Avoiding Emotional Stress From Grocery Store Independence

At some point in our goal toward self-sufficiency, there will be less and less trips to the grocery store—if we are working in the right direction.  Whether it’s done on purpose, or forced on us due to an economic collapse (which I believe will happen at some point in the future), eventually many of us will experience emotional stress directly related to the way we used to shop.

Personally, I didn’t really see it coming.  It’s happened a couple of times to me.

The first time was when we had a flash-flood that wiped out a large portion (over half) of our garden.  I remember feeling sorry for myself and asking the Farmer if he thought I should go back to work to make up for it.  It would have been so much easier to just put in the hours and pay someone else for food.  But then I asked myself if it would be worth it.  I realized it would only be a band-aid and I’d have more work to do once I was ready to start over.


If you are off-grid, or have been working toward self-sufficiency, then I have no doubt that at some point, it’s either happened to you too, or it will.  How did you handle it?  Did you give up like I was convinced I wanted to?

If you are just waiting for an economic collapse, will you be able to be self-sufficient enough to get through the emotional stress of either not being able to afford groceries, or not having a store to shop at?

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My (Abbreviated) Journey Toward Grocery Store Independence

When I got married and moved to this secluded homestead, I maintained a job at the nearest trauma hospital—60 miles away.  I actually bought a house there, and knew the town well.  Although I knew my new husband was born into and had always lived a life of self-sufficiency, I was very honest about what I was and was not willing to do.

I understood that the garden he currently grew would need to be bigger in order to now feed two of us.  I knew that would likely be my job.  As a trauma professional, I knew I would work 40-60 hour weeks traveling 2 hours each day that I worked.  A garden was out of the question.

I had never eaten a wild animal, nor one that I knew personally in any way prior to butchering.

The two of us understood that I preferred to buy food rather than try to put in the tremendous amount of time and emotional attachment that it would take to be self-sufficient.  He understood I wanted to buy food.  I understood that he was fine with this as long as I made the money to do that since he was not used to having the kind of bills associated with that kind of lifestyle.

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When A Mountain Lion Is Harassing Your Herd

We currently have a small herd of cattle on our ground at the base of a mountain down by the river.  A few weeks ago, a neighbor stopped by to tell us he had received a call letting him know our cows were at the power company.

How could this be?  Not only did we just replace the fence all the way around this ground, but the only way to the power company was to cross a rapid-flowing river.  A herd of cows doesn’t just decide to swim a river.

Baffled as we were, the Farmer and I loaded up, headed to the power company and pushed them back across the river onto our land.  Problem solved.  Or so we thought…

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How A Tomato Turns Red & Ripening Green Tomatoes

It’s the end of your gardening season, and it’s getting too cold at night to keep your tomatoes alive anymore.  Problem is, many of them are still green.  Do you pull them up?  Toss them out?  Let them freeze and break down and feed next year’s soil?

You could.

Or you can do what I do every year.  I never waste a tomato.  I ripen green tomatoes after the season.  There are actually many ways to get this done.  Some are easy, some are hard.  Some ripen your green tomatoes slow, and some techniques ripen them quite fast.

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Make Your Own Child’s Dress Form

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Most of the sewing I get done is after the kids go to bed.  And that means while I’m making clothes for the kids, they can’t try them on as I work.  If I don’t have a form to fit, then I can only get so far before stopping and waiting to fit them the next day.  With the amount of sewing I do (or would like to at times), it’s really helpful to have a dress form.

I would love, love, love to have an adjustable child’s dress form for the various stages of my children’s growth.  However, right now it’s just not an option for us. In lieu of going without, we simply make a form for each child.

Since a homemade dress form is not adjustable and children grow fast, it’s important to make one while doing a stack of clothes for that child.  After finishing the stack, move on to the next child, do his/her form and work through that stack of clothes.

Here’s how we just made dress forms for a couple of the girls:

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How To Harvest And Store Kale

Kale is a cold weather veggie.  It is usually harvested before the heat of the summer, or in the fall.  Kale may become bitter once it starts reaching temperatures of 80 degrees or more.  However, it’s taste improves and is sweeter once it frosts (or even goes through a light snow).

For us, this means it is one of the few vegetables that we can grow year round, and harvest well into our fall when most other plants have died.  Most winters, it will survive to keep producing in the spring again for us.  This is quite impressive since our average low looms near -30° F in the winter.

I like to harvest it in large batches because our family likes green smoothies, and often we freeze it through the summer to get that sweeter taste.  In green smoothies we don’t notice the taste difference.  If I was going to cook it down or make kale chips, I wouldn’t harvest it during the summer.

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Keeping Kids Safe In The Homestead Kitchen

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Kitchens can be a dangerous place for kids (especially young kids).  A homestead kitchen is often even more dangerous for the wee ones than a non-homestead kitchen.

Wood stoves are always being opened and little eyes repeatedly see mom or dad putting wood inside.  What’s more, wood stoves get hot on every surface when a fire is going.  Touching them or setting something down could be a disaster.

During the summer when homesteaders are eating outside, everyone tends to gather around the fire as meals are prepared.

And let’s mention knives for a minute.  Most homesteads have a larger variety, and often more and bigger knives that one would find in a non-homestead kitchen.  That’s because homesteaders are often also harvesters of their own meat, and carvers of their own tools.

With the addition of more knives, stoves that are hot for hours on end, and fires that are kept going, what additional steps must be done to help children stay a bit more safe?

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How To Braid Onions

If you are going to keep onions over the winter (and into the spring and possibly summer), you’re going to want to make sure they are getting plenty of air, as air circulation is key to their preservation.  There’s nothing worse than putting all your onions up for the year in a box or bucket and finding later that there was one that went bad and now you have to toss them all (or most) out.

I’ve seen different ways people put their onions up, including 5 gallon buckets with holes drilled in them, wood boxes with plenty of gaps in the sides, etc.  But in my experience, braiding my onions and hanging them up in a cool, dark place (my root cellar) is the best place for them.  I make sure to check each string a couple times a month for any rotting.  I just slowly twirl the strand around, and if I find one has rotted, I just pluck it off and discard it.

By the time spring planting comes around, I usually have some onions left.  I have a trick for any of the ones that happen to start sprouting at this time so they don’t go to waste.  I’ll show you that later.  For now, let’s look at braiding them.

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My Favorite Parts Of The 2016 Ultimate Healthy Living Bundle

I told you I would share my favorite parts of the Ultimate Healthy Living Bundle 2016, but I wanted to wait a few days so you had the opportunity to form your own preferences and opinions.  While I don’t want you to be overwhelmed with all the products in this library (I mean, come on, 83 resources plus all the freebies?), I did want you to look around and find your own appreciations before telling you which products rock my world.

With all these resources, and all these freebies, we’re all going to be interested in different ones.  I’m sure what you’re looking forward to is different from what I’m looking forward to.  And when you’re done looking through my choices, I’d love for you to tell me in the comments what you’re looking forward to most.

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Help Your Family Live A More Self-Sufficient & Healthier Life

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Do You Want To Help Your Family Work Toward Self-Sufficiency And A Healthier Lifestyle But Don’t Know Where To Start?

Do you crave a life where you become less and less dependent on a system, and more dependent on yourself?  Would you like to ditch processed foods and products as much as possible?

Perhaps you have a plan to put it all in motion.  Or perhaps you’re swamped in all the resources out there and just don’t know where to start.  Which videos do I trust?  Which book do I read first?

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