Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Homesteading skills

These goals have been collected from different sources; online, books and my own experience.
There's about 275 goals on this list at the moment. I think.
I have tried to sort them some way.

Learn to start a fire without matches in any weather conditions, indoors and outdoors
Learn to build and extinguish burn piles
Learn how to make fire starters
Learn to use fireplaces and wood stoves
Learn how to heat your home with wood or other sustainable sources.
Learn to heat your home with wood. source when your power goes out..
Learn how to use alternative off the grid power (Solar, wind, water, wood).
Learn the differences between trees and the unique properties of various types of wood.
Learn how to safely cut down a tree.
Learn how to safely use a chainsaw and bow saw.
Learn how to split, stack and season firewood.
Learn to use the axe
Learn how to sharpen any edge tool – knife, axe, hoe, chisel, saw, spade etc.

Learn basic carpentry skills.
Learn how to use a handsaw, hammer & nails, screw driver, wire cutters, and measuring tape.
Learn how to build simple shelters in the wilderness
Learn how to build different houses; home, barn, shed, animal housing
Learn to repair these stuctures
Learn how to repair a roof on a home, barn, shed or animal housing.
Learn to build basic furniture
Learn to repair and refinish furniture
Learn indoor construction skills, like framing, drywall, mudding etc.
Learn how to lay basic brick or build a stone wall.
Learn how to make and apply whitewash.
Learn to make cob

Learn basic metal working skills and welding.
Learn basic blacksmithy
Learn whitesmithy (tinning)
Learn how to cut and glaze glass.

Learn how to use a ham radio, CB radio or FRS/GMRS Radios.
Learn to operate an emergency two-way radio.
Learn how to create a 72-hour kit for emergencies and Bug Out Bags for each family member and pets.

Learn how to make a natural mosquito trap.
Learn how to make organic mosquito repellent.
Learn how to identify the difference between harmless and venomous snakes and spiders in your area.

Live within your means and get out of debt.
Learn to reduce, reuse, recycle, repurpose, redo and repair
Embrace the motto “Use It Up, Wear It Out, Make It Do, or Do Without”.
Learn to jerry-rig anything with duct tape, twine and what ever else is on hand.
Learn to siphon gas.
Learn how to tie a variety of basic knots.
Learn when it is more economical to buy something ready-made or when to make it yourself.
Learn how to haggle
Learn how to swap and barter goods.
Learn how to network with like-minded people.
Learn how to work together with your neighbors to accomplish more and foster a sense of community.
Deal with unwanted people on your property.
Learn more than one spoken language so your family can speak to each other without most people understanding.
Learn how entertain yourself and live without electronic media.

Learn how to make long-term plans for the future – plan an orchard  or a livestock breeding program.

Learn how to prepare for homestead for bad weather or natural disasters.
Learn how to read an almanac.
Learn how to read the moon and stars.
Learn how to read the weather.
Learn how to tell the time of day by the sun.

Learn how to chop ice
Learn how to make an ice cellar
Learn how to dowse for water
Learn how to dig, use and maintain a shallow well
Learn how to harvest rainwater
Learn to store water
Learn how to purify water in different ways. Use various methods to make sure that you always have access to clean water.
Learn how to use grey-water.
Learn how to prevent freezing pipes and how to thaw them just in case they freeze up anyway, without busting them

learn to unclog a toilet or sink.
Learn basic plumbing and how to sweat copper pipes and joints.
Learn how to manage human urine and feces without plumbing.
Learn how to install/use a composting toilet.
Build an outhouse.
Learn to care for and empty a septic tank

Learn to make, use and clean sanitary tissues.

Learn how to make soap from wood ashes and animal fat.
Learn to make cosmetics, like creams and lotions
Learn to make cleaning products and detergents
Learn how to wash clothes without a washing machine. Learn to use a wash tub, washboard and hand-wringer.
Learn to dry clothes without a dryer, on a clothesline or rack

Learn to make paper
Learn to make ink

Learn to make candles
Learn to make an oil lamp
Learn to make a solar lamp
learn to wire a simple lamp
Learn how to use non-electric lighting.

Learn to make baskets
Learn pottery
Learn to find and clean clay so that it can be used for pottery
Learn to build a kiln and bake the pottery

Learn to sew; clothes, alterations, other items
Learn to alter, fix, mend, patch and darn clothing
Learn to use a sewing machine; electric and treadle machine
Learn to maintain and fix the sewing machine
Learn to convert an electric sewing machine into a treadle sewing machine
Learn to sew underwear
Learn to knit, crochet, weave
Learn to quilt, braid rugs and other crafts using patches and rags
Learn how to shear a sheep.
Learn how to process the wool
Learn how to prepare flax and other plant fibres into rowing
Learn how to spin on a spinning wheel or with a drop spindle.
Learn how to make natural dyes and how to use them

Learn how to hand thresh and winnow wheat or oats and other small grains.
Learn how to grind your own wheat, corn, beans, nuts etc. into flour
Learn to make starch
Learn to bake bread; yeast, quickbread, sourdough, flatbread
Learn to cultivate sourdough
Learn to bake without electricity, in an open fire, in wood stove
Learn to make your own baking mixes
Learn to bake pies

Learn home brewing
Learn how to make wine
Make a still (well… to distill water, but you can also distill alcohol and use it as disinfectant or bartering mean… or drink it. )
Learn to make apple cider
Build an apple press

Learn to dehydrate; dry foods, plants, meat, fish (sundried tomatoes, jerky)
Learn to build a dehydrator
Learn to cure food
Learn to build a smoker or smoke house
Learn to smoke cheeses, meat, fish, etc
Learn to make jams, jellies and preserve fruits in syrup
Learn canning, bottling and jarring
Learn how to use a water bath canner and pressure cooker/canner.
Learn to make condiments
Learn to pickle
Learn to ferment food (lacto-ferment)
Learn how to preserve and can tomatoes properly.
Learn how to preserve herbs for teas, spices or other uses
Learn to ferment some wild plants, like raspberry leaves, to be used as black tea
Learn how to store bulk food for long-term storage.
Store food in a root cellar or in a cool basement.
Learn how to build a root cellar

Learn to cook without electricity
Learn to cook over an open fire
Build an outdoor rocket stove.  Learn to make an outdoor stove for warmth or to cook outdoors.
Learn how to use a wood stove and how to bank a fire.
Learn to cook on a cook stove
Learn to cook with a sun-oven.
Learn to use cast iron skillet and dutch oven, both inside and outside
Learn how to cook from scratch.
Learn how to cook wild game.
Learn how to cook a whole chicken.

Create your own cookbook

Learn how to render lard or tallow.
Learn how to make sausage, ham, bacon and other charkuterie
Learn how to make and can bone broth.
Learn to cook meat stock from scratch
Learn to make gravy from scratch
Learn how to sprout beans for winter time fresh salad ingredients.
Learn how to sprout nuts and seeds.
Learn to make vinegar
Learn to press oil from seeds and nuts

Tap trees for syrup (sugar maple and birch)
Learn to make maple syrup and maple sugar
Learn to make birch syrup.

Build a fully stocked food pantry for at least 3 months.

Learn how to identify the difference between edible and poisonous mushrooms
Learn to identify the edible and other usable plants in your area
Learn how to harvest, storage and use them
Learn to identify, harvest, storage and use the medicinal plants in your area
Learn how to make herbal extracts, salves, infusions, poultices and tinctures.
Learn how to make remedies

Learn how to handle, shoot, and clean a gun.
Learn to make ammunition and reload ammunition
Learn how to shoot and clean wild foul.
Learn how to hunt wild game – both large and small, according to the laws and rules of your location
Learn to hunt with a gun
Learn to hunt with a sling
Learn to hunt with bow and arrows
Learn to hunt with traps
Learn to make and set various traps
Learn how to set and bait traps for unwanted vermin and predators.
Learn natural pest control
Learn natural vermin control and how to protect your property from them

Learn how to fish
Learn how to make fishing lures and spears and other fishing equipment
Learn to gut, clean and fillet a fish
Learn to cook a fish

Learn how to butcher an animal (from chicken and rabbits to oxen and anything in between) and the proper cuts of meat.
Learn how to kill and how to properly pluck a chicken. (It's a skill)
Learn to use every part of an animal.

Learn to skin an animal, any animal, from fish and snakes to poultry, rabbits, game and livestock, even roadkills
Learn to clean the skins, hides and pelts and tan/prepare them to be used
Learn to work with leather
Know how to maintain leatherwares and furs
Learn basic shoemaking
Learn cobblery and shoe maintenance

Learn how to clear pasture and brush.
Learn to manage your pastures (alternating grazing, ground covers etc.)
Protect your livestock from predators.
Learn how to restrain and shelter animals
Learn how to build a good fence, hang gates, support corners.
Learn how to build and fix a fence.
Learn how to create wattle fences - weaving green branches together.
Learn how to use electric netting or fencing.

Learn how to trim the feet of your hoofed livestock and how to clip the nails of cats, dogs and poultry, and how to take care of the feet/claws/hoofs of all your animals, and how to shoe the animals that need shoes, like horses.
Learn how to castrate livestock.
Learn how to de-horn livestock
Learn how to set an ear tag or tattoo for animal identification.


Animals are not to be declawed, devocalized, earcropped, taildocked, -nicked or -blocked, 
descented, devoiced, detoed, dewinged, pinioned, dubbed, mulesed 
or in any other way surgically mutilated.

I can accept spaying/neutering animals, dehorning and 
different markings, like tattoos, chips, earmarks and eartags, even branding, 
but that must be done in a humane, as painless and swift manner as possible.
If you wouldn't undergo the same procedure without anesthesia and painkillers,
don't make an animal do it either.

Learn how distinguish healthy animals from unhealthy animals
Learn to tag, load, and take animals ( goats) to the sale barn or to market by yourself.
Learn to determine an animal's age and condition by its teeth and other qualities

Learn how to make pet food, livestock feed, treats
Learn how to cut, bale and stack hay and straw

Learn the basics of animal breeding
Learn to tell whether an animal needs to be taken to the vet or if you can just do the doctoring yourself at home.
Learn to recognize a pregnant animal and keep an eye open for new-born / hatched animals in winter to be able to locate them and move them in cover if needed
Learn to assist with foaling, kidding, lambing, calving – learn midwifery
Learn how to graft baby animals onto a foster-mother.
Learn how to stomach tube a newborn animal

Give an animal an injection (the muscle, in the vein, or under the skin).
First-aid and CPR for humans and livestock animals
Learn how to clean, dress, and stitch/staple a wound.
Learn survival medical skills

Learn how to ride a horse.
Learn to hitch horses and mules to be able to plow or pull
Learn how drive a draft animal.
Learn how to pack gear on an animal

Learn to train and use sheep and cattle dogs
Learn to train goats, mules, donkeys, horses and oxes to draw carts and carry packs
Learn how to halter-break and train an animal
Learn other ways to train animals, like mushroom pigs and dogs, or training a horse to accept a rider.

Learn how to keep bees and harvest honey.

Learn how to keep goldfish, koi and other fish in ponds, and fish farming

Learn how to keep rabbits, how to kill them, how to skin them and how to cook them

I would learn how to keep ferrets to keep the mice, rats, voles, moles and other such things in check. Ferrets are more effective than cats.

Learn how to milk a goat, sheep or cow.
Learn how to pasteurize milk.
Learn to make dairy; butter, yogurt, sourcream, etc.
Learn how to make cheese: soft and hard cheeses.
Wax cheese for long term storage.
Make a cheese press

Learn how to keep chicken and other poultry
Learn how to keep waterfowl
Build a chicken coop
Learn how to candle eggs so you can tell if they are fertilized
Learn how to incubate fertilized eggs and hatch your own chicks.
Set up your own chicken brooder.
Learn how to identify and manage a broody hen.
Learn how to tell if your chickens are molting.
Make chicken feed
Teach chickens to return to their coop upon command.

Learn to push-start a manual transmission.
Learn how to drive a manual transmission
Learn to drive a tractor, a lorry, a dirt bike, a quad or any other vehicle on your farm
Learn basic mechanics and electronics; to fix your tractor and other vehicles, to repair small engines and machines, to do simple maintenance (oil change, spark plugs, tires)
Learn how to correctly attach 3 point hitch implements to a tractor.
Practice backing up a trailer and going around corners smoothly.

Learn how to break ground and plow.
Learn how to use a garden shovel, spade or hoe properly.
Learn how to make and use a hot bed or cold frame.
Learn how to build and use a greenhouse
Investigate underground greenhousing and orangeries, and see if that would be an alternative for you
Learn different forms of garderning; organic, no-till; container; vertical, aquaponics, permaculture, etc
Learn how distinguish healthy plants from unhealthy plants
Learn natural weed and pest control
Learn how to deal with plant diseases and conditions
Learn about the climate, soil and proper locations
Learn how to propagate plants through cuttings and other ways
Learn to collect and storage seeds
Learn how to start seeds indoors.
Learn how and when to use hybrid seeds.
Learn how to plant and grow tomatoes.
Learn to grow vegetables, have a vegetable garden for at least two seasons
Learn to grow herbs and have a year round herb garden
Grow herbs on windowsill
Learn how to use a pressure tank garden sprayer.

Learn how to compost
Make a compost bin
Compost both kitchen scraps and animal manure.
Learn vermiculture.

Learn how to plan an orchard
Learn how to plant a tree
Learn how to and when to prune the tree
Learn how to graft a fruit tree
Learn to harvest your trees

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