Skills

{I am republishing this post for today’s date so it can be found more easily to fit with the next posts I plan on doing}

I’ve been sitting here thinking about all the different skills I would like to have that will further help us with our love of sustainability. I have crochet down, working on my knitting along with sewing. Drying herbs is easy, food preserving is my next goal and growing herbs. I’d actually like to forage for medicinal plants and such that see local to the area… Anyway let’s move on…

Here is a list of ideas for those of you who want to incorporate homestead skills in the urban setting:

Crochet or knitting- nothing beats making your own hats, scarves, gloves, and whatever else you think you can whip up using this skill. While you can just go out and buy hats it’s better to make yourself using sustainable yarn- think organic- I also prefer wool- it’s warm-it lasts. It’s a skill you can barter with if something happens where you would need to. 

Sewing- you don’t need to make haute couture. But it’s nice to be able to sew on  button or fix clothes you always have. You can upcycle old clothing into a variety of things ( yarn included). I used a few old shirts to make some dresses for the munchkin. Old jeans can be turned into a skirt, etc. I suggest having hand and machine sewing skills. 

Canning, cooking, baking, persevering, gardening, livestock-honestly don’t these all fit together? Having a garden can offset your grocery bill. If you can have backyard chickens go for it- fresh eggs. And if you’re not a vegan/ vegetarian raising rabbits for meat is a cheap way to supplement your meat bill. Quail are also an option.  There’s so much a person can do. We bake our own bread, have a garden, chickens, and looking to get meat rabbits going. We also wouldn’t mind hunting and fishing. 

I suggest also learning how to cook with different methods. Dutch ovens, solar, fire, you name it! Have some fun with it. I love campfire cooking. 

There’s also drying herbs, jerky, smoking meat, drying out veggies for food storage, canning, fermenting. 

Woodworking, handyman & vehicle repair skills- I’m blessed with the most amazing husband. We had a deep clog in our kitchen sink. His skills enabled us to unclog it ourselves and not have to pay a plumber. He knows basic electrical, plumbing, can build just about anything and takes care of maintenance on our vehicles. It saves a lot of money. He also is the type of husband to pull me into the whole process and has me do half the work. Which I thoroughly enjoy! 

Again I’m so blessed, my hubs rocks! Sorry gotta gush there just a bit again. That’s one of the major keys to making an urban “homestead” work. I can’t say we are fully that but we try to come close because we dream of owning farm land someday. Okay back to that key business. Working as a team, sharing the work, doing the work together, and so on. 

We are gathering up such skills in order to have our farm/ homestead one day. That’s our ultimate goal really. We may be in a urban setting but there’s plenty we can do for the future. 

-Alexis 

P.S There are many more skills I could have mentioned for me these seemed to be the first few to consider as most important in the urban setting. 

UPDATED :Garden Spray Using Castile Soap 

So I wanted a natural garden spray to repel bugs, etc so as per usual I decided a quick rundown of Pinterest was needed ( I have an addiction I’ll admit it) I found one that I suggest NOT using it says to use pepper flakes and it clogged my spray bottle I couldn’t get it unclogged WORST IDEA EVER. 

I decided on the next best thing cayenne pepper, a bit of garlic powder, and most say dish soap but I decided to try Castile soap instead I used Bronner’s Lavender Castile soap.

I did a half a teaspoon of the C pepper and Garlic then some Castile soap admittedly I really didn’t measure I did a few drops in the spray bottle then filled with water. ( of course later I looked and found a similar recipe on Pinterest hehe). 

I used a smaller spray bottle but a bigger one would yield more and you’d need probably a tablespoon of the garlic and CPepper long with the soap probably about a tablespoon as well. ( ugh I would have made more BUT those dang pepper flakes clogged the bigger one oh I’m still steaming!)  

Anyway I’m excited to use this spray on the garden. Very inexpensive and it will do what I need it to do.

UPDATE: I’ve had some clogging occur in the spray bottle with this mixture. I’m not totally sure what needs to be done or changed to keep this from happening. I thought about heating up the water in my tea maker then pouring into a bowl and mixing the garlic and cayenne pepper since it will be pretty hot. Then adding soap later it works so well on the plants I hate to even think about buying an organic pesticide at the store… I’ll figure this clog thing out 

-Alexis 

 

DIY- Vertical Herb Planter 

 I am always trying to find some way to recycle, reduce, reuse… This time I chose to use cans and a pallet with a bit of spray paint I had on hand to create this simple planter:

While I was spraying the pallet itself I thought to myself leave it a bit unfinished for a more rustic look. I like it!! 

 

Supplies:

 
( screws pictured aren’t what I used)  

1 pallet

9 cans either all the same or like mine

Drill, impact driver, drill bits for screwing in nails and drilling holes in the wood and metal ( different bits needed) 

1 nail and hammer 

Screws- 1 1/2 for length 

Spray paint color of your choice. 

Sharpie 

Safety glasses

Work gloves ( if you choose, some people prefer to work 
What I did first is spray paint the cans and used hammer to poke holes through the  bottom to help plants drain I did about 10 on the larger cans and 6 on the smaller ones. You can use a sharpie to mark where you want holes I didn’t. 

 
Next I drilled holes in the can right near the top – Mark it with sharpie after this I aligned it on the pallet and used a marker to place a dot where I needed to drill into it and place the can on the pallet ( see above pic) then I used the impact driver to get the screw in this works best on tough pallet wood. If you use the drill you risk tearing up the bit and screw leaving them both useless. 

( while drilling into the can just hold it tight wear safety glasses the whole time) 

More pictures of the project. If you choose you can leave the pallet alone- not spray paint it. I do suggest a layer of clear stain to help seal up the wood. Unless you’re okay with just the way it is. I chose color because I want to do two more pallets in different colors. That’s pretty much really easy and simple to do now just fill those cans up with potting soil and plant your seeds or transfer started herbs to the pots.
   

  

-Alexis 
  

Getting the Garden Going 

Finally! Weather permitting, I planted my seeds today, some would say oh it’s so late but Colorado weather has been super wonky ( I even had to keep our chicks in the house longer than I would have liked, but then again I’m the type to worry…. A lot lol) 

Some of the seeds I planted in empty egg cartons, cardboard boxes, just in case I needed to bring them inside at night or set up a quick greenhouse of sorts using my folding table ( tomatoes, cucumbers, etc) while the early spring veggies are in one garden box ( gotta prep the other two).  I also just couldn’t wait anymore we want to build more boxes. Thinking this time we need to go shorter in the height of the box. 

Anyway!!!!first  I’m a visual person and  second I could type your eyes out if I let myself continue.. So let’s go with visuals:

Got my table set up with seedlings planted and marked.  
Just randomness here, grounded up some eggshells to be used in garden   

  

Marked off areas where I planted different seedlings… I swear there’s a. Ethos to my madness here… Hehe   

And of course the day wouldn’t be complete without spending time with my ladies. Blondie was very interesting in my shoes  

Best part is kiddos enjoyed themselves, I got to teach them ( however simple it was since the kiddos I watch are 8 & 5 while munchkin is 2) about gardening and they also enjoyed helping me prep the first gardening box and wanted to pull weeds yes you read that right. They actually wanted to pull weeds! 

Anyway that was pretty much my day outside work, some chores here and there, made a cake for hubs whose birthday is tomorrow.  Had a good family home evening which I will post about later. 

All in all I’d said it was a fantastic day

VPs over and out