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A place where we can all learn skills together! They don't need to be new, you can expand on what you do. Any form of homesteading is welcome! :) crafts, sewing, cooking, gardening, livestock, etc.

Photos welcome, bragging welcome! ;)

Can we get it sticky-ed? :)
 

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My goals for 2015:

Get chicken coops built- they have coops now, but they need to be rebuilt and include a light safely in there to help winter egg production.

Hatch chickens for next year layers, maybe sell some too.- gotta keep the flock rotating! Any extras can be sold to help feed costs.

Get pig pen and shelter ready/built for piggies in 2016- we thought we were gonna get pigs this spring, but gotta push them off a year which is fine.

Make ricotta and mozzarella cheese- never done cheese but it seems easy enough. Gonna have to be with store bought milk, but these cheeses do pretty well with that.

Make yogurt- once again, easy enough just gotta do it. Store bought milk again.

Plant 20 fruit trees on property- we have one cherry tree, 2 pears and 2 mulberry trees. Gonna buy some whips, throw up some chicken wire and hope for the best!

Get cutting and propagate our lilac bushes- have some large beautiful lilac bushes and I want a hedge of them. Got some rooting compound, gonna try and root some cuttings.

Put in grape trellis- maybe add some more grapes if $ allows.

Start working on the many flower gardens, Benji's first.- Benji is my son that passed away. He is going in to a lovely flower garden by the base of a silver maple, but the garden needs work as it's been allowed to go wild for 2 years.

Save more seed!- I've saved a lot, but I need to save more! My hard thing is getting out there to tape blossoms on squash so cross pollination doesn't occur. Maybe sell a few packs of seeds on ebay or something

Can new things!- I do can a lot, and have Both a pressure canner and water bath canner. Ideas of things: asparagus from our patches, meats, soups.

Start a ton of seed indoors- I always start tomatoes, peppers, and eggplant inside at least. This year, I am doing onions, the above mentioned and cucumbers, squash, watermelons, etc. I usually direct sow the squashes and melons because they don't really enjoy being transplanted, but we've had such cool springs that the seeds sit there forever before coming up.
 

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I'm new to this site (well, signed up in April, never posted or anything though), but this sounds like a good challenge for me, so I thought I'd try it this coming year.

Before I list everything, I'll just mention that I'm not sure if a few things on my list would technically be considered homesteading skills. I'm not a homesteader, but it seems that homesteading is mainly being self-sufficient (someone correct me if I'm totally off base). I'm going off to a rather large college in the fall, so some of the skills I've decided to learn stray from the usual cooking/gardening/sewing variety and are a little more... urban... in nature.

Anyway, here's my list. I'll think about how I'm actually going to go about learning these skills as each month draws nearer, so some things are a little vague for now.

January: Learn Basic Cooking Skills
I'm still living at home right now, and my step-dad does a lot of cooking, but I always go for prepackaged stuff when I have to fend for myself. So I'm totally lost when it comes to things like how to cut up or cook vegetables on the stovetop or how to bake in the oven. Considering I probably won't be living at home for the rest of my life, I figure I better learn at least some basic cooking skills.

February: Learn to Repair Bikes
When I go off to college, I'm going to have to walk, bike or take public transportation everywhere. If I get a flat tire or my chain breaks or something, I'd like to know how to fix it so I won't have to ask a friend or pay to have it fixed somewhere.

March: Learn to Make Bread
I actually have made bread in a bread machine before, but only once or twice and I'm not comfortable doing it. I want to be able to be totally comfortable making a basic loaf of bread in a bread machine for those times when we're out of store bought bread or I just feel like having homemade. Some day I may try baking bread in the oven, but for now I'll stick with this.

April: Learn to Start Seedlings
My parents are planning on having a garden this summer, and I think it'd be fun and useful to learn how to grow things. I'm not sure yet exactly when you're supposed to start seedlings, but from what I could gather, most people start them in March or April around here.

May: Learn to Prepare a Garden for Planting
By this, I mean learning how to make the soil ready, like tilling, picking rocks out, planning where things will go and putting fertilizer down and stuff.

June: Learn to Plant and Transplant
It's generally too cold and wet to start planting much before June here. My mom remembers when she was a kid, her family would plant on Memorial Day. So this might actually be the end of May, but I'm not sure. When I was young, my mom used to garden a little, and I'm pretty sure we planted in the beginning of June.

July: Learn to Take Care of a Garden
You know, like learning what things are weeds and what things are actual plants and when to water them and how to make sure the slugs and birds don't get everything. Also, some things probably would be producing stuff by the end of July (like tomatoes and cucumbers maybe - I'm still relying on vague memories from about 10-15 years ago), so I'd include learning how to tell when things are ready to be picked.

August: Learn How to Fix Clothes
I don't care so much about making clothes right now, but I would at least like to learn how to fix clothes that I already have. I'm going to have to be pretty frugal for the next few years, so it would be great to not have to spend an extra $20 on a pair of jeans every time a button pops off or I accidentally make a small rip.

September: Learn How to Safely Ride a Bicycle
I know how to ride a bike, but I'm used to riding on deserted bike trails, and I'm also probably not as concerned about my safety as I should be. So I want to get in the habit of wearing a helmet, walking my bike across the road, etc... I'd also like to learn laws/rules for riding in town and how to use hand signals and buy a headlight if I ride at night.

October: Learn How to Use Public Transportation
Since I'll be a college student, public transportation will be free for me, but I've never ridden on a city bus in my life. I want to learn how use the public transportation system and find my way around town on foot. I'm horrible with maps, so this should be interesting.

November: Learn How to Swim
Maybe this isn't really a homesteading skill, but I included it because I think it's a life skill that everyone should have, and I feel like it does have to do with self-sufficiency. (So you don't have to rely on flotation devices or have to stay in shallow water for instance - whether you're alone or are responsible for watching over children who are playing in the water.)

December: Learn How to Knit
I might not feel ready to make shirts and dresses, but I think it would be fun to learn how to knit so I could make my own hats and scarves and mittens. Not sure how hard I'll find this, but I think I should at least be able to get the basic skills down even if I can't actually make anything. Except for a scarf - that sounds pretty easy.
 

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Welcome, Rebecca! That's a very ambitious list.

For a lot of the goals you've set, be sure to check YouTube for how-to videos. YouTube is an amazing resource for how-tos of all sorts of things. Even if you think you won't find what you're looking for, check just in case.

For your first goal of learning to cook, ask your step-dad or other people who know how to cook if they will show you some basics. Start a file of recipes, so when you're on your own you can refer back to it. Check your library for cookbooks that teach beginning cooks some of the basics. Betty Crocker cookbooks have some of that type. Basic cooking isn't hard, but like nearly everything, it does take a little practice to get consistent results. Remember even experienced cooks have failures from time to time, so if things sometimes don't go well, so don't get discouraged if something doesn't come out right. Figure out what went wrong so you can correct it the next time. You may want to set a secondary goal of learning to cook five or ten recipes for inexpensive, nutritious meals, to give yourself a base of knowledge to build on. If you can cook ten meals from scratch, you will have more than a week's worth of meals you can rotate through and not get too bored.

www.ravelry.com is a fantastic resource for patterns for knitting, crocheting, and other thread and yarn crafts. You can filter your search by yarn type, skill level from beginner to expert, etc. Rav has the best search engine I've ever seen.

I need to set some goals for myself for this challenge too. I don't know what I'd choose though. Not that I know everything, but at this point I don't know what new skills I'd want to learn.
 

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Thank you Raiquee for starting this thread..My FAVORITE subject to talk about!

All Random thoughts.

Talked to my dh on cutting down some trees,cutting into logs,drilling holes and inoculating them with mushroom spores..I'm so excited to be growing my own mushrooms!I have said before I was going to do this but it never happened..

I'm going to be making tinctures,salves,encapsulating herbs,mosquito repellent all from my own plants.

Dh is also making me/adding 3-different sized raised beds to my already established several raised beds that I have that will grow potatoes,onions and carrots in..I hope by using a new garden method that I will see really good results..

I'm going to forage for wild edibles that grow on our land to eat like
fiddle heads,stinging nettles,dandelions,wild grapes,mushrooms.

Fun fact..Did you know that you can eat Hosta plants? Yup you can eat them when they first start growing shoots..plus the flowers are edible also.

I'm thinking of talking dh into letting me add a few more fruit trees..I'm up to 19 varieties but,I want a few more varieties of Apple trees..thinking long term where I could sell [email protected] a lb or more I think we could make this a side business in the future.

Would like add 50 or more jars of pressured canned meat to my supply.

My cousin owns the field next to my property that he said I could garden in..I'm seriously thinking of doing this..corn,squash of all kinds,pumpkins would all grow well in this naturally fertilized soil..super excited just thinking about this opportunity..

Want to can my own juice for the first time..my blackberry, raspberry,blueberry bushes I hope will give me a really good bounty in 2015..I have lost count on how many bushes I have now but..I know I've got at least 50-bushes and they multiply each year almost all are 3 to 5 yrs old..

Will be canning fruit and pie filling from my Peach trees if we don't get a late frost..I didn't get any peaches this year..but the year before my tree was loaded with over 250-peaches on one and another 20 white peaches on the other.

My Apple tree should be producing apples..if it does I hope to get enough to can my own applesauce..I had gotten several lbs of free apples a few years ago..I turned the into apple butter,apple pie filling and of coarse applesauce..my son pretty much consumed almost all of the applesauce..LOL..so I already know that I would need to can 50% more to make it to the next season.

Dehydrating my raspberry,mint leaves,bee balm flowers,chamomile flowers(if it made it through the winter) for my homemade teas..I have used fresh bee balm flowers to make my dh and I a cup of hot tea..it was very different tasting but I really liked it.

Plant a Willow tree...Fun Fact: did you know that aspirin is made from the Willow tree?

Maybe adding pheasants to raise and sell.

My dh built a 10 by 12ft deck on the front of the house..(Thanks to my Dad!) we re purposed the cement walkway pads by breaking into pieces and outlining the outside of the deck with them..so now I get to plant more plants..YAY..I did plant Lemon Balm in it already..I love the smell of it! I've been thinking about what herbs that I'm going to plant that I use in my cooking..I know I'm going to take my 12-yr old potted container of Chives and plant it close to the steps..have to research what will grow in some of the shaded area's.

Learn to crochet a hat.

I'm listing what I know for sure I'm doing in 2015..I'm sure I will be adding to this thread as I learn more about homesteading.
 

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My homesteading skills goals for this year will be:
1. Learn to make bread from scratch NOT in a bread machine
2. Learn container gardening and rely on this for some of our veggies and herbs.
3. Relying more on essential oils and such for natural remedies rather than traditional meds.
4. Learning to make tortillas from scratch rather than buying them.
5. Learning how to really bake--cinnamon rolls, cakes, etc.
6. Making more convenience foods from scratch.
7. Learn to embroider (will help with Christmas gifts for 2015)
8. Learn to make homemade yogurt.
9. Learn to make homemade cheese
10. Learn to can (beans, apples, etc.)
 
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Thank you Raiquee for starting this thread..My FAVORITE subject to talk about!

All Random thoughts.

Talked to my dh on cutting down some trees,cutting into logs,drilling holes and inoculating them with mushroom spores..I'm so excited to be growing my own mushrooms!I have said before I was going to do this but it never happened..

I'm going to be making tinctures,salves,encapsulating herbs,mosquito repellent all from my own plants.

Dh is also making me/adding 3-different sized raised beds to my already established several raised beds that I have that will grow potatoes,onions and carrots in..I hope by using a new garden method that I will see really good results..

I'm going to forage for wild edibles that grow on our land to eat like
fiddle heads,stinging nettles,dandelions,wild grapes,mushrooms.

Fun fact..Did you know that you can eat Hosta plants? Yup you can eat them when they first start growing shoots..plus the flowers are edible also.

I'm thinking of talking dh into letting me add a few more fruit trees..I'm up to 19 varieties but,I want a few more varieties of Apple trees..thinking long term where I could sell [email protected] a lb or more I think we could make this a side business in the future.

Would like add 50 or more jars of pressured canned meat to my supply.

My cousin owns the field next to my property that he said I could garden in..I'm seriously thinking of doing this..corn,squash of all kinds,pumpkins would all grow well in this naturally fertilized soil..super excited just thinking about this opportunity..

Want to can my own juice for the first time..my blackberry, raspberry,blueberry bushes I hope will give me a really good bounty in 2015..I have lost count on how many bushes I have now but..I know I've got at least 50-bushes and they multiply each year almost all are 3 to 5 yrs old..

Will be canning fruit and pie filling from my Peach trees if we don't get a late frost..I didn't get any peaches this year..but the year before my tree was loaded with over 250-peaches on one and another 20 white peaches on the other.

My Apple tree should be producing apples..if it does I hope to get enough to can my own applesauce..I had gotten several lbs of free apples a few years ago..I turned the into apple butter,apple pie filling and of coarse applesauce..my son pretty much consumed almost all of the applesauce..LOL..so I already know that I would need to can 50% more to make it to the next season.

Dehydrating my raspberry,mint leaves,bee balm flowers,chamomile flowers(if it made it through the winter) for my homemade teas..I have used fresh bee balm flowers to make my dh and I a cup of hot tea..it was very different tasting but I really liked it.

Plant a Willow tree...Fun Fact: did you know that aspirin is made from the Willow tree?

Maybe adding pheasants to raise and sell.

My dh built a 10 by 12ft deck on the front of the house..(Thanks to my Dad!) we re purposed the cement walkway pads by breaking into pieces and outlining the outside of the deck with them..so now I get to plant more plants..YAY..I did plant Lemon Balm in it already..I love the smell of it! I've been thinking about what herbs that I'm going to plant that I use in my cooking..I know I'm going to take my 12-yr old potted container of Chives and plant it close to the steps..have to research what will grow in some of the shaded area's..
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^I'm not good at explaining myself..lol..I should of said that I want to plant some herbs that I use a lot for fresh cooking that's right outside my front door..I have herbs in my garden but its a walk to pick them.

Learn to crochet a hat.


I'm listing what I know for sure I'm doing in 2015..I'm sure I will be adding to this thread as I learn more about homesteading.
Buy more EarthBoxes being added to this list..(Done..bought 2-more)
 

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Not really a new skill, but I wanted to show off the tree skirt I made. I wanted it to look elegant, rather than Xmas colors. I used whites, one fabric has white snowflakes, on has a silver glitter, and he other has the silver bubbles. Took me like two days and oh boy my back! Came out very nice tho.

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Hello, this is my first post on the site :)
we currently live in the suburbs but our dream is to own a hobby farm so I want to start working on new skills for when the time comes.
1. I want to knit a full garment for my new baby. I have basic knitting skills but have never managed an item of clothing.
2. Make yoghurt at home
3. Bake bread
4. Learn to crochet
5. Grow a successful pot garden
That's all I have for now, I will add to the list as we go along :)
 

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The seed catalogs are pouring in! I'm gonna grab my seed inventory and my 2015 garden plan and see what I need to purchase! I know it will be quite a bit of seed cause I bought seed back in 2010, a lot of it, and a lot of it was hybrid. I want heirloom stuff. So I used up a lot of seed packs to "Get rid" of it. I'll update with everything I'm growing in 2015 when I have it figured out.
 

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We are going into our second year on the homestead and I've been contemplating ways to bring in a bit of income. Not enough for profit, just to help cover some costs.

I know I don't want to sell eggs unless we have to. Same with canning products. I just don't want that liability.

Last year we find we didn't churn out enough produce to sell veggies. Our garden plan this year is better planned (uses space more wisely) but still, until we expand I think we are just supporting ourselves and barely through winter.

So needless to say, I'm going to do a test run. I'm gonna try and sell veggie starts. Ive been growing our starts for about 5 years now, and I'm fairly good at it. Not sure how to price them, was thinking of selling in 6packs only, mix and match, for $3. So, .50cents a plant. All heirloom, organic. I might charge a higher premium for tomatoes, not sure yet.
 

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I should start my plants from seeds..I have invested in everything that is needed to do so..I find it easier just to go buy the 6-pk veggie containers for $1.69..so I would say you should go for it Raiquee!

I'm going into my 6th year of homesteading..I haven't sold squat.LOL. every darn year something has happened where I couldn't sell my produce or eggs in front of my home..the garden has barely fed us a month let alone selling excess..my dachshund would go after anyone that comes near my lawn..so selling the eggs that I had planned on putting in a ice chest on a table with a honor system box in front of my lawn went down the tubes..so far I have high hopes that someday it will happen that my own little homestead will provide extra income.

Do you grow flowers from seed? Another idea that I was going to do since purchasing my greenhouse..I bought in bulk the hanging planters for very little..amazing how much places charge for their hanging flower pots.

What about selling herbs they grow really easy..

I was thinking of digging up my raspberry & blackberry starts and put them in pots to sell.

Lots of ideas for sure..
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Brenda) I was thinking of putting together little window boxes of asst herbs. I've been growing a herb bucket since I started gardening and it's awesome! It's a small tin waterer for horses or something, so it's bigger than what most people need.

I think for now I'm gonna start with a goal of selling 300 plants. I want to raise $150 to put towards trees. I think I'm gonna do cukes, Zukes, melons, tomatoes, peppers, squash... So that's a total of 50 6-packs. I have the space to do it, and will leave a little area in my garden for any overflow. Or I'm just out the time and seed if they don't sell. Worth a shot.

I want to sell cuttings of grape, blackberry, raspberry once mine get more established. That I can do on ebay as well as seeds.
 
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I forgot to mention, I'm not much of a flower person. I mean I like them and all, but haven't got to that point in my gardening. Mostly a veggie person here!
 
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That's a good idea for growing your herbs..if you could find some unique or eye catching containers that won't cost much then I think it would be a good seller for sure..a thought just came in mind..what if you used some old logs that you have on your property or your dh could cut down some smaller based trees that he could use a chainsaw to cut out the centers,drill some holes in the bottom so it doesn't become water logged and plant your herbs in that?

I love flowers..but don't grow a lot (I love Irises so I do have them!)that doesn't serve a purpose like for medicinal use..But,in my area people love to buy flowers that are in hanging pots..geeze my Aunt loves flowers so much she spent a couple hundred last year on the hanging and ones you plant in the ground..all annuals :thud:

Could you give me a little more info on the selling the cuttings of grape,raspberry& blackberry plants?

I do have established plants on them all.
 

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Also what is your method of starting your seeds? Do you grow them in your basement with a heat pad and grow lights? I'm so unsure of myself at growing veggie seeds from seed..
 

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You could try selling perennials that multiply. You would not get a return for a few years though, but the trade-off is it would be pretty much effortless to grow them. Lilies of the valley, hostas, Egyptian walking onions, bunching onions are a few I can think of, but I'm sure there are others. I know Egyptian walking onions are always in demand and from what I've read online, the sets are hard to come by. I bought our lilies of the valley years ago on eBay and they spread like crazy and are even growing in gravel outside their designated box now. They don't need any care and don't need great soil either. Neither do the onions.

Check eBay for pricing to help you decide what you might be able to charge.
 

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Thanks SD~ its funny you should mention Egyptian walking onions as I just planting them in November...I can't wait for them to become established so I can sell mine.

I also planted Jerusalem Artichokes and they were not cheap either! I will also sell them when they are established.

Hosta's are crazy expensive too..I bought several at Lowe's on clearance for $3.00 each this past fall..at my local Nursery they were selling theirs for $15 and they were smaller then the ones I bought from Lowes..they are the pretty colored variegated blue ones..I know in a couple years they will grow to be a good size.
 
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