Rural Lifestyle

Life in Rural America

Category: Homesteading

Farming Gardening and Homesteading

Being a Good Country Neighbor

Cow in field

Part of being a good country neighbor in a rural area is treating people and their property with respect. There is an old saying, “People in glass houses should not throw rocks.” Here in the country, just about all of us have something to lose. Chances are most of us have chickens, ducks, dogs, cattle, goats, horses… etc. It would be a shame for my neighbor to shoot my dogs, when we both have chickens and dogs. It could just as easily have been his dogs that found my chickens, as my dogs found his chickens.

A few days ago I was walking to the back of the property with my dogs, when I spotted one of my neighbors cows. Not wanting the dogs to go after the cow, I took them back to the house and closed them up.

Planting Pepper Plants With Homemade Organic Fertilizer

Planting pepper plants

Let’s take a few minutes and talk about planting pepper plants and using homemade organic fertilizer. If there is one plant in my spring garden that has a special place, it has to be pepper plants. Because of that, pepper plants need some tinder loving care.

Pepper plants need nitrogen to grow big and tall, then they need potash (potassium) to grow peppers. Those are the first and third numbers on a bag of fertilizer. The middle number is bone meal (phosphorus), which promotes root growth.

Around the farm I have chicken manure, and some potash from the smoker. These were used to mix up some homemade potting soil, which will be used as organic fertilizer.

Aged chicken manure from the brooder house was mixed with potash and some topsoil in a wheelbarrow.

Planting Pepper Plants

The Story of Buster My Black Mouth Cur Farm Dog

Buster black mouth cur farm dog

On the Saturday morning of March 10th, 2018 I went to open the chicken house, and my Cur dog was not with the other two. Zoey, Ellis and Buster usually run together. Zoey and Ellis were home, but Buster was not.

He was not home before Saturday night. When dark rolled around, I was very concerned.

Sunday, I spent 3/4 of the day looking for buster. The rest of the day was spent getting ready for Monday.

Monday, got up and wrote some articles for alloutdoor, spent the rest of the day looking for Buster. Did a hiking trip through the area where the dogs usually prowl.

Monday night I was an emotional train wreck. Blaming myself for not having him fixed… etc.

6:30 Tuesday morning Buster was at the front door. Back leg looks like it was clipped by a vehicle. Nothing bad, just some road rash.

He is probably the most affectionate dog I have ever owned. He loves to snuggle in the bed, and will sometimes sleep with his head on my shoulder.

What Is a Prepsteader?

Kevin Felts blogger and political commentator

What is a prepsteader? It is someone who combines prepping and homesteading. However, the complete answer is a little more complicated.

To see the whole picture we need to go back to at least the 1970s, or maybe the early 1980s. What we consider prepping today was everyday life during the cold war.

During the Cold War, people lived under the constant threat of nuclear war. Because of that people kept a stockpile of food and other supplies. After all, you never knew when the bombs were going to fall.

When the Berlin Wall came down after the collapse of the Soviet Union, the United States entered into a short lived period of peace. For the first time since the end of World War II we were at a true peace.

The came along Waco, Ruby Ridge and the Oklahoma City Bombing. When it came out that Timothy Mcveigh was part of a survivalist group, the name survivalist became taboo almost overnight.

Survivalism In The 1990s

Spring Is a Beautiful Time of Year

Spring time sprouts on a fig trees

Spring is a wonderful time of year. Everything is blooming, birds are migrating, leaves are coming out, and farm supply stores have their plants in stock. This is one time of the year that is special to a lot of people.

The cold wet weather of winter is yielding to the warmer temperatures of spring. Old man winter is not finished though as March is an active time of year. The back and forth between cold and warm weather may remind observers of young boys having a shoving match on a school playground.

Eventually though, as sure as the sun sets and rises, old man winter must yield to spring, and spring must yield to summer. Before the oppressive summer heat sets in, maybe we should get outside and enjoy the warmer weather?

The winter of 2017 – 2018 will be one for the record books. Most of the nation has been cooped up in our homes for weeks on end. Our only ventures outside have been to go to work, home, buy groceries.. and the absolute necessities.

Difference Between GMO, Hybrid and Heirloom Seeds

Spring plants at a local outlet store.

What are the differences between genetically modified organisms (GMO) sometimes called GM, hybrid and heirloom seeds? Some people think hybrid and GMO are the same thing – they are not the same.

GMO – Genetically modified organisms. The seed has been modified on the genetic level. For example, a scientist may splice the gene from a fish into a corn seed. In nature that could never happen.

Hybrid – Cross pollination between two related species. For example, cross breed a horse and a donkey and you get a mule. A mule is a hybrid between two closely related species. In the plant kingdom, closely related plants can cross pollinate. If the seeds from a hybrid are saved, the seeds may be sterile. If the seeds do grow, the plant may not be like its parents.

Heirloom – Pollinated by its own species. Saved seeds will bear true to form. The seeds can be saved from this plant, and replanted over and over.

Watch The Dogs And I Walk Around The Farm

Puppy on a nature walk

Dogs and I went for a walk around the farm and made a video about it. I was looking for oak trees that may have blown over during a recent storm. The roots of oak trees run close to the top of the soil. When the soil becomes saturated, and then we get some high winds, there is a chance an oak tree will uproot an fall over.

Once we find a tree that has blown over, it is just a matter of cutting the tree up and splitting it for firewood. Unfortunately, we did not find any blown over trees this trip.

Pine trees on the other hand, they have a deeo tap root that is supposed to be around half as deep as the tree is tall. Because of the tap root, pine trees rarely blow over. If the winds get high enough, a pine tree is more likely to snap in half than blow over.

Nature Conservation Area

Why Won’t Your Garden Plants Produce?

Bushel of potatoes

You planted a garden, but it did not produce. The plants may have grown nice and large, but they did not produce anything. What could be wrong?

The simple answer is – Plants need certain certain types of fertilizer depending on what they produce. Using the wrong fertilizer may cause the plant to grow large, but may not produce.

What brought this topic up? I posted a video talking about how to pick out seed potatoes. Ethical Preparedness asked a question about growing potatoes..

If the reader does not subscribe to Ethical Preparedness YouTube channel, get over there and subscribe. He makes some excellent videos.

People prepping for a long term collapse, or just a backyard gardener should understand how certain nutrients affect the garden.

Everything written here is from memory.

Nitrogen, Phosphorus and Potash

Cutting Seed Potatoes For Planting

Cutting potatoes before planting

Potato planting time is just around the corner. In the southern part of the united States it is common to plant around February 14th. Or anywhere between the middle of February to the first of March.

When planting potatoes there is a common misconception that the whole potato has to be planted. That simply is not true. It is possible to grow multiple plants from a single potato. this is done by cutting a chunk of the potato along with an “eye.” A potato eye is another name for the sprout. Potatoes will have multiple sprouts coming off of them. Simple cut the sprout along with a chunk of the potato off.

After cutting the eye off the potato, some people dip the cutting in lime or fireplace ashes. Then allow the cutting to dry for a few days before planting. Some people say the lime or ashes help prevent the cutting from rotting.

Survivalist: Starting a Seed Stockpile

Stockpiling Garden Seeds

Local farm supply stores are getting their summer seed shipments in. If any survivalist are looking to start a seed stockpile, or add to their current stockpile, now is the time.

The key is to buy your seeds early. If you wait too long, certain types of see will be sold out. Take corn for example. It is not uncommon for farming supply stores to sell out of their corn seed pretty quick.

There are also issues with seed shortages. This does not happen all the time, but it does happen from time to time. There may be issues with suppliers having shortages of certain types of seeds.

For example, several years ago there was a shortage in pickling cucumber seeds. The shortage did not affect me as I had a lot of them in my stockpile.

How would a survivalist go about starting a seed stockpile?

Buying Seeds

New Country Lifestyle Forum

Bushel of potatoes

Has everyone signed up on my new forum – Country Lifestyle Network?

Awhile back I wanted to shift gears with my prepping plans. Since moving to the farm I have not dedicated the time and effort I should have into various projects, such as an orchard, and fencing in a few acres for livestock.

The goal is to build a semi-self sustainable farm. It would be rather difficult to build a fully semi-self sustainable farm based on renewable energy. However, I can travel down that road and see where it goes.

While I am going down that path, why not start a community and share my experiences? That is the purpose of Country Life Network. I want to build a community where people who live in the country can share their knowledge and experience.

The new forum is NOT a prepping survivalist forum.

There will be nothing prepping related in Country Life. That is unless you call growing your own food prepping.

Country Life Kick Off

Difference Between Heirloom And Hybrid Seeds

Grape Tomatoes

What is the difference between heirloom and hybrid seeds? First of all, hybrid and GMO are not the same thing, and a lot of people seem to get that confused. GMOs are Genetically modified organisms. Meaning they have been altered by man on the genetic level.

GMO products can contain genes from organisms that will never meet in the real world. For example, let’s say some scientist splices the genes of a fish into corn seed. There is no way that would ever happen in the real world.

Hybrids

Hybrids are are when plants who are closely related cross pollinate. This happens all the time in the real world.

  • Corn can cross pollinate.
  • Squash and zucchini can cross pollinate.
  • Different types of melons can cross pollinate.
  • Peppers can cross pollinate… etc.

The Meme Has Ruined Prepping

Kevin Felts political commentator

Sites like Facebook and Pinterest changed the face of survivalism. Over the past few years there has been a gradual shift from real prepping, to reading memes. Looking at a meme and pictures satisfies our desire for instant gratification.

There was once a time when people were truly interested in prepping. Survivalist joined forums, read blogs, made YouTube videos… etc.

Today, people are happy to just look at memes and invest as little time as possible in prepping.

For example:

Post a meme on Facebook, and it may get thousands of likes and hundreds of shares.

Post a link to an article, and it gets nothing. After all, an article would require people to do this thing called “read”, and this other thing called “thinking.” Who has time to read or think when the meme can explain everything?

Why should we read about gardening, when all we have to do is look at memes?

Why should we read about raising chickens, when all we have to do is look at memes?

Real Life Prepping

Food Will Be The Focus For 2018

Growing potatoes for food

Food production and preservation will be the focus for 2018. Every year I like to pick a topic and focus on that topic. Other ideas and topics will be covered throughout 2018, but the main theme for articles and videos will be food.

Food is a must have for everyone. Without food production, humanity has no future. Maybe we could revert to a hunter-gather society, but those societies do not flourish.

Food is the foundation of every modern society. When societies lose access to food, collapse is close behind. We have numerous examples of this through history. Only with a stable food supply do we have governments, science, technology… etc.

Fruit Trees and Orchards For 2018

tree peach

There is an area close to the chicken yard that I would like to clear out for a small orchard of fruit trees. It only measures around 50 X 75 feet, maybe 50 X 100 feet. Just large enough to plant some mayhaw, fig and pear trees. Not a lot of trees, maybe a handful of each. There is a good size sweet gum tree in the way of this orchard. Cutting the sweet gum tree down and burning the stump would not be a big deal, just time consuming.

Another spot is on old fence line that is overgrown with small oaks and sweet gums. This is around 400 feet long and would have full sun. The issue with this one, it would require a LOT of work to cut all the sweet gum and small oak trees out, then burn the stump to make sure they do not come back. This location does not have access to water, while the other location does.

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