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Tuesday, November 16, 2010

It's Not What You Have-It's What You Know!

I blog a lot about stocking up on food and necessaries (now!) while prices are low, but admittedly, stocking up isn't the only plan of action one might take when preparing for the unknown.  When winter rolls around and there's free time on hand, my thoughts automatically turn to developing skills.  For the most part, we homesteaders/preppers have an unbroken 3 months of free time that we can devote to brushing up on old skills and learning new ones.  From January 2 until sometime in late March or early April, there are no holidays to plan.  Nothing needs winterized or de-winterized.  No grass to cut.  No flowerbeds to weed.  Just solitude.  And there's no better time to learn something new than when you can apply your undivided attention.

Each year, I try to learn something new.  This year, I've devoted a lot of time to learning knitting, baking sourdough bread and correct methods of pruning trees and berries.  I took my concealed carry training and practiced target shooting.  I've also spent a lot of time reading and re-reading the Bible in an effort to extract new bits of wisdom.  

My plans for this winter include researching medicinal herbs and root cellaring, attempting to make homemade sausage blends and finding a good recipe for sprouted wheat bread.  I'd also like to learn the trick to growing leeks so I don't have to pay $3/bunch for them at the grocery store.  And of course, more knitting.  Knit one.  Perl one.  Knit two.  Perl two.  It gets a bit tedious, but I WILL learn to knit successfully.

Having a full larder and all the necessary accouterments will only get you so far and at some point, what you know (or don't) may be even more important.  Knowing basic skills can be valuable when it comes to bartering, improve your quality of life and let's all just admit it: there's just a little bit of smug satisfaction to be had when we know something the general population doesn't.  Just a little bit :)   So what can you work on this winter?  Can you:

-Start a fire without a lighter?
-Successfully hunt game? 
-Make soap or candles?
-Cook and bake from scratch?
-Plumb or do electrical work?
-Treat an illness with herbs from your garden?
-Repair small engines?

These are just a few examples.  What do you want to learn this winter?


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2 comments:

Gen-IL Homesteader said...

Andrea, this is a GREAT post!! In fact, I just wrote my next post, to be posted in a few days about THE SAME THING!! I'm going to link to this post on my post, if you don't mind. (BTW, I'll reveal my skill to learn in my post!)

Andrea said...

oooh Gen, I can't wait to read your post! Feel free to link to me....anything to get folks thinking!

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