I recently read about the Japanese concept of kaizen. Kaizen translates as “continuous improvement.” It is the process of consistently taking small steps to make a process better. I realized that for a process as big as homesteading, kaizen is the best, if not the only, way to approach it. There are so many skills to learn and the temptation is to bite off more than you can chew. I have come up with a list, based on research and my own personal interests, of homesteading skills. If you have skills you would like to share with me, or an addition for my list of skills to learn, I would love to hear from you.
1. Grow your own food – vegetables, fruits, herbs, nuts.
2. Grow transplants from seeds.
3. Learn and practice natural garden pest control.
4. Extend your growing season.
5. Create an aquaponic garden.
6. Save seeds.
7. Build a rain barrel.
8. Learn alternative farming methods for drought conditions.
9. Find a specialty crop that is a good match for the local farmers market and area restaurants.
1. Dry beans for seed and storage.
2. Infuse herbs in oil, vinegar, water, alcohol, or honey.
3. Can foods.
4. Pickle foods.
6. Learn how to dehydrate foods.
7. Build a cool-storage for foods.
8. Brew own wine.
9. Render beef tallow and poultry fat.
10. Grow foods that can be stored without electricity.
1. Homemade extracts.
2. Make your own breads and pastas.
3. Build and cook with a solar oven.
5. Make your own cheese, cream, and yogurt.
1. Raise chickens for eggs and meat.
2. Raise rabbits for meat, fiber, and manure.
3. Raise goats for meat and milk.
4. Raise bees.
5. Learn how to butcher small livestoock.
SUSTAINABLE LIVING SKILLS
1. Learn and practice water conservation techniques.
2. Reduce use of electricity.
3. Make candles.
4. Reduce toxic products by making own bath and home cleaning products.
1. Learn CPR and first aid skills.
2. Learn how to sharpen any edge tools.
3. Learn how to use a gun.
4. Learn basic plumbing, carpentry, and small engine repair skills.
1. Learn basic properties of herbs and plants in your area.
2. Make herbal teas based on herbal properties.
3. Make and use herbal tinctures.
I am sure I am no way close to covering all the skills I need to know so please feel free to add to this list.