I never realized how much I had learned over the years until a friend suggested listing what skills we used around our homestead. The list kept growing. It astounded me! How on earth did I know so much? I think it was because I had the “Elephant’s Child” insatiable curiosity about everything. If I saw someone doing something, I would watch and bug them with questions- even as a little kid. I STILL am asking and learning.
We live on a remote homestead. Our nearest neighbor is 2 miles away. So it is a do-it-yourself world. There are great advantages to knowing how to do a wide variety of things. Chief of which are the financial savings! There is also a real level of satisfaction in having done it yourself. Being able to do almost all your own car repairs, fix your plumbing and start a fire from scratch can definitely add to your self-confidence and security.
Think about the things that you currently hire someone else to do. Then look at the cost. Cold you use that money better on something else? How about plumbing issues? I remember being really broke one time and the toilet stopped up. My husband was out of town, I had kids to feed and limited amount of funds. Bad as I hated getting stinky and dirty, I dug up the septic line, put on an old pair of cover alls and dishwashing gloves, found the plumbers snake we owned and commenced to clear the line. Later when he was home, we took the stool apart and discovered that a guest had dropped a bobby pin down it, catching one protruding pipe edge and it had gommed up the whole line. But know what? I did the dirtiest job I can think of and made it work again. All by myself. There are a number of good resources out there to learn from. Start with Family and friends, then check out your local library. There also good information sites on the internet. My all time favorite is “Mother Earth News” their archives (from the early years especially) are wonderful sources of how -to’s. A good group with information is Homestead.org.
You may never want to get THAT dirty, but the concept is to do it yourself as often as you can.
For more about Sustainable Homestead Ideas and Skills check out Jeannie Sayers Homepage
or visit Herbhome Tales Two for a blog about Homesteading.