Homestead Skills: September

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You guys, I have been on a planning and goal setting spree! In my Homestead Skills Checklist post, I outlined all the things I wanted to learn, and I love to schedule, so I wanted to share my September schedule with you all! Now I have some accountability and will be able to have you all call me out if I don’t accomplish something. I have some fun new things in the works for those of you that subscribe to my emails too! September is going to be such a fun month!

September Homestead skillsWeek 1: Get some plants in their pots! I consulted many gardening websites and the Farmers Almanac and came up with some veggies I want to grow. Lettuce, spinach, and sweet potatoes are on my list. For the potatoes, I am going to use a potato bin!

Week 2: I am going to knit myself a sweater! I have been looking at a ton of different patterns, but I really need to level up my knitting game, plus I have so much found yarn in my house, that everyone I know will be sporting something I’ve knitted for them. I know I live in Florida, but we’re going back to Kansas for the Holidays, so I am getting the kids outfitted with hats, mittens, and scarves. You can follow my Knitting board here!

Week 3: Composting! I am gearing up to have my family go on a ZERO WASTE challenge. This is going to be tough, especially after a summer of easy foods and we had more waste than I have ever seen. My aim is to get us on track to not wasting and create great habits for the future!

Ginger soda
One of my first ferments, Ginger soda!

Week 4: FERMENTED FOOD! This is something that I have loved for a long time, and I cannot wait to start brewing kombucha and adding fermented salsa and pickles to my meals and get my stomach back in order.


Week 5: Home organizing and tracking. With all these new ideas and challenges, I really need to stay on top of what I am doing, what is working, what needs to change, etc. I am still trying to figure this out, but I NEED this in my life. If you are an organizing guru, drop your link in my comments, because I want to interview you!

That is it! This is a jam packed month, but I am ready to really begin to tackle these homestead skills! I’ll be sharing the books, tools, and links I use to figure this stuff out, and if you all have any handy advice, please don’t hesitate to drop a comment and let me know what has worked for you in the past.

Homestead Skills Checklist

In my suburban homestead planning post, I talked about how I wanted to do as much as I could on a smaller scale. So, I really wanted to create a homestead checklist to work through things I either need to brush up on or learn entirely.

homestead garden
Our garden back in 2014

I originally had the idea for this homesteading blog before our daughter came along. In those days, we were still tending to nine raised beds, six chickens, and two ducks all in our back yard. We were also on a mission to find at least five acres with a modest home and I was so excited at the idea of the new journey we were headed towards.

Homestead chickens
Our girls! I miss their eggs!

Soon, our jobs grew, our family grew and the dream of having our homestead with gardens, orchards, chickens, and animals faded to the back. It has been sad for me to leave this dream in the back of my journal to make way for my family and all that we need to accomplish on a day to day basis. This checklist is my way of reaching out to that dream and work on the skills that I will rely on when the dream becomes alive again.

homestead skills checklistThanks to everyone that I follow on my Pinterest boards, I got some amazing ideas on what skills are being used and what categories I need to brush up on.

Let me share a few things I have done over the past few weeks that fall in line with this thinking. First, I made enchilada sauce from scratch! It was so great and only took me a few moments to whip together in my Vitamix.

Then, when I was decluttering, I found a ton of yarn and my knitting stuff. Knitting was one of the very first things I taught myself using YouTube videos, and I am really proud of what I learned over that time. So, I have been working on picking it up again, but I keep getting frustrated and putting it down. I am currently in the market for some quick and easy projects to boost my knitting confidence (Knitters drop me some links or send me some pins on Pinterest!)

Little by little, I am going to be building on these skills and getting back into the swing of preserving foods, learning some home and garden care, and reconnecting with the outdoors.

You can download my Homesteading Skills Checklist! These are just my starting skills, feel free to add your own and have fun with it.

What are some things you want to accomplish in your home?

We are going to have so much fun y’all!! I will share my wins along with my failures and undoubtedly ask questions to all of you!


Tell me about your self-sufficiency dreams and things that you are already a rockstar with! Comment below!

 

 

How is my container garden growing?

There are affiliate links in this post for products I love and use. If they are used to purchase, I may receive a few dollars. 

container gardenEverything is coming up here in my container garden! You may remember the “planning” post I did a few weeks back.

So you may be asking yourself, how did I choose what I was going to grow? I had little or no method to my madness, I really planted herbs I love and know I will use and the zucchini said it would grow in pots through the summer, so I thought I would take a chance. All of this is trial and error for me, as it has always been. I will definitely be sharing my fails along with my triumphs as we go through this process. I want EVERYONE to learn something here.

Just an FYI: I grew the zucchini and the herbs from seed, and I purchased them from My Patriot Supply, they have a huge catalog of seeds and have had the best of luck with them. The tomatoes were purchased and not grown from seed.

I really wanted to share the things that we are growing around here:

TomatoesOur tomatoes, same kind of plant just planted two different ways. The one planted upside down looks a bit sad, I think I need a taller post, but if anyone has any experience with planting like this, comment below! This is my first time planting in pots and upside down, so I am bound to kill a few things, but I am really trying not to.


baby zucchini plantsThe baby zucchini plants I started from seed. I think I want to make them climb and put them up against our brick wall in the back.

I have been thinking a lot about vertical gardens and how to maximize container space. I am definitely doing more research on this.

 

I also have some things that aren’t in pots that are making my landscape more beautiful.

Aloe plants

Aloe plants, I love these every summer! I usually have a few leaves in my fridge for sunburn emergencies. This was originally one plant and just populated all on their own, I think I am going to find ways to give them out before they get out of control.

 

 

Pineapple

My pineapple!! I am really hoping this guy will be ready before the end of July. This will be our third pineapple, and I will plant a new one from this one. This particular plant was put in the ground about two years ago, and we patiently wait for more.

 

 

Avocado tree

 

Our avocado tree is exploding this year! Last year we had a couple, but this year we basically have an avocado farm. I have yet to try one, I am waiting for them to get a bit bigger, but I will let you all know as soon as I get one and try to create a few recipes. I am so excited about this one too.

 

How does your garden grow?

Why I started my container garden

I have always wanted to be a gardener, the idea of working the land and bringing food inside from the back yard has always been so appealing to me. We first started a container garden when we lived in Italy, and I was learning about nutrition and really wanting to grow some of our own food. We started on our huge balcony with some giant pots and some seeds; and we were able to grow a decent amount of tomatoes, peppers, and strawberries through the summer.

2011-Wy and hubs potting balcony plants in Italy.

When we moved back to the states we decided to settle in Florida, and as soon as we closed on our house we began talking about getting a fence so we could have a couple of backyard chickens and a garden. Once the fence was up, we set to work. My husband, son, and I built an adorable chicken coop, and nine raised beds to go around our back yard. We grew anything that we could, we failed a whole bunch of times and excelled in others.

2014-Our first full-size garden in Florida

Once we decided that we definitely needed more space, and we could no longer keep up with everything, we tore everything out to start to grow back the plush green carpet that is so desirable in the suburbs.

My dream is to get back to the chaos, the muck, the growing and raising of our own food. For today though, I am working on my container garden that will take up some space in our back yard, and contain a few summer vegetables.

2017-seed starting for the indoor herb garden

I am starting with some indoor kitchen herbs, and a couple of tomato plants, my daughter is obsessed with tomatoes! I received an “as seen on TV” upside down planter as a joke gift when I had my huge garden, and when I found it I was so excited to try it out!I have a few different things I want to try in the world of container gardening, my container gardening board is stuffed full of amazing ideas, and I hope to try them and share how I’ve been successful or a grand failure. That is the fun part to me, the experiment of trying out new things and finding what works and then eating it.

Any other container gardeners out there? Comment below!

My Suburban Homestead Plan

My view after tending my garden. A view I long to return to.

Now that I am returning home, I got to thinking how I can small-scale homestead here at home. I want to start learning skills that I will eventually need when we finally find the property that we are looking for.

I do have some experience, we did raise chickens for a couple of years, and I miss them dearly. We also had nine raised garden beds full of vegetables and fruits. I canned food on a regular schedule and cooked things fresh often. Once we decided that we were going to start to actively look for a larger space, we took all of that out to begin to grow back the desirable suburban green carpet. This is still in recovery, so I am not allowed to have huge garden beds.

Containers are going to be my gardening plan and I know I can find a way for them to serve my purpose.

So I went on a search, and thanks to Pinterest I now have an entire board dedicated to container gardening. I think I hear the garden store calling my name!

Scratch-made biscuits!

Another layer of my homesteading plan is to learn old-style cooking skills: fermenting, canning, dehydrating. I want to begin to make things from scratch and teach my children as well, so keep an eye out for my kitchen adventures…kitch-ventures?? It’s a working title.

 

How do you integrate homesteading type skills in your life? I’d love to know! Leave me a comment below.