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Self sufficient skills List

Posted: Wed Nov 14, 2018 9:03 am
by Flo
What can you do that helps to make you self sufficient?

I can knit (but have to buy the wool as don't live with a supply from a sheep) so only half useful.
I can sew well enough to do repairs on clothes.
Did learn embroidery but don't feel that cushion covers, table clothes and such are exactly necessary but could if I wanted them.
Never mastered the full on make your own clothes (last school that was too posh for that sort of skill).
Can make small rugs but don't live in a house that needs these things but it's still there if needed
Can garden well enough to fill the freezer and supply enough veg for me for most of the year.
Can do basic cookery and clean
Can't drive but live near enough to a bus stop to make this unnecessary. You can live without a car surprisingly if you choose where you live and it can still be fairly rural.
Could probably remember the skills of cane work enough to make baskets, trays and such
Can use a computer so can use a digital camera
Not sure if I could still raise a campfire for cookery in the case of a long period of no power
Have a certain amount of foraging skills - for fruit and veg at least

Looking at that list, not sure I could build my own lodgings and live off the land.

Re: Self sufficient skills List

Posted: Wed Nov 14, 2018 11:04 am
by Odsox
First off I can't claim to do any household craft skills because I've never tried
I can do a lot of things to do with self sufficiency though.

I can lay bricks and blocks, I've constructed extensions to 2 houses.
I can build sheds and greenhouses from scratch.
I can mend most engineering type things
I can weld, both gas and electric ( I was an Admiralty certified welder working on submarine parts in my younger days)
I can grow enough food to feed us, but it would have to be meat free now and protein might be a problem, unless we had beans every day !!!
I could generate electricity if I put the wind turbine back up, but it "generates" too much radio interference for non emergency situations.
We do have a car, now petrol instead of diesel, because we live at the back of beyond, but could conceivably do away with it as a rural transport minibus service passes the house and we both have bus passes

Oh, I can also use a radio (transmit) in any situation where all other forms of communication have failed.

Re: Self sufficient skills List

Posted: Wed Nov 14, 2018 10:04 pm
by Weedo
Thought provoking! Who would survive armageddon?

Hopeless at any household crafts (with you Odsox) except perhaps basic basketry but I know how to prepare a number of fibres for spinnig and dyeing
I can cook in almost any situation from campfire to range and Le Creuset to leaf lined hole in the ground.
I can clean, wash and iron.
I am quite skilled at protein foraging (AKA Shootin, Huntin Fishin) including using a wide range of traps . snares etc (AKA Poaching) BUT my veg foraging is only basic.
Hopeless at anything mechanical etc. but reasonably skilled with bush carpentry.
I can grow stuff - meat & veg.
I can do basic blacksmiting


So far it seems the three of us should form a clan

Re: Self sufficient skills List

Posted: Thu Nov 15, 2018 4:15 pm
by Odsox
Weedo wrote:
Wed Nov 14, 2018 10:04 pm
Hopeless at any household crafts (with you Odsox)
I found the best way is to get a wife, Weedo.
That was the best 30 shillings I ever spent (marriage licence)
That works out at 3p a year in new money or 7d in old ... so far.

Re: Self sufficient skills List

Posted: Fri Nov 16, 2018 8:28 am
by Green Aura
You're both cruising (for a bruising)!

OK, I can spin, weave, knit, crochet, sew by hand and machine. Some of those better than others but if cold enough I'm sure the other skills would speed up. :lol: I also have a huge stash of fabrics and yarns so it wouldn't necessarily be from scratch. I can also make baskets but find my hands are not strong enough these days - I'm sure they'd improve if necessary though.

I can grow veg and fruit but our diet would be seriously depleted if we had to live on what we could grow up here.

I'd probably have to develop sheep wrangling skills - at least they're in the field opposite so no major trekking and there's trout in the loch, although we've never fished once, so they may just be for show. I also have the equipment, but not necessarily the skills for mackerel fishing, which is seasonal but as I do have good skills of preserving, pickling, drying etc they could last a while. Seasonal, of course, there's plenty of shellfish in the Kyle.

Edited to add - OH has also pointed out that I have fairly good butchering skills and we make bacon, sausages etc which would keep a while, particularly if hung and dried.

I reckon I've got a good level of knowledge for foraging, certainly round here, but I'm not sure I'd dare do mushrooms - which is a shame because my neighbour regularly brings me field mushrooms, in season. Maybe I'd have to do swaps, or get her to teach me.

If I had access to milk I can make butter, cheese, kefir and yoghurt so that would supply us with a good supply of fats and protein and OH would finally have to give in and let me have those chickens I've been after ever since we came here!!!

No known building skills but I do make a pretty good labourer and builder/plumber/sparky's mate (well he says so anyway). And I can and have built a campfire and cooked on it. I've also heated our living room with one of those tealight candle heaters when we had an extended power cut, a few years back - it wasn't great but it kept the worst of the January chills off and we have loads of homemade blankets and rugs.

Finally, I've got a good knowledge of herbalism, aromatherapy, nursing and first aid so could deal with many health issues. We'd just have to hope the cavalry arrived before too long (and not with the hideous burger van they brought last time :lol:)

The last, long power cut we had made me give some serious thought to some of this stuff - can you tell?

Re: Self sufficient skills List

Posted: Fri Nov 16, 2018 1:15 pm
by KathyLauren
I worked as a carpenter's helper a few years ago, so I am pretty handy with building skills, including wiring. I can make a generator transfer switch for $10 that may be ugly but is just as safe as the store-bought one costing $200. I have built two awesome woodsheds and have perfected the design, so the next one, if there is a next one, will be perfect.

I can grow veggies if I absolutely have to, and can cook, though my wife finds her cooking preferable. I can sew quite well, and I think I still remember how to knit.

I am handy with a chainsaw and a splitting axe, so firewood is no problem. I can build a fire with minimal kindling and light it with a single match. But I prefer building a fire that lasts overnight, so I don't have to use a match the next morning.

Re: Self sufficient skills List

Posted: Sun Nov 18, 2018 9:46 pm
by Weedo
Odsox - is it possible to get a refund, at least in part?

Here, and I presume there, effective protein foraging (I think I will lodge IP rights for that term) necessitates less than legal methods such as illegal equipment and taking undersize / unseasonal material.

Re: Self sufficient skills List

Posted: Mon Jul 01, 2019 11:38 pm
by Weedo
I have a current need to "harvest" protein in the form of hares to protect my revegetation project sites - the hares have wiped out about 1,000 seedling trees over the last year. The ongoing drought has pushed a lot of animals of all sorts out of the plains areas and into the riverine areas looking for food.

I did try to eat one of these oversized grass hoppers in a casserole once; it was universally declared slightly short of toxic boot leather. I don't know of anyone here who would eat one. Can these things actually be made edible ? (none of that "hang it until it is ripe" stuff please)

Re: Self sufficient skills List

Posted: Tue Jul 02, 2019 7:33 am
by Green Aura
I had it once, as a child, but I can't remember much about it. So presumably it didn't stick in my mind as something revolting.

I think my Dad used a very old recipe (?Mrs Beeton) which, if I remember correctly, starts with "first catch your hare", or something to that effect. Anyway, I've had a little look round and I have to say that this recipe sounds amazing, if a little time consuming!
https://honest-food.net/classic-civet-of-hare/

Over here hares are shot to protect the grouse shooting "industry" so I won't be buying one any time soon, so you'll have to let us know how it turns out.

Re: Self sufficient skills List

Posted: Tue Jul 02, 2019 6:22 pm
by Flo
Never did learn the culinary skills required for dealing with hares as a child on the farm but was aware that adults could first catch the hare and then turn it into food. If I remember hare was an acquired taste - I didn't and was glad to move on away from farm kitchens for work. I have a memory of a list of things that I was glad not to have to eat again. Hares, rabbits, wood pigeon ... all plentiful "vermin" that met the fate of the shot gun on the home farm. The annual shoot for farming neighbours that was a sort of repayment of favours received over the year did clear quite a few hares. We never saw the pheasant or the partridge as these were kept for the visiting shots.

Re: Self sufficient skills List

Posted: Tue Jul 02, 2019 11:26 pm
by Weedo
Thanks GA. I does look time consuming but could be worked in a slow cooker OK; I often have things marinating overnight or for a couple of days. My only problem with trying the recipe is the potential waste of a couple of bottles of red wine!

Flo, I also grew up on the wild harvest for protein (apart from mutton) but, contrary to you I sometimes miss the flavours of Bronze wing and Wonga pigeon, wild duck etc. Rabbits are on the menu sometimes but are getting scarcer here. The main reason most game is not on the menu now is because the rest of the family won't eat them.

Re: Self sufficient skills List

Posted: Sun Jul 14, 2019 11:14 pm
by Weedo
The European hare is now officially declared inedible and an eradication target on Beavers Island! The only dissenting opinion was from the cattle dogs.

Re: Self sufficient skills List

Posted: Mon Jul 15, 2019 6:50 am
by Green Aura
Oh dear, at least you tried.

Re: Self sufficient skills List

Posted: Mon Jul 22, 2019 2:26 pm
by Flo
Seems one of my self sufficientish skills is to get the son-in-law to come round and mend the home garden gate. It started to bite him every time he visited where it was splintering along the top. He's there now working like a good one. (Mind it's only taken five years since he built a replacement fence out of some old pallets :wink: )

Will have to give him some cherry tomatoes. Next door neighbour has given him a couple of gherkins from the glut there. Well boy said he'd take payment in produce.

:mrgreen: