Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Homesteading a Step at a Time

Let me be clear. I do not own any land. I don't even own the house my family lives in. We are planning on moving this year, and buying a nice house with at least two (preferably 5) acres. I have wanted to live somewhere I could have chickens for years, but alas, that has yet to occur. I have a very serious 5-10 year plan that will initiate the year we buy our first home. The plan has everything from a large garden, small orchard, goats, cow, and chickens!

In the mean time, I have decided that each year I will learn one or two new things that will be useful when I am growing my own food and raising my own animals. Two years ago, it was bread making. I have a Panasonic SD-YD250 that I love. I have had it for a couple years, but really started using it last year. I can make pizza dough, dessert breads, sweet breads, and dinner rolls. I learned how to make different kinds of bread this year, advancing my bread making skills! My favorite is sour cream bread.

Fresh loaf of bread

This year I started using herbal remedies for my family's ailments (teas and syrups mostly). I used herbs from my deck garden, which I grew organically, in a standing planter my husband built. I made a lot of teas which kept the cold symptoms as bay, and syrups were for the kids! Much easier to give them than store medicine. They were begging for it! It was even easy to give to my baby because it tasted good! I also started making my body care products, like body cream.

My deck planter!

So whether we move or not this year, I plan on tackling canning with locally grown fruits and veggies. I will try and further advance my bread making abilities and herbal knowledge. I will also be expanding the herbs I have in my deck garden. These sorts of things help assuage my desire to make things by hand, and create what I own. It helps keep me in touch with the Earth, while at the same time preparing me for the day when my dreams are more tangible.

Whether your home sits on a half acre or no acres (like mine), there are things that you can learn how to do to become more self sufficient and treat your body better! Like:

Bread making
Container gardening or traditional gardening
Canning fruits and veggies
Making your body care products
Making dairy products (if you can get ahold of the raw milk!)

Can you add some more things to this list? I would love to hear your suggestions!

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