Tag: Prepping (page 1 of 3)

10 Things A Homestead Kitchen Needs To Be Self Sufficient

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If for some reason the grid went down tomorrow and stayed down for an extended period of time, would your kitchen meet the needs of your new self-sufficient life?  Perhaps your kitchen would keep functioning just the same way it always has.  Maybe you’d get by, but it’d be a bit uncomfortable.  Or possibly, your kitchen wouldn’t be much use at all.

If you’re looking to increase your self-sufficiency, or decrease your footprint (or both), then your kitchen may need some of the following items.

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Resolve To Take Control Of Your Family’s Food Supply

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It’s easy with our modern conveniences to forget that there are very real dangers and threats to our food system. At present time, most of us can travel but a short distance, purchase food, and bring it home to serve our families without worrying about what’s in it.

We forget that in the blink of an eye, this modern convenience could be gone. When Hurricane Katrina hit in 2005, nearly 90% of New Orleans was left underwater—as much as 20 feet under in some areas. Those who were left to ride out the storm had their food taken from them almost overnight.

In more recent news, the city of Flint, Michigan received the devastating news in April of 2014 that the entire city’s water supply was found to be full of lead and other toxins. Inhabitants had been drinking this water for years, and a solution is still in the process.

In less publicized stories, food sources all over the place are experiencing recalls due to contamination or some current study suggesting the foods we’ve all been eating haven’t been as safe as we thought they were. The biggest problem? Damage has already been done.

What about you? Is your food supply secure? Your water supply? Do you have a back-up plan? How do you know you’re providing your family with the safest foods and water possible?

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How I’m Preparing For A New Baby On The Homestead

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Baby’s coming soon, and preparations are coming to a close.  This one was a surprise.  We had finally entered the stage in our life where babies had stopped coming, and we thought we were done.  You can imagine our surprise (and joy) when we found out another little farmer (or farm-her) was on the way.

When we had our first child, I was still working and my preparation consisted of filling the pantry for my 3 month maternity leave and having everything we would need for the baby for at least the first 4 months.  I didn’t really need to do much else.

After my first couple children, I eventually stayed home and helped my husband with the homestead full-time.  Beginning with my third pregnancy, I realized preparing for a new baby on the homestead took on a whole new meaning.

So what do I do to prepare for the birth of our next child now that we are all living a mostly self-sufficient life?

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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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February Prepping Report: What Got Done In February

February was an unusual month this year—warmer than usual.  Sometimes that’s good.  But it made us nervous.  The last two years we had “early” springs.  An early spring means early blossoms on the trees—and that usually means no fruit for that year.

Last year for example, we didn’t get a single apple off our 11 apple trees.  Those of you who also live off the land understand just what it means not to get apples.  They are the perfect homesteader crop, and the only ones we got were off two apple trees deeper into the valley we found to forage from.

This has happened in the past, but it’s only been for a year at a time.  It looks like this year, we might have a repeat.  So we’re planning ahead for this possibility.  We’re planning to gather more berries than normal, and brainstorming what else we should grow/gather extra of to fill this space in our root cellar.  (More pumpkins?)

Other preparing that gone done in February:

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9 Ways To Get Back To Your Roots

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Are you a homesteader?  Working on it?  Dreaming of being there one day?

It’s a different journey for all of us.  Some of us are born living off the land (like my husband).  Some of us jump right in (like I did when I got married).  Others make dreams, set goals, and work away as they make a way for themselves.

And some people just dream.  Perhaps they like the fantasy, but don’t believe in themselves.  Perhaps they just don’t know where to start.

If you’re one of those people making plans, setting goals, or even that person who’s lost and doesn’t know where to start, here are 9 areas to work into your goals, and resources to help you get there.  I suggest taking notes on areas of interest.

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December Prepping Report

December is nearly gone Friends.  I hope it brought joy to you.

For us, it brought cold, cold weather.  Most our days started with a negative number on the thermometer (Fahrenheit).  And I’d say only a couple days ever got above 10 degrees.  As you can imagine, we were very happy to have our large stash of firewood, as it’s our sole source of heat.

We took a day to take the kids to a birthday party a couple towns away, and brought home a nasty stomach bug.  Needless to say, our family was down and out for about half of December.  So…not a ton of stuff got done, but I’ll be happy to share what did.

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What’s In Our Survival Packs

Do you have a survival pack?  If not, you should be putting one together.

What’s in a pack?  That depends on where you are, what your skill sets are, and what resources you have available to you.  Everyone’s survival pack is different–and it should be.  Because no one in our family ever goes out by themselves, we don’t have individual survival packs.  Our family has opted instead to have family survival packs, which are planned differently than individual packs.

We are a very active outdoor family–especially in the winter.  We hike around in our local mountains, explore the (outsides of the) volcanoes, the ice-caves and snow-shoe whenever and wherever we can.  It would not be unusual for our family to be on outdoor trips multiple times every week.

For this reason, our packs have everything that we would need to do these activities all winter plus what we would need should we get separated, lost, stuck out after dark, or find ourselves in any other survival scenario.  (Some links on this page are affiliate links.)

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November Prepping Report

I don’t know about where you are, but here it was a cold November that gave us some beautiful snow.  There’s something so peaceful about putting another log on the fire as the snow falls outside.

Cooking has all been moved inside.  Since things don’t last forever in a cold cellar, I’m starting to process some of that stuff too.

Wood gathering has been very slow.  It took so many trips.  Since we have snow September-May, there have been days when the snowy-mud has been so bad we had to hike up with our chainsaws to cut wood.  This makes it such a long task. Add that to the time it takes to do it slow and train older children how to pick wood, what size to use, etc. it took us far longer than normal to get it all this year.

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Planning Family Survival Backpacks

Survival packs are essential for any avid outdoorsman (or woman).  Anyone who spends a large amount of time in the great outdoors needs to take one with them.

Your pack serves to carry everything you would need, not only for that day’s adventures, but also as a back-up should you find yourself in a dire situation.

What you pack depends on where you’re going, how long you’re going to be gone, your level of skill and expertise, as well as the weather and wildlife.

But what happens when you need to pack a bag for a family outing?  How do you change your strategy?

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