Cultivate Self-Sufficiency Skills

Homemakers Cultivating Self-Sufficiency Skills for Today

When we started The Urban Homemaker business, twenty years ago, the main skills I had were baking whole grain bread, canning applesauce, basic sewing skills, and the ability to cook.  Thanks to the gentle prodding of customers and readers I have mastered many more skills from the list below.

But there is so much more to learn for the benefits of our family, our community, and our world. I believe there is a growing underground movement of people led of the spirit to master such lost arts as:

  • Growing your own fruits and vegetables
  • Canning, drying, lacto-fermenting or freezing their produce
  • Learning to store your own root crops
  • Making your own lacto-fermented beverages and creating herbal teas
  • Pressing cider and juices
  • Making jams and jellies
  • Raising livestock and poultry
  • Smoking meats
  • Making cheese, yogurt, butter, and kefir
  • Making soap and non-toxic home cleaning products
  • Keeping honey
  • Keeping dairy cows or goats for the family’s own use
  • Keeping chickens for meat or eggs or both
  • Cutting their own firewood
  • Making toys
  • Creating their own entertainment rather that dependence on commercial alternatives
  • Learning and applying principles of herbal medicine
  • Sewing and mending clothes for family and others
  • Knitting for family or for profit
  • Repurposing used clothing
  • Building your own house, barn, shed, or out buildings
  • Composting
  • Quilting and crafting
  • Baking for your family
  • Cooking for your family
  • Many other skills too numerous to list or even know about yet.

Lost Arts for the 21st Century – A key to navigating an uncertain future

If you and your family have been led to master some of these lost arts for the benefit or your family or for profit, I would love to have you  email me a short testimonial that could be used to encourage others.

Or perhaps, The Urban Homemaker has played a part in your journey over the years. Can you share a short note with others to celebrate our 20th Anniversary?

Encourage Others by Sharing your thoughts

Wherever you are in this life’s journey, just starting to consider this idea of self-sufficiency skills or having mastered most of the above list, I would love for you to write to me at so that I can share your thoughts to encourage others.

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3 comments to Cultivate Self-Sufficiency Skills

  • What a great list of skills. We have been growing a lot of our own food for a long time. We are farmers and have also raised our own pork, beef and chicken.

    I love to learn new skills and since we grow our own wheat and I make our bread from scratch it seems only fitting that I learn to grind and use our own wheat. So, that is on my list to do before winter is over.

    I’ll be visiting the urban homemaker for recommendations and to purchase my grinder. I find you have the best customer service!


  • Linda Moussa

    I live in an urban setting with a small back yard. However, for the past two or three years I’ve been attempting to grow some of our vegetables. My biggest success to date is in growing squash. I’ve tried growing things in pots and planters (our ground is very heavy clay which makes it really difficult to work). Last summer my husband built me two boxes. I grew lots of salad greens that lasted us the whole summer, some mange tout (not as successful), squash, spinach. I’m hoping that I will learn better ways to increase production, but I have to say there is nothing like eating veggies you’ve grown yourself. They taste so much better. If anyone has any tips for container gardening or gardening in very small spaces, I’d love to hear them.

  • I have learned soo much from Urban Homemaker and have poured over the e-mails and catelogs I have received through the years. Slowly, I am becoming educated in self sufficency and the skills to accomplish them.
    I just posted on my blog a little bit about this wonderful journey: “Vintage Modern Farmgirl”.
    If your interested, it’s
    I thank you for all the mentoring you have given so many of us whom you may never meet, this side of heaven.

    Homestead Blessings,
    Malinda B.

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