Getting started: A primer

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    • #91217

        This is a repro of a 1948 magazine. It covers a lot of the basics about what’s involved homesteading. (crap; it won’t let me upload pic of cover) If you’re making those early decisions about whether to attempt this – this website should give you an idea of what’s involved and how do-able.

        I like it’s last article: Rebuilding America – seems to be just appropriate nowadays.

      • #91218

          Thanks for posting.

        • #91219

            Good article. This is what we are doing with our property, a little at a time.

          • #91220

              That is a book I have and can also recommend.

            • #91221
              Joe (G.W.N.S.)

                Good stuff, having a dedicated homestead is ideal, but practicing these skills even on a small scale will be extremely valuable.

                The last thing you want is to have to learn the idiosyncrasies of your AO when it counts, learn these now and avoid much pain latter.

              • #91222

                  I saw this yesterday on WRSA, and think it is timely:

                  It is great there are self-sufficient people here – but what do you do when you have the desperate golden horde running out of a major urban area 60 miles away? This has always concerned me. A neighbor of mine who grows all her own food told me “we won’t have to do anything, those urban people don’t know how to prepare real food, they need it in a bag ready to eat or a box with microwave directions.”

                  This article seems make the argument that we won’t have to worry much about the golden horde because of “Learned Helplessness”. What do you all think? While it would be foolish to not be prepared to defend your homestead, do you think the “golden horde risk” is overblown?

                • #91223
                  Joe (G.W.N.S.)

                    If you look at examples of of refugees fleeing to other areas historically as well as some of the better fiction literature which gives a good picture of the possibilities.

                    I would rather be prepared for worse case and breath a big sigh of relief, than to underestimate the threat, and lose everything.

                  • #91224

                      A Failure of Civility – I think it’s mentioned in that article – is an excellent primer for defending a suburban or urban neighborhood. There some things I’m sure you experienced military guys could take issue with; but for the rest of us, it does explain what, how, why and who, pretty well. There are some issues with the more spread out rural locations; granted. But a coordinated group and good comms practice/intel can even hold the line in that location, I believe. 4 footed transportation might also make a difference. The biggest problem with any plan like this is convincing your neighbors now is the time to practice any skills necessary for survival.

                      I can speak best to the self-sufficient homestead problems. It will take 5 years from busting sod to improving the soil enough to produce a good crop. Oh, if you’re lucky, you might see an improvement at 3 years to encourage you – but you’ve got to work through water, soil amendments, seed varieties, bugs and plant diseases too. Your preserving skills/storage will need practice too. Oh and there’s the PT factor involved in this kind of work too. :-( Little House on the Prarie, it’s not. It’s back-breaking manual labor. Learn all the ways to save wear & tear on your bodies now.

                      Then, you need to become intimately connected to your micro-climate and the weather. Also, be on guard against any animal pests – deer and raccoons can devastate a corn crop. Bears, fox, coyotes, and yes, even Eastern Wolves are predators for small livestock and small city-dwellers.

                      Those predators and PT and bushcraft skills – will thin out the golden hordes quite a bit. It’s a completely foreign environment for most city-dwellers and except for the yuppie-hiker-mountain climber types… I believe very few of them will attempt to leave the city, until there is absolutely no other choice. Their numbers will continue to dwindle as they stick out like sore thumbs in the small towns outside suburbia… and as they transgress the “civility” of those kinds of places.

                      People who might be accepted into those rural enclaves, will need to already understand the basic rule there: you don’t work (at something); you don’t eat. And if they don’t like that, they are free to move on – but they can’t stay there.


                    • #91225

                        Well, I’m rescuing this thread. It’s a good place to log progress on my own project.

                        Last July, my hubby & I purchased a really great defensible (and practically invisible; even on Google Earth & GPS) small cabin and property. It wasn’t what I was looking for, since it wasn’t going to be easy to homestead, being mostly vertical – LOL. But hubby was right; it has it’s attractions and is a good investment. However the dwelling and property don’t have enough space for me to work at various self-sufficiency projects. Adapting the site to those, would pretty much destroy it’s hidden in plain sight nature. I don’t want to do that.

                        Since hubby passed, I’ve spent some more time looking online at properties in the Appalachian Redoubt. And I’ll be closing on one that’s pretty close to meeting all my criteria in Sept. I’m pretty excited. Enough open land to till or have some critters… studio space and workshop space for me to get back to making things (more functional than “pretty” – but pretty counts too)… and close enough to institutional stuff that I might need before it all goes flooey, but off the beaten trail enough that I won’t be an (easy) target.

                        Back in the 80s, my family built a homestead from bare ground to producing almost all our food requirements. So I’ve done this before – but I have a head start with the new place. 5 acres open/5 wooded; studio/workshop, home with enough space for my “crew” (and extra outside for campers), artesian well, and 1/2 acre pond. Western side of property is a steep and overgrown rugged cliff. Eastern edge unihabited woods… and only 2 other neighbors on that road. There is a right of way into the woods, SW… for those owners to access their hunting property and an old roadbed that continues up across the ridge to a decent large cave that is pretty well unknown except to locals. Two backdoors. :D

                        I can just haul all my collections of tools up there and move in, hopefully by the time the snow starts to fly this winter. OH – it comes with a tractor equipped for mowing & snow removal.

                        So, I’ll log my trials & tribulations (nirvana isn’t real life) here as I also share my progress. The good news is, that it puts me in a great location to start attending training – even if I commute.

                        It all starts with knowing what you NEED and what you WANT – they aren’t the same thing; and being able to accept that every place has a trade-off involved. Next, comes planning & logistics (one of my favorites parts of the process). Because I am now alone and may not have a lot of help available (they have lives too) I’m thinking to move in phases. It’s not like I can move furniture all by myself – even to get it out of the house. There is purging going on, too. Anything that isn’t a tool, or useful for this new endeavor, or part of my library… and supplies… isn’t going to make the trip. Having too much is just as much a problem, as not having enough put back.

                        I have a bit of work to do on the place where I’m living now and am holding off listing it until AFTER hurricane season’s worst weeks are over. I’ll need to continue to care for this place until it sells and will need to be able to camp out here, when I make those trips.

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