Homesteading without the farm

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Root Cellaring
Seed sprouter Prepper's essential
Treadle-powered sewing machine
Swedish axe
Pie crust
Butter churn for preppers
Excalibur 3926TB Food Dehydrator, Black
Composting bin
The backyard homestead
Country Living
Well water pump
55 gallon barrel
Chicken Gardens
Cloth sandwich bags
Bento box
Urban Homesteading book
Reference Guide to Essential Oils
Popcorn grain mill
montana oil lamp
Kitchen scissors for cutting chicken
All American Pressure Canner
Happy Preppers site for survivalists + preppers
How to get your compost pile going
how to use those silica gel packs
nine reasons to love a Big Berkey
Solar food dehydrator
Ova Easy Egg Crystals -- three pack
Prepper Deal Alerts Check
daily deals for prepping
gear and food storage.
Amish Canning Cookbook
Gluten free food storage
#20: Learn how to make yogurt without a machine.
Yogurt is an ancient prepper food that was likely first made by
mistake in a warm climate where milk had the opportunity to
ferment. It was a delicious mistake indeed and a welcomed skill
on the homestead. Raita is the Indian version of yogurt, which is
served as a condiment to the many spicy foods of India.

#21: Dehydrate fruits and vegetables.
Owning a food dehydrator is a joy for dehydrating fruits and
vegetables (the Excalibur, pictured left s a prized possession of
many preppers, but there are loads of other methods of
dehydrating foods, including:
  • air drying
  • sun drying (air drying in direct sunlight)
  • oven drying
  • smokehouse drying and even microwave drying for meats!

#22: Sew something simple.
It's "sew" simple: sew something to get started homesteading.

  • Darn some socks. Sew something simple by hand with
    needle and thread or just repair a pair of worn out stocks.

  • Sew without electricity! The treadle-powered sewing
    machine will be a luxury in a life in an off-grid world.

#23: Have the kids join a 4-H club.
Visit the national 4-H Web site to learn how the 4-H curriculum
focuses on three primary mission mandates: science, healthy
living, and citizenship. All three make for a foundation of
homesteading basics. From Wind Power to being ready on the
homestead, the program cultivates the skills that youth need for
everyday living as they gain knowledge about subjects that
interest them.

#24: Clean your tools.
Keep your gardening tools rust free and in good shape so you
don't have to buy them again. Homesteaders always keep an eye
on expenses and live life with thrift!

#25: Chop wood, sharpen your axe, and manage your
Seasoned wood requires a season to dry, so you may as well get
chopping now!

  • Want a premium axe? Gransfors Bruks, Small Forest Axe,
    right. This premium quality axe is hand-forged at Gränsfors
    Bruks, a family owned forge in a small town in Sweden.  The
    small Forest Axe has a handle long enough to allow powerful
    chopping but short enough to fit in a rucksack. This is the
    one to own!

  • Get sharp on your axe: Sharpen an axe; and know the
    proper way to carry it. A free guide for your personal survival
    manual is The Scout and his Axe, by John Thurman. This 16-
    page guide, written in 1963 on the types of axes, is a PDF to
    print that will help you with choosing an axe, caring for an
    axe, sharpening an axe, safety, and proper felling of a tree.
    As well it has pertinent information on saws, hammers and

  • Manage your wood lot: Properly managing the wood lot on
    your property means you'll have more future firewood.

#26: Cut or saw something.
Saw plywood, cut off a branch. Be your own handy person. The Web site shows you
How to Use a Handsaw,
but heck, the sawing is just as much woman's work on the

#27: Have some hammer-time!
Another basic homesteading skill, is to pick up a hammer and
some nails to fix or make something. Kids love hammering, so let
them indulge under your supervision. On the toolmanship basics,
get a refresher on
How to Handle a Hammer, again from the

#28: Seal cheese in wax.
You don't need to be a dairy farmer or a cheese maker to start
with a simple homesteading skill: waxing cheese. Waxing cheese
will help you feel more self-sufficient because you can coat your
favorite artisan cheeses for use years later.
Get cheese wax and
start preserving cheese at home.

#29: Get into candle making (traditional and non-
Light up the night with candle making! Whether crafting hand-
dipped candles or making a primitive light source from what you
have candle making is a necessary skill for a life off grid.

  • Hint for making candles and simultaneously re-using
    supplies: You can use an expired tub of Crisco and add a
    wick to craft an easy survival candle. (Yes, even Crisco has
    an expiration date.) Keep wicks on hand for making oil lamps
    with other kinds of oils that go rancid. Such oil can serve as
    fuel for fire building as well.

#30: Get canning and learn how to use a pressure
Don't be afraid to start canning! There's no pressure (LOL), but
please visit our
canning store for pressure cookers! Need more
At Home Canning for Beginners and Beyond with Kendra
Lynne, pictured left, will get you started.

#31: Forage for edibles.
Nature's bounty is hiding outside. Get a book to help you find the
wild edibles in your vicinity.
Forage for edibles in the wild.

  • Fruit foraging and berry picking. Take a look around the
    neighborhood for free fruit. Pick blackberries, apricots,
    kumquats or lowquats. Ask a neighbor or friend who may
    have too many apples, oranges or lemons if you can pick
    fruit that might otherwise go to waste.

  • Learn how to eat acorns. If you live in California, Acorns
    abound! You may as well learn now how the Native
    American's survived on Acorns for breakfast, lunch and
    dinner! Here's how to use acorns for food.

#32: Learn the art of charcuterie.
Charcuterie is the craft of salting, smoking, and curing, which
began in France and Italy. Original methods of Charcuterie is
responsible for the salami, sausages, and prosciutto we enjoy
today. In modern definition, it's the art of salting, cooking,
smoking, and drying meats. A Prepper may learn to make
sausages, terrines, and pâtés or even olive and vegetable
rillettes, duck confit, mortadella and soppressata or smoked
almonds! left, "Charcuterie: The Craft of Salting, Smoking, and
Curing," paves the way towards learning the skill of Charcuterie.

#33: Buy something used.
Homesteading is about being thrifty. When you  buy something
used not only do you give new life to something useful, but you
help keep yourself out of debt. What kinds of things should you
buy used for your home and homestead?
  1. second hand clothes - have fun, especially with kids clothes!
  2. books on homesteading (used ones are available on Amazon!
  3. gardening equipment that's not rusted or that you can
  4. kitchen and household items
  5. home decor you can re-purpose

Give a second look to yard sales and see what you can find, but
think before you buy:
  • Buyer beware if it smells like smoke. You'll never get the
    smoke out.
  • Inspect carefully for stains, broken parts, cracks (and
    determine whether you can fix them or live with the flaws).
  • Reconsider the purchase! Just because it's cheap, doesn't
    mean it's for you. Don't end up with a pile of junk.

#34. Disinfect water without chemicals and learn to
distill water.
Homesteaders should know the many ways to secure potable
water. Here are two underrated methods for obtaining potable

  • Build a solar still. Here's how to build a simple solar still. As
    Off the Grid News warns: "Distillation is a simple process,
    although it can be difficult to accomplish in quantity."

#35: Make lemonade from scratch or iced tea.
Sitting on your patio or porch and sipping your own homemade
lemonade or iced tea from tea bags you brewed in the sun is the
most basic of pleasures for a homesteader or prepper.

#36: Make a homemade disinfectant cleaner.
Homesteaders enjoy being self sufficient from grocery store items
and they dislike unnecessary chemicals. Here's
how to make a
natural disinfectant cleaner.

#37: Harvest the rain.
Take advantage of the rainfall for use in gardening, sanitation or
emergency water filtration.
Start collecting rainwater now. Even if
you simply have a barrel it's a good start because rainwater is
safe to drink in a survival situation and a much better alternative
than pool water.

#38: Get a mini-cistern.
A cistern is a tank for storing water, and on the homestead this
usually is for supplying taps or as part of a flushing toilet. Water
is a necessity and a 55-drum barrel provides an easy urban
solution for the garage or closet. You could even turn it into a
table if you add a table top round and cloth to cover it.'

#39: Set up a system to recycle grey water.
Grey water is the concept of recycling water, like using the
bathtub water to help you flush the toilet in drought. Why don't
you recycle grey water water from bathroom sinks, showers, tubs,
and even washing machines? Some water can effectively be used
for watering the garden (be careful of detergents that are not
biodegradable.) For more information, visit the
Greywater Action
Web site for a sustainable water culture.

#40: Know the foods that grow from root cuttings.
Propagating plants is a worthwhile homesteading skill. Did you
know that there are at least 25 foods you can grow from scraps?
In case you're wondering, yes you can grow your pineapple even if
your urban homestead isn't in the tropics!

#41: Know how to prune and graft a fruit tree.
Get to know a little more about pruning and grafting:

  • Pruning. Pruning is the decision to cut parts of a tree to give
    it more clarity. Essentially, you remove the parts that are no
    longer useful so that what's left can thrive. The reasons for
    pruning could be because of decay, to eliminate cross
    branches or to eliminate weak wood Here's how to prune an
    apple tree.

  • Grafting. Grafting adds nodes to the tree to increase the
    predictive accuracy. Grafting is the secret to great fruit!
    Grafting also helps build a resistance to disease or you can
    build qualities to the plant that the flower or fruit does not
    have. For example, you can graft different kinds of apples
    together so that one tree bears the different fruits.

#42: Clip hair.
Cutting hair is a self-sufficiency skill that can save your family
ample money; however, it's not a skill for everyone. Haircutting
for Dummies offers and easy-to-follow guide on how to get salon-
or barbershop-quality results on all types of hair - long, short,
straight, curly, or kinky.

#43: Cut your old garments.
On the homestead nothing goes to waste. Cut up your old
garments and make a quilt. Don't want to sew? Start snipping
your old clothes into quilt sized sheets anyway and use them for
when the toilet paper runs out! This material will surely store
better than toilet paper. You'll also get use out the clothes as
rags for cleaning.

#44: Build a well.
The time to build a well is before you need one. Pictured right,
the Handy Well Pump is an easy and affordable way to make sure
you always have a water supply from your well when the power
goes out.

#45: Make your own charcoal.
Charcoal is ideal for composting too. Home made charcoal will aid
in composting your garden, but don't' try this at home with
manufactured briquettes, like Kingston. Charcoal briquettes won't
aid in the breakdown of organic matter, because they contain
other ingredients to make them light faster. You'll need to dump
your charcoal in an area separate from your composting.

#46: Grow food, not lawns.
Don't have any land in which to grow? Even if you simply plant
one vegetable in a pot: get to it!

  • Tomatoes are easy to grow and you can grow them upside-
    down in a five gallon bucket, so they'll be plump and juicy
    and you can pick them like grapes on a vine. Yes, it's
    strange but true!

  • Potatoes are rapid growing. Grow potatoes in a bag.
    Pioneers planted potatoes almost immediately upon setting
    foot in Salt Lake City. In about two weeks of planting, the
    potatoes were sprouting.

  • Install a fruit tree. Think of it as a plant adoption! It may
    take 5-8 years for a standard apple tree from a nursery to
    bear fruit, but in so planting, you will be leaving legacy of
    goodness. Want faster gratification? A dwarf tree will take 3-
    4 years to bear fruit.

  • Grapes: Concord Grapes "need almost no attention to
    produce a volume of fruit," according to Caleb Warnock
    in his book, The Forgotten Skills of Self-Sufficiency used
    by the Mormon Pioneers, pictured at the top left-hand of
    the page. The book shows how easy it is to propagate
    grapes. You just dig up a volunteer vine and when it
    touches moist soil it can take root. (Of course finding a
    free volunteer vine is another story.)

  • Can't grow much at home? If you want more than a planter
    box of fruit and vegetables or you don't have a backyard to
    grow food, then volunteer to do the gardening for a school or
    church, or take part in a local community garden project to
    nurture your homesteading skills.

#47: Visit an apple orchard, a pumpkin patch, or a
blueberry farm.
Pick fruits and veggies from the source! Talk with the people
growing food and ask the employees as many questions as you
can to get more information about growing. You'll get a good
grasp of what is necessary to grow your food.

#48: Take a trip to the farmer's market.
Local farmers will show you their bounty and you'll get a good
idea for what you can plant at home. Feel free to ask questions
and get advice.

#49: Don't be chicken about chickens.
Check first with your local laws as many municipalities won't
allow residents to have backyard chickens! Also be warned that
while the humane society may have chickens for adoption; they
may well be "fryers" or hens past their prime egg laying. So don't
expect egg layers: expect instead, a pet who may lay eggs!

#50: Raise rabbits.
Rabbits eat just about anything green, and they are extremely
prolific, making them an ideal source of meat for preppers.  Yes,
the wonderful thing about rabbits, is rabbit is wonderful food!
Even so, you'll need to supplement your meals with bacon. Why
do you need canned bacon if you plan on eating rabbit for
survival? Rabbit meat tastes just like chicken and it is an
abundantly fruitful source of lean meat; however, you must have
a source of fat if you plan on surviving only on rabbit meat.
Humans will starve to death eating rabbit alone!  

Eating only rabbit will cause digestive upset and hunger will
worsen. If you consume only rabbit and have no  source of fat,
you will get diarrhea, discomfort and eventual death eating only
rabbit. Which is why you'll want to have on hand some Yoder's
Bacon of course. Happy Prepping!

#51. Get a goat (or not).
We have more to say about goats at the bottom of the page. If
anything, the "kids" will be really happy to have one. Seriously,
the reasons to get a goat are many:
  1. Milk for cooking
  2. Milk for cheese making
  3. Milk for soapmaking
  4. meat for culinary exploration or survival
  5. Wool fiber for clothing and blanket making
  6. trim landscaping to provide a fire barrier on your property
  7. dung for composting

If you're a contrarian, you will enjoy
take on the five
reasons NOT to get goats:
  1. Toenail trimming
  2. Fencing
  3. Worming
  4. Bucks - naughty urine streams and other disgusting habits
  5. Destruction of all landscaping

#52: Get a clean start in soap making.
While owning a goat is useful for making soap, you can make
some soap with a few simple ingredients. Get wise to soap
making with lessons for beginners with
Soapmaking 101.

#53: Ride your bicycle.
Head to the local farmer's market on your bike and save money
on gas. Bike to school or work. Be inventive about your biking
opportunities: your bike may fit on a ferry or bus to transport you
part of the way. (Take a peek at our
bugout bikes.)

#54: Make a seed bomb.
Seed bombs or seed balls are dime-sized balls made of seed and
clay that you scatter about in a vacant lot or other unconventional
place you want to grow some food. When it rains, the clay
softens and the seeds get a good start in the ground without
being blown away.

#55: Formulate flea powder.
Flea collars and fancy formulas devised for getting rid of fleas are
expensive, and not good for your pet! Why not make it yourself?

#56: Do your own plumbing.
Popular Mechanics shows you how to do your own plumbing and
avoid disaster. Have fun, just cover your back end so you won't
be the butt of any jokes.

#57: Be your own electrician.
The Do-it-yourself Network shows you how to build your own
dimmer switch and more. Find electrical ideas, advice and project
tips from DIY Network.

#58: Construct an outdoor oven.
Who doesn't love fresh-baked pizza or warm bread from the oven.
Do it the homesteading way. HGTV shows
how to build an
outdoor oven for pizza and breads.

#59: Erect a chicken coop.
If you don't already have chickens, you can start planning for
them by building a coop. Here's
how to build a chicken coop.

#60: Draw maple syrup.
If you have a maple tree, you can draw your own maple syrup.
This is a homesteading activity to do with the kids. It's nature's
candy, so you'll need a candy thermometer. Start with a 1/2 inch
drill bit, a small tube or pipe, a bucket, a hammer with nails, and
other things you may have around the house (like a pot,
aluminum foil and butter).

#61: Craft homemade lip balms.
To make your own natural lip balm, start with Shea butter,
coconut oil, and  beeswax mix, then mix in your favorite essential
oil. Here is the
lip balm recipe.

#62: Build a knowledge of Essential Oils.
When you know the truth about big pharma, then you'll
understand the importance of Essential Oils. The only reason
herbal remedies of the past aren't used today is because big
pharma can't patend nature! Learn more about natural herbal
remedies by getting to the heart of the matter.
Get into essential

Recipe for Do-it-yourself hand sanitizer
Here's a recipe for how to make your own hand sanitizer with
essential oils...
  • Step one: Gather the supplies:
  • 2/3 cup 99% rubbing alcohol
  • 1/3 cup aloe vera gel
  • 10 drops essential oil (lavender or sweet orange -- both are
    antiviral and antibacterial, plus they smell wonderful)

  • Step two: Mix together and funnel into a clean squeeze
    bottle (the kind you find at the dollar stores) and you now
    have a healthier version of hand sanitizer. You can also skip
    the aloe vera gel and use a spray bottle for the other kind of
    hand sanitizer.

#63: Get cultivated!
Get a cultivator, pictured right, so you can get your garden going
with manual power. It has an Amish, flair doesn't it?

#64: Do something fun with a mason jar.
Homesteaders know the life of a mason jar goes well beyond
canning! Here are some ideas to get you started:

  • Melt old candles into a canning jar with a new wick and
    you've got a charming candle.

#65: Cut your old garments.
Start snipping your old clothes into quilt sized sheets. Then begin
arranging enough for a quilt, which is the ultimate homestead
accent to your country home in the suburbs!

#66: Turn an old a pair of jeans into a skirt!
Whether you want to make a gift or add to your wardrobe by
recycling, you'll love the idea of giving new life to your favorite
old jeans by creating a brand new skirt. Here's how to turn an
pair of jeans into a skirt.

#67: Make home made laundry detergent.
Minimize the chemicals and get back to simpler times. Good clean
fun is to make your own natural laundry detergent.

#68: Make home made yogurt.
If you have a half gallon of milk and a half cup of starter yogurt,
you can make a creamy and light yogurt at home, and you don't
need any fancy equipment, other than a dutch oven, which is a
tool common to many prepper homes.

#69: Make your own yeast.
A good homesteading skill is to make your own yeast! It's good
to know, since yeast expires!

#70: Make home-made cream cheese.
You don't need to wait for cream cheese to age, so you can get
instant gratification in your homesteading skill of cheesemaking!

#71: Get into Root Cellaring.
If you're in an apartment, you can't have a root cellar, but anyone
with a backyard can set one up (with permission from the landlord
if you rent). Set up your own natural cold storage of fruits and
vegetables with help from the book, pictured right,. You don't
need to go full blown, like the video below. Just about anyone
can have  a barrel root cellar if they have a small space to dig
(apartment dwellers included)!

How to be More Self Sufficient without
Having a Homestead

Advantages of Urban Homesteading
There are many advantages to urban homesteading:

#1: Urban homesteading is thrifty!
You may spend a bit more initially on homesteading, but in the
end you'll save a few bucks here and there, which will improve
your bottom line for your family economically. This translates to
having more preps! In short, the preps you buy for homesteading
will save you money to buy more preps. It's a happy circle!

#2: Urban Homesteading is a way to keep your day
Why not keep your job in the city while you hone your skills?
Great reasons are because you appreciate your income too much
to leave your career and go entirely off the gird. Perhaps you're
not cut out for the day-to-day commitment of rearing animals and
tending to the garden. Well, you don't have to quit your job to
find out. Start right now. Start small. Start practicing

#3: Urban Homesteading is a tasty hobby.
A fringe benefit of the homesteading hobby is the food! Fresh
eggs and home grown produce just tastes better than the store
bought variety. Even if you can't grow wheat or don't have the
property to sustain a dairy cow, you can do the next best thing
and enjoy made from scratch breads and butters. It will provide a
sense of accomplishment and your family will love you for it!

#4: Urban homesteading will have you living life
You'll be less likely to waste and more likely to
recycle, reuse and re-invent what it means to "go green." Go with
nature, instead of against it. Perhaps you'll get rid of plastic
sandwich bags and send the kids to school with a bento box or
wrap their sandwiches in cloth baggies. Perhaps you'll start
composting. Perhaps you'll turn an old pair of jeans into a skirt.
With Urban homesteading, you'll be that much more ready to go
off the grid entirely.

Want to learn even more homesteading skills?
Country Wisdom & Know how is the book with everything you
need to know to live off the land. It includes 8,167 useful skills
and step by step instructions from concocting elixirs and remedies
to mastering wide row planting and even weaving country baskets.

So now you have our list of homesteading skills for preppers.  Get
started without the farm or bugout location! Yes, you can do
these things even if you're in an apartment. We have two other

Happy endings...
There are so many
forgotten skills of self sufficiency, but these
skills need not stay forgotten! Discover the joy of homesteading
even if you're not on the farm.

Feeling more advanced in your homesteading skills? Get goats!
Go ahead and get those goats (or not). Goat keeping in your
backyard may be more practical than tending the chickens or
raising rabbits. Goats provide many benefits:
  1. Goats provide you with meat. Goat meat is comparable in
    nutritional value to lamb or beef.
  2. Goats clear the land. Goats will eat just about everything to
    keep a fire line on the perimeter of your homestead to
    mitigate the risk of wildfires.
  3. Goats produce milk from which you can make: cheese, yogurt
    and even soap!
  4. Goats are pack animals. A select few preppers consider their
    goats "bugout goats.
  5. Goats produce dung. You can use their dried dung as fuel or
    their fresh dung for composting the manure.
  6. Goats will provide you with hide and hair! Turn their hair into
    mohair and their hide into tanned leather.

  • Getting started homesteading with Zero Money. teaches you how to find free
    building materials, free livestock, free plants and seeds and
    more. This insightful homesteading Web site also shows you
    how to start making money to support your homestead. It all
    boils down to resourcefulness.

Finally, pick up a book on homesteading. The Encyclopedia of
Country Living, pictured right, will get you excited about the
prospect of living on a homestead. This outstanding resource is
the best selling homesteading book on the market! In this
comprehensive manual, learn how to cultivate a garden, buy land,
bake bread, raise farm animals, make sausage, can peaches, milk
a goat, grow herbs, churn butter, build a chicken coop, catch a
pig, cook on a wood stove, and much, much more.

Related articles...

Prepare to live happily ever after with us at - the emergency
preparedness Web site of prepping, survival,
homesteading, and self-reliance
How to homestead without the farm
Homesteading skills anyone can try

Homestead without the farm!
You don't need a farm or ranch to start a homestead. Become a
backyard homesteader or a kitchen homestead and start gaining
the skills for the king of down-home kind of self-reliance that your
great grandparents enjoyed. Self sufficiency begins at home one
project at a time. So start thinking of old fashioned ways of doing
things! Below are homesteading skills anyone can try...

71 Ways to Homestead without a farm.
Here are 71 homesteading skills to try if you're a prepper and not
a farmer...

#1: Turn off the lights, and light the candles.
One of the easiest ways to become more self-sufficient without a
homestead is to turn out the lights. Get a match and light
candles, an oil lamp or use solar lighting.

  • Get out the candles. Get cozy and tell ghost stories at
    dinner tonight by candlelight. Place candles in a solid base
    away from drapery and pedestrian traffic. If you have
    children, always discuss fire safety (keeping sleeves and hair
    away from the flickering candles).

  • Go solar. Solar lighting is a modern homesteading luxury. By
    day you can put solar stakes in the ground and then by
    nightfall bring them inside. Just prop them in an empty
    mason jar.

#2: Hang something to dry.
On the homestead there are many things to hang out to dry!
While it's mostly laundry, you can also dry produce from your

  • Laundry: String a clothesline with wooden clothes pins and
    let your clothes hang dry the homesteading way! Hang the
    line on a fold up drying rack for indoor use, a patio, the
    porch, a greenhouse, sun room or outside. You'll save money
    on the drying expenses as you practice your homesteading
    skills. Here's how to do the laundry without electricity.

  • Herbs: Dry herbs from the garden. You don't need any fancy
    equipment. Just get a clothes pin or some twine and wrap
    the plant at the stems and hang upside down somewhere
    indoors. You don't want nasty pollution or birds to target
    your herbs.

  • Fruits and veggies. Hang fruits and veggies to dry using the
    hanging solar dehydrator, pictured left, which keeps
    everything organized and free from pests. This is one of the
    natural ways of dehydrating.

#3: Give composting a go.
Start by throwing the leftover coffee beans in the garden.  
Eventually you'll want to get yourself a compost bin, but start
small with a compost bucket and put in egg shells, lemon and
orange rinds, apple cores, celery stalk, potato and carrot peels,
tea bags or tea leaves, and nut shells, excluding black walnut,
which is toxic. (No meat or bones either.) You'll get the hang of it
quickly. Pretty soon you'll find yourself routinely saving food
scraps for your compost pile. Want to get a  little more advanced
in your homesteading?
Get a composting toilet.

#4: Make it yourself, Make do (or do without).
Get into the homesteading spirit by cutting back on something or
substituting something for greener living. For example:  

  • Do without paper towels. Get some quality cotton kitchen
    towels for your food and some old rags for the other stuff,
    and see if you can go a week without paper towels.  

  • Make do without baking powder (make it from scratch
    instead)! shows how simple it is to mix
    baking soda with cream of tartar for an easy homemade
    baking powder. It will taste better without the chemicals and
    you'll start to feel like a clever homesteader.

  • Do without plastic bags: You can do without plastic
    sandwich and snack bags by stitching together or buying
    cloth sandwich bags, pictured left, or sending kids to school
    with a steel bento box, also pictured left, or a tiffin.

  • Never throw away bits of soap. Melt soap bits back to a
    larger bar, or continue to use the bits and pieces by putting
    them in mesh bag.

#5: Cook and cut a whole chicken.
You don't need to know how to pluck a chicken, just yet;
however, you should know how to cook and cut a whole chicken!
From a whole chicken you can make dinner and then a soup or
broth from the leftover bones, and chicken salad for lunch.
Homes and Garden
provides the skills you need for how to cook a
whole chicken. You'll need a proper pair of kitchen scissors,
pictured right.

#6: Re-use or re-purpose something.
Homesteaders have mastered the art of upcycling! So see to it
that you craft, renew, re-use and re-purpose something that's in
your home right now. Here are some quick ideas to get your mind

  • Old cowboy boots. Add some country charm to a pair of
    cowboy boots with cut flowers from your garden and an old
    glass jar. Voila - you've created a noteworthy vase.  Or put a
    clean and emptied peanut butter jar into a pair of kiddie
    cowboy boots and turn it into a nostalgic pencil holder.

  • Tissue box: Use an empty tissue boxes to store plastic
    grocery bags or the dog bags. An empty tissue box is also
    good for stashing used tissues at a sick bed.

  • Cantaloupes and oranges: Turn a half of a cantaloupe into
    the fruit bowl! You'll amaze your family with creativity and
    you won't have to clean the bowls. Cut the cantaloupe in
    half, then scoop the contents for your fruit salad. Borrowing
    on the idea, kids will love a gelatin dessert chilled in orange

#7: Make soup from scratch.
There are five basic considerations for making soup from scratch
you'll need to:
  1. choose a type of fat
  2. select a base
  3. pick the meat
  4. pair the complementary veggies
  5. include the right spices
    Of course, after you've mastered your soup making skills, the
    grand finale is to select the perfect apocalypse soup

Once you get the basics for making soup from scratch, you'll
throw in leftover veggies and turn tonight's dinner scraps into
tomorrow's soup for lunch!

#8: Grow a Windowsill Herb Garden.
You don't need land to grow herbs. All you really need is a sunny
place inside your home. Here are the
top ten herbs to grow
according to

Start a container garden of any size! Even someone in an
apartment can have a little homestead on the patio or deck with
a container garden of herbs, tomatoes, peppers, even potatoes!

#9: Build a bird feeder, nesting box or bird house.
Why would you want birds on the homestead? Birds are natural
pest control! They eat a variety of insects, including aphids,
mosquitoes, and spiders. Building a bird feeder or bird house will
help your garden grow. You might also install a birdbath.

#10: Make gravy from scratch.
Get out the fancy gravy boat instead of the can! Making gravy is a
skill every homesteader should know. You can learn to make
gravy worthy of filling your finest gravy boat.

#11: Bake biscuits for your home-made gravy.
You'll feel close to the farm if have biscuits and gravy. Biscuits
are just as good for breakfast as they are for dinner; and home
made gravy tastes so much better than what you get from a can.  

#12: Braid a rug.
An art that grew out of necessity, your rags of warn clothing could
be transformed into something new and useful: a rug! Much of
homesteading revolves around not letting anything go to waste,
so if you have clothing your children have outgrown or that no
longer fits, then put it to good use with a do-it-yourself rug.

  • Craft a braided rug from plarn. If you have too many
    plastic bags, you can craft something new with plarn (yarn
    made of plastic). From "plarn" you can make just about
    anything. Here's the tutorial for how to braid a rug.

#13: Become a "Knit Wit" and  get knotty.
Knitting is among the skills prepper kids will love. One form of
knitting, not often recognized is
crafting with paracord. Both are
knot tying! Whether you knit with yarn or craft with paracord,
hone those knot tying skills and make something.

#14: Grind your own wheat into flour.
Get out of the daily grind and start grinding! Among the top ten
of essential homesteading skills is grinding wheat, but don't stop
with wheat! Explore the other daily grinds...

  • In addition to wheat, a grain mill is also useful for grinding:
  • coffee
  • oats into flour or to make oats milk;
  • popcorn into cornmeal;
  • beans into flour or hummus;
  • nuts into flour or butters

  • Grind popcorn into flour. During World War II people made  
    their  wheat last by grinding in some corn. At the time, corn
    was more plentiful and less expensive. Left is a cast-iron
    popcorn mill grinder that is surprisingly affordable (thanks to
    the 75% discount currently available)! It takes some work,
    but is well worth the effort and ideal for life off the grid.
    Today, preppers use grain mills to grind wheat, popcorn,and
    also coffee, oats for oat-milk and baking, almonds into
    almond flour for baking, nuts for nut butters, and beans into
    flour for baking. Consider popcorn for your pantry!

#15: Sprout something!
With the seed sprouter, left you can sprout anything from alfalfa
for the rabbits,
fodder for the chickens or sprout for human
consumption -- crunchy toppings for your sandwiches and salads.

#16: Make home-made tortillas.
Tortillas are a gluten free treat. Making tortillas is actually easier
than baking biscuits! You need only Masa Harina (a special corn
flour), salt and warm water. Make dough balls, roll them and fry.
(Later, you can get fancy and buy a tortilla press.)  

#17: Churn milk into butter.
A hand-crank butter churn, pictured left, is an easy prep and your
family will enjoy the home made butters you'll craft. Try flavored
butters by adding herbs, fruits and rinds.

#18: Bake a pie crust from scratch.
Whether you pick wild blackberries, apples from an orchard, or
pumpkins from your patch, you'll eventually need to learn to bake
a pie crust from scratch to take advantage of the seasonal fruit.

  • Pie making Hint: To help you gain experience, make a flaky
    pie crust with help from Dancing Deer Baking Co., pictured
    immediate right. The directions are easy and your family will
    love you for trying! Once you see that it isn't that difficult,
    you can move on to the totally from scratch kind.

#19: Make ice cream (no machine).
All you need to make flavorful homemade ice cream is milk, fruit
or other flavoring, and sugar or honey. Who needs fresh milk? You
can make ice cream from powdered milk! A hand-crank ice cream
maker is fun, but did you know you can make ice cream without
an ice cream maker?

Here's how to make ice cream without the machine:
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