Homestead Skills That Transfer Over To Survival Skills

If you are lucky enough to live on a homestead, there’s no doubt you’ve probably learned some very impressive skills. Homestead life can be tough, it can be challenging, but it can also be highly rewarding, especially when the skills that you’ve learned can be put to good use elsewhere.

It’s interesting to note that there are a lot of homestead skills that can be transferred over to survival skills. This means that if you fancy becoming a bit of a prepper, you should already have a lot of skills and knowledge that will help you to get through a survival situation.
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Making Raspberry Jam

Last year was the first year that we were able to harvest any of our raspberries. We were pleasantly surprised at how many we were able to gather. Many we ate right there on the spot. Wow, they were delicious right off the vine! So, of course we had to make raspberry jam too.

Fresh raspberries do not keep very long so once they started trickling in we froze what we did not eat right away. Once we had enough we planned to make raspberry jam, but things never seem to go as planned. So we just got around to making raspberry jam. Freezing is so convenient if your berries are coming in small batches or if you just do not have time to use them. We pulled the frozen raspberries out of the freezer and ran the bags under some cold water to thaw. They thaw rather quickly.
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How to Pressure Can Green Beans

Our green beans are coming in nicely this year and not a moment too soon! We had to breakdown and buy a few cans of store bought green beans not too long ago. What a shame. But happily we have already canned our second batch of contender green beans this season. Contender green beans are string-less. That makes life a whole lot easier, but we also will have some half-runners coming in later. They have strings, but they are just such a tasty bean they are worth the effort. If you are harvesting your own seeds from your beans don’t plant contender and other varieties with strings at the same time or they will cross pollinate. There’s no telling what you’ll end up with the next year!

Snapped Contender Green Beans
Snapped Contender Green Beans

So, how about a little canning tutorial?

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Homestead Cooking with Carol: Bountiful Make-ahead Meals – Book Review

Although, for the last few years Jon and I have been working toward being more self-sufficient, prepared, and just living a simpler life, we are still far from experienced homesteaders. I must admit that we have spent hours picking, preparing, and canning our homegrown veggies to turn around and have frozen pizza for supper because we were too tired and didn’t have time for real food. Sadly, more than once we have taken note of this. Not only is it counterproductive, if we are not careful we could let such setbacks discourage us. So, when we had the opportunity to read and review Carol’s new eBook, “Homestead Cooking with Carol: Bountiful Make-ahead Meals”, we were ecstatic.

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Making Crab Apple Juice for Pectin

Making Crab Apple Juice for Pectin

There are several varieties of crab apples. Most people do not use the ornamental crab apples because they are so small and tedious to use, but since we had them we thought we would not let them go to waste. Last year we tried making a batch of crab apple juice. I thought it was tasty, but everyone else thought it was just way too tart. Since it was not going to be a preferred beverage in our house, we decided to try making it unsweetened this year and store it to be used for its pectin for later use in making other jams and jellies where pectin needs to be added.
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How to Make Crab Apple Jelly

Jon and I are on vacation from work this week and decided to try our hand once again at making crab apple jelly. Last year was our first attempt at any jelly and it was a fail. Then we made it in November so we were worried that the crab apples were too far gone on the tree this year. There were more overly brown and rotten crab apples than in November, but still the tree was loaded down and Jon was able to pick about 1.5 gallons of crab apples from our ornamental crab apple tree.

There are tons of varieties of crab apples. Most people do not use the ornamental crab apples because they are so small and tedious to use, but they are perfectly edible and since we had them we thought we would put them to use.
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How to Pressure Can Crowder and Blackeyed Peas

A crowder pea is any variety of cowpea bearing pods with closely spaced (crowded) seed (peas). Last year, we grew Top-Pick Crowder Peas and saved some seeds and planted them this year.

We love crowder peas. They are our favorite, but we also planted blackeyed peas as well. Both are in the cowpea family. This method below will work for any variety of crowder pea, blackeyed pea, purple hull peas, etc.

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How To Make Chicken Broth

What super-food can you make for pennies, maybe even for free? Chicken broth is healthy, very simple to make, and supports your immune system. And did I say it’s inexpensive?

Whenever I make chicken for dinner – at least once a week – I remove the bones and put them in zippered freezer bags. The bags go right into the freezer.

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Putting Up Food on the Homestead

The Importance of Preservation

I grew up learning the value of preserving food for the winter and hard times. Our family grew a big garden each year and canned or froze the extra for later. We visited pick your own farms or combed the fields for wild apple trees to harvest fruit to stock our pantry. I continue to put away produce for my own family now that I’m a wife and mother. I want to make sure there is plenty of food in our house in case a snowstorm closes the roads or price increases put the basic necessities out of our price range. Besides that, I get a real sense of satisfaction when I pull jars of my own home canned foods out of storage and make a meal entirely from foods I preserved!
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Making Blackberry Jam

We were pleasantly surprised this year by the size and amount of blackberries we picked from our 2 blackberry canes that we planted last year. I made a couple of blackberry cobblers with some of the harvest. We picked the rest as they came in a little at a time and put them in the freezer. We also picked a few wild blackberries from our rural property and froze them. The blackberries from our thornless canes are substantially larger than the wild blackberries, but we are thankful for them all. It is ok to pick a few of your berries a little early before they have completely ripened (with just a touch of red in them) if you intend to use them for jam. The tart red blackberries have more pectin and will aid in the jam setting up. Still the majority of our berries were fully ripe when picked. All total I believe we froze about 4 gallons of blackberries.
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