14 Lost Homesteading Skills To Learn This Year

We live in a time where everything is super accessible. We no longer need to knit our own sweaters, or make our own laundry baskets. And while the accessibility we have is a gift, we have lost something beautiful while getting here. The number of skilled artisans is slowly dwindling as handmade goods have been replaced by mass produced, lower quality goods. This begs the question, what do we do about it?

It’s simple! We can support local artisans and also learn the skills ourselves. If you have an interest, find someone local to you and ask them their best advice on how to get started learning a new craft. Many artisans will be more than happy to share their knowledge, as they want their craft to be continued. Below, I’ve written a list of once common homesteading skills that are both useful and inspiring.

a girl making a whisk broom

Learn to Make Household Items 

There are certain tools and items that we use everyday in our homes that you can actually make yourself or buy from artisans in your area. Making your own household items can help you be more intentional about their care and use, all while having beautiful and more eco-friendly replacements for tools that are generally made with plastic.  

  • Wooden Spoons

Wooden spoons are an easy replacement for plastic and silicone kitchen tools and take very few tools to make. They are also great to have in your kitchen because they are gentler on your pots and pans than metal utensils. While buying the carving tools can be an initial investment, you’ll be ready to tons of spoons once you have them. You can also buy spoon blanks from a site like this one, rather than sourcing your own wood. Plus, I don’t think there is anything more beautiful than a hand carved wooden spoon.  

  • Brooms

Many people wouldn’t even dream of making their own broom, but it’s actually pretty easy. All you need is a broomstick, which you can forage, and some broom corn, twine, and a large needle. You can make a full sized broom for around $20! No more sad green metal brooms. 

  • Baskets 

Baskets used to be used for literally everything. They were a crucial part of daily life, because they were used for laundry, farm work, storage, and much more. Unfortunately there are less basket makers than there used to be, so over time, beautiful high quality baskets will become more and more scarce. There are so many tutorials on how to weave baskets on youtube, so all you have to do is purchase or forage some willow and get started. Help keep basket making alive. 

  • Soap Making

Today, much of the soap that you can find in the grocery store is full of chemicals. But thankfully, making your own soap is incredibly easy. It can be made in bulk, plus making it at home means that you can fully customize it to your taste. Bar soap, dish soap, and laundry soap can all be made at home easily, which can cut down your natural detergents costs drastically. 

Spinning wheel with basket of yarn

Learn the Fiber Arts

The fiber arts have greatly dwindled in the last hundred years, as fast fashion has taken over. Handmade clothes and accessories are a luxury, but they don’t have to be. While there is a learning curve to most fiber arts, you will not regret developing these skills, as they open up a whole new world of beautiful fashion and homegoods. So what are some of the skills you can learn?

  • Sewing 

While many people want to sew, making your own clothes and the like can be intimidating. Try starting off easy and make some hand towels, a tot bag, or some simple sourdough banneton baskets. This way you’ll develop the skills you’ll need to take on some bigger projects like making an apron, a dress, or pants.

  • Spinning

Spinning is rarely done any more, but there is nothing more relaxing than sitting down to a spinning wheel and giving a whirl. You can use handspun yarn for weaving and knitting, or you can simply just make twine. Use your natural twine to tie up plants in your garden. 

  • Weaving

Weaving is a very useful skill to have, as you can make many practical items on a loom that are both functional and beautiful. This includes blankets, dishcloths, pillowcases, and the list goes on. Check facebook marketplace for looms near you, buy or make some yarn, and get started!

Fire cider in a jar

Learn How to Make Medicinal Remedies

There is nothing easier than making homemade remedies for aches, pains, colds, and flus. Many people used to know which plants helped common ailments, but natural medicines have become less and less common over time. But having this knowledge can be super useful! I have helped heal my colds quicker, simply by taking some homemade immune boosting syrups and by making herbal teas that help you have productive coughs. So what kind of remedies can you make at home?

  • Tinctures 

A tincture is a remedy that is made by extracting a plant’s medicinal properties into a high proof alcohol. When roots, leaves and berries that have health benefits are covered in alcohol and left to infuse, the medicinal properties leach out into the alcohol. Once this process is done,  you can take a few drops of your tincture and get all those concentrated and potent medicinal benefits. 

  • Oxymels 

Like tinctures, oxymels are a type of natural medicinal that uses infusion. The difference is that vinegar is used instead of alcohol. Think Fire Cider for example. Potent ingredients that contain many immune boosting properties are soaked in vinegar and left to sit for around a month. Once your oxymel is finished, you can take a spoonful daily to help keep you healthy. Plus they are super easy to make and are so so good for you. 

  • Balms 

Balms can be made for many different uses and are super handy to have around for when you aren’t feeling your best. You can easily make comfrey balm for aches and bruises, or mint + eucalyptus balm to rub on your chest to promote deeper breathing. The ingredients for balms are very easy to find and you can save a lot of money by making bulk batches at home rather than buying pre-made balms. Plus they are super customizable and they make great gifts.

Bottles of hard cider sitting in snow

Learn How to Store Food

Food storage is one of the most important groups of skills to learn for homesteading. Knowing how to store food helps you eat seasonally, reduce food waste, and have a store of food for you and your community if you can’t get to the store in case of emergency.  

  • Canning

Canning isn’t so rare nowadays, however many people find it quite intimidating. But it’s actually very easy!  Plus, the risks that many people get worried about when canning are very rare. Learning to can will allow you to store your garden produce for use during the whole year. This means you can use the tomatoes from your garden in the middle of winter to make all sorts of wonderful warming recipes. 

  • Using a Root Cellar  

Root cellars are incredibly useful if you have a garden, so that you can keep fruit and vegetables fresh for long periods of time, without having to can or freeze them. You can store squashes, potatoes, cabbages, apples, carrots, and much more using this method and it doesn’t take much space. Learning how to utilize a root cellar can be a total game changer for your homesteading journey. 

  • Fermentation 

Not only is fermentation a great way to keep food good for a long time, but it’s also great for your health. Fermentation was used heavily in the past for making foods like yogurt and kimchi and continues to be one of the best food preservation methods to this day. Fermentation does not require any special equipment, so you can start learning how to ferment  right away.

  • Brewing 

Brewing is an ancient craft that we tend to leave to the professionals these days. But contrary to popular belief, brewing hard cider, beer, mead, and kombucha is actually quite simple. All it takes is a little patience, so give home brewing a try!

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply