What is Old is New Again – Part 1, by 3AD Scout

As consumers, we are bombarded with new and improved devices and other consumer goods constantly. Buying something to make our daily work and tasks easier has been ingrained in our psyche over the centuries. As I prepare for the end of the world as we know it (TEOTWAWKI), I don’t look for the “new and improved” devices that have electronics, require power (either AC or DC), are made of plastic or that are made in China. That does not mean that I don’t have a Ham (amateur) radio, flashlights, solar panels, and plastic items made in China. What I mean …




Year 3: An Honest Look at the Farm – Part 3, by SaraSue

(Continued form Part 2. This concludes the article.) Preparing for WTSHTF When I wrote the 7-year food plan, it wasn’t just an idea.  I actually did it.  I took a guest room in the farmhouse, and half-filled it with food-grade buckets of dried goods and supplies that were calculated to last seven years.  It has been nice to be able to pull out anything I needed.  In addition to that, I bought several freezers over the past 3 years.  They are mostly full as I write this.  The last freezer I purchased from Costco was the biggest chest freezer they …




Year 3: An Honest Look at the Farm – Part 2, by SaraSue

(Continued from Part 1.) Gardens and Jungles In my Year 2 update that was posted in SurvivalBlog last summer, I shared that I had nothing but garden failures.  There are several problems I had to solve with gardening where I live.  First, I had to turn a lawn into a garden.  Second, plowing only brought up dormant seeds that I jokingly say are from all the surrounding counties.  Third, there is no water piped out to the garden and I didn’t have enough water due to the previous well situation.  Fourth, we had a semi-drought in year 2.  Fifth, the …




Year 3: An Honest Look at the Farm – Part 1, by SaraSue

Just when you think you’ve “arrived”, you realize you’re lost, or something like that.  One step forward, three steps back.  There are other ways that one might want to characterize homesteading.  None of it is easy.  Spring is particularly busy and I always think of selling the farm and “retiring” to a genteel life filled with laying poolside, chatting about absolutely nothing important, drinking mimosas, and dining on food that someone else raised and prepared.  But, I digress… I have written about my experiences in SurvivalBlog in 2022 and in SurvivalBlog in 2023.  Now I write about where the farm …




Favorite Purchases Under $50 for Our Remote Home, by Mrs. Alaska

Introductory Note: I have received no compensation for any of the following recommendations, all of which we have used for many years. Living far from any store means that any rural or remote property owner relies on supplies on hand. Some of our least expensive purchases have been worth their weight in gold because we use them over and over, or in a variety of ways, or because they specialize in a way that no other item can do as well. I have purposely not included obviously important items, like matches or an axe, that anyone should know. Here, I …




Practical Homestead Irrigation – Part 2, by A.F.

(Continued from Part 1.) In the lead-up to our move, I had taken a soils class as part of my degree program. The professor opened my eyes to soil biology, nutrient cycles, and the damage done by repeated deep tillage. Plow, harrow then rototill was the only system I had ever seen for large home gardens, not to mention most row crop farming. I didn’t fall down the rabbit hole of no till gardening, I charged down it. My exploration coincided with the final two years prior to our move and the two years we rented prior to finding our …




Homesteading Cautionary Tales – Part 2, by Mrs. Alaska

(Continued from Part 1. This concludes the article.) PERSONAL EXPERIENCE with a Chimney Issue My husband and I also heat our remote, off-grid home with a woodstove. One cold February night we had to evacuate our cabin at 3 am because the chimney pipe had gotten so clogged with creosote that the smoke in the firebox was leaching out into our home rather than drawing upward to the outside. We evacuated with camping chairs to our shower house, which has an on-demand, propane heater. Every two hours, we ventured back in to the cabin, wearing N95 masks, to ascertain when …




Cows and Chickens and Goats, Oh My!, by Elli O.

In this article, I compare different livestock – Start-up costs, Continuation costs, Profits, and Contradictions. I was not raised on a farm but when we purchased 20 acres I knew that we needed to put the land to good use. Thankfully, I have a husband who is almost as adventurous as I am so we jumped into the farm and homesteading life with both feet. God was gracious and we landed well- not very gracefully but we are surviving and even thriving in most areas! This article will compare the different animals that we have tried to raise on our …




An Honest Look at My Farm – Year 2, by SaraSue

We are coming up on the second-year mark of developing this small five-acre farm.  I share my experiences in hopes it will help others.  I’ve had some great successes and some disappointing failures.  I am in the process of reviewing my own work to see where I can change processes for more success in year three.  I’ve learned so much I can’t even write it all down.  I’ve worked too hard, of course.  I’ve spent too much money, guaranteed.  I’ve often had to do things over, trying to save money, only to spend two to three times what I could …




Useful Tools For The Homestead, by Hollyberry

I love reading about homesteading back in the late 1800s thru the 1940s. I also like to study photos from earlier times, especially kitchens to see what they used. Back then there was no microwave, Kitchenaids or food processors. What you had was what you had and it better be durable as there was no Walmart around the corner to replace what you just broke. Most household kitchen countertops today are cluttered with all kinds of machines designed to make our lives easier. Today’s homesteader can spend a lot of money on “essential” tools only to sell them off for …




A DIY Masonry Outdoor Cook Stove, by K.R.

During our harsh winter weather, I look for projects that increase our preparedness, but that can be accomplished in the warmth of my garage; preferably with a minimum of cost. This winter, my wife and I were reviewing the strengths and weaknesses of our preparations. We were inspired by the SurvivalBlog articles that have implored us all to examine and test our preps. We considered how we would do our cooking in a grid-down situation during summer, when cooking on our inside wood stove would be impractical. We already have (a few) gas-fueled camp stoves; but what about that day …




Are You Self-Reliant, Self-Sufficent, or Self-Sustaining?, by Mrs. Alaska

One of our goals each year is to decrease our dependency on others by increasing our skills and resources. In the city, it was convenient to pay for services and products. Living remotely, we learn to do many things ourselves or do without. I evaluate aspects of our life on a continuum from dependent to independent: Dependent on others Self-reliant Self-sufficient Self-sustaining Given recent news reports of coronavirus and the economy, tornadoes, wildfires, and power outages, perhaps readers are applying this sort of rubric to their situations, too.




Update: A Home-Based Business — Your Ticket to The Boonies

JWR’s Introductory Note: This article is an update and substantial expansion to a piece that I wrote back in December of 2005. — The majority of SurvivalBlog readers that I talk and correspond with tell me that they live in cities or suburbs, but they would like to live full-time at a retreat in a rural area. Their complaint is almost always the same: “…but I’m not self-employed. I can’t afford to live in the country because I can’t find work there, and the nature of my work doesn’t allow telecommuting.” They feel stuck. The recent Wu Flu pandemic proved …




Preparedness on a Shoestring Budget (Updated)

Introductory Note: This is an update to a couple of articles that I wrote back in the early days of SurvivalBlog. — I often get e-mails from readers claiming either directly or indirectly that preparedness is “only for wealthy people.”  They believe that working-class people cannot afford to prepare. That is nonsense. By simply re-prioritizing your budget and cutting out needless expenses (such as alcohol, cigarettes, convenience foods, and subscription movie streaming services) almost anyone can set aside enough money for a year’s worth of storage food in fairly short order. It is amazing what can be done with hard …




Apple Tree Care 102: Thinning Fruit, by T.S., Ph.D.

When I see clusters of apple trees in box store parking lots, I wonder how many of them will actually become productive. The trees are usually clones of great varieties, like honey crisp and golden delicious. But for many well-intentioned homeowners, coaxing quality fruit on a consistent annual basis from these trees can be a challenge. This how-to article will describe how to thin fruit to increase reliable apple production. Warning, thinning fruit is very counterintuitive (see Figures 1 and 2). This article will describe cutting seemingly healthy “baby apples” from your tree. But, anyone would agree, one healthy apple is better …