Running a homestead demands you to constantly be thinking outside the box, searching for new and exciting ideas to up your level of self-sufficiency.
Below are some simple tips and tricks that can help you to do just that, even if you have little time and energy to spare.
What You Could Do In The Kitchen
The kitchen is where a homesteader is tested the most.
With so many obstacles to go by, I have handpicked some tricks you can use to make your life much easier.
Test Your Eggs For Freshness
One great trick you can use to test if your egg is still fresh before you crack it open is to:
- Pour tap water into a bowl. Then dip your eggs inside.
- If the egg sinks, it is fresh.
The advantage of testing your eggs, is that it helps you not to mistakenly mix rotten eggs with fresh ones when baking.
Related: How to Keep Eggs Fresh for Months with Mineral Oil
Reheat Your Food Without A Microwave
There are numerous disadvantages of using microwaves, so you must consider reheating your food with other health-conscious methods. Here’s how:
- Get a stainless steel pot or pan.
- Pour a little bit of water and oil into it.
- Put your food separately into the pot in a jar.
- Adjust your stove to a medium temperature and start warming up your food.
The advantages of reheating your food this way would be that there are no radiation after-effect disease to worry about after eating food warmed up on the stove. And there is also no more over heating or spoiling your meals, because you will have to manually stir and constantly look at your food until it is ready. Also, you will save on your electricity bill if you don’t use the microwave.
The Outside Of Your House: The Garden
The garden is one of the homesteader’s most treasured possessions.
This is why there are so many tips and tricks that have been documented to help you improve it. Here are a few that you can use:
Improve The Fertility Of Your Soil With Poop
Animal manure has nitrogen which is great for the soil.
Here’s what to do:
- Collect well-aged animal waste that has composted and dried up.
- Add it to your garden soil.
Besides the fact that animal manure has nitrogen, which helps to improve the fertility of the soil, the other advantage of adding animal manure to your garden is that using animal waste as fertilizer helps you save money (it is free).
Start Growing Sweeter Tomatoes
Do you find that some of the tomatoes you grow, are a bit bitter or acidic? If yes, here is a solution to combat that;
- Cultivate and fertilize your garden soil.
- Remove the tomato plants from the pot and bury them in the soil.
- Put mulch around them.
- Water your tomatoes early in the morning with a mixture of water and baking soda.
The obvious advantage is that sweeter tomatoes are much more delicious than their bitter counterparts, and they are healthier.
Farm Animal Tips And Tricks
Extremely cold, winter temperatures can harm your animals. Let’s take chicken for example.
Feed Your Chickens Protein To Help Them Survive The Extreme Cold Temperatures
To prevent bad things which cold temperature brings with it, you will have to boost chicken immune system by providing them with protein-rich chicken food. This can include:
- Cat food.
- Kitchen scraps.
- And leftover eggs.
Some of the most important advantages are that protein helps boost the immune system of the chicken, which helps withstand extremely cold, winter temperatures. And the protein assist in muscle growth, making your chicken fitter and stronger.
Zero-Grazing Your Livestock
The time has come for you to switch from free-grazing to zero-grazing your livestock.
Zero-grazing is a system used to raise and feed livestock in a relatively small, fenced area or farmhouse. Though it may require a little bit of investment upfront, the advantages of switching to this system, far outweigh the disadvantages.
The main advantages would be that this is very easy to control pests and diseases and there is little to no time wasted herding.
The only reason why humans still exist, is because we are very good at coming up with new and improved ways of surviving extreme conditions. Here are a few examples that can save your life in a SHTF homesteading scenario:
Dirty Or Unfiltered Water: Drink It?
In an off the grid location where a situation might come up to choose between dying from dehydration, or getting a stomach ache and nausea after drinking filthy water, you would have to choose wisely. Of course, I am not thinking of chemical waste which could fully contaminate and spoil your running or harvested water…
Obviously the latter, so drink up and save yourself. This should be done only in ultra-extreme circumstances, nothing less.
The advantage is that the after-effects of drinking this water last for some days to a few weeks. You can filter it through a pair of socks, or some cloth tissues.
Related: 30 Survival Uses For Wood Ashes You Never Thought Of
Keep Warm Using Baby Oil
A general rule of thumb for me and my family when going on a vacation to a very cold, snowy place, is to always have baby oil handy.
Baby oil helps protect your skin from frostbite, which commonly affects your nose, fingers, toes, ears, chin and cheeks.
The advantages of using baby oil on your skin are: it protects your skin from frostbites and it rejuvenates and warms up your skin.
General Tips And Tricks To Homesteading
There are lots of activities that constitute homesteading.
Below is a list of general things a homesteader can do, to improve his or her life.
Set S.M.A.R.T. Goals Along With Action Steps
Not setting Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Reasonable and Timely goals in this lifestyle, is a recipe for disaster.
An example of a S.M.A.R.T. goal can be “Save 40% of my income every month”
What Is The Start For This Goal?
- Start packing a homemade lunch when going to work.
- Reduce my shower time to three minutes, to reduce the water bill.
- All lights off at 10 pm to reduce the electricity bill etc.
Be creative and find other ways to save more money every month.
Advantages: goals give you a sense of direction and this helps you to know where you are going. Ticking off a reasonable goal helps you stay focused and motivated.
Related: Homesteading After 60: What You Need To Know
Reusing links up well with the above example of saving money, because it saves you money, plus it is easy to start.
Homesteads are notoriously known for reusing, so if you haven’t started reusing yourself, you should consider it.
There are many things that you can reuse in your home right now, for example:
- Food scraps – You need to include food scraps in your compost.
- Glass jars – You need to start using glass jars to store food or canning.
- Plastic containers – You can use plastic containers for container gardening.
Advantages: reusing saves you time, money, and energy from going shopping. And this action helps reduce your carbon footprint.
Related: How To Build a Solar Heater from BEER cans for FREE
There are also lots of ideas that you can use as a homesteader to increase your level of self-sufficiency.
Which ones do you use? Leave a comment below, I would love to hear from you.
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I love these great ideas. It is wonderful to have solutions to problems that one doesn’t HAVE yet. Thanks in advance.
Great tips! I cannot say I’m lazy, however these will come in handy.
Don’t waste your time and baking soda on tomato plants. That’s just a myth that adding it when you water your tomatoes. https://www.gardenmyths.com/baking-soda-garden-hacks/#:~:text=Baking%20Soda%20Makes%20Tomatoes%20Sweeter&text=Baking%20soda%20is%20alkaline%20and,acidic%20tomatoes%2C%20which%20taste%20sweeter.&text=A%20study%20done%20to%20measure,the%20same%20amount%20of%20acid.
Baking Soda Makes Tomatoes Sweeter
This is another case of using a little science to confuse gardeners.
Baking soda is alkaline and adding it to soil will reduce the acidity of soil. This less acidic soil produces less acidic tomatoes, which taste sweeter.
The only truth in the above paragraph is that baking soda is alkaline. The rest are incorrect conclusions with no scientific basis.
First, the change in soil pH would be insignificant given the amount of baking soda added.
Second, growing tomatoes in less acidic soil does not mean the fruit will have less acid. Flavor in fruits is mostly determined by the environment (temperature and light) and genetics.
A study done to measure the acidity of tomatoes found that all tomato varieties have about the same amount of acid. The sweetness of tomatoes is determined by other chemicals in the fruit.