Healthy Livestock for Self-Sufficiency, by Brad N.

The term sustainability has been defined as “the ability to provide for today, without taking away from tomorrow”. Most of our modern agricultural practices today are anything but sustainable. Our selfishness and get rich quick mentality leave many producers making choices that benefit in the short term, but are actually causing long term damage to both our land and our livestock. In a TEOTWAWKI situation the livestock owner who has been using good management decisions will have little trouble adapting. Those whose management is based on short term success and follow the advice of those who are selling the “magic …




Small-Scale Hay Making, by Oregon Bill

This is my simple experiment on small-time hay making.  Small fields of grass can be valuable even if they aren’t worth the effort to mow and bale.  We only have a few acres of pasture – enough for a few sheep or goats year-round or for a 2-year-old steer for three months.  With so little pasture, it doesn’t make sense to invest in a large mower or bailer, and we wanted to see how feasible it would be to and put up the hay by hand.  The amount of hay is worth gathering, and the cutting improves the health of …




A Cowgirl’s Night Out, by Avalanche Lily

On a moonless night, a few nights ago, I was concerned about the safety of our newborn calf, so I decided to camp out with our cows and horses.  In doing so, I learned a few things about both livestock behavior and my night vision. To begin, this past Friday morning, I went out to feed the animals and saw that my Matriarch cow had not shown up.  I called and called and called her.  I heard her mooing at a low volume.  I went looking for her and found her on the edge of the woods next to the …




Our Prepping Journey – Part 2, by Elli O.

(Continued from Part 1. This concludes the article.) Resources: I found it quite helpful to have books at home that cover raising, dispatching (killing), and processing livestock. The internet is useful but nothing beats a written guide when the internet is unavailable. Lessons learned from having livestock: Remember the reason for raising the livestock. They are not pets; they are food for the family. The first cute calves we brought home were named Lunch and Dinner, which served as a reminder to all that these bottle fed babies would someday be on our supper plates. Animals get sick and die. …




Our Prepping Journey – Part 1, by Elli O.

This article describes how we began our self-reliance path, and where we are now. Our Background I am a retired career public safety employee with a secondary career of teaching disaster preparedness. My husband is in sales and has a past career in carpentry. We are both in our 60s and have four grown children. We were raised and still reside in Ohio. The Move to the Farm When our children were still pre-adolescent we moved from a small city (50,000) to our present location. There was something within us that preferred a country setting even though we weren’t exactly …




Lessons Learned in Our Orchard, by C.D.

Background: We bought our homestead in November, 2012. At the time we lived in the same area but in a neighborhood with protective covenants on a half acre lot. We found we weren’t able to do the things we needed and wanted to do in order to be resilient no matter what the economic or natural environment threw us. The property we moved to was about 5 acres with plenty of room to incorporate an orchard. I had pre-ordered a number of fruit trees and had prepared the ground to plant them in our old yard. They arrived after right …




Our DIY Solar Well Pump, by PJA

About four years ago, my wife and I finally got all four children out of the house and “on their way.” This allowed the two of us to pursue our dream of “leaving the city” and moving to a “rural homestead” on the edge of Middle Tennessee. The property we settled on is a modest five acres nestled within miles of rolling hills and cave fed streams within each “holler.” It included a 1940s farmhouse, two streams, a springhouse and a no-longer-used capped well casing. We managed to fence the 3-1/2 acre hill and stocked with Great Pyrenees herding dogs …




Mountain Man EDC, by S.J.

What figure looms larger in the prepper imagination that the rugged mountain man? Let’s examine the contents of their packs and saddle bags for our own purposes and to inspire all of us to get back to basics. In the romanticized image, the mountain man is the ultimate minimalist, with nothing but his rifle and tomahawk, but this isn’t entirely correct, as mountain men would have had quite a bit more in their kit, especially at the base camps they operated from. We’ll find that their kits remains relevant today, even with technological advances. The Mountain Man’s EveryDay Carry Rifle …




Life in the 12th Century, by Edge

The following article may offend some miserable gits with no sense of humour. If you are a miserable git, then you have been warned. Don’t come whining to me. To envisage a life after electricity, we must look back to a time without it. Most people can think as far back as the American Civil War for a lifestyle but that is modern history with Morse Code (1844), Railways (1804) and Steam Ships (1787) and not where we need to look at all. We need to go right back. In the 12th century there was a rural population of around …




Our Garden Produce Roadside Stand, by R.J.

For the past 10 years, my wife and I have been selling our produce out of a small (4 feet wide, 4 feet deep, and 5 feet high) open-faced vegetable stand which is located on our property next to a public road. The stand contains a variety of produce, priced to sell. It is unmanned, thereby relying on human honesty to pay the asking price. Our efforts have been most rewarding in more ways then just giving us a little extra spending money. We are eating better, have more meaning in life, are healthier, and often have discussions with our …




Train Your Tracking Dog – Part 2, by Dogdancer

(This part concludes a two-part article.) Step One: Show the dog that searching is a game played under special circumstances. The way our search team did this was by having a unique harness that dogs wore only when training or going on a search. In this way, every time you put that one harness on the dog, he understands he is getting ready to search for something. It’s like a boxer putting on his gloves, or a biker pulling on his helmet. Step Two: Associate following a ground scent with gaining a food reward. Here’s where one friend can help. …




Train Your Tracking Dog – Part 1, by Dogdancer

January 2017, about 3:30 a.m. on a moonless sub-freezing night – and I sure didn’t want to get out of a warm cozy bed. The nervous tapping of the inside-dog’s nails on the floor echoed as he paced around the dark bedroom. Something was bothering him. When I listened, I could hear the distant sound of the outside-dog’s repeating slow bark – the same alert he gave whenever Granny stepped out of her house. Granny, 84, lived in a home situated over a small rise about 500 feet from our house, deep in the rural Ozark Mountains. Elderly, forgetful, hard-of-hearing, …




Raising Poultry in the Rocky Mountain West, by WyoDutch

My wife and I operate a pastured poultry business in Northwest Wyoming at an altitude 6,000 feet. I grew up on a poultry farm back when everything was pastured and organic. Things were simpler then… the weak, fast growing commercial birds had not yet been developed, and we didn’t have to contend with many of the exotic diseases that international trade has brought to the American farm. For a breeding flock of 75 turkeys plus a chicken operation, we have a total of six acres devoted to pens and pastures. Our land is high desert with no supplemental irrigation. Years …




The Myth of Stored Food, by Pete Thorsen

Many preppers think if they merely store food then they are done–that they have saved their family. And that might be true if they experience a natural disaster in their area which does not allow shopping for a week or so. They have their stored food and just use that during the emergency. Later–if they remember they buy replacements for the food they used–they made their family much more comfortable during that emergency by having that stored food. Plus one for the prepper family. But what about a long term nationwide disaster? What if it is a total economic collapse, …




From the Deep South to Northern Rockies: Pt. 3, by GritsInMontana

(Continued from Part 2. This installment concludes the series.) The Homestead We ultimately settled on a home with some acreage. The hilarity ensued as we moved farm animals (cue the Benny Hill music), hay, our combined supply of preps, furnishing, farm equipment, and other items. The move took weeks…literally weeks. We fell into bed each night, exhausted and cranky. As much fun as all this sounds, our regular full-time jobs and household chores continued. By the time the last load was hauled, we had injured backs, knees, and ankles… And the work was just beginning. Fortunately, the skills I learned …