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~Whether you want to be a full-fledged homesteader or just want to increase your self-sufficiency skills, join us here to post your goals and progress as you try new things in 2012! No projects is too small or too big!~
 

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Good timing! I just this minute talked my husband out of the current parking space for the camper, which I want to make into a garden space.

So that's my homesteading challenge for this year: Get the new garden space at least partially constructed.
 

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Yay! I am in! I have a long list of skills I would like to acquire or brush up on! I am thinking I may do 2 skills a month, one crafty type skill, sewing/knitting etc and one kitchen skill like yogurt, canning etc... 2013 is my year for getting my semi homestead set up! I spent last year letting speed bumps and obstacles slow me way down but I have figured some ways around them. No more excuses! Where there is a will there is a way! I love a quote that's something like this, "If its important to you you will find a way, if its not, you will find and excuse!" I will start working on my list, a few are subject to change due to circumstances but I will have back up skill options at the ready! :)
 

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I'm in! I'm not sure how much will be learning new skills and how much will be expanding my knowledge on existing skills. Like solar cooking - last year we learned how and only did it once. I would like to truly learn how to solar cook. We plan on installing a manual pump in our well for emergencies, installing a wood stove and how to cook on it....stuff like that.
 

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I'm in. I got a new sewing machine last year and havent learned how to use it,.. I would also like to do more canning and plant a bigger garden
 

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I am going to expand on some skills and possibly learn new ones....I am choosing to practice crocheting for the month of January. I hae a ton of yarn that I want to use up....so I think possible a lap blanket or throw....Not sure what else for the year..I know I am going to impove upon my gardening as well expand and try new things this year
 

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I'd like to tackle a new skill every month so here goes (in no particular order) and I'll add to the list later:
~ Learn to make bread by hand (no bread machine!)
~ Brush up on my knitting as I've only done it a couple of times and that was over a year ago.
~ Build/successfully grow a container garden
 

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I'm in! I am planning to be a SAHM sometime this year, which is when I plan to really hone my homesteading skills, but until then, I will work towards one new skill a month. I am also going to attend a Becoming an Outdoor Woman weekend this fall which I am so excited to attend.

My goals include:

- improve canning (both pressure, water bath and dry)
- increase me stockpile (perhaps double?)
- step up our gardening. Hubby did almost all of it last year because I was working. This year I need to be more involved.
- learn more about knitting. I can do the basics but I want to get better at it
- learn to sew and make some of our own clothes

I'm sure others will come up.
 

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Ok, like I stated before I will have a total of 24 skills for the year, one kitchen, one other type of skill (craft/garden) per month. Here is an incomplete rough list of things I wish to learn or improve on in 2013 in no particular order, and still subject to change! lol

Kitchen Skills
Yogurt
Bread
Canning- I will have a few different months of canning skills. Jelly, salsa, spaghetti sauce, etc
Cheese- also may have a couple months working on different types of cheese
Dutch Oven cooking
Smoking meat

Other Skills
Composting
Larger vegetable garden
Chickens-eggs
Chickens-meat
Sewing
Knitting
Dairy Goat keeping (hopefully)
Start an herb garden
 

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Nada, a FoodSaver vacuum sealing appliance with a jar attachment will vacuum seal in a fraction of the time of dry canning and does not require using electricity or gas for a stove. The FS has other uses too, so even though it does cost some to get one and buy the bags, it can pay for itself over time.

Sewing is a great skill. However, be aware it's usually cheaper to buy clothing secondhand and sometimes new. Fabric and notions have gotten ridiculously expensive. But if you can make over clothes, mend, and pick up fabrics and supplies from thrift stores or garage sales, it can still be cost effective. You wouldn't believe the fantastic buys I've found over time at garage sales in particular.

One way to save money on sewing clothing is to use black or white thread as much as possible, rather than buying other colors. White and black are available on larger spools, and cost less per yard than other colors on smaller spools. And buying decent quality thread is worth the extra cost.
 

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Seems like I have many skills, I just don't use them and that's not a good thing. January bake bread once a week. Putting on my calendar for Wednesday.
 

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Nada, a FoodSaver vacuum sealing appliance with a jar attachment will vacuum seal in a fraction of the time of dry canning and does not require using electricity or gas for a stove. The FS has other uses too, so even though it does cost some to get one and buy the bags, it can pay for itself over time.

Sewing is a great skill. However, be aware it's usually cheaper to buy clothing secondhand and sometimes new. Fabric and notions have gotten ridiculously expensive. But if you can make over clothes, mend, and pick up fabrics and supplies from thrift stores or garage sales, it can still be cost effective. You wouldn't believe the fantastic buys I've found over time at garage sales in particular.

One way to save money on sewing clothing is to use black or white thread as much as possible, rather than buying other colors. White and black are available on larger spools, and cost less per yard than other colors on smaller spools. And buying decent quality thread is worth the extra cost.
You are so right Spirit Deer! I wanted to make some Christmas pillows this year, and I went in to price the materials I needed for the SMALL pillow I wanted to make and it was $60!!! What?!?! So instead I used some of the supplies I had and I actually found some clearance valances that had some really pretty beaded trim for less than a 20th the cost of the trim alone at a fabric store. Buying at full price at fabric/craft stores is no longer wallet friendly. But like you said, shop around and get creative and I am sure we can come up with things. I really want to step up my sewing so I can customize my clothing, I am 6ft and a pretty large woman and IF I can find something that fits well it is so cheap that it doesn't last long, and if I actually find something that fits well and is quality, then the price is way out of my budget! I always have ideas on how to make things fit better or make them a bit more sturdy, or to make the sturdy ones a little cuter but don't have the skill to make my ideas happen. So that is definitely something I need to work on.

The food saver is a great item, we had one a while back but we lent it out and it came back not working... it was pretty old. We may need to invest in a new one...

I also want to add dehydrating to my list. I got a nice dehydrator LAST Christmas, used it a couple times with little success and kinda gave up on it. But I am sure with some trial and error I should be able to come up with some things that I can get to work for us...
 

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Yup, gotta be creative to find affordable sewing supplies these days. (Why do I feel like such a fossil every time I end a sentence with the words "these days"?) And grab it when you can find it, even if you don't need it. I live in a tiny town which has a fabric store, sort of. I think the cheapest fabric is over $10 a yard and it's nothing special. Plus which, the owner shows up and opens the store only when she feels like it. I swear, I am NOT making that up! I've been in there a few times, and after the last time when she let her bratty kid follow me all over asking annoying, rude questions and bugging me, I won't be going back unless there is no alternative, and believe me, I'm good at finding alternatives. My sewing room has a better inventory than her store anyway, and most of it has been bought on the cheap.

I digress.

I bought two dehydrators cheap in the past year, one at GW and one at a garage sale, NIB. They both use all the same trays and stuff, so I can stack them eleven high now, which is great. I need to use them more too. I made turkey jerky dog treats which are a hit and much better for our girl than the made in China crap we used to give her. Plus we can eat it too. I dried a bunch of apples and bananas, too. But I still have a lot to learn.

I have concluded I need to learn to use the smoker we've owned for years, too.
 

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This is a grate challenge!

Some of the tings I want to try to learn more about are:

Yogurt
Sour doug bread
Canning
Composting
Making and mending a chicken coop
Knitting
Sewing
Gardening
Wild foods - mushroms, berries, greens etc
fishing and getting crabs
 

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Okay, I am going to give it a try again this year. I have so many good intentions!!!Here's my list:
Bread without a bread machine.
Sewing, got a new to me sewing machine.
Bigger Garden, i am luck enough to live where i can garden all year.
Learn many DIY things so we can finish remodeling our trailer by ourselves. Plumbing, floors, ceilngs and drywall.
We will see if I get past March this year!!
 

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This last year I bought a Pressure Canner and a Dehydrator. Of course I did not put them to use.
I will once again learn to can.
I will once again learn to dehydrate.

I also want to enlarge our garden, plus also utilize some of our shady areas for some of the veggies, etc.
Needlework is also on the agenda. I used to do some Candlewicking several years ago. I really enjoyed it but quit doing it, now I have a reason to get started back again and get better at it.

I also want to learn to make bread from scratch.
 

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This last year I bought a Pressure Canner and a Dehydrator. Of course I did not put them to use.
I will once again learn to can.
I will once again learn to dehydrate..
thanks for the reminder that a dehydrator is in the closet!! got apples in the frig and I'm off the use my apple/peeler/slicer and dehydrate those apples before it's too late.
 

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I've decided I need to come up with a list of twelve skills I can learn or improve upon this year, and see if I can meet those goals.

Stay tuned...
 

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I'm in. I got a new sewing machine last year and havent learned how to use it,.. I would also like to do more canning and plant a bigger garden
A sewing machine is a great investment and can be used to make many things other than clothes, plus mending. I suggest using grey thread as it blends into all colors plus the necessary white and black. Walmart has put fabric back in to all stores that had fabric before and online you can find really good deals. Another favorite fabric shopping place is Good Will - sheets, large size clothing can be cut, dresses can be remade (goggle a dress a day for ideas). you can redo tshirts (goggle remake tshirts). I've been sewing for over 50 years and I don't make clothes for me, but sew for grandchildren, sleep pants, and toddler clothes are fun to make, old towels can be remade into pretty towels or lining for potholders, and of course quilts!!!!! I belong to a quilt guild and I collect scraps and turn them into quilts.


Sew sew sew much to sew!
 
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