Why We Do What We Do, by Hollyberry

Thankfully, we are blessed to live in a country where we still have choices to make that impact our lives. It is our job as Christians and citizens to make good decisions that affect us and others. The window of opportunity to have choices is getting narrower, soon it will be closed. Some folks laugh at homesteaders for doing things the hard way. You won’t be laughing later if something happens and you have to fend for yourself. Wake up people, and learn how to provide for yourself and your family. Make good choices. Learn from elders and experienced people …




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 …




A Crash Course in Veterinary Medicine, by 3AD Scout

Dave Ramsey, a talk radio show host who discusses financial matters, is fond of saying that people who make expensive financial mistakes “just paid the stupid tax”. In my opinion, “stupid mistakes” of any kind are learning opportunities and sometimes that education can be expensive, but if you learn from it, that mistake and the subsequent education can be priceless. In the Summer of 2019, we moved full-time to our bug-out-location (BOL). In the spring of 2020 we purchased our first animals for our homestead, chickens. We soon added pigs and cows. Like any living creature, animals have basic needs …




Post Your Curtilage Boundaries!

In recent years American courts have not bolstered private property rights.  It has been well-publicized how the courts have deferred to local governments and even to private land developers, in allowing Eminent Domain declarations to deprive even multi-generational land owners of their property, for “public use”. This has gone far beyond just widening highways. Some of these “takings” have been for boondoggles like building privately-owned sports stadiums and shopping malls. But much less well known are court cases at the state and Federal levels that have upheld the assumed right of law enforcement officers to enter and surveil private lands …




Editors’ Prepping Progress

To be prepared for a crisis, every Prepper must establish goals and make both 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 the Odds …




Preserving Chicken Eggs, by Mrs. Alaska

Egg laying is partially predicated on the season. Our hens, of various breeds, are always most prolific layers in the summer months. In the autumn, when they molt (shed their feathers and grow new ones) they do not lay at all for 6 to 8 weeks. During the cold winter months in Alaska, they shiver in the chilly coop, laying maybe half as often as in the summer. It is only in March, when we have 12 hours of daylight, that they venture out into the snow and start to lay regularly again. Therefore, I learned various ways to save …




Lambing Woes, by H.F.K.

Sheep are mostly binary creatures: Zero or One. Either they are strong and healthy, or they’re dead. There isn’t much in between. Once they’ve lived for 24 hours, they are likely to do well for the rest of their lives. But the exception to that rule is when they’re lambing. Sheep farmers of today are not like Biblical shepherds. When the Bible was written, time was measured by most people in days, or fractions of days, according to the movement of the sun. Shepherds could take the time to search for a lost sheep, or dress the injuries of a …




Editors’ Prepping Progress

To be prepared for a crisis, every Prepper must establish goals and make both 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 the Odds ‘n …




Making Your Home More Self-Sufficient, by Jonathan Rawles

As we have just passed the midpoint of winter, it’s time to be laying plans for the spring. Whether you are already residing at a rural retreat or it’s still a future goal, there opportunity to improve on your home’s self-sufficiency and food production. Where can you start with self-sufficiency if you’re still on a suburban lot? You must be more considerate of neighbors, local ordinances, and homeowners’ Associations (HOAs). But even so, there’s great potential for supplemental food production even on a city lot. A few projects to consider: Replace ornamental trees with productive fruit or nut trees. With …




Handling Predators, by Hollyberry

Predators come in all shapes, forms, and sizes. Some have fur, feathers, or scales. Some of them walk upright among us. What exactly is a predator? As the name implies, they prey on a victim. Who doesn’t hum the theme to Jaws when stepping into the ocean? As soon as you enter the water, you become part of the food chain. Sharks are predators, we are the prey. When an animal preys upon another animal, it is usually not on a personal level, it’s to eat. Yes, sometimes dominance is involved. When humans prey on other humans, it’s all personal. …




Editors’ Prepping Progress

To be prepared for a crisis, every Prepper must establish goals and make both 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 the Odds ‘n …




Haying By Hand, by H.F.K.

One of the challenges of keeping domestic animals is providing them with forage during the winter months, or year-round if you live on a small lot. We started keeping sheep in a cold climate on a small lot as a way to feed our family when we were paying off student loans and a mortgage at a high interest rate. Haying by hand was a way to make use of previously unproductive spots on our land (and other people’s land), because a person with a scythe can work in places that would be lethal by tractor. Believe it or not, …




How to Process Chickens and Rabbits – Part 2, by Elli O.

(Continued from Part 1.  This concludes the article.) Now for the wings. Separate the wing at the first joint by using your knife, in the same manner as the feet removal. Due to the small amount of meat from the first joint to the tip of the wing, this part can be discarded. Turn the bird around so you can see the neck. There is very little meat on the neck (although it is delicious and quite tender) so the neck can be cut short. You will need to remove the esophagus which can be found in the upper part …