30 Homesteading Skills to Learn, Wherever You Live - Reformation Acres (2024)

30 Homesteading Skills to Learn, Wherever You Live - Reformation Acres (1)

Feeling the pull to homestead living but you are stuck in town? Here are 30 homesteading skills to build while you’re homestead dreaming! You may not realize it, but now is a great time to start building homesteading skills even if you’re in the middle of the city!

We have always had the homesteading “bug”, however, it took some years to truly realize that dream.

We lived in rented spaces in various towns and cities for a number of years. A couple of those, we spent in a one bedroom, upstairs, apartment. Did I mention it was upstairs? Yup, top floor in a house style building… no balcony, no window boxes, nothing… on the north side of the building. My African violet loved it, but not much else did.

During that time, I learned to sew, garden using space in my mother in law’s garden, and can what I grew or other produce that friends gave me. I put these valuable homesteading skills into practice immediately when we finally moved into our own place in the country.

There are so many different “self-sufficient” homesteading skills that I would love to learn but since learning takes time, something which is more precious than gold to me, I’m unable to gain, practice, and perfect that knowledge.

You dream of the day you can homestead. In the meantime, slowly work toward gaining those homesteading skills while you don’t have farm chores or a bumper harvest to put up. These are so beneficial to you when you do finally make it to your piece of land!

30 Homesteading Skills to Start Learning TODAY

1.) Freshly Mill Your Own Whole Grains

Depending on where you live, storage issues for large quantities of whole grains or freshly milled flours might be a challenge, there’s nothing that says you have to grind whole grains 50 pounds at a time. Even grinding grains a few pounds at a time and storing the extra in a gallon bag in the freezer makes the most nutritious, high-quality flour you can bake with.

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2.) Bake Your Daily Bread

Freshly baked bread is economical and, frankly, it tastes better than store bought bread. The flavor and texture are so delicious. There is nothing like a warm fresh slice slathered thickly with butter.

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3.) Capture Wild Yeast

Once you’ve learned to bake your own bread, it’s only a matter of time until you contemplate capturing wild yeast and creating homemade sourdough recipes with it. You’ll feel so self-sufficient!

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4.) Can, Dehydrate, & Freeze Food

A vital homesteading skill to know is what to do with your bounty once you have reaped it. With all of the gardening and animal husbandry homesteading skills you’ll be learning in the future, now is a great time to build a collection of recipes that your family enjoys.

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5.) Ferment Fresh, Seasonal Foods

Purchase local, fresh, seasonal foods and learn to ferment them while you someone else is doing the farming instead of when you also have all the garden tasks and harvesting that need attending to on top of preserving the harvest.

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6.) Make Homemade Butter from Cream

You don’t need to wait until you have a Jersey cow to make homemade butter. All you need is a bit of cream to see the magic happen as the thick white liquid turns into a golden ball of butter.

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7.) Prepare Simple, Soft Cheeses

Dabble in home cheesemaking and start with some simple soft cheeses. They don’t require too many extra ingredients, lots of prep time, aging, or special equipment, but give you the experience and confidence you need to dig deeper in the future.

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8.) Make Homemade Yogurt

Homemade yogurt tastes better, with no artificial ingredients, and is a very frugal alternative to store-bought yogurt. Plus it’s not really too much trouble to make – mix it, warm it, culture it, and incubate it. That’s it!

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9.) Grow Windowsill Herbs

Cultivate your green thumb, learn indoor seed starting techniques, and learn to cook with fresh herbs. Start growing a few pots of your favorite on a windowsill.

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10.) Render Tallow & Lard

Traditionally, less processed fats such as tallow and lard are among the most sustainable ones that we in America can use and otherwise would become a waste product. Plus, you’ve never had fried chicken till you’ve fried it in tallow.

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11.) Make Your Own Soap

Soap making is frugal and fun (after you get over the fear of working with lye). Once set up, you can make 10 bars of soap for the price of one. Not to mention it cleans better and you know exactly what is going into your soap that ends up on the largest organ of your body, your skin.

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12.) Make Your Own Vanilla

I save so much money making my own vanilla! And it is so easy to the point of being ridiculous. Seriously, once you do it, you never (ever) want to go back to buying it again.

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13.) Scratch Cooking

Don’t wait until you get to the farm to hone scratch cooking skills. Meal disasters create chaos in the home at mealtime and throw off the rest of the day. Learn to prepare the foods you plan to grow and raise now so it’s nearly effortless later. Go through your pantry one box at a time and learn to replace those packages with homemade food. I personally believe learning to cook from scratch is one of the most valuable homesteading skills!

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14.) Eat From Your Pantry

This is a stretch for so many of us (even who homestead already, believe it or not!) While you might not make it for several weeks, every now and then plan a week where you won’t buy any food from the grocery store for a week to practice being frugal and creative in the kitchen. After all, if you end up living in the country you’ll have to practice it more often than you might expect when you find something out of stock that you needed for dinner and the nearest store is a 40 minute (or more) round trip away.

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15.) Use & Care for Cast Iron Cookware

Cast iron cookware is a farm wife’s favorite, however, there is a bit of a learning curve when you first use it. After my early attempts, my first skillet sat in a cupboard for years. Once I learned the knack, I use cast iron daily. Proper care make your pans a family heirloom.

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16.) Grow Your Own Salad All Year Long

Your read that right! If you have a window, you can grow your own salad in your own home any time of the year. Self-sufficient salads in an apartment downtown is a big chunk out of your grocery bill and is better than many homesteaders on several acres are doing. (I know I’ve never had year-round salads… yet.)

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17.) Cut Up a Whole Chicken

After I began homesteading, it surprised me to learn just how many of the recipes in my cookbook called for “chicken breast.” What would I do with the rest of the bird? After you invested so much in raising your own meat, you’re certainly not going to waste a single bit! While most of my recipes now call for a whole chicken, there are some that still only call for breast meat. When there are only whole chickens in the freezer, you’ll need to learn how to cut them into pieces.

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18.) Roast a Whole Chicken & Make Gravy

Roasting a whole chicken is a beautiful way to showcase homegrown poultry! There’s no need to wait to cultivate the skill. (And it’s not really that hard.)

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19.) Make a Nourishing Bone Broth

Making your own bone broths not only taste wonderful, but are incredibly healthful, convenient, economical, and cultivate a mindful attitude of respecting the “whole beast.”

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  • Howto Make Superior Stock (Recipes for Chicken, Beef, and Pork Stock Plus Canning Instructions)
  • Homemade Chicken Soup(This is my stock recipe except I throw it all in at the beginning. And I only chop everything enough to make it fit. )
  • Perpetual Stock
  • 6 Tips for the Best Bone Broth

20.) Reduce Your Waste

We live in a wasteful world. Be mindful of how much you consume and dispose of. It helps you live a more frugal, uncluttered life now, and when you get to your homestead, your new habits will help you use your excess food to decrease your livestock feed bill or create soil with your compost pile.

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21.) Basic Sewing Skills

Knowing simple sewing techniques, particularly hand sewing, is incredibly useful for mending clothes, darning socks, replacing buttons, finishing knitting projects, etc…

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22.) Prepare Herbal Home Remedies

Creating homemade medicine with herbs is often just as powerful and effective as modern medicine. More than that, it is empowering to take charge of your health with using herbs, roots, and flowers that the Lord created with healing properties.

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23.) Create Natural Beauty Products

It won’t be long after you start living a more natural lifestyle and making more conscientious decisions about your food that you’ll start contemplating the ingredients in your skincare products. (Hint: They are loaded with harmful chemicals.) Learning to make homemade lotion, deodorants, makeup, and more is something you can do now instead of when you’re learning the ropes on your farm.

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24.) Make Homemade Cleaning Products

Making your own homemade cleaning products saves you money in a big way! Compare a bottle of window cleaner at $4 to the homemade version that works just as well at $.04! You can find a plethora of excellent natural cleaning recipes to try including homemade laundry detergent.

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  • All-Purpose Citrus Vinegar(Works great for mopping floors!)
  • DIY Natural Household Cleaners
  • 25 Non-Toxic Cleaners for the Natural Homemaker
  • Our 18 Favorite All-Natural Cleaners (Printable)

25.) Dye Natural Fibers & Spin Them Into Yarn

If you plan on raising a fiber flock, learning to care for the sheep, manage breeding, managing lambing, etc.. is quite the curve. If you’ve already built the homesteading skills to turn their wool into usable fiber that you can dye and spin, you’re less likely to feel burnout. (Which is my wool from last year is still sitting unwashed in the basem*nt.)

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26.) Knitting, Crocheting, & Quilting

From socks, to scarves, to hats, blankets, quilts and more, having a basic grasp of these handicrafts is not on therapeutic and relaxing (in my opinion at least), but it allows you to create useful, attractive, and functional gifts for your family.

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27.) Basket Making

Baskets have many uses on the homestead and most that you’ll find are decorative. Making your own is a great way to get functional products for your future farm. They’re fun to make and the children really enjoy helping learn the new skill.

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28.) Learn How to Thrift Shop & Use Craigslist

What on earth does thrift shopping have to do with homesteading skills? Plenty. It addition to thrift shopping fitting in with the frugal lifestyle, it helps you achieve your homestead dream more quickly. Let’s face it, when you get to the farm, things don’t stay nice and clean long and it is a lot easier to take when you found a great deal. I’ve learned over the years that between the mud, manure, blood, grease, sweat, and rips, clothing on the homestead doesn’t last long. Sometimes not more than a season. In any case, you can still find attractive (even new!) clothes at a thrift store. Likewise, it’s not so upsetting when you only parted with a few bucks for the shirt instead of $20 or more for a new one.

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29.) Brew Your Own Alcohol

If you dream of making your own homemade brews, there is no need to wait until you have homegrown produce to learn the process. You can learn home brewing anywhere and then when you get to the farm you can concentrate on the growing.

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30.) Educate Yourself

We live in a culture that values education, yet many of us don’t ever really learn how to learn on our own. When we’re talking about homesteading skills, that have been lost over the generations, there aren’t many teachers available for us to glean from. Thankfully, that is changing in many parts of the world, but for many, we’re stuck learning on our own. And thankfully, there are many who are sharing their knowledge, albeit not in person or a real classroom setting, but it’s knowledge we can avail ourselves of none the less.

After we study up and gain the head knowledge, it’s time to put what you’ve learned to practice.

For those who desirous to build your homesteading skills set, but lack the mentors to guide us in the right way, remeber, it takes days, weeks, sometimes months of trial and error until you finally bake that beautiful loaf of sourdough you’re dreaming of. One of the hardest lessons to learn is how to experience failure. And then stand right back up, brush yourself off, and get your hands dirty all over again. It’s probably one of the most vital homesteading skills you’ll need on your future homestead.

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What homesteading skills are you working to build?

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