Think you can’t have a homestead without a garden? Think again! If you don’t have a garden, don’t despair. There are a lifetime of skills to learn. Here are 80 productive skills to start your path to homesteading without a garden.
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Modern homesteading is the act of transforming a home from a unit of consumption to a unit of production through the development of skills. For many, the first stop on this train is growing a garden. At first, I felt despair that I didn’t have a big garden because gardening is my first love. But then I realized I could fill up a lifetime learning tons of other useful skills!
For folks who don’t have land or if you have physical limitations that prevent you from growing food, this post is for you.
In the Homestead Kitchen
We could spend a lifetime learning how to grocery shop more economically, cook efficiently from scratch, and preserve or store those big harvests we score from the local farmer or from a bargain sale at the grocery store.
I remember the first year I was learning to can. I went to my local farmers’ market and asked one of the farmers for “second tomatoes”. These are those blemished ones that aren’t as pretty, but still in excellent condition. Usually the farmers do not display them, so you have to ask. I got 10 pounds of organic tomatoes for $10. It was an excellent deal and a great way to learn how to process them.
Frugal, Easy Meal Ideas & Meal Planning Tips
#1: Get my Free Meal Planning Template!
#2: Recipes to Replace Ridiculous Supermarket Products from Attainable Sustainable
#3: Eat Really Well on a Tight Budget from Walkerland
#4: Transitioning From Store Bought Meals To Homemade from The Well Prepared Mama
#5: 40 Ways to Save Money on Groceries from Survival at Home
The Art of Home Cooking From Scratch
#6: Check out my 4 Get-Started Tips for the Homestead Kitchen
#7: How I Started Cooking From Scratch from Homestead Dreamer
#8: How to Cook with Cast Iron from Grow Forage Cook Ferment
#9: Making Butter in a Jar with Kids from Homestead Honey
#10: How to Render Lard or Tallow from Learning and Yearning
#11: Apple-Honey Jelly (Made From Peels & Cores) from They’re Not Our Goats
#12: How to Make Homemade Pumpkin Puree from Farm Fit Living
#13: 11 “Out-Dated” Kitchen Tools For Your Survival Ready Homestead from Live the Old Way
Make Your Own Cheese
#14: How to Make Homemade Mozzarella in 30 Minutes from Melissa K. Norris
#15: How to make ricotta cheese from Joybilee Farm
Make Your Own Grain Products
#16: Why You Should Grind Your Own Flour & Choosing a Mill from Melissa K. Norris
#17: Making Matzo, Crackers, and unleavened bread on your homestead from Joybilee Farm
#18: Making Crackers from Scratch (in 20 minutes!) from Homestead Dreamer
#19: Easy Seeded Whole Wheat Bread from Healing Harvest Homestead
Grow Nutrition on a Kitchen Shelf!
#20: Organic Popcorn Microgreens for Healthy Snacking & Salads from Attainable Sustainable
Skills for Preserving Food and Stocking Shelves
#21: 6 Canning Myths You Must Know from Melissa K. Norris
#22: 15 Canning Tips to Save Time, Money, & Energy from Homespun Seasonal Living
#23: 15 Tips to Ensure Pressure Canning Success from Attainable Sustainable
#24: Step-By-Step Guide to Pressure Can Dried Beans from Learning and Yearning
#25: Home Canned Salsa from Common Sense Homesteading
#26: Check out How I Preserve Tomatoes in Small Batches
Dehydrating and Dry Storage:
#27: Here’s my Non-Electric Mason Jar Vacuum Sealer
#28: Beginner’s Guide to Dehydrating Food at Home from Survival at Home
#29: DIY Desiccant — Homemade Moisture Absorbers from Attainable Sustainable
#30: Survival food – how to dehydrate cheese and how to use it from Joybilee Farm
#31: Homestead Meat Curing from Homestead Honey
#32: 14 Crops for Winter Food Storage from Grow a Good Life
#33: Here are my 5 Easy, Homemade Infusions that Make Perfect Gifts Any Time of Year
#34: Make Your Own Apple Cider Vinegar from Learning and Yearning
#35: How to Make Infused Vinegar from Attainable Sustainable
#36: Dandelion Wine Recipe – And the Mistake You Don’t Want to Make from Common Sense Homesteading
#37: Stop buying sour cream. Make sour cream instead from Joybilee Farm
#38: 12 Ways to Preserve Apples from Grow Forage Cook Ferment
Reduce Kitchen Waste (and Expense)
#39: Make linen bread bags in just 15 minutes – no more moldy bread! from Attainable Sustainable
Fresh food and herbal remedies without the garden maintenance! If you have access to land for foraging, being able to identify useful foods and medicines is an excellent skill to have.
#40: Foraging Basics from Homespun Seasonal Living
#41: 5 Easy to Identify Edible Mushrooms from Grow Forage Cook Ferment
#42: Hunting Morels from Full of Days
#43: What is Gleaning and How to Do It by Grow Forage Cook Ferment
#44: Making and Using Acorn Flour (for the first time) from Learning and Yearning
#45: Foraging for Tea — Wild Tea Recipes from Homestead Wishing
#46: Harvesting and drying plantain from Feathers in the Woods
#47: 10 Wild Plants You Can Eat from Survival at Home
#48: Forager’s Find- Mulberry from Little Big Harvest
Tap Trees for Syrup:
#49: How to Tap Black Walnut Trees for Syrup from Homestead Honey
#50: Here’s my guide to making Herbal Salves
#51: From Plantain Leaf to Healing Balm from Learning and Yearning
Some folks simply love caring for animals more than plants, while others see raising their own animal products as more important than growing crops.
#52: Food for thought: Here’s Why We Don’t Keep Chickens (Yet)
#53: 7 reasons to raise chickens on your homestead from Murano Chicken Farm
#54: 7 Best Chicken Tips for First Time Chicken Owners from Common Sense Homesteading
#55: 5 Mistakes New Chicken Keepers Make from Homestead Wishing
#56: 15 Chicken Keeping Mistakes to Avoid from Farming my Backyard
#57: Why We No Longer Free Range (and what we are doing instead) from Boots & Hooves Homestead
#58: Ducks & Pigeons from Attainable Sustainable
#59: Homestead Dairy Cow Basics from Homestead Honey
#60: 13 Reasons why you should raise Guineas from Murano Chicken Farm
#61: The BIG List of Things you Should Know About Raising Pigs from Walkerland
#62: DIY Goat Mineral Feeder from Farm Fit Living
#63: Goat Toys — DIY & Cheap Toys for Goats to Keep Your Herd Busy from MrAnimal Farm
Fiber arts and I don’t mix, but I have A LOT of respect for those who have skills in this department!
#64: Knitting socks on four double-pointed needles from Eight Acres
#65: Natural Dyeing from Homestead Honey
#66: How To Dye Yarn With Goldenrod from North Country Farmer
A world without soap would be a sad world indeed. Make your own without any toxic gunk and save money, too.
#67: How to Make Soap at Home from Joybilee Farm
#68: How to Make Herb Infused Homemade Soap from Learning and Yearning
#69: MAKE YOUR OWN SOAP! My Favorite Hot Process Recipe! from Healing Harvest Homestead
#70: Make Your Own Wood Ash Lye Soap from Live the Old Way
Other Personal Care Products:
#71: Bath Bomb Secrets the Professionals Don’t Want You to Know from Joybilee Farm
#72: DIY Dryer Sheets from Old T-Shirts from Attainable Sustainable
#73: How to Line Dry Clothes Indoors When Your Dryer Is Being Stupid from Farming my Backyard
The conveniences of modern life are sometimes a relief, but we would be wise to practice some of these old skills. Entire generations are at risk of growing up completely skill-less!
#74: Baking Without an Oven from Homestead Honey
#75: Rolling Pin: A Woodturning Project from Turning for Profit
Caring for Tools:
#76: 7 Things Grandpa Did that Made His Tools Last Longer from Joybilee Farm
Make Your Own Candles
#77: Here’s how I Make New Candles from Old Candles
#78: Making Beeswax Candles from Homestead Honey
#79: Make tea light candles from beeswax from Joybilee Farm
Make Money from your Homestead
#80: 23 Backyard Business Ideas from Farm Fit Living
Ready to take the next step?
The following articles will help you on your journey toward a fulfilling and productive homestead life.
- 5 Reasons to Homestead in the Suburbs
- 7 Ways to Start a Homestead (Without Being Overwhelmed)
- How I Started Homesteading
- Is Homesteading Attainable?
- The Romanticism of Homesteading: The Life of a True Homesteader
- What If You Can’t Grow All of Your Food?
Growing Food (when the time is right!):
- 5 Myths About Micro-Farming: What’s Keeping You From Your Goals?
- How to Start a Garden on a Budget
- Implementing Your Dreams on the Permaculture Homestead
- The Challenges of Rebuilding Culture in the Suburbs Through Community Gardens
- Want to be a Micro-Farmer? 6 Tips for Success (and 6 Things Not to Do)
Would you like to learn more about creating a vibrant homestead garden that takes only 15 minutes a day to maintain?
You’ll find loads of information just like this in my book, The Suburban Micro-Farm.
Modern life is supposed to be easier thanks to modern conveniences. Yet in many ways it has become more complex as we rely on financial stability to meet all of our needs. Modern homesteaders have responded by joining ranks and supporting one another as we seek to replace expensive convenience with self-empowering skills.
For some, this will mean growing food for their household. For others, it will mean learning some of the many skills listed on this page…and more!
Which skills have you mastered? Which are you excited to learn?