There are many skills our grandparents had that have been lost today. Various homesteading skills are lost on the modern city dweller.
Providing food and water for yourself are paramount. Knowing how to collect and purify water, from any source, including but not limited to rain, is a crucial skill in the event of disaster, water contamination or even water shortage.
During World War II most everyone had what was called a Victory Garden. These were essentially edible gardens that people used to produce some of their own food in order to reduce the demand and to supplement their food rations.
Gardening is probably one of the skills that many people still have, but most gardening now is done with non-food producing plants. Maintaining a garden to provide vegetables, fruit, nuts, and herbs is a critical homesteading skill. Food is necessary to life, so knowing how to grow food is one of the first skills any new homesteader should learn.
Preserving the food grown is probably one of the next most important skills to acquire. Knowing how to store the food for the long term will keep the food on the table in the long term. We all know that most food is seasonal, therefore to be able to eat it out of season means preserving it by canning, dehydrating, smoking or freezing.
Emphasis should be placed on canning and dehydrating as those are probably the top two ways to store fruits and vegetables. Freezing is good, but can result in freezer burn over time, and is dependent upon having continuous electricity. Depending upon electricity for food storage without having your own solar electricity generation makes the homesteader just as dependent as anyone else on the grid.
Cooking food from scratch is a skill that many new homesteaders will also want to learn. Making bread from wheat berries is quite a process, but if you know how to do it, you would have bread cheaper when there is food on the shelves at the grocery store, and if there is no food on the shelves, you’ll have bread when others don’t.
Raising and butchering small livestock like chickens, rabbits and ducks is something few people can do these days. Having the knowledge to do this will keep protein on your table in good times and in bad.
There are other skills that are good to learn too.
- soap making
- candle making
- herbal remedies
- harnessing solar and wind power
- mechanical repairs
The list is long, but and all of these skills will only make the life of a homesteader better to know.