Homesteading and Survivalism

Living a simple life

Tag: homestead

Moving To The Homestead Part 2

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This is part 2 of a moving to the Homestead series.  See this link for part 1.

Kevin Felts, blogger and survivalistWhere do you want to be in 10 years, how about 20 years?  That question is not about financial stability, or your career, where do you want to be physically in 10 years, what do you want your life to be like?

I want peace and quiet in my life.  I want a back porch where I can grill some steaks, listen to the wind blowing through the trees, hear the chickens,,, and that is all I want to hear, except maybe some music.

I want a small garden that my wife and I can get fresh food from.

I want my chickens to be able to free range as much as they want, because happy chickens lay plenty of eggs.

Where do I want to be next year (2013)?  I want to be living in peace and quiet. But first, my wife and I have to get there.

One of the things that has to be taken care of before we are able to put a house on the land, is some of the timber has to be cleared.  As much as I despise cutting trees, we have to make room for a home.  Not only room for a home, but the fence rows need to be cut.

Nobody has lived at the Homestead full time since the late 1970s, which was when my grandmother passed away. Mom and dad moved from the Jasper Texas area in the late 1970s and have lived in Bridge City for the past 35 years.

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Livestock and Firearms for SHTF

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Lets say SHTF tomorrow, what would be your top priorities?  Besides safe drinking water, food production and property protection is at the top of my list.

One of the questions I ask myself, how do you develop a sustainable food supply, and at the same time protect your property?  Well, its not really “how”, but where do you divide your resources to best serve you and your family.

Lets say you have $20. Would that $20 serve you better as ammunition, or through livestock such as chickens? What about tools and fencing supplies?  Would that $20 serve you well as a hammer, wire cutters, staples for fencing wire, or as barbed wire?

If you have a few million dollars to spend, we would not have to be asking these questions.  We would just buy the land, and buy all of the supplies that we need.

Unfortunately, most of us have limited resources.  Due to these limited resources we need to spend wisely.  And thus we ask questions to find answers.

Firearms

As Black Friday draws closer, I find myself debating on whether or not I should buy a SIG Sauer M400 enhanced that Walmart is supposed to have on sale.

Then comes up the classic debate, would that money be better invested in food, livestock or ammunition?

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Rural Homestead after TEOTWAWKI

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SHTF / TEOTWAWKI has happened, whether it was a financial collapse, nuclear war, widespread civil unrest,,,, something has happened to has disrupted society as we know it.

If you live on a homestead in a rural location, what might be some of the supplies you would need, and what would be some of the hardships you would face?

As I write this article I am just thinking out load. Lets brainstorm and get some ideas for discussion.

We all know the typical topics such as safe drinking water and food. In this article lets move past those topics that should be a given. What are the things that would make everyday life possible? What do we use in our everyday lives today that we would need after SHTF / TEOTWAWKI?

Breakfast

Bowl of fresh eggsLets wake up, do our morning routine then eat breakfast. What are going to be eating for breakfast? Chances are its going to be oats we have stored in mylar bags and eggs.

To have eggs we have to make sure our chickens are safe from predators and the elements. Given the chance predators such as foxs, opossums, coyotes and even other people will steal your livestock.

Exposed to wind, rain, ice and snow your chickens will die.

What do we need to keep our chickens safe and comfortable?  We need a chicken coop and a way to repair the coop.  This means we need hand tools, staples, hardware cloth, hammers, a good saw, wire cutters, tar to fix holes in the roof of the coop,,, and so on.

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Homestead as a Bug Out Location

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Homestead VS Bug Out Location, which on is better and why? Instead of trying to discuss the merits of each, why not combine the two?

Instead of trying to maintain a home in an urban area, and a remote camp, why not build a homestead and make it your Bug Out Location? This way your time and money are not divided between two separate places.

For a lot of people, living in a rural area is not an option. Their job is in the city, and that is where they need to live. There are a number of people that live in rural areas, or in small towns. Lets talk about the people who are thinking about relocating to a rural area away from town.

For this article lets focus on 5 things – food, water, shelter, security, and some other small topics that we can group together.

Food

Homestead / Bug Out Location garden diagram One of the main purposes of a Homestead Bug Out Location is to be able to grow fresh food. Its one thing to have a years worth of dried beans and rice stored in mylar bags, its something totally different to have access to fresh fruits and vegetables.

Sooner or later the #10 cans will run out, sooner or later the mylar bags will run out,,, and then what?

In my chicken coop project I learned that its going to take an estimated 6 months to get a small farm off the ground.

Its possible to work the soil, plant some radishes and have food ready to eat in a matter of 4 – 5 weeks. Radishes grow quick and the whole plant is edible. But who wants to live off radishes? Once you start talking about squash, corn, greens, potatoes and beans, you are looking at 2 – 4 months.

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Moving To The Homestead Part 1

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The time has come to move to a rural area, get the farm setup with a garden and livestock. My wife I currently live about 4 miles outside Jasper Texas. Its time to move ever further away from town.

With the way this nation is heading, families need to be looking at how they are going to afford to buy food and provide basic essentials for their families. One example, my wife and I buy canned refried beans to make homemade burritos with. In the past 2 years the price of the canned beans has gone up almost 20%. I bet your wages have not gone up 20% in that same amount of time. The price of ground meat has gotten terrible. Pork chops used to be cheap, and now they cost a pretty penny.

At 44 years old I am getting too old to go back to school to retrain for a new career. Instead of waiting until the last minute to make my retirement plans, I want to start 20 – 25 years ahead of time.

This morning my wife and I made a trip to the farm, took some measurements and talked about what we wanted to do.  The main things we wanted to focus on were shelter, food, water and sewage.  These are the basic essentials that anyone would need during a long term SHTF / TEOTWAWKI survival situation.

Farm diagram for Bug Out Location

Click the image to enlarge

On the left side of the property is a wilderness area owned by a local timber company. Due to the way the terrain is laid out, nobody will ever be able to build there.

Description of the above image

A – Fence line is not the actual property line; I wanted enough room to drive a truck or bushhog between the house and garden and the fence line. A basic my wife and I started with was 10 feet. This should give us enough room to drive all the way around the garden and house.

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Indefinite Sustainability

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My wife and I are working towards being self-sufficient.  The problem is, the word “self-sufficient” has been used over and over so many times that it starts to lose its effect.  I think another good term would be “indefinite sustainability”.  Meaning a lifestyle that can be maintained for a long time.

Within the next year my wife and I are looking at moving to a rural area.  We already live about 4 miles outside of Jasper Texas.  But we want to move a little further from town.

When I was a child, my great-grand parents on my mom and dads side of the family lived in rural areas.

On my moms side of the family, my great-grand parents lived in a small house on the banks of the Neches river just south of Dam B.  My great-grand father ran trotlines all the time and caught some huge catfish.  They made their weekly or monthly trips to town for beans, bacon, medicine, and other basic supplies.  The house they lived in was a very basic 4 room house – bed room, kitchen with a tv, fridge, stove and oven, bathroom, and enclosed wrap around porch.

On my dads side of the family, my great-grand parents lived on a homestead with around 30 acres in a rural area.  They had cows, a horse, garden, barn, chickens.  And one thing they seemed to have a lot of was peace and quiet.

Both places had several things in common.  They caught or raised some of their own food, and they lived off the beaten path.  I want to achieve both in the near future.

Over the past year or so I have been putting a lot of thought in my homesteading project.  The goal is to have a garden and livestock that complement each other.

Garden and chicken yard one in the same

Chicken yard and garden

On the backside of the fenced in area are a couple of acres for growing corn, watermelons, pumpkins,,,.

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