Thursday, March 12, 2020

Ways to Live Like a Pioneer

Pioneers DID work hard for everything.  Life was not easy at all.  Everything was a struggle.
BUT, we can live somewhat like a pioneer by learning new "old" skills and practicing them.  We need to learn to be more self sufficient.  There may come a time when you have no one else to help or turn to.  You need to educate yourselves.

Everyone needs to be able to take simple ingredients and make a filling and nourishing meal.  You don't have to fix fancy or expensive foods.  Basics and well rounded meals will keep you alive.  I often hear people say "I don't know how to cook".  If you can read and follow directions - you can cook.  It isn't rocket science.

I know not everyone can have a garden - but you can grow something to help.  A tomato or pepper plant in a pot, lettuce, spinach or herbs in window boxes will help.  Watch for farm markets and pantries that have fresh food.  You don't need a lot of equipment or skill to preserve some food for later.  An oven can be used to dehydrate - as can fresh air!  Start with something simple such as jelly or pickles or relish or tomatoes for canning.  (If you have a big stockpot you can water bath).  Freeze food.  Read and learn new ways to preserve things for the future.  It may save your life.

Don't have to claim to be a homesteader - just figure out how to live more simply.  It will give you peace.  Once you realize that you don't have to depend on others for everything you gain some freedom!
Stay stocked up on basic ingredients that can be used in many ways.  Flour - baking, gravy, bread, biscuits, etc.  Sugar - drinks, baking, canning, etc.  Salt - seasoning, preserving, even in some cleaning.  You get it!
If you stay stocked up on basics (things you normally use), there will be no need to panic in any given emergency.  Buy a little extra each week and put it back for another time.  Can, freeze, or dehydrate for later use.  Grow whatever you can - fresh is always best.

Learn how to start a fire.  You never know when you can't use your stove - you need a way to cook.  I have a gas grill that I can use - you may too.  Learn to use any type of grill or cook over an open fire.  Have a couple pans (cast iron) that can be used on a fire.  You need to have an alternative way to prepare food.  Do your research - there are many options.

Figure out ways to remake and reuse things you have on hand.  New purchases may not be available and you can figure out a way to recycle.  That just makes sense any way.  Have 'how to' books on hand and learn what you can from others.  If you have a computer you can learn from You Tube.  I love finding new uses for things.  Not only is it frugal and prudent, it is helping the environment.
Sewing - use old clothes and remake them into something new.  Make quilts and covers.  Hankies and TP.  Different clothing items.  Home furnishings. Mend.
Cooking - use all leftovers to make new and nourishing meals.
Yard - look at new ways to decorate the yard (with older things), reuse wooden skids for projects, use flower pots to grow some food, etc.
There is no limit to the things that can be recycled.

This is the biggest one for me.  Have the wisdom to know that something bigger than you is in control of the universe.
Economies can fail, crops can fail, inflation can happen, illness can spread, deaths can happen, lives can change - and at some point you will experience at least one of these.  That is a given.  FAITH will get you through (trust me, I know).
It isn't about how much money you have, how much stuff you have or your comfort level - it is about leaning on something higher than yourself for strength and guidance.

Stop for just a moment and think about the hardships that the early pioneers went through.  If was unbelievable that so many survived.  We are here today as a testimony to their perseverance, and their abilities to keep pushing forward (even through the worst of times), and their industrious ways.
We can do this too.
Do research, read, learn from each other, do whatever you can to figure out how to survive through bad times.

**If you have access to the Foxfire book series - get them and read them.  So much knowledge that is getting lost today.


  1. I love this, I am definitely a modern pioneer.

    1. Me too. I think it is just the smart way to live.

  2. I'm afraid that we wouldn't survive if we had to depend on me being a homesteader. My bees died after a year, my chickens lived a little longer. Deer and ground hogs and who knows what else ate my garden. Dh wanted to get dairy goats but after the bee and chicken debacle, I don't want to raise any more animals. So we have cats... :D
    Otherwise I can camp, cook over an open fire or dutch oven. I'm stocked up on the basics, so I can keep us fed for a bit. Will try starting some seeds soon, and hope for a better harvest this year. Don't think I am a modern pioneer but working on it.

    1. You don't necessarily have to garden on a grand scale or keep animals - we just need to learn and use some of the older ways.
      You are working on and that is important.
      We all do what we can.

  3. I have always cooked from scratch using up all leftovers. We used to grow most of our fruit and vegetables plus foraging for other food. Now I don't have a garden but plan on growing salad and herbs on my patio and foraging. I will also use the local community farm. I like to sew using recycled materials. It is so satisfying. No matter how small our home we can still be pioneers. Good post.

    1. Good for you doing what you can. You are good proof that even scaling back some on what we do can be important. Herbs and salad greens is great.
      You are so correct. Small home, small yard - there is still something we can do to be a 'pioneer'.

  4. This my dear is an amazing, postive, well-written essay. Well done my dear.
    Blessings from Harvest Lane Cottage,

    1. Thank you so much.
      God is in control and we are blessed

  5. I love Modern Pioneer. I was on another forum where the girls were talking about stocking up. This one girl said she was buying more seeds to have a garden. This other girl said all snippy "How's that going to help you?" My eyes were bugged out of my head, lol. Um, quite a bit I think, lol.

    I was going to do a lot of starter plants this year. Hopefully I still can. I bought a lot of seeds just in case I get quarantined. Cheryl you would laugh if you see my seed collection. Looks like I can feed the neighborhood, lol.I found more seeds in the garage tonight & I am like yes.

    Fun forum things I heard over the week that will give you a laugh-

    "You can't grow coffee." Where do they think coffee comes from?

    "You can't make tea out of flowers!"

    1. I promise you I wouldn't laugh - you should see my seed supply!!! LOL
      My goodness, so many people are so ignorant to where our food and drink come from. It truly is a sad testament to today!

      Other than prescription meds I can't think of anything that I can't make or substitute for store bought. I use herbs and vitamins - so many herbs can be grown.
      I could make teas from a lot of things!

      I am glad we can call ourselves pioneers - hopefully we can teach a few others!!!

  6. Foxfire has a website now if anyone is interested.

    1. WOW - thank you!!!! I did not know that. wonderful

  7. Thank you for the timely reminder that we need to reuse and make do. I've been listening to The Mininalists podcast and learning to live with less just because I like the lifestyle.

    1. You are welcome. So glad to see you stop by. Hope you are doing well.

  8. Modern day homesteader here. I can, freeze, make jam, cook from scratch and have numerous ways of cooking if the power goes out. I still have to work up the courage to actually take a scissors to a ready made garment and make something totally new, but I am getting there.

    God bless.

    1. YAY! Glad to hear it. You can handle the sewing thing. It truly isn't that hard - start with something simple. A patchwork blanket (super easy) - a tank top from an old oversize t-shirt, etc. Many easy projects to learn on.
      Glad we all have each other to lean on!!