Were you wondering what self-reliant skill you should try next? Do you want to know what you should take classes in or read books about to improve your survival odds? Want to know how to stay on top of what’s big in self-reliance? Well, I’m here to help. Here’s the top 5 self-reliant trends for 2016.
Even Pinterest recognizes these self-reliant trends in their Top 100 Trends for 2016. While it’s true grandma already knew about some of these self-reliant trends, we’ve gotten far ahead of grandma now. With the wealth of shared knowledge and social media sparkle these trends evolved into a movement. And it’s a self-reliant, back-to-basics movement we can get excited about. I asked a few leaders in the Homestead niche to tell me what’s trending for them this year. This is the result.
1. Self-reliant trend: Gardening for Food
Whether it’s the news or the state of the economy or just a yearning for whole, nutritious, and affordable food, gardening for food is hot in 2016. Talk about the newest seed catalogue to arrive, how to grow microgreens in your kitchen, or how to build raised bed garden boxes in the back yard – you’ll find lots of inspiration from my friends.
How to Grow Meyer Lemons from Seed from Joybilee Farm
How to Grow Pea Microgreens in your house in Winter from Joybilee Farm
How to Grow Spring Greens Mix in Your Garden from Joybilee Farm
A Guide to Winter Sowing from Jess at 104 Homestead
Planning Your Vegetable Garden, mapping the garden beds from Rachel at Grow A Good Life
Month to Month Gardening Lists from Isis at Little Mountain Haven
4 Reasons Why Your Tomatoes are not Ripening from Laurie at Common Sense Homesteading
How to Make a Lot of Compost This Winter from Angi at Schneiderpeeps
Growing Food in Drought from Kris at Attainable Sustainable
My Favorite Books: Gardening for Food
The Nourishing Homestead by Ben and Penny Hewitt
Growing Vegetables West of the Cascades by Steve Solomon (The book that got me started in gardening)
The Winter Harvest Handbook by Eliot Coleman
2. Self-reliant trend: Fermented Food and Drink
Fermentation is trending in the top magazines and newspapers. And no wonder! The health benefits of fermented food like kefir, kimchi, and natural cheese are being touted from university journals to food magazines. Those olden day drinks like Kombucha and Mead are being discovered all over again, too. Along with tasty sourdough bread, cured sausage, and slowly aged cheese, what’s old is new again.
Making Sourdough Starter from Scratch from Joybilee Farm
How to make Kimchi without Salt from Joybilee Farm
How to Make Ricotta Cheese from Joybilee Farm
How to Make Sour Cream from Scratch from Joybilee Farm
How to make Kefir from Joybilee Farm
How to make a gallon of Mead from Colleen at Grow, Forage, Cook, Ferment
How to Make Mozzerella Cheese (the Easy Way) from Quinn at Reformation Acres
How to Make Preserved Lemons from the Fermentools Blog
Fermented Bread and Butter Pickles from the Fermentools Blog
Small Batch Fermenting for One from Sarah Dalziel Media
My Favorite Books: Fermented Food and Drink
The Art of Natural Cheesemaking by David Asher
The Art of Fermentation by Sandor Katz
Classic Sourdoughs by Ed Wood
3. Self-reliant trend: Growing and Preserving Herbs
Culinary herbs and medicinal herbs are our allies for good taste and good health. Herbal schools are moving online to empower more people with knowledge and hands-on experience. Check out the Chestnut School of Herbs for their hands-on Herbal Medicine Making Class, that begins in January, taught through video from a plant centred approach. Another online herb school, The Herbal Academy has comprehensive herbal classes from Introductory Herbal Course through to professional level courses.
There’s a primal yearning to understand plants from our Gan Eden days. And that ancient knowledge of plants and their benefits is turning into a grass-roots movement. (sorry! I couldn’t resist). Who can’t resist walking outside and picking a clover to nibble on the honey nectar? It’s only natural.
How to Build an Herb Spiral from Isis at Little Mountain Haven
How to Grow Rosemary from Joybilee Farm
How to Grow Rugosa Roses from Joybilee Farm
Herbs for High Blood Pressure from Joybilee Farm
Herbal Vitamin C from Joybilee Farm
My Favorite Books — Herbs
Medical Herbalism by David Hoffman
Common Herbs for Natural Health by Juliette de Bairacli Levy
4. Self-reliant trend: Backyard Chickens and Small Livestock
Chickens, goats, and bunnies used to live in cities along with dogs, cats, and their people. City ordinances didn’t outlaw them until quite recently in human history. That yearning we have for our symbiotic relationship with animals is seen in the backyard chicken movement of 2015. Backyard goats, and bunnies are joining with the chickens, bringing the homestead into the city.
GMO -free Livestock Feed from Joybilee Farm
Colour Genetics of Angora Rabbits from Joybilee Farm
10 Things About Raising Chickens that you won’t Read In Books from Meredith at Imaginacres
What is a Lash Egg? by Janet at Timber Creek Farm
20 Ways Livestock Can Make Money from Katie at Livin’ Lovin’ Farmin’
Nigerian Dwarf Goats from Kris at Attainable Sustainable (guest post from Leona at My Healthy Green Family)
Living Without Running Water from Teri at Homestead Honey
My Favorite Books — Small Livestock and Self Reliance
Natural BeeKeeping by Ross Conrad
The Small Scale Poultry Flock by Harvey Ussery
Backyard Farming on an Acre (More or less) by Angela England
5. Self-reliant trend: Homemaking Arts and Artisan Crafts
When our souls feel unbalanced and unsafe, home comforts are necessary to our well-being. Studies show that handcrafts like knitting and woodworking help calm the mind. They are necessary to our mental health, a form of meditation. Here’s some great tutorials to help you get started with an anxiety-quelling craft.
Knit Fingerless Gloves from Joybilee Farm
How to Knit Socks from Joybilee Farm
The Super Scarf Knitting Pattern from Meredith at Imagine Acres
How to Make Crocheted Handwarmers with Ribbed Cuffs from Janet at Timercreek Farm
Protecting Your Precious Hometime from Joybilee Farm
How to Turn A Honey Dipper from Robin at Turning For Profit
Saori Weaving on a Rigid Heddle Loom from Sarah at Wearing Woad
Is Lye Soap Safe? from Susan at Learning and Yearning
Be a trend setter!
These 5 self-reliant trends are good news. If you’ve felt alone on your homestead journey. If you’ve received criticism for church friends, ministers, or relatives for your life-style choices. If you’ve doubted your own decision to live as self-reliant as possible, you can rest assured now. Time will vindicate you. Soon the ones that criticized you will be sharing posts from your Facebook feed, repinning your Pinterest posts, and asking you to teach them. Be a trend setter!
Which self-reliant trend are you most excited about in 2016?