Any sustainable homesteading friends out there? What skill should I learn next?!

Which homesteading skills are your favorite?

  • Canning

    Votes: 5 50.0%
  • Sewing

    Votes: 1 10.0%
  • Knitting

    Votes: 2 20.0%
  • Crocheting

    Votes: 2 20.0%
  • Keeping animals for meat

    Votes: 2 20.0%
  • Keeping animals for dairy

    Votes: 1 10.0%
  • Keeping chickens for eggs

    Votes: 8 80.0%
  • Keeping sheep for wool

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Carpentry

    Votes: 1 10.0%
  • Bee Keeping

    Votes: 1 10.0%
  • Gardening

    Votes: 7 70.0%
  • Other - list below in the comments!

    Votes: 1 10.0%

  • Total voters
    10

LizzzyJo

Crowing
Dec 14, 2018
1,739
4,486
307
The Great Black Swamp, Ohio
For the past 4 years, I have been on a journey of minimal-waste, sustainable homesteading (zero-waste is not an achievable goal for me). I have been reading constantly and immersing myself in youtube zero-waste and homesteading communities. I've learned to can, sew, use much less plastic, knit, reduce, reuse, and recycle ;) I constantly fail at minimizing plastic in my store bought groceries :he, but my 1/4 acre vegetable garden lets us grow a lot of our own food. Plus the chickies help! What are some good ways you have found to reduce food plastic?

I am always interested in chatting and learning from other homesteaders, zero-wasters, and eco-minimalists. What are some skills that you have to help your family, farm, and planet?

If I am the only one in my household who can eat dairy - should I get a dairy goat?

Should I get a few mini sheep for wool?

Should I go for wind or solar power?

Should I reduce all meat eating to our own 'oopsters' (roosters born on our farm ;))?

What should I learn next?! :thumbsup
 

LizzzyJo

Crowing
Dec 14, 2018
1,739
4,486
307
The Great Black Swamp, Ohio
For the past 4 years, I have been on a journey of minimal-waste, sustainable homesteading (zero-waste is not an achievable goal for me). I have been reading constantly and immersing myself in youtube zero-waste and homesteading communities. I've learned to can, sew, use much less plastic, knit, reduce, reuse, and recycle ;) I constantly fail at minimizing plastic in my store bought groceries :he, but my 1/4 acre vegetable garden lets us grow a lot of our own food. Plus the chickies help! What are some good ways you have found to reduce food plastic?

I am always interested in chatting and learning from other homesteaders, zero-wasters, and eco-minimalists. What are some skills that you have to help your family, farm, and planet?

If I am the only one in my household who can eat dairy - should I get a dairy goat?

Should I get a few mini sheep for wool?

Should I go for wind or solar power?

Should I reduce all meat eating to our own 'oopsters' (roosters born on our farm ;))?

What should I learn next?! :thumbsup
Poll added :)
 

Sally PB

Crossing the Road
Premium Feather Member
Aug 7, 2020
8,445
37,029
933
Belding, MI
Should I go for wind or solar power?

Find out how much sun you get in your location. I would love to have solar and wind, both, but don't know what it would cost to have them installed. Do a lot of research before spending the $$$ to put either one in.

I've never had sheep, but I have spun my own yarn from wool and other fibers. If you want wool, it would be much easier and cheaper to buy fleeces from people who have wool for sale. There are a lot of Fiber Festivals. Learn about different kinds of wool before you decide to get sheep; you don't want to get sheep and then find out that breed's wool is much coarser than you want to spin or knit.

I recycle a lot of stuff. Meijers (grocery store) recycles plastic bags. A local place collects plastic, glass, metal, cardboard. I reuse a lot of glass jars, as I like the fact that glass doesn't react with food.

As for only eating "oopsters" (I like that term!), that's a lot of chickens to grow and raise. How many in your household? Is everyone ok with that idea? You may end up eating a lot of vegetarian meals if you're short on chickens. Do you or anyone in your household hunt? That's another option for meat.

I am always looking for ways to do better by the Earth. Chickens and chicken poop are helping with the garden, that's for sure! I had the best harvest ever of some things, other things were only so-so or outright disappointing. But I learn something worthwhile every year.

For the past 4 years, I have been on a journey of minimal-waste, sustainable homesteading

Good for you! :thumbsup
 

Artichoke Lover

Free Ranging
Jul 27, 2020
2,169
10,451
656
Southeast US
For the past 4 years, I have been on a journey of minimal-waste, sustainable homesteading (zero-waste is not an achievable goal for me). I have been reading constantly and immersing myself in youtube zero-waste and homesteading communities. I've learned to can, sew, use much less plastic, knit, reduce, reuse, and recycle ;) I constantly fail at minimizing plastic in my store bought groceries :he, but my 1/4 acre vegetable garden lets us grow a lot of our own food. Plus the chickies help! What are some good ways you have found to reduce food plastic?

I am always interested in chatting and learning from other homesteaders, zero-wasters, and eco-minimalists. What are some skills that you have to help your family, farm, and planet?

If I am the only one in my household who can eat dairy - should I get a dairy goat?

Should I get a few mini sheep for wool?

Should I go for wind or solar power?

Should I reduce all meat eating to our own 'oopsters' (roosters born on our farm ;))?

What should I learn next?! :thumbsup
To answer the dairy goat question you can also make soap, lotion and lip balm from goats milk. This could use up some of the excess and be a source of income. I would recommend getting a Pygmy or Nigerian dwarf goat since they don’t produce and much milk or take up as much space.
 

LizzzyJo

Crowing
Dec 14, 2018
1,739
4,486
307
The Great Black Swamp, Ohio
To answer the dairy goat question you can also make soap, lotion and lip balm from goats milk. This could use up some of the excess and be a source of income. I would recommend getting a Pygmy or Nigerian dwarf goat since they don’t produce and much milk or take up as much space.
I would love to do that! How many and how often with the breeding cycles?
 

LizzzyJo

Crowing
Dec 14, 2018
1,739
4,486
307
The Great Black Swamp, Ohio
Find out how much sun you get in your location. I would love to have solar and wind, both, but don't know what it would cost to have them installed. Do a lot of research before spending the $$$ to put either one in.

I've never had sheep, but I have spun my own yarn from wool and other fibers. If you want wool, it would be much easier and cheaper to buy fleeces from people who have wool for sale. There are a lot of Fiber Festivals. Learn about different kinds of wool before you decide to get sheep; you don't want to get sheep and then find out that breed's wool is much coarser than you want to spin or knit.

I recycle a lot of stuff. Meijers (grocery store) recycles plastic bags. A local place collects plastic, glass, metal, cardboard. I reuse a lot of glass jars, as I like the fact that glass doesn't react with food.

As for only eating "oopsters" (I like that term!), that's a lot of chickens to grow and raise. How many in your household? Is everyone ok with that idea? You may end up eating a lot of vegetarian meals if you're short on chickens. Do you or anyone in your household hunt? That's another option for meat.

I am always looking for ways to do better by the Earth. Chickens and chicken poop are helping with the garden, that's for sure! I had the best harvest ever of some things, other things were only so-so or outright disappointing. But I learn something worthwhile every year.



Good for you! :thumbsup
There's only two of us here, so not too many to feed :) The idea of learning about fiber before sheep is great. I was just thinking about the size of sheep and not the type of wool. i was thinking harlequin mini sheep - do you know anything about their wool?
 

Artichoke Lover

Free Ranging
Jul 27, 2020
2,169
10,451
656
Southeast US
There's only two of us here, so not too many to feed :) The idea of learning about fiber before sheep is great. I was just thinking about the size of sheep and not the type of wool. i was thinking harlequin mini sheep - do you know anything about their wool?
If you get sheep make sure they are adapted to your temperature and overall climate. Especially if you live some where it gets hot during the summer.
 

Artichoke Lover

Free Ranging
Jul 27, 2020
2,169
10,451
656
Southeast US
I don’t know any of the specific’s for breeding. And a lot of that depends on the breed. Most of my knowledge is from research and from friends and neighbors that keep them. Including several who made soap to sell. I hope to get some Nigerian Dwarfs 1 day but sadly that’s probably a few years out.
I would try asking in the Other Pets and Livestock thread or your local extension services site.
 

Fishychix

🐠🐣
Premium Feather Member
May 20, 2020
4,099
21,756
796
NE Ohio
I would so love to learn how to can. Im terrified of poisoning everyone with a single bad batch. I would put in the laughing emoji, but it’s a real fear of mine that makes me feel very uncomfortable ☹️
Alternative energy sources sound awesome, but like Sally mentioned, it is (designed) to be prohibitively expensive. I was looking into rooftop wind turbines but that didnt really lead anywhere useful.
Composting toilets weird me out, lol! 🤣. But are, apparently, safe.

Have you heard of the magazine titled Mother Earth News? It’s a nice read, informative and, of course, has lots of advertisements on the back. Things you might find interesting if not useful. I get mine through my library as a digital “rental”. I have them on my tablet for about 4 years now, so it doesnt just disappear in a couple of weeks like an ebook might.

Beekeeping is something Ive been looking into for quite a while, but apparently we have idiots in our neighborhood that opened their hive two doors down from an already existing one. Now they both have to constantly feed instead of the bees doing bee things because its over populated. Whereas I live far enough away to where I could have opened a hive, now no one else can. Those are also the ones that live on a very busy road and refuse to put up a fence for their chickens. There have been several near accidents because of it. Did I mention it’s a major road for school busses? 😡😡
Please forgive me but, thankfully, four of them were killed by a predator so now there are only two remaining and its less dangerous on the road now.
Sorry for the bee rant but its an important point to remember that clearly people are not aware of.
Woo! Im getting way off topic! 🤣🤣. Sorry! Woke up at 5 to dog diarrhea. Im a little tired and cranky 🤣🤣

What about rabbits? They are an excellent source of meat and fur. And for some, bones for different uses, jewelry for one.

I, too, have started buying glass containers for storage because they are inert, dont melt in the microwave, etc. However, they did come with lids, plastic lids 🤦🏻‍♀️

Dont buy things unless absolutely necessary, or buy second hand.

I dont “recycle” any plastic bags because we use them for garbage and dog poo, as well as the litter box.
I usually only go to a store that gives them to you when I need more. Other than that I go to places like Aldi or SaveALot where I can use boxes or my own bags. I know I can use my own anywhere now, but I forget them in the car. Every. Single. Time. 🤣🤣 I reuse the boxes for whatever. Right now for the quail and the rabbits.

Quail are another great source of meat and eggs.

“If I am the only one in my household who can eat dairy - should I get a dairy goat?”
Goat milk is usually tolerated by those that are lactose intolerant if thats what you are wondering.
You can also eat goat of course, so keep a few and have yet another meat source.
 

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