You can learn homestead skills even if you live in the city! No matter where you are, you can become more self-sufficient. Here are some great homestead skills to learn while you’re still dreaming about your own piece of land.
Hi there! Chantal here. I’m the mama, writer, and dreamer behind this site – welcome!
I know it seems a bit confusing that this is a fitness blog that also talks about homesteading – but trust me – it all goes together.
I have this philosophy that in America, we’re never going to be headed in the right direction if we don’t take food and fitness into our own hands.
Americans are set up for failure with SAD (the Standard American Diet) and I believe that the best solution for families is to learn self-sufficiency skills for themselves.
A big part of that includes growing food (or sourcing it from people who grow their own locally) and cooking real food at home.
It also includes more hands-on skills and movement, which helps to keep us fit and fulfilled mentally and emotionally.
Truthfully, that’s a short version of what I believe. I could go on and on about the struggle it is to be healthy as an American and what I believe to be the solution – but that’s a story for another day.
In this blog, I want to speak specifically to those who have already had similar revelations and people who already feel the pull to learn homesteading and self-sufficiency skills.
If you feel the urge to go “back to your roots,” this is for you.
And, if you are someone who dreams of having a small homestead (or giant farm!) someday, this is especially for you. 🙂
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Today I want to talk about that hard part we all have to deal with when dreaming – the waiting.
While small-scale ranching is our ultimate goal, I have always wanted to be a farmer of sorts.
I have always loved to grow things, and I am naturally drawn to country living, homesteading, and everything related to self-sufficiency.
In fact, my first-ever blog (back in 2014) was a homesteading blog.
However, I got discouraged for a few years because of one major thing. A thing that I thought defined me as a “homesteader.”
That was, of course, land.
While we have never lived in the big city, both my husband and I grew up in semi-suburban areas surrounded by farmland and forest.
We both experienced the farm life through extended family and personal choices, though neither of us grew up with farmer parents.
So, when I started my first blog, a homesteading blog, I felt a bit fraudulent writing about self-sufficiency.
At that time, Jake and I were pretty much still newlyweds, and we had a new baby.
We lived on the edge of town in a cul-de-sac.
While we had a large lot, I just felt that I wasn’t a true homesteader, despite hobby farming and homesteading being huge goals of mine.
And, although we had chickens and a garden, plus deer right on the other side of our fence, I eventually gave up on my dream of honing my homesteading skills.
(For a few years, that is.)
You see, I had this limiting belief that my circumstances were bigger than my dreams.
I was letting my current circumstances define me a little too much. So I stopped working towards my dream life – homesteading, hobby farming, growing all the things, and ranching.
It wasn’t until recently, with everything that has been happening in the world, that I began to lean into it more.
While I never gave up on my dream, I felt just discouraged enough to quit working on it with intention.
When the year 2020 happened, it was like I woke up all over again.
I have always felt that our society has major issues with food security, instant gratification, digital everything, and more.
But 2020 and the years to follow have made me even more disenchanted with the ways of the world, and I KNEW that I needed to get Jake on board with a major lifestyle change.
When we got married, both of us knew that we eventually wanted to own a piece of land.
But it was never really clear what that meant, let alone how it would happen. If anything, the year(s) of the pandemic clarified a lot of things for us.
But we could dream forever without taking any action.
Right? It’s easy to do.
Of course, coming by land and becoming farmers overnight wasn’t going to happen. It’s especially hard to get into farming in Oregon without having large amounts of money.
I had the dream to become much more self-sufficient, and remove ourselves from society to some degree, but I certainly couldn’t do it without my husband.
He wasn’t willing to leave his well-paying job just to have a little homestead, and ranching had always been interesting to him.
So, we reached a compromise.
We’d slowly work towards a family business in which he’d run the ranch, and I’d run the marketing side along with a food garden, chickens, and all of the hobby-farm dreams.
My dream is to basically blog, garden, check animals, and repeat.
(I’m a writer at the heart of it all – but I do have a background in business.)
However, it wasn’t something that we could just jump into right away.
We had loose ends. We still do. But we had reached a point where we couldn’t just sit back and watch the world crumble.
We had to make moves.
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So, we brainstormed.
We formed our business legally, and we started a website. Then, we paid some great graphic designers to create a timeless logo that we felt would really represent who we were.
I think it’s cute! They even created a “brand” for us – can’t wait to register it!
And, since I had been blogging for a while, I knew I wanted to start creating content for our site and growing an Instagram page.
During this time, we also started looking for the right piece of land. Jake started hanging out with his Army buddy and rancher friend to learn more about cattle.
We figured out that to make enough money for Jake to be able to quit his job as an Ironworker, we’d have to have a pretty large piece of land.
So, we ruled out small parcels. We made a big trip to Eastern Oregon to look at a few properties. We continued to brainstorm.
Then, we started investing in a bit of literature and a few courses about cattle ranching.
We started with the free courses offered by our local university extension office.
We also started exploring ways to diversify our income by taking note of what other ranchers were doing.
There’s more, but the point is this – we stopped sitting around waiting for our dreams to come true.
We had homestead skills to learn!
I knew that I still wanted to homestead on top of ranching. It’s almost necessary.
We quickly realized that any affordable, sizable piece of property would likely be a good drive away from any significant town.
As such, it became more important than ever for me to learn how to do more things on my own.
I knew that I’d need to be able to do way more in the way of gardening, cooking, building, and many other self-sufficiency skills if I wanted this dream to come true.
So, I made a huge list of skills that would be helpful for me to learn on my own. From learning how to buy things in bulk and make them stretch, to sourdough baking, cheese making, home butchering, lard rendering – you name it.
I’d be remiss if I didn’t start to learn some new skills. So, I started down my list of homestead skills to learn.
And although we came to realize that it might take a bit longer than we wanted to get just the right piece of land, we haven’t stopped learning.
We’re growing a little bit more each day, despite not being able to call ourselves ranchers just yet.
Now I am a sourdough pro, have chickens in the backyard, and am slowly growing a nice suburban garden. I have even been learning to make my own yogurt!
It doesn’t seem like much, but these things take time and I’m proud of what I’ve learned so far.
I want to encourage you to do the same. Even if you’re still homestead dreaming, there are MANY things you can do.
So many homestead skills can be learned right now. Even if you’re in the city.
So, here are some great things to start with.
(Just don’t overwhelm yourself. It’s better to do a few things well than many things poorly!)
41 Homestead Skills To Learn While You’re Still Dreaming
Here is my list of great homesteading skills you can learn anywhere you are!
Curing & Dehydrating
Water Bath Canning
How to Make Sauerkraut/Fermentation
Crotchet or Knitting
Basic First Aid
How To Make Your Own Cleaning Supplies
DIY Personal Care Products/Skincare
Frugal Living & Thrifting
DIY & Repurposing
Hunting & Fishing
Rendering Lard or Tallow
Cooking with Cast Iron
Gutting a Fish or Big Game
Churn Your Own Butter
Making Freezer Jam
Learn to Make Your Own Vinegar
Start Line-Drying Your Laundry
So there you have it!
As you can see, there are plenty of habits and skills you can work on right now.
No more excuses about why you can or can’t learn to become more self-sufficient. You have some homestead skills to learn right where you are!
Hey, we didn’t grow up as farmers, homesteaders, or ranchers…
But we are still working on our homestead skills while we dream! Because inaction won’t get us any closer to our dreams.
So, are you going to keep dreaming, or start doing?