Thoughts on an Amish Auction and Preparedness, by 3AD Scout

Previously, in my August, 2020 SurvivalBlog article titled Going Old School,  I discussed how when we prep by having a primary and back-up, I stated that one back-up should be old school or vintage to accommodate loss of electric and other technology in a prolonged (years) event. Practicing what I “preach” I sometimes attend Amish auctions for non-electric and off-grid equipment and supplies. Recently I spent a Saturday at an auction where the property of an Amish Wheel Wright and buggy maker was up for sale. My first observation was “English” (non-Amish) buyers were the minority. So, if you go …




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 …




Introduction to Beekeeping – Part 3, by K. in Tennessee

(Continued from Part 2. This concludes the article.) V – The Bees Apis milifera is the Latin name we’ve given the bug we call the “Honeybee”. Not to be confused with the bumble bees, wood bees, sweat bees, and other pollinators we share this planet with. It is a specific breed and different than the other small bees you come across in your environment. It took me several years before I could visually discern the difference, and there are even differences within the types of honeybees. Much like dog breeding, it is becoming a whole additional avenue in the hobby. …




Introduction to Beekeeping – Part 2, by K. in Tennessee

(Continued from Part 1. ) III – The Hive The Beehive is the home you provide for the bees. It is supposed to make your task of managing the hive easier, while giving the bees what they want for a home. This is where you show your mettle and what you have learned. If the bees don’t like your home, don’t worry, they’ll just leave! The signs are all there if you know how to read them (an experienced mentor can help immensely). There are several styles of hives out there. Top Bar and Langstroth hives are the most common …




Introduction to Beekeeping – Part 1, by K. in Tennessee

I – Introduction I started researching beekeeping as a hobby for several years before I got my first bees, mostly due to life’s circumstances. Once I settled down and had a piece of land to call home, I was able to get some bees and find it rather enjoyable. It’s quite unlike any other hobby, not the same as gardening, or NASCAR. Keeping wild animals in a wooden box isn’t for everyone. It has challenged me and I’ve learned a lot, and that’s what I find alluring – the more I learn about it, the less I know. Beekeeping has …




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 …