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Teaching Children Homesteading Skills

Growing up on a homestead offers not only the chance for a picture-perfect childhood, but also gives parents the opportunity to begin teaching the kiddos how to be self-reliant as soon as they learn how to walk! Children homesteading can be synonymous with children playing with these helpful tips.

Children Homesteading – Good for the Whole Family

Homesteading children are exposed to a myriad of learning opportunity on a daily basis. Each chance to help their parents and learn why they are doing what they are doing should be capitalized. Even a toddler has the capability to absorb information about their surroundings and be enthralled by all the sights, sounds, smells, and textures they can touch while helping do necessary chores around the farm.

The work will seem like play to the little ones! While older children and teenagers will likely come to view their given tasks as chores, hard word breeds not only good character. Besides, they’ll also get a sense of accomplishment when a task or project has been completed.

The homesteading education does not need to be all work and no “play.” Family fun days designed with a purpose can be both a learning experience and a memory-making occasion. If the homesteading family is also homeschooling the children, there’s ample opportunity to incorporate many homesteading topics. Animal care, gardening, weather awareness, energy production, and water-related studies can easily fit into the weekly curriculum. They’ll be more on homeschooling for homesteading families in a future article – so stay tuned!

However, even without a formalized homeschool environment, kids learn a lot. Children homesteading become keenly aware of the fact food does not just materialize at a grocery store. When and how to involve children in the butchering process varies by both age and maturity of the child, but you should begin introducing the concept that animals are raised for meat on the homestead at a very early age. Even though children could be in their teen years before actively engaging in the killing and butchering of livestock, early general knowledge will avoid a sense of shock when their favorite bunny or duck comes up missing from the pen.

Teach the children to respect the animal and the sacrifice it is making, while simultaneously instilling in them the responsibility of raising livestock. An animal should have an acceptable quality of life until it comes to an end as part of their “job” on the farm.

Ten Tips for Teaching Children Homesteading

Start Them Young

children homesteading
Start taking babies into the poultry coops as soon as you feel it is safe for them. By the time the child is a toddler, they will already be comfortable around the flock and take pride in their daily egg gathering contribution to the family table.

Tip #1. Make egg collection and the feeding of small livestock part of the daily routine for homesteading children once they become a toddler. This way, they can learn to become comfortable around the animals at even a young age. The earlier the children are introduced to the livestock, the less likely they will be frightened of them. Then the essential safe handling (for both the child and the creature) can be taught.

Tip #2. Learning their way around the homestead, especially if it is comprised of a large amount of acreage, is necessary for a child’s safety. It will also enable them to work the land and find necessary tools, which are crucial skills for children homesteading. Teach map-reading skills and terrain recognition (and ultimately tracking skills) beginning at age three or four. The first map could be a simple drawing or can be comprised of photos showing the child how to get from the house to a nearby spot, like the chicken coop to help with egg collection. When the child is older and orienteering skills have advanced, give the child a series of spots to find on the homestead using GPS coordinates or photos of the terrain to help them identify where it is located.

Survival Skills

children homesteadingchildren homesteading
Play a nature scavenger hunt with children of all age to help them learn about the environment of their homestead. This will also teach them how to identify wild edibles – and why doing so could one day be essential to their survival, if crops fail to produce come harvest time.

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Tip #3. Learn new survival skills and enhance existing ones by hosting a family fun day competition. Include other homesteading children and families to increase the enjoyment and to add a bit of friendly competition to the mix. Possible homesteading Olympics activities include: chicken wrangling, swimming contest, fire-starting contest, wild edibles scavenger hunt, or simple tool creation out of found or natural objects. The possibilities are endless and can be adapted to suit the age and ability levels of the children involved.

Tip #4. Rainy days should not deter the homesteading skills learning. Being stuck inside offers parents the chance to teach children some important food preparation and preservation skills, as well as first aid training. You can also play homemade homesteading board games, trivia games, or run through a set of agriculture flash cards created for just this type of indoor togetherness moment. Play a series of “Minute to Win it” type games using actual items or photos of items commonly used around the homestead to identify parts found on the farm. Place the items in a sack or on a table and see who can identify the item or its use on the homestead. Then see who can accurately name/identify the largest number of items in one minute.

Tip #5. Teach the children – both boys and girls – how to sew and do leather-craft. These common homesteading skills can be taught early by creating simple potholder or pillow-sewing projects and making leather keychains or belts.

Tip #6. Give the children their own container garden or a row in the field to tend to their own crops. The children will not only get their hands dirty in the soil, getting used to the feeling, but they’ll also learn how to cultivate crops, how weather and water conditions impact the harvest and how much food makes it to the family table. Help the child make a meal or side dishes out of what they grew themselves.

Tool Skills

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Until a child is old enough to safely take part in wood chopping chores, have them help in both important and age appropriate ways. Learning how to identify trees found on the property and the best uses of the wood is a skill set, which will aid them throughout their life on the homestead.

Tip #7. Wood chopping can be extremely dangerous and should be completed only by older and trained children or teens. However, there is no need to wait to simply introduce the concept of using wood as fuel on the homestead. Younger children can help gather kindling and feel a sense of accomplishment when they tote their haul back to the house in their own wagon. Preschool-age to older children homesteading can haul the chopped wood by hand or in a wagon back to the wood pile and stack it – building muscle tone and knowledge as they go. You can also teach how to identify different types of wood found on the homestead and how specific types of wood are best used.

Tip #8. Basic animal husbandry skills can be taught in a variety of ways as children age and mature. Have the children help build or repair animal enclosures. Use this time spent together to teach them about the animal who will live inside. You can be specific! Teach them common ailments and how to identify and rectify them, what the animals eats, how much, and where the feed comes from, etc.

Tip #9. Build simple machines with the children to teach them how tools aid in the work around the homestead. For example, using leverage to move a heavy object, how a hoist is used to lift a heavy object or animal, etc.

Watch this video by BackyardHomesteading as he shows backyard homestead kids skills on making fire:

Tip #10. Dive into science with hands-on energy creation machines and water purification projects. Teach the children how to make a simple solar and/or hydro-powered engine, show them how to purify water from a pond or creek, and explain why good water quality is essential to humans, livestock, and crops. Allow children to help with machinery repairs, even if their role is solely as glorified gopher. This gives parents the opportunity to explain how the machinery works and why it is important to the homesteading way of life. It also teaches repair skills age-appropriate for children homesteading.

Which homesteading skills would you want to teach your children? Let us know below in the comments!

Read this homesteading guide for beginners !

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Self Sufficiency

NYC Adds Nearly 4,000 People Who Never Tested Positive To Coronavirus Death Tolls

New York City added nearly 4,000 people who never tested positive for the coronavirus to its death toll Tuesday, bringing coronavirus-related deaths in the city to around 10,000 people.

The city decided to add 3,700 people to its death tolls, who they “presumed” to have died from the virus, according to a report from The New York Times. The additions increased the death toll in the U.S. by 17%, according to the Times report, and included people who were suffering from symptoms of the virus, such as intense coughing and a fever.

The report stated that Democratic New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio decided over the weekend to change the way the city is counting deaths.

“In the heat of battle, our primary focus has been on saving lives,” de Blasio press secretary Freddi Goldstein told the Times.“As soon as the issue was raised, the mayor immediately moved to release the data.”

The post New York City added nearly 4,000 people who never tested positive for the coronavirus to its death toll appeared first on Daily Caller

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Self Sufficiency

How To Make Lacto-Fermented Sauerkraut In A Mason Jar

The thing about homesteading is you get to create your own ingredient right from scratch! Cheese, yogurt, butter and now sauerkraut, a delightfully sour and crunchy ingredient you can use on your meals — or consume by itself — while on a homestead, or while facing this health crisis!

This homemade sauerkraut is a great meal because it has a long shelf life. You can either make plain sauerkraut or mix it with herbs and spices. In this tutorial let us make Lacto-fermented sauerkraut that preserves all the good probiotics in a jar, good for your guts.

So how to make sauerkraut in a mason jar?

RELATED: How To Make Buttermilk On Your Homestead

Delicious Sauerkraut Recipe Every Homesteader Should Know

Why Make Sauerkraut?

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Not only does sauerkraut spoil a long time, but it is also a meal in itself, and it is also easy to make! You don’t need to be an expert cook, all you need to do is follow these simple steps.

So let us get started. Here are the steps in making sauerkraut in a mason jar.

Ingredients:

  • 1 head of cabbage or 2 1/2 lbs cabbage
  • 1 tablespoon of salt

Tools Needed:

  • knife
  • bowl
  • mason jar
  • smaller jar
  • rubber band

Step 1: Wash & Clean the Tools & Ingredients



Wash all the equipment and utensils you need. Wash your hands too.

You don’t want to mix your sauerkraut with bad bacteria, anything that is going to make you sick.

Next, remove the faded leaves from your cabbage. Cut off the roots and the parts that don’t seem fresh.

Step 2: Cut the Cabbage Into Quarters & Slice Into Strips



Cut your cabbage into quarters and remove the core. Then, slice it into strips.

Step 3: Place in a Bowl & Sprinkle With Salt



Put the stripped cabbage into a bowl. Sprinkle the cabbage with 1 tablespoon of salt.

TIP: Use canning salt or sea salt. Iodized salt will make it taste different and may not ferment the cabbage.

RELATED: Homemade Yogurt Recipe

Step 4: Massage the Cabbage



Massage the cabbage for five minutes or more to get the juice out.

TIP: You’ll know it’s ready when you see a bit of juice at the bottom of the bowl and will look similar to coleslaw.

Step 5: Press Cabbage Into the Mason Jar



Add the cabbage to the mason jar gradually. Press it in hard to allow the juice to come out. Do this every time you add about a handful of cabbage.

IMPORTANT: Food should be covered by the liquid to promote fermentation. Add any excess liquid from the bowl to the jar.

Step 6: Press a Smaller Jar Into the Mason Jar



You want to squeeze every ounce of that juice from the cabbage. To do this place the mason jar in a bowl and get a smaller jar.

Fill it with water or marble to make it heavy. Press it into the bigger mason jar. Allow any juices to rise to the surface.

Step 7: Cover the Jars With Cloth & Tie With Rubber Band



Leave the small jar on. To keep your jars clean from annoying insects and irritating debris, cover your jars with a clean cloth. Then, use a rubber band to tie the cloth and the jars together, putting them in place.

Step 8: Set Aside & Check Daily

Set it aside in a cool dry place, away from direct sunlight. Check the water level daily. It should always be above the cabbage.

Step 9: Taste Your Sauerkraut & Keep at Cool Temperatures

Homemade Sauerkraut Cumin Juniper | How To Make Lacto-Fermented Sauerkraut In A Mason Jar

After about five days, you can taste your sauerkraut. If the taste is to your liking, tightly cover it with the lid and store in the fridge or cellar.

NOTE: If after five days it’s still not your desired taste, leave it for a few more days. This will allow the fermentation process to continue.

You can now enjoy your sauerkraut in a mason jar. Enjoy its goodness! You can use it as a side dish or mix it with your favorite sandwich.

Things to Remember in Making Sauerkraut

  • Store away from direct sunlight and drafts.
  • Colder weather will make the process longer. Spring is the best time to make them since the warmth helps activate the fermentation.
  • Always make sure that the cabbage is below the water level during the entire fermentation process.
  • If the water level decreases during the fermentation process, you can make a brine and add it.

Let us watch this video from Kristina Seleshanko on how to make delicious Lacto-fermented sauerkraut in a mason jar!

So there you have it! Making Lacto-fermented sauerkraut in a mason jar is as easy as slicing the cabbage into strips. Remember that as long it remains unopened, your sauerkraut can last for months. Best of all, you can partner this sauerkraut in many recipes.

What do you think of this homemade recipe? Share your best sauerkraut recipe in the comments section below!

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Self Sufficiency

9 SPRING VEGETABLES FOR YOUR GARDEN

Having plants in the house will bring peace to people. Having a little garden with vegetables is even better! You can grow these vegetables in your backyard garden easily as well!

RELATED: Microgreens Growing Guide

In this article:

  1. Tomato
  2. Eggplant
  3. Beet
  4. Spinach
  5. Pea
  6. Carrot
  7. Radish
  8. Cauliflower
  9. Asparagus

Growing veggies in your garden will give you an opportunity to understand what you eat and value it more. Early spring is when most vegetables are being planted. Keep reading to learn about 9 spring vegetables that anyone can grow in their garden!

Tomato

Tomato is the most popular garden vegetable in the States! There are different varieties to choose from. Tomatoes need to be planted in early spring because they won’t survive a frost.

Because tomatoes are consumed daily, try adding them to your garden! They’re not difficult to grow either.

Eggplant

Eggplants are known to have low-calorie, vitamins, minerals, and nutrients. Plus, they are delicious! So why not plant them in your garden?

Eggplants shouldn’t be planted too early because they won’t be able to survive a frost. So you could consult an expert in your area before you plant your eggplants.

Beets

Beets are known to be a superfood for its various health benefits. They’re easier to grow in the garden, usually around late March or early April.

If the weather is always cool, beets will keep getting bigger and bigger. Once the weather starts to warm up, you’ll need to harvest them, or they’ll go to waste.

Spinach

Spinach is a delicious early spring veggie, and it’s also very beneficial for health. And it’s not difficult to grow spinach in your garden!

Spinach needs cold weather to grow. Getting spinach to grow is easy, but keeping it growing will require some extra care.

Pea

Peas are usually planted in late April. Peas will die in freezing temperatures, but they also won’t survive the heat either. So make sure you plant your peas in early spring.

Peas are widely used in many different ways, and there are different types of peas. The soil you’ll be planting your peas should be suitable for them, so make sure you ask while buying seeds.

Carrot

There are different types of carrots, but regardless of their size and color, it’s a fact that carrots are both delicious and rich in vitamins.

They’re root vegetables, so with proper sun and watering, they can be picked up as baby carrots as well.

Radish

A radish is an excellent option for beginners because it doesn’t require too much care. Radish is easy to harvest.

Radish grows fast, so it’s better to keep an eye on it after a few weeks. Radish usually is grown pest-free, but there’s always the chance of unwanted guests, so watch out for worms. Radish can be eaten raw or can be added to garnish recipes.

Cauliflower

Cauliflower isn’t the easiest vegetable to grow at home, but it is very popular.

Cauliflower grows better in colder weather, so before you plant it, consider the climate of your garden. Cauliflower can be eaten raw or cooked, and it is known to be very beneficial for health.

Asparagus

Freshly picked, tender asparagus is very delicious!

Asparagus plants get more productive with each harvest, and mature asparagus harvest can last for months! Make sure you plant them at the correct time, or else they might go to waste.

All the vegetables listed above are great for your healthy diet, and it’s fun to watch them grow. So don’t miss out on the opportunity to grow your own veggies and eat healthy this spring!

So tell us which veggies will you be growing this spring? Tell us in the comments section!

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