After all the chaos of last year, 2021 seems like the perfect year to get back to basics and master new self reliance skills. This year, I’m going to put out a new beginners guide each week, with everything you’d need to know to get started with a new skill.
Have you always wanted to lean how to preserve food, bake bread, forage wild food or heal with herbs? You’re in the right place!
What do you want to learn in 2021?
I’m hoping to write a series of beginner’s guides, with the goal of putting out one a week. With 500 specific posts on Practical Self Reliance, I’ve realized that most skip over the basics and jump right to the heart of the issue.
Detailed canning tutorials, but I’ve never explained how to run a canner. Cheesemaking recipes, but I’ve never explained the fundamentals of cheesemaking. You get the idea…
I’ve come up with a list of potential topics, but the real question is, what do you want to know? What am I missing?
Here’s what I’m planning to cover, one a week every Friday until I run out of ideas. You can help by adding to the list. Leave a comment below and let me know what you’d like to learn this year!
(I’ll be posting links to each post below as they’re completed, so bookmark this page and check back in throughout the year. If you want to make sure you don’t miss any, you can subscribe by email here, or follow along on facebook or Instagram.)
Beginners Guides Planned in 2021
- Beginners Guide to Cheesemaking
- How to Make Beer at Home
- Lacto-Fermentation for Beginners
- Freezing Vegetables: A to Z Guide
- 100+ Medicinal Herbs and How to Use Them
- Beginners Guide to Pressure Canning
- Beginners Guide to Charcuterie
- How to Make Sausage at Home
- How to Make Jam
- How to Make Jelly
- Poisonous Berries and Fruits to Avoid
- Gardening in Raised Beds
- 3D Printing for Beginners
- Grafting Fruit Trees for Beginners
- Basics of Seed Saving
- Beginners Guide to Seed Starting
- How to Make Bread
- How to Make Wine from Grapes
- Beginners Guide to Food Storage
- X Things You Should Stop Buying and Start Making
- How to Make Butter
- Beginners Guide to Root Cellaring
- Beginners Guide to Dehydrating Food
- Beginners Guide to Beekeeping
- How to Make A Herbal Tincture
- How to Use a Drop Spindle
- Beginners Guide to Composting
- How to Stitch a Wound
- How to Make Yogurt
- Beginners Guide to Mushroom Foraging
- Beginners Guide to Chainsaws
- How to Make Beeswax Candles
- How to Render Tallow
- Canning Meat
- Retort Canning (Make your own MREs)
- Computing Programming for Non Programmers
- How to Reload Ammunition
- How to Choose a Firearm for You
- How to Care for Cast Iron
- How to Cook On Cast Iron
- How to Restore Cast Iron
- How to Restore Knives
- How to Repair and Refurbish Garden Tools
- How to Build a Raised Bed Garden
- How to Grow Mushrooms
- How to use a Bread Machine
- How to Eat A Tree (Edible Trees)
- Companion Planting for Beginners
- Permaculture for Beginners
- How to Make Charcoal (and Activated Charcoal)
- Herbal Medicine For Beginners
That’s my list…but when I posted this to facebook I got a literal outpouring of support and suggestions. Over 300 comments in under 24 hours…
Y’all are incredibly creative, and I’m adding these excellent ideas to the list. Not all of them are “basic” but some were just too good not to include:
- Simple Sewing Techniques ~ Reattach buttons, sew a bag, pillow case. Sew shorts/pants.
- How to tie a fishing hook to a line
- How to clean a fish
- Beginner chicken raising (for eggs and meat)
- How to butcher a chicken from the beginning (with feathers, not a whole chicken from the store (cutting up a whole chicken.)
- Most of us have forgotten or never known how to simply store food for use through the seasons .
- Sharpening an axe and/or knife on a whetstone.
- Shaving with a straight razor and sharpening on a leather strop.
- What about meals in a jar, dehydrated and pressure canned
- how to live with out a refrigerator and freezer
- What to buy well and once
- How to set up a cheese cave (cheesemaking in warmer climates)
- House cleaning with natural supplies
- Season Extension in Raised Beds ~ Row Covers, Shade Cloths, Cold Frames and Cloches
- Practical self reliance…city life edition
- Soil building and How to Improve Your Soil
- Using yard debris (post hurricane, I have a ton of debris. Branches, stumps, downed trees, overgrowth now)
- how to dry and preserve herbs
- how to make ham and bacon
- Basic tanning for beginners
- Pine needle basket weaving
- The fine art of fertilizer (what manures can be added direct, reading fertilizer bag, anti-nutrients,etc
- How to Meal Plan with Garden Produce
- Working with Natural Fibers ~ Milkweed, Nettle, Linen, etc.
- Tanning Salmon Skin
- Humanure for Beginners
- Cold Frame Construction and Use
- How to Make Lye From Wood Ash (and Wood Ash Soap)
- How to Make a Solar Oven
- Solar Backup for Well Pumps (and Off Grid Water Pump Options)
- Shelf Stable Dehydrated meals (Instant Meals from a Food Dehydrator)
- Small Space Gardening or Small Space Raised Beds
- How to Prune Fruit Trees
- More Foraged Food Recipes ~ Pine Bark, Acorn Flour, etc.
These were some of the most requested topics, but I’ve already got you covered….
- Beginners Guide to Water Bath Canning
- How to Make Soap
- How to Make Mead
- How to Make Wine
- How to Render Lard
- How to Make a Herbal Salve