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.  We always welcome you to share your own successes and wisdom in your e-mailed letters. We post many of those –or excerpts thereof — in this column, in …




WIN: Whip Inflation Nonconformably

In recent months, I’ve had several consulting clients ask me about how they might protect themselves from the ravages of inflation. The official rate of inflation is now at 9.2%, but everyone knows that the real-world rate is somewhere north of 14%. I’m offering some concrete suggestions that I will relate in this essay, but first, let me digress into some history: According to the Wikipedia article about the WIN campaign: “[President Gerald] Ford had taken office in August 1974 amidst one of the worst economic crises in US history, marked by high unemployment and inflation rising to 12.3% that …




Alternative Ways to Source Food, by SaraSue

I was thinking how different my shopping habits are now than what they used to be. I used to go grocery shopping once a week, and didn’t think twice about running into a grocery store during the week for something I forgot or ran out of or needed for a new recipe. Now? I rarely go to a grocery store. Last year, I was popping in once every week or two just to grab a gallon of milk or a pound of bacon, but I don’t even do that anymore. Part of the reason is that I stocked up on …




An Ex-Pat Homesteading Croatia, by Robert S.

I have moved to Croatia from Israel to join a self-sustaining farmer in building an organic permaculture homestead. I would love to share with you today my homesteading experience in a few categories. I hope something of this can help somebody with something, I am young and learning all the time so forgive me if the info is not relevant. Health The usage of organic foods as preventive medicine is a key but nevertheless when overstated in any direction can be overused. We produce our own meat eggs cheese and vegetables. Consume Curcuma on daily basis mixed with oil and …




First Year of My “Self-Sufficient” Farm – Part 2, by SaraSue

At last count, there are approximately 72 animals on my farm. Of these, 22 meat birds will be butchered very soon bringing the count down to 50. I learned that each type of animal needs their own type of shelter from the elements. I didn’t quite understand that when I got animals and have been scrambling ever since. I have lots of crazy stories of me trying to cope due to my lack of knowledge and experience. Farm Infrastructure Regarding outbuildings: When I bought the place there was a small barn and an oversized “shed” the size of a one-car …




First Year of My “Self-Sufficient” Farm – Part 1, by SaraSue

Whewboy! What a year this has been. It feels like just yesterday that I got the keys. I can confidently say that I haven’t worked this hard since I had four babies, in quick succession, to care for. And even then, I don’t think I worked this hard. I did finally “crash and burn” recently and was sick as a dog for over two weeks and had to call for help just to keep animals alive. I think it’s interesting and helpful to take the time to review the year and make decisions about how things should go moving forward. …




My Newbie Experience Buying a Milk Cow – Part 2, by SaraSue

(Continued from Part 1. This concludes the article.) A Calf is Born and Begins Milking It’s been a bit of a rodeo, but I am undeterred. She was gentle as long as you didn’t touch her. LOL. She was sweet and beautiful as long as you didn’t interrupt her grazing on the grassy knoll. She learned to come into the stanchion, which is basically a structure you build to milk your cow in if you don’t have a barn set up to use. It has a “head gate” so that you can hold the cow’s head still, and therefore her …




My Newbie Experience Buying a Milk Cow – Part 1, by SaraSue

Finding the Right Cow My grandpa grew up on a farm in the South. When I was a little girl I asked him what it was like. He said it was hard work and dirty. I asked him about getting milk from a cow and he laughed saying, “Do you know how many germs are in that milk?” When I was a little older, probably studying the Great Depression in elementary school, I asked him “What did you do during the Great Depression Grandpa?” He said, “Well, we all went back to the farms!” In my child’s mind I had …




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.  We always welcome you to share your own successes and wisdom in your e-mailed letters. We post many of those –or excerpts thereof — in this column, in …




Progress on My Farm – Part 2, by Animal House

My son put the greenhouse kit together after the spring rains ended. It was quite an effort but he did a good job and added extra reinforcement to withstand strong winds. That year we learned a lot more about starting seeds and transplanting them into the ground. As fall began, we got some portable propane heaters, which were connected to small propane tanks. Those worked well until we had a three-day ice storm when we couldn’t leave the farm to refill the propane tanks. After speaking with my son, I decided to order a sawmill at the end of the …




Raising Meat Birds in a Garage, by SaraSue

I recently read that there are chicken shortages in the supply chain (specifically “chicken tenders”) and I’m not going to discuss why. I’m writing this because many people who read the blog do not have a homestead or even a large back yard and worry about supply chain shortages. I hope to give you some ideas on how you can raise your own meat birds in limited space or under restricted conditions. As I wrote this it occurred to me that I was recreating “factory farmed” chicken production. That made me sad, but desperate times call for desperate measures. The …




Combating Sheep Flock Parasites – Part 2, by Mike V.

(Continued from Part 1. This concludes the article.) The test is performed with the freshest stool you can get. You can corral the animal, get your gloves on and get in the rectum to get some pellets out, or any number of less stressful ways to get your sample. I just walk into the field and walk behind the sheep or lamb I want a sample from. They routinely walk away and I follow them until they get a little antsy and they will give you what you need in short order. You are not trying to spook them, just …




Combating Sheep Flock Parasites – Part 1, by Mike V.

My mother went back to school to be a social worker, and she did a project which was quite interesting. She taped (remember cassette tapes?) one of our dinner conversations and then played it back to us when her project was over. I do not remember what her point was but I do remember that three planes flew over the house and two trains went by and none of us skipped a beat with the conversation. We lived in the flight path of one of the largest airports in the world and the train tracks were right next door. I …




Lessons Learned From Going Rural – Part 2, by Animal House

(Continued from Part 1. This concludes the article.) The Septic Tank The age and condition of the septic system is important to know. The older the septic the stronger the chance of having trouble; which is something you don’t ever want to experience. The size of the septic depends on how many bathrooms, the number of people living in the home and how new the kitchen is; meaning is there a dishwasher, garbage disposal, automatic ice makers, etc. If you don’t know when the septic was last serviced, go by these fabled words: when in doubt, pump it out! It …




Preparedness and Homesteading as a Middle-Aged Woman, by P.B.

This is what I know, but I am no expert.  This is what I do and I am sometimes successful….most times half successful. I know about preparing for emergencies and learning to homestead.  I live a small homesteading life with my husband of almost 27 years while working a full-time medical job and caring for my sister who is wheelchair-bound and completely dependent.  We raise turkeys for meat as well as meat and laying chickens. I was inspired back in the 1970s by the television show The Waltons.  Living a simpler, self-sufficient life seemed the best.  Surrounded by a large family …