Large-Batch Canning & Jam Making, by St. Funogas

One of my favorite garden bounties every year is the blackberry jam I get from my beautiful 100’ row of thornless blackberry vines. I love my blackberries for many reasons: they’re one of my few pest-free crops, they’re perennials, and they’re linked to my Swedish grandfather who was a master horticulturist and berry grower for over half a century. I also get a feeling of not only craftsmanship, but companionship with my grandpa when I’m out working with the vines: tying up this year’s growth, propagating new plants from tip runners, harvesting the berries, and cutting out the two-year stems …




Oral History: A Child of the Great Depression – Part 2

(Continued, from Part 1.) The Principal of Dinuba High School, Walter Hellbaum, came up recruiting at UC Berkeley, because Howard Page, his Agriculture and ROTC teacher–who was another Army reserve officer–had been recalled to active duty.  Daddy was a good fit for a position at Dinuba High School because he was qualified to teach both Agriculture and ROTC classes. But then a more experienced Agriculture teacher came along. So my father ended up teaching Math, Science, Spanish, and he led the Junior ROTC program. Daddy moved our family to Dinuba in 1940. We first lived in a modest two-bedroom rental …




An Old Boy Scout’s Journey – Part 3, by Rocket J. Squirrel

(Continued from Part 2.) For my rifles, I stocked up on 10-round detachable magazines, stripper clips, and en bloc clips. For those of you still oppressed in Kalifornia, and if you missed the opportunity during “Freedom Week” in March/April 2019 to legally purchase 30-round standard capacity magazines then here is an idea to consider – I purchased magazine parts kits. All they do is remove the floor plate from standard magazines. If bad things happened, I could assemble the kits and load the standard capacity magazines. Based on reliability reviews of various magazine brands, I selected 20 round magazine kits …




The $100 Homestead Grain Winnower – Part 2, by PapaP

(Continued from Part 1. This concludes the article.) The “L” was constructed from a scrap piece of 1″ thick pine board which was about 9″ long and cut 7/8″ wide. The longer side of the “L”was about 6″ long and the smaller piece about 3″ long. The 3” piece was then screwed to the longer piece to form the “L”. This “L” provides the gap between the two plywood sides, allows a piece of metal strapping to encircle the plastic inlet, and holds the blower securely in place. To secure your particular blower assembly you will have to design and …




The $100 Homestead Grain Winnower – Part 1, by PapaP

One of the pillars of homestead food production is growing small grains such as wheat, barley, oats, etc. The classic text for homestead grain production is Small-Scale Grain Raising, by Gene Logsdon (1977). His focus is on using small-scale or appropriate technology, usually human powered. For example, harvesting small grains would entail the use of a scythe for cutting the grain, a flail for threshing the grain followed by tossing the grain into the air to winnow or separate the grain from the chaff. I was raised on a traditional farm in the 1960s and 1970s where we used farm-scale …




The Semi-Prepper – Part 2, by Francis

(Continued from Part 1. This concludes the article.) In addition I stress myself at the range by exercising when I get there (running, pushups, jumping jacks.)  The idea is to degrade my performance by tiring and winding myself, which will show me how I will shoot under stress. Since I’m now in my 70’s, I feel the best home defense weapon is a rifle. Semiautomatic pistols are great but a rifle with its’ longer sight radius leads me to be more accurate. Also as I get older I am concerned about the complexity of the “manual of arms” for the …




The Protein All Around Us, by Oregon Bill

It was the fifth raccoon that I had permanently discouraged from killing our chickens. “If we ever had to eat these in an emergency, our family would put on weight” I said to my wife. I was joking of course. She surprised me with her reply: “Well, why don’t we give them a try so we know if it would ever be worth it?” She had grown up eating wild meat, and our family commonly ate what we raised or hunted, so it sounded kind of like a new adventure. Here is some of what we learned that might be …




Propane and Compressor Refrigerators, by Tunnel Rabbit

This is a brief analysis of propane and compressor refrigerators in long term grid-down appplications. In Northwest Montana life has not changed radically during the Coronavirus lockdown, and there are plenty of used freezers, and fridges available on Craigslist.  However, demand for propane refrigerators is on the increase as there is marked rise in interest in self-reliance.  If nothing can be found in your area, then be willing to travel to buy a used propane refrigerators before they are gone.  These are expensive and hard to find. At the least, these can preserve meat while you jar it up, and …




100 Days of Final Preparations – Part 1, by Elli O.

I’m writing this as a stand-alone article. However, if you would like to read more about our journey through the world of preparedness and our homestead, please see my previous article in the SurvivalBlog archives for November 26-27, 2019. As a follow-up I am writing this to explain what we have done just in the past 100 days and how the global pandemic and possible near-future economical collapse has impacted us and our preparations. 100 DAYS OF FINAL PREPARATIONS For as long as I can remember, I have always had a mindset of preparedness, partly because of my background as …




Learning Food Storage From Hard Experience, by PitbullRN

We all have our stories on how and why we got in to prepping. Mine began about seven years ago after reading One Second After, a 2009 novel by American writer William R. Forstchen. (I highly recommend this book, if you haven’t had the chance to read it!)  It is about how life changes for a small western North Carolina town following the collapse of the grid due to an EMP. As a nurse who lives in Western North Carolina, this book interested me not only for the setting, but how people with chronic illnesses would suffer and die if …




Facing Lockdown in an Apartment – Part 2, by J.F.J.

(Continued from Part 1. This concludes the article.) Barricade doors and windows with heavy or bulky furniture. Keep the intruders out of your apartment, but do not trust your barricades to stop bullets. Remember that reinforced doors, boarded-up windows, and bookshelves-turned-barricade are for keeping out intruders; they are not for ballistic cover. Building bullet stops for a safe room is not the focus of this article. Please consult the shooting and ballistic experts for advice on that subject. For our purposes, let us turn to the needs of water, food, and fuel. Water Unless facing a water outage because of …




Caffeine for TEOTWAWKI, by N.E.S.

I will be addressing both coffee and tea options that work for us around our homestead. I will start with coffee. I am certainly no coffee connoisseur; I am just a homestead wife trying to make some decent coffee for my hubby. We are not sophisticated in that we try to detect certain acidity, aromas etc. My hubby just wants coffee that he enjoys drinking. I am in no way affiliated with any of the vendor suggestions that I comment about here. Rather, I’m just listing the things that through the research that I have done through this journey. I …




Editors’ Prepping Progress

To be prepared for a crisis, every Prepper must establish goals and make long-term and short-term plans. In this column, the SurvivalBlog editors review their week’s prep activities and planned prep activities for the coming week. These range from healthcare and gear purchases to gardening, ranch improvements, bug out bag fine-tuning, and food storage. This is something akin to our Retreat Owner Profiles, but written incrementally and in detail, throughout the year. Note that as an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. We always welcome you to share your own successes and wisdom in the Comments. Let’s keep busy …




Ready for TEOTWAWKI: What’s Bringing Us Along – Part 2, by K.G.

(Continued from Part 1. This concludes the article.) Food for Health I am also working on growing and preserving my own food. This is another family project that my wife and children enjoy participating in. We do not have a large plot of land, so we need to make the best use of what we do have. We really challenge ourselves to see if we can get more than the preceding year. We have had some successes and some setbacks. We learn more from the setbacks than we do from the successes. When the divine hand of providence reaches down …




Cold Weather Considerations – Part 4, by JM

(Continued from Part 4.) Sleeping Once you’ve got your shelter set up you’ll probably want to get some sleep. You need to start with ensuring you’re as insulated from the cold ground as possible. Earlier I mentioned that if there’s snow on the ground that can actually help insulate you, since snow is mostly air. Another trick is to place leaves or pine boughs down before you lay down your tent’s ground cloth/footprint to add another layer of insulation. Next you’re going to want some kind of sleeping pad to increase your comfort and add even more insulation. Companies like …