Rural Lifestyle

Life in Rural America

Tag: country life

Washed Out Roads In Rural Areas

Washed out roads in rural areas

Washed out roads in rural areas have the possibility of disrupting daily life for weeks, and sometimes for months.

One of the problems facing rural counties is the amount of tax money allocated to them for road maintenance and upgrades. Believe it or not, there are thousands of miles of dirt roads all over the United States. Rather than putting in bridges over creeks, culverts are used.

Well, culverts only allow X amount of water to pass through them. When the flow of water exceeds X, the water starts to back up. Eventually, the water will find a way around the culvert. This typically means the water goes over the road, which causes erosion.

With enough time, the flowing water erodes the road away.

Washed Out Roads

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.

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

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

Police Response Times In Rural Areas

Rural dirt road

One of the main issues facing people who live in rural areas is response times for emergency responders.Roads use to be divided into routes, and box numbers. An example would be Route 9 box 1319. The Post Office knew where Route 9 was at, but the police and fire department usually did not. Because of this, a nation wide initiative was put into effect to change from route numbers to road numbers. This way route 9 was turned into an address on a road.

Sounds simple, right? Mail box routes were abolished, and all of the houses were given a physical number. This made mapping easy, and was supposed to make finding rural homes easier.

Changing from mail box routes to road numbers has made thing easier, a lot easier. Now anyone can pull up a map and find a certain road number on the map.

Justification For Owning An AR-15

AR-15 SHTF Survival Rifle

Ever since the Sandy Hook shooting gun owners have been having to justify their reasons for owning an AR-15. Personally, I think the only reason that needs to be given is “because I want one.”

I feel I should not have to “justify” my choices in which firearms I wish to own. As a law abiding citizen there is no chance my AR is going to be used in a crime. And as a law abiding citizen I seen no reason to explain myself to anyone.

Free men do not explain themselves, we do as we wish when we wish.

Servants, slaves and criminals explain themselves.

With that being said, I would like to provide my opinion as to why people own an AR-15. I am in no way justifying my ownership of an AR-15, simply because rights do not have to be justified. I am giving reasons why I choose to own an AR-15.

The AR-15 is Cool

It is awesome looking, it feels good in my hand. Handling an AR is like patting my wife on her butt, it provides me with a sense of manly satisfaction.

Grinding Stumps At the Farm

Tractor mounted stump grinder

Now that the trees have been cut and some of the small timber has been thinned, its time to call a stump grinder out to the farm. A stump grinder is machine with carbide bits which cut the stump down to below ground level. No digging around the stump, no burning the stump, no pulling on the stump with a truck,,, nothing but a machine that turns a tree stump into chips.

Instead of buying a stump grinding machine that would rarely be used, I called a contractor that works by the hour. In 3 hours the contractor had ground 109 stumps.

There are a number of stump grinder designs on the market, some of them look like large tillers. The one the contractor used attached to the back of a tractor and was operated by the power take off (PTO).

Why are we having stumps ground? The stumps are in the way of driveway, chicken yard fence, chicken coop and where the shed is going. Instead of having to drive around the stumps, and waiting for them to rot, now the stumps are ground 6 – 8 inches below ground level.

Grinding Stumps At The Farm

Another Work Day at the Farm

Cutting pine tree stump

During the last trip to the homestead we focused on thinning trees. The largest and healthiest trees were flagged so they would not be cut, the smaller trees and underlying brush were thinned out.

On February 1st and 2nd we focused on cutting tree stumps down to ground level so the heavy equipment can get in there next weekend. This part of the land has been used was an makeshift family trash dump back in the early 1980s. Most of the stuff dumped in this location is scarp metal, tin, hot water heater, cans,,, stuff like that.

Now for the rest of the story.

February 1 2013

Started off like any other day. My wife and I got up around 6:30am, got our shower, got dressed and headed out the door. On this Friday I had the day off work. so instead of going to work, I headed to the homestead for another kind of work.

On the way out my wife, my daughter and I stopped by the Shell station at the corner of Hwy 63 and FM 777 in Jasper, Texas. We were thinking about going by the donut shop, but decided to stop by the shell station. The store sells breakfast sandwiches and breakfast biscuits that are freshly made. I got a breakfast sandwich with sausage, egg, cheese. To wash breakfast down I got a low-carb monster energy drink.

Moving To The Homestead Part 4

Cutting limbs at the Homestead

Now that the loggers are finished, we can get a survey of how things look. So today my wife and I made a trip to the homestead. Man oh man, what a mess. Its not that the loggers left a mess, its the tree limbs that have to be removed before the logs can be hauled.

There are tree tops that had to be cut off before the trunks can be hauled.

A couple of the pine trees were forked at the top, so the fork had to be removed.

The top of a sweet gum tree is laying in a field, it needs to be cut up and burned.

Chicken Yard

Now that some of the trees and brush have been cleared out, I can get a good idea of how large the chicken yard can be. Why should I pay so much attention to stuff like the chicken yard? Because chickens and other small livestock are part of my long term SHTF survival plans.

Using a 25 foot tape measure, my wife and I were able to estimate the chicken yard to be 25 feet wide and 50 feet long. Which equals 1,250 square feet.

After my wife and I get moved, we want to increase our flock size to around 24 hens and a rooster. Lets go ahead and say 25 chickens.

In anther article we talked about how many chickens would be needed for a long term SHTF event. In that article we gave a summer time low of around 30 laying hens, and a wintertime high of around 70 – 80 chickens.

Stocking Firewood at the Bug Out Location

Cut and split firewood

For thousands of years mankind has used firewood for cooking and warmth. Even today thousands of people still rely on wood for their everyday cooking needs. When prepping for a SHTF event firewood could be a reliable and long term cooking solution.

Firewood is an important asset – but its only an asset if the person can utilize it. In this case a storm blew down an oak tree. Instead of the tree going to waste, it was cut up for firewood.

During a long term SHTF survival situation, after the propane runs out, after the liquid fuel runs out for the camp stoves, its either going to be cooking with solar ovens, or cooking with wood, or not cooking at all.

After hurricanes Ike and Rita made landfall, I cooked for my family for between 2 – 3 weeks with firewood. For breakfast we would used a coleman stove to cook with, and for dinner we used my barbeque pit on a trailer.

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