Learn Homesteading Skills: Our Complete Homestead Know-How Series

By Staff
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To run a successful homestead, one needs to tap into the skills needed for a self-sufficient life. Homesteading skills include installing durable farm fencing, knowing the best ways to chop and store firewood, providing at least a portion of your own food, and more.

At MOTHER EARTH NEWS, we have a 40-plus-year tradition of arming homesteaders with practical, straightforward advice, and in recent years, much of this advice has been relayed via our popular Know-How department. This Homestead Know-How page includes links to a number of articles that promote strong homesteading skills and are written by experts in the field.

Farm Fencing: Horse High, Chicken Tight and Bull Strong

With farm fencing, there’s plenty to consider: Woven wire or high-tensile? Electric or non-electric? Here’s how to make the best choice for your animals.

Homestead Water Sources and Options

Mystified by water pumps and the prospect of digging a well to provide drinking water and more? Wade through your options for finding clean water and making it flow.

How to Buy Farmland, Even If You Think You Can’t

Dream of starting a farm? Here’s a guide to what questions to ask and where to find reliable answers, plus resources to help you obtain a farm loan.



How to Get the Best Firewood for Clean and Affordable Energy

Find out where to harvest or buy firewood, plus how to split, dry and stack your logs for the most efficient wood heat.


How to Start Beekeeping: What’s All the Buzz About?

A honey bee hive can provide an abundance of honey and beeswax, increased pollination for your garden crops, and hours of entertainment. This roundup of basic beekeeping tells you what to expect when diving into the art of apiary management, including the time, equipment and budget required.


Raising Ducks and Geese: A Guide to Waterfowl

Ducks and geese are low-maintenance birds that provide fresh eggs, homegrown meat, pest and weed control, and even poultry manure for your garden.

Sell Your Surplus With a Farmstand

Is your homestead overflowing with fresh produce, eggs or meat? Bravo! Learn how to sell vegetables, eggs and other extras at a farmstand or local farmers market.


Solve Your Predator Problems with Livestock Guardian Dogs, Donkeys, Llamas and More

Readers share stories of how their brave homestead companions patrol pastures and keep predators at bay.


Start a 1-Acre, Self-Sufficient Homestead

Expert advice on how to establish self-sufficient food production, including guidance on crop rotations, raising livestock and grazing management.


Working Dogs: Pick a Perfect Pooch for Your Pastures

A working dog might make a great addition to your homestead. Herding dogs, livestock-guardian breeds, and vermin-control dogs such as Jack Russell terriers all have their special place on a well-run farm or ranch.

See our related Garden Know-How page for a collection of gardening articles written by expert organic gardener Barbara Pleasant.