Farmstay U.S. Blog

Created for and by travelers and the farmers, these posts will cover a variety of topics related to farm stays in the U.S.

Archive for tag: self-reliance

The alpacalypse is coming! Here, this llama will explain...

alpacalypse

Oh.

Sorry.

Okay, all jokes about the end of the world aside, farms are great places to learn a skill or two that might see you through some tough times -- or at the very least, impress your friends at parties. (Seriously. Homemade cheese? I would be so impressed while I hid it all in my purse to take home.) (I like cheese, is what I'm saying.)

Day 5 - Bread, Butter, Jam, and Cheese Making; Canning and Preserving; Soap Making; Teaching Farms; Teaching Ranches; Cooking School

Homemade Butter

Homemade butter

Fresh, whole ingredients, usually straight from the source. A knowledgeable farmer or rancher to teach. These are some invaluable gifts!

The Farm Stay U.S. search page can help you find all kinds of new skills to learn. Just click on "Show More Search Options" and select an activity to see what our members have to offer.

Barred Rock ChickensWhen I decided to raise backyard chickens three years ago, I consulted books and the internet, as it is so easy to do these days. But books and web forums didn't prepare me when one of our hens broke her leg. As a girl from the suburbs, whose only real outdoor chores growing up were weeding a lawn or raking leaves, I laugh now (and cringe a little) to recall our dash to the vet's office to have them put a splint on that little chicken leg, when, really, I could have handled it myself.

There's a self-sufficiency that comes from trying things on your own, trial and error, and necessity. However, if we have the foresight to seek help and knowledge from our community, we can accomplish even more.

In Radical Homemakers: Reclaiming Domesticity from a Consumer Culture, author Shannon Hayes interviewed Los Angeles homesteader Kelly Coyne who says, "you need community. The best way to do any of this is to have someone show you how to do it. I think a lot of these skills are not easily taught by books, and when you're a person who's not been raised doing any of these things, whether it's preserving or growing or dealing with small stock, it's all very mysterious. You spend a lot of your time going, "Well, what is this?" Like, "What's this spot on the plant, why is my chicken doing that?"

Our farm, ranch, and vineyard members know about community, and the importance of sharing knowledge. Guests can get started learning a variety of skills straight from the farmers and ranchers who practice them every day.

Check out these results from some Activity searches on our site:Homemade Butter


IHEM

Along these same lines, this September, Mother Earth News and Grit magazines are hosting International Homesteading Education Month.

On their website, you can find workshops, open houses, and other events, all centered around neighbors teaching neighbors and building more self-reliant communities. Find events about food gardening, renewable energy systems, raising livestock (including backyard chickens), real food preparation and preservation, fiber arts, and more.