95 Homesteading Skills – the 2017 edition

Last year I posted this Homesteading Skills list as a way to audit our capabilities as urban homesteaders as well as  and we’ve accomplished a bunch more of them. From getting through our first year as new beekeepers, to making our first batch of farmer cheese, to learning to cut up a pig and cure the meat for bacon, etc., to building a coop for our ducklings that arrive this week, to Dan installing our kitchen sink and faucets without contractor help. Wheeeee!

So we’re pretty psyched…and of course ready to go to the next set of goals. I’ve highlighted in red what we want to definitely do this year, although if there’s time of course we’d like to learn more!! The un-bolded items we’ve yet to attack – as you can see, I’ve not highlighted anything to do with sewing/knitting – there’s some fears to overcome there, hahaha…and there are so many more things I know I could add to this list if I took 5 seconds.

So tell me, what do you want to learn? Anything on this list you want to know about/ learn how we did it / etc. ? Happy to share!!!

95 Homesteading Skills for the Urban Homesteader

  1. Bake bread from scratch √
  2. Cook a whole chicken in a cast iron skillet √
  3. Cook beans from scratch √
  4. Make a Quilt √
  5. Crochet a blanket
  6. Crochet a beanie/hat
  7. Darn a sock
  8. Mend a rip in a shirt
  9. Build a beehive & keep bees √
  10. Catch a swarm √
  11. De-bone a chicken – husband can do this but I need to buck up and learn
  12. Dehydrate Foods √
  13. Dehydrate Herbs √
  14. Use scrap wood to build a structure √
  15. Harvest Honey – last year we got a bit of a late start as new beekeepers so we didn’t have a harvest, so this year’s going to be the year!
  16. Knit a scarf
  17. Make a beeswax candle
  18. Build & use a compost Bin √
  19. Compost meat with black soldier flies
  20. Make broth in a crockpot √
  21. Make Marmalade / Jam / Jelly / Preserves √
  22. Cure & store garlic √
  23. Roast a pumpkin for freezing √
  24. Make English muffins √
  25. Make soap in a crockpot
  26. Make sourdough bread and maintain a starter – we tried twice last year but are committed to making third time’s a charm!
  27. Make your own laundry soap
  28. Use a sun oven
  29. Raise & milk a goat – we no longer have room for them because we chose ducks so this will move to our ‘someday when we have land’ list…
  30. Render lard or tallow
  31. Give birth at home – let’s hope this 6th & final round of DEIVF works so we can do this in early 2018, otherwise this comes off the list…
  32. Preserve using a pressure cooker – I need to of course buy a pressure cooker…
  33. Learn to make the perfect pie crust √
  34. Use cloth diapers on our baby – if the final round works that’d be us in 2018…
  35. Learn basic First-Aid and CPR √
  36. Learn home canning √
  37. Set up a pantry √
  38. Learn basic metalworking skills – As soon as I can sit for an extended time I want to take the Trackers PDX Blacksmithing Workshop 🙂
  39. Learn basic plumbing maintenance skills √
  40. Learn how to use a sewing machine – of course we’d need to buy one…
  41. Build an Earthquake Preparedness Kit – While we bought earthquake insurance last year, now I have a shopping list for this in case the Cascadia big one hits…
  42. Make homemade cough remedies √
  43. Barter and trade √
  44. Brood day-old chicks – ducklings arrive this week!
  45. Build a greenhouse or cold frame √
  46. Build a small fence √
  47. Host a yard sale √
  48. Roast a whole pig
  49. Butcher a chicken
  50. Change a tire (never had a flat to change in 20 years…)
  51. Cook over an open fire √
  52. Dye yarn or clothes from plants
  53. Forage locally for wild edibles √
  54. Give an injection – Being a multiple IVFer, this is my husband’s job. √
  55. Grind wheat into flour for baking
  56. Split and stack firewood √
  57. Pay off credit cards and student loans √
  58. Embrace Radical Homemaking and pay off our mortgage – by end of 2018 we hope this is checked off!
  59. Make butter
  60. Make cheese √
  61. Make herbal extracts, infusions, poultices, and tinctures – not sure what I’ll make but I’ve been kinda curious in this area.
  62. Brew cider
  63. Brew beer – we are planting more hops this year against/up the house so husband is bound and determined to try his hand at this!
  64. Grow hops √
  65. Make beeswax & herb salves
  66. Make lotions
  67. Make sausage – Dan’s goal!
  68. Make my own deodorant √
  69. Make bacon and other cured meats √
  70. Make vinegar √
  71. Plan and grow a vegetable garden √
  72. Plan and grow a kitchen herb garden √
  73. Properly handle and shoot a gun √
  74. Prune and graft a fruit tree – we plant our first apple tree next week!
  75. Save seeds √
  76. Know crop planting times, season length, and when to harvest √
  77. Season a cast iron skillet √
  78. Sharpen a knife √
  79. Sharpen a saw, mower blade, & other tools
  80. Build and use an outdoor clothesline for laundry  √
  81. Propagate plants from cuttings √
  82. Build a coop and run √
  83. Keep chickens or ducks for eggs √
  84. Set up & use rain barrels √
  85. Set up a grey water management system (from laundry, shower, etc)
  86. Store root vegetables (successfully) through an entire winter
  87. Home-school our children (if this kid thing works out!)
  88. Grow mushrooms – husband’s wish list!
  89. Install solar panels on the house to get off the grid
  90. Build a smoker (DIY)
  91. Use lacto-fermentation to preserve foods √
  92. Weave a basket
  93. Make organic pesticide √
  94. Catch, prepare and cook a fish we caught
  95. Get or Build a Dehydrator √

28 thoughts on “95 Homesteading Skills – the 2017 edition

  1. Wow you’ve done a lot for your list!! Congratulations 😊 and it’s a great list too!

    Number 19 terrifies me!!!!

    I’d love to know how well you have done at dehydrating your herbs-what are your tips! We have great plans for our herb and veg garden this year and we may have quite a lot of herbs with the number I’ve sown already 😳

    I’m hoping of course that number 31 happens for you guys!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha yeah number 19 is an interesting one but one thing we did learn about were soldier flies last year that, while ugly, already love open compost piles ( we moved to a tumbler style one this year though because of rats in the neighborhood).

      Two easy ways to dehydrate herbs: 1) sprinkle them on a cookie sheet and put them in the oven at 200° (Fahrenheit) for 10-15 minutes – the length of time just depends on how big the leaves are. OR, 2) lay them all out on a cookie sheet and put them on the dashboard or back seat shelf of your car on a hot day and the same thing will happen without having to worry about them burn. Ironically we bought a dehydrator and I haven’t used it yet – my husband has been using it to make jerky! – so this year I’m looking forward to using it to make sun-dried tomatoes a little faster!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Ooooh never thought of laying them out on a car dashboard!! Although maybe I’m here in Virginia it might be too humid 🤔? I’m thinking of getting a dehydrator machine, but got to do some research on which one to buy – what one do you have?


  2. I loved this! I thought about doing one – an Alaskan edition which would include overwintering our bees and livestock, treating frostbite, and heating your house without power. 🙂 Also, overwintering our mushroom crop! I’ll keep you posted on how our mushroom crop turns out – I think the squirrels are going to make off with it all. I look forward to following you as you check off this list this year!


    1. Oh yes you TOTALLY should!!! It would shut a lot of us wussies in more temperate climates up as well, hahaha. Yes – mushrooms!! Did you buy one of those log kit things or how’d you do it?


  3. I’m slowly catching up on your posts. I just wanted to drop in to say I love how you have a stormwater collection bin! And I love how you turned a regular stormwater collection bin into art! Keeping you and your hubby in my heart.


  4. What a great list! I’m so inspired and it’s not even 9:00 am yet. Congrats on accomplishing so much. A lot of this stuff can be pretty difficult for modern minds (or maybe just my modern mind! lol)


  5. What an inspiring list! We bought a hobby farm 4 years ago and I constantly surprise myself with how self sustaining we have become. Bees have been on our list of wants for a while. We still have sooooo much to learn. I make bread all of the time but have not tried sourdough, another goal.


    1. Of course! I borrowed my original one from another’s as well (and by the way I’ve seen a bunch of these on Pinterest which have given me more things to add to my to do list!) . That’s so crazy about beekeeping ordinances… I can see limiting the number of hives but not simply outlawing them… It’s like places that don’t allow you to harvest your rain water, so strange…


Your comments on my blog are appreciated. (Please no solicitors as those comments will be deleted).

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s