23 May 2016
Jack of all trades or homesteader?
Yesterday I gave my neighbor a small pot of delphiniums that I had grown this spring. She was so suprised and called me a jack of all trades. At the time I laughed and said 'not really', but then I went home and really starting thinking about it.
I’m a homesteader which at it’s core is to be a jack of all trades. So you learn to do what is needed in each season as it’s needed.
I grow my own vegetables, fruits, herbs and I nourish my sense of beautiy with homegrown, usually perennial, flowers.
She gives me excess bulbs or overgrowth from her garden all the time. (She’s been living here for over 20 years and has the most beautiful yard!) So, when I grew flowers this year, from seed I decided to pot one up and give it to her. Maybe she was suprised that I grew it from seed, or that I thought of her, I’m not really sure. But the thing that stuck with me is that as a homesteader you learn so many more skills than you would being a commercial farmer of, say only corn or soy.
Your washer is broken? Well, you could call someone to look at it or you could go get a how to repair washers or a plumbing book from the library or look it up online and do it yourself. I can’t see paying someone to come out and fix it when I have all the tools and resources to fix it myself. As a married couple, DH and I split up the tasks based on what we like to do around the homestead, and of course what we have time for also. He likes to tinker so he usually fixes the washer and those things. Just last week he moved our washer drain hose from the draining into the utility sink to going directly into the drain line. Once he had the right tools and parts it was easy. He also does the electrical, which I wouldn’t touch anyways, and has plans to move our gutter system soon so that the ice slick won’t be right on the walkway in the winter and we will be able to utilize some rain barrels in the summertime. He helps me engineer new buildings and with getting them up. He does so much around here and I don’t get to brag on him very often, but he is really a crucial member of our homestead. Especially since it’s just the two of us right now.
I on the other hand like to garden for, as I said above, vegetables, fruits, herbs, flowers and I’m really into the perennial vegetable garden right now. (I’ll do another post on that later.)
I also do most of the cooking, baking and cleaning. Not that he doesn’t help, but I usually have the time to complete these chores.
I like to sew and quilt to ensure the warmth of my family and I do a fair bet of mending on our clothing so that we can get the most use out of it.
I really love raising animals and getting new animals or birthing new ones on the homestead is the highlight of my day. I try to give them the best lives that I can so that when the day comes that they die, I know they lived well.
I also am the one butchering our animals. DH is slightly interested in this and will watch or hold something, like a knife or a bowl, for me. But, he’s not going to go doing it all on his own anytime soon I don’t think. He did assist with deer and hog skinning and cleaning when we were at my Mom’s house in SC. He is more fascinated by the larger animals that the small ones that I am doing right now.
Homesteading, by it’s very nature is to be a jack of all trades. And I’m so glad that I read fast and absorb the knowledge of my forefathers so that I can continue on in the human tradition of caring for my family as much as I can on the homestead.