*Disclaimer: It’s not actually possible to “learn all the things” as the title suggests – but it sure can be fun trying!
Please excuse me while I geek out in this post about learning. I love learning. I want knowledge. I want to know as much as I can, even if it’s fairly useless information 🙂 I’m naturally curious. I love asking questions or, alternatively, just sitting back and observing a learning opportunity.
A lot of work has gone into our beloved White Sky Woods. Sure, physical work like building a yurt, but also a lot of brain work and knowledge building as we want to be as prepared as possible to make a success of turning our Homesteading dreams to reality. Because I love learning so much, I’ve stumbled across many resources to facilitate that desire to learn. Along with learning, I also enjoy teaching, so here I go…having fun sharing what I know!
Here are 10 FREE ways that I feed my appetite for knowledge:
1.) Social Media. My favorites are Facebook and Instagram. Use the search function to explore the various pages and groups on Facebook. Facebook Groups are a nice feature because they allow you to interact with other people in that group more socially than on a Facebook page. On Instagram, find different brands you like or search to find Instagram users who have similar interested based on their profile description or the hashtags they use.
2.) Books. I couldn’t even begin to afford, or find space, for the sheer number of non-fiction books I would like to read. That’s why I love the library! If my library system doesn’t have the book, they can find it in another library system and request it. I hear about books of interest from e-newsletters, publishers I follow, authors I follow, social media groups, etc. A great book I just read was Practical Permaculture by Jessi Bloom and Dave Boehnlein. I also like to visit the local bookstore, have a cup of coffee and explore their shelves.
3.) Magazines. Because we have a frugal budget we do not subscribe to any magazines, however, finding them at local bookstores is a great way to page through, read what you like, or explore the authors of the articles on social media. Or, consider doing a magazine share with a friend who is interested in subscribing to similar magazines. You can order one and they can order another. Then, when your issue comes, read through it and do the exchange with your friend. A library is also a great resource.
4.) Podcasts. I currently spend over an hour a day commuting for work. I won’t have this commute once we move, so I’ll have to find another way to find time for my favorite podcasts. Using iTunes podcast feature can help you find podcasts on many topics. You can subscribe to them so that when new ones are released, you’ll get notified. I access then via the Podcast app on my iPhone. My weekly podcast listening always includes The Sustainable Living Podcast, Sow Edible Permaculture Podcast, Zen Parenting Radio, and The Rich Roll Podcast. The latter two have nothing to do with homesteading, but they positively impact my wellness, which is just as important for personal success.
5.) Following blogs, subscribing to e-mail newsletters. Visiting blogs? Searching authors from articles you read? Interested in specific non-profits or movements you found webpages for? Many of these will have e-newsletters that you can subscribe to for free or get blog updates from the authors (like our blog). Just look on the website and see if there is a place you can subscribe.
6.) Sign up for free webinars. I subscribe to several e-newsletters from sustainable living and gardening groups or people. It seems the thought-leaders in these groups are all interconnected. By e-mail update, I hear about free week long seminars that take place online. Many thought-leaders in the world of gardening, sustainability, permaculture, and other similar topics present at these free online events and it’s a great way to learn from them.
7.) Join forum resources like Reddit. I just recently discovered the addictive power of Reddit on knowledge seekers like me. I try to visit daily. I subscribe to several subreddits like r/homestead, r/homesteading, r/permies, r/sustainable. Maybe you are even reading this blog because you found it posted on reddit. Checking reddit out for the first time? Give yourself time to explore and get immersed in it.
8.) Attend seminars, events, and open houses put on by organizations that align with your homesteading goals and values. Find these by looking at community calendars, social media, etc. Last summer we had the opportunity to attend the Mother Earth News Fair, (not free, but affordable) which came to Wisconsin in 2016. We listened to expert speakers on everything from renewable energy to chickens. Tim listened to Eliot Colemen speak about extending the harvest season. I also saw Will Allen speak. I read his book a few years ago and have been following his initiatives to bring real food to urban communities. I stuck around after and was able to meet him!
9.) You Tube. A simple YouTube search will lead you to whatever you want to learn about….or talking dog videos (including my kids’ favorite). If you find a video that interests you on the topic of homesteading, check to see if the user who published it has other videos. “Subscribe” to them if you like what they have to say and you’ll get updates when they release new videos.
10.) People you know. In a past post I talked about finding your tribe. Surround yourself with people that align with your practices, values of sustainability, or do some level of homesteading. These people typically LOVE to share what they know and have learned from experience. Many of them are also the ones participating in the multiple resources above.
Know of any great learning resources for homesteaders that you’d like to share? We invite you to comment below!