background preloader

Jackie’s Tips For Hardcore Homesteading By Jackie Clay

Jackie’s Tips For Hardcore Homesteading By Jackie Clay
Many of us have a garden and enjoy fresh vegetables during the summer and fall. Maybe we even have a few chickens for eggs and meat. But many of us may want to extend our homesteading to what I call "hard-core" homesteading. This is serious homesteading, aimed at being able to provide your family with nearly all of its basic needs. Luckily, most of us with a piece of out-of-the-way land can become nearly "store-bought-free," raising much of what we need in nearly the same way as did our ancestors. There is a vast difference between this type of survival homesteading and stars-in-the-eyes, back-to-nature, recreational homesteading to relieve stress and provide enjoyment. The survival garden It has been said that one can raise enough food for a family of four in a 50- by 50-foot space. When one needs a garden to put up food, not only for the winter but possibly for a year or two, we're talking about at least an acre of intense cropping. You can't grow everything, everywhere. Related:  Homestead Planning & Design

How Much Land You Need To Go Off The Grid? The original homesteaders, the pioneers who went West, were following the American dream as it was understood in the 19th century — they wanted a house, and land, and a farm, of their own. Those who become homesteaders today aren’t necessarily aspirational in the same way; instead, they’re looking to escape mainstream America. They want to do so for many reasons: privacy, radicalism, a philosophical belief in self-sufficiency. But “going off the grid” is a daunting proposal, especially for those with families. According to the company’s research, a family of four that eats meat, dairy and eggs would need around two acres of land to feed themselves for a year. Here’s the chart. [Via HuffingtonPost.com]

Survival Garden, Be Prepared For Disaster or Food Shortage Emergency Growing A Survival Garden May Soon Become A Necessity! Have you considered that... survival gardening may soon be a true matter of survival and not just a choice? With the rapid decline of our financial system and food supply, grocery store produce and other products, may soon be at a crisis level shortage like we have never seen. At that point, gardening would no longer be a "choice" for a more self sufficient lifestyle, it would be a matter of survival for everyone! With the costs of living rising all the time, you can see the practical benefits of growing your own garden... you can save money, increase your family's health, and become more self sufficient all at the same time by growing vegetables in your backyard. Take advantage of whatever garden space you have, even if your garden may not provide all the food that you need, it will have a dramatic effect in reducing your food bill. Consider some of the benefits of growing your own garden... 1. Small Garden Space Larger Garden Space

Guide to planting by the moon - The Gardeners Calendar Moon planting calendar for fruit, vegetables and flowers In ancient times when man had not quite got round to inventing the wristwatch, the most reliable source of telling the time was the sun, moon, and stars. There seems to be several opinions of who came up with the moon planting calendar first. Was it the Egyptians or the Babylonians? It is more than likely that each and every farmer had a planting calendar based on the moon phases, and there would be different variations depending on the geographical location. As their calendars where passed on through the generations they evolved to cover the different crops they tried to grow, and the more productive farming techniques used. It was noticed that different plants grow better when they are planted during different phases of the moon. To provide more accurate records it was noted that certain crops faired better when planted whilst the moon was in a specific constellation. Moon planting rediscovered Three Moon planting methods

How To Start Homesteading You might live in the city or the country. Your homesteading plans might be pie-in-the-sky dreams or you may be ready to start right this minute. Wherever you are right now, you should know that you can take a step toward your homesteading dreams today. It can be hard to figure out where to start. You may wonder what to do first, especially if you know nothing about owning land, farming, or going off-grid for energy. I'm hoping to demystify this a bit, and give you some concrete first steps to take that will begin your homesteading journey right where you are. Start Now You can start homesteading right now, today. Pick one or two projects that you can start in the next month or so. If that seems like too much, start smaller. Read and Learn Besides starting a small project or two this season, take the time to read up about homesteading skills. List Your Priorities Find a Homestead For many of us, finding that "place in the country" is a key part of homesteading. Plan the First Year

Nine Things to Consider When Looking For Your Survival House image from Seattle Municipal Archives You don’t need a bunker in a remote location in Idaho or Montana to have a home that is able to withstand an emergency situation. However, there are a few things you’ll want to consider when choosing where to live as your home is an often overlooked but important part of your preparedness efforts. 1. 2. 3. Weather hazards can encompass large areas, so are sometimes difficult to avoid. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. Bonus #10. My home is my castle (albeit a very small castle). 9 Steps To Starting A Survival Garden In a time of economic uncertainty and rising food prices, it it always a good idea to have a garden to provide extra food for you and your family. Besides providing a source of food in an emergency, a garden is also a great source of wonderful vegetables which are MUCH healthier to eat than most of the food you can get at the supermarket. So how do you begin? The following are 9 steps that you can take to get your garden started..... #1) Decide What Your Goals Are - Do you want to grow enough just to add a few vegetables to your dinner once in a while? Do you want it to be able to provide enough food for your family if there is a major emergency? Some people who want to live "off the grid" end up building a garden large enough that it will provide almost all of the food that their family needs. #2) Evaluate Your Land - Once you know what your goals are, you need to evaluate the land that you are currently living on. So what is the solution? Comments comments

My Green Directory - The Online Eco Resource The Myth of Self Reliance A mass emailing went out a while back from a prominent permaculturist looking for “projects where people are fully self sufficient in providing for their own food, clothing, shelter, energy and community needs. . .” There it was, the myth of “fully self sufficient,” coming from one of the best-known permaculturists in the world. In most US permaculture circles, the idea that anyone could be self sufficient at anything past a very primitive level was abandoned a while ago, and the softer term “self reliant” replaced it. But even self-reliance is barely possible, and, other than as way of expressing a desire to throw off the shackles of corporate consumerism, I don’t think it’s desirable. I took a Googling cruise around the internet and found that “self sufficient” shows up as a desirable goal on several top permaculture websites. I hear people say they are growing 30%, 50%, even 70% of their own food. Let’s take a quick pass at clothing, shelter and energy.

Adaptable House caters for growing family, home office, retired living, or divorce It uses sliding partitions and storage walls, extension modules and a puzzle of garden components. Danish architects Henning Larsen's new Adaptable House is designed to accommodate the most common lifestyle changes, from having children to settling into retirement. The energy-efficient home can even be fairly separated in case of divorce. View all Realized with developers Realdania Byg and contractors GXN, the Adaptable House not only offers flexible room arrangements, but has a built-in strategy for extending and separating volumes. Pre-figuring life changes The Adaptable House was conceived to help meet a range of lifestyle changes. Perhaps the most innovative and coolly pragmatic gesture is in adapting for divorce. Sliding partitions make flexible interiors (Photo: Jesper Ray/Realdania Byg) Not just a room under the stairs The architects were determined that any new configurations meet their criteria for natural light, ventilation, plus noise and temperature control. Adding on

Survival Food Series: 25 Survival Seeds You Need For Your Garden Living off the land sounds as inviting as Christmas dinner. But many have hardly had adequate experience being “farmers.” In fact, many have had no experience at all when it comes to planting anything. That being said, the day is slowly approaching where each of us may have to trade in our company identification badges for a shovel and a pair of overalls. Educating yourself on farming topics such as mirco farming, planting for the seasons, natural insect repellents, seed collection and seed storage could help prepare for an upcoming economic crisis. Start Practicing The only way to be fully prepared as far as growing plants is concerned is to practice, practice, practice. With each gardening experience will come more wisdom on how to handle a larger garden. Survival Seeds These seeds that were chosen were based upon their yield quantities, *ease in growing, nutritional content and for the season they are planted in. Sources: Google+

Ecological Footprint Quiz by Center for Sustainable Economy Earth’s Longest Night: Myth and Mystery of the Winter Solstice It’s that most wonderful time of the year, as singer Andy Williams famously reminded us through his pop-holiday caroling. More specifically, it coincides with the arrival of winter, and the ancient celebration that surrounds the year’s shortest day, and thus, it’s longest night. Happy Winter Solstice, in other words. This year, based on the ever-slowing of Earth’s rotation, it has been reported that December 21 may be the longest night in our planet’s history; however, due to other influences on what is Earth’s longest night annually (namely those geological in nature, the longest night in our history actually more likely happened in 1912. Nonetheless, with every passing year, the length of a day generally does increase by about 15 to 25 millionths of a second–barely discernible, but nonetheless significant. Though truly, the term is probably derived from the Old Norse jól, which signified the 12-day winter celebration from which the famous “Twelve Days of Christmas” was also derived.

What Kind Of Small Farm Is Right For You? So, you're planning a small farm, but you're not sure if you want to have a hobby farm, a homestead, or a small farm business. What do you do? How do you decide on the best fit? Consider Your Goals The first thing to think about is, what do you want out of your small farm? For example, are you an entrepreneurial type who gets warm and glowy when you envision creating value-added farm products and selling them at farmers markets, or growing vegetables on acres of farmland and selling them in bulk to restaurants? Set Goals for Your Small Farm Hobby Farming Hobby farming is for people who have another primary source of income and want to have a farm that doesn't have to produce income or support them by providing for most or all of their needs. Hobby farmers can put a lot of money into their hobby farms, or they can run them more like a homestead in that they want to minimize how much money they use as an input. How to Start a Hobby Farm A Small Farm Business How to Start a Small Farm Business

BackYard Chickens One of the Many Benefits of Raising Chickens: Composting with Chickens Recently delivered 30 yard dumpster of hay, shavings & manure - 8-27-2011 After four months of the chickens working the compost - 12-31-2011 (this picture was taken where those trees are in the first picture) Regardless of whether you would like to start raising chickens or have been raising them for decades, it’s a known fact that chickens love to scratch. By now, you must be thinking, this article is about the benefits of raising chickens, not their downsides. Because part of the chicken yard is on a slight side hill, the chickens kept on scratching everything downhill, I added boards to "terrace" the compost area. Chickens and compost are “a match made in heaven”, because of their love of digging and scratching. The high protein bugs and beneficial microbes are a favorite “snack”, as well as, the weed seeds, food scraps, and any edible green plant tossed into the compost pile. Vermont Composting Company

Related: