA3

    3M-TA3 Cold Wet Monkey

    One skill they forgot was getting out of bed by 5 AM or two hours before sunrise, whichever is earlier, whether you want to or not as long as you are able to stand. Get dressed, piddle, tend the animals, THEN you get your breakfast.
    Legion489 likes this.
  14. 3M-TA3

    3M-TA3 Cold Wet Monkey

    Agreed - Have both on hand and learn to use the traditional tools. Here are few episodes of "The Woodwright's Shop with Roy Underhill" to get you started:

    Last edited: Mar 28, 2017
  15. duane

    duane Monkey+++

    Back in the 1940's we had no electricity but still used a lot of dairy products. We had cream, both sour and sweet and used it in our food and we looked forward to sour cream sandwiches, butter will keep quite a while in a spring house, we made butter with both sour and sweet cream, cheese, soft and hard, will keep a while with no refrigeration other than spring water. Mother and grand mother made all kinds of dairy products and most were eaten with in a day or two. You can either cover cheese with cheese cloth soaked in salt water, dip it in wax, or make types that require mold etc, bleu cheese etc. In addition we cut ice and then ice box would keep many things for days, and with salt and ice, you can make ice cream. They also made a lot of custards, baked milk and egg dishes, and used it in breads.

    I for one would think being able to process dairy products would be a valuable skill. Was taught by my grand father at an early age to put my cap on backward and keep my forehead against the cow, They at least used to tense up their stomach muscles and lean in order to raise a leg up and kick at you and that gave you a little warning.
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2017
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