The ABCs of Homesteading: J is for 'Jack-of-All-Trades Journeyman'


This is the eighth post in the ABCs of Homesteading series. Click here to read the rest of the series.

Garden Before

To be “Jack of All Trades” is to have a lot of different skill sets. A Journeyman is someone who has a professional level of competence at a particular skill or trade. Becoming a Jack of All Trades Journeyman, as in someone who has a professional level of competence at a lot of different skill sets, is key to being a good homesteader.

Homesteading skills used to be learned from birth to adulthood. However, in this technological age, many of us didn't learn self-sufficiency as part of our usual education. So, new homesteaders have to make up for lost time which is easier to do with a skill-up strategy.

Make Learning Any Skill as 'Easy as Pie'

Over the years, I've trained hundreds of people on a variety of tasks and I can always tell in just a few minutes if students will learn quickly. It has nothing to do with skill level and everything to do with their approach to learning. Trainees focused on memorizing steps are always harder to train. That's because when you break any activity down into a series of steps, it becomes complex. However, trainees focused on getting the “gist” and using their own reasoning to figure out the process catch on quickly.

If you'd never had an apple pie and tried to memorize every step required to make one, you'd end up with a hundred steps to follow. All the nuanced details that go into peeling, coring, cutting, sauteing, measuring, incorporating, chopping butter sticks into pea-sized pieces, flouring your cutting board, roller, and hands, working the dough, oiling your pan, knowing which utensils to use when and how, and special preparation techniques, etc. add up to more information than a typical brain can store without excruciating memorization.

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