In this podcast episode I talk about building skills other than what we consider traditional homesteading skills. There are many other skills you can develop that can help you take steps toward self sufficiency and sustainability.
Lots of canning
Lots of pruning
Finished planting my late season garden
The “Other” Homesteading Skills
Just recently I found myself knee deep in a homesteading project, literally! Not the kind of homesteading project you want to do, probably not the kind of homesteading project you even want to hear about, but a homesteading project nonetheless.
When we talk about homesteading it’s easy to picture going out and tending the garden and feeding the livestock or working and sweating in the kitchen preserving and putting up the harvest. However, homesteading goes far beyond these things and sometimes it looks like everyday upkeep maintenance and repair of the homestead.
You see recently I had an opportunity to be reminded of this when I had main sewer line issues and eventually had to but the cement floor out of my basement and dig down 3 feet to replace my drain pipe. This got me thinking about how sometimes we don’t tend to focus on the skills enough that make us self sufficient in doing such repairs on our homestead.
So today let’s talk about 4 areas of skill building that can help us to become more self sufficient in the “other” homesteading skills.
Let’s talk about this one first since it’s the one I most recently had the opportunity to hone my skills in.
Plumbing deals with two things, water coming into your homestead and waste water leaving, one is obviously more pleasant to work with than the other.
Learning how to work with plumbing can come in handy for many homesteading projects such as irrigation systems, rain water harvesting systems, buildings aquaponic systems, livestock watering setups and many other projects we just love to dive into.
But the thing that you will most be glad you learned plumbing skills for will be basic plumbing repairs, when something breaks or just isn’t working right repairs can cost hundreds or even thousands of dollars as many times a flooded basement can ruin things like furnaces and water heaters adding to the expense.
Find out what kind of plumbing your homestead has. Copper, galvanized steel, pvc, pex.Learn to make repairs on all type of plumbing your homestead has.Purchase the necessary tools for working on the plumbing.Keep a few pieces of your type of plumbing on hand.
Basic carpentry skills have also served me well over the years on my homestead and can also make you more self sufficient as well as save you a lot of money.
This can be helpful when it come to building coops and pens. building arbors and trellises and just about any other building project on your homestead. You will probably find this skill most used in just basic repairs and maintenance of your homestead.
Learn how to make accurate measurements.Learn to use basic carpentry tools.With this skill experience will be a great teacher, the more you do it the better you will get.
This is one I mention carefully because making mistakes with basic electrical repair can be very dangerous. Because it can be so dangerous I do believe it’s important very you to have some basic knowledge about how it works and even be able to make minor repairs when necessary.
You should know how to shut off the power to any one area and the entire homestead through your breaker box.You should learn how to test an outlet or wires with a tester to see if there is electrical power present.You should be able to identify possible issues like frayed wires or signs of over heated wires, plugs, switches or other electrical devices.You should probably even learn how to make repairs on wires, plugs, and switches.
Knowing how to do maintenance and repairs on the equipment you own can be a very valuable self sufficiency skill. From the vehicles you drive to a lawnmower, knowing how to work on your equipment can save you a lot of money and help you to get many more years out of your equipment.
Grease and lube
YouTube is without a doubt going to be your best resource for learning these skills.
The Homestead Life:
A segment where each episode I share something that’s better in my life because of homesteading.
Canning the harvest. I don’t mean that the actual act of canning has made my life better, in fact it’s a lot of hard work. What I mean is that feeling you get when there is a foot of snow on the ground and you reach into your cupboard and pull out a jar that has been in there for a few months and fix a healthy, tasty, hot meal that came from your garden. That is a great feeling and it’s something that my life is better because of.