Homesteading Forum banner

1 - 14 of 14 Posts

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,184 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I will be honest, call it prepping, Homesteading, or what ever you like, even Crazy, I don't care! I am just glad to see a movement of people understanding the value of self sufficiency and the rewards it can bring. It is a movement! There are more of us than one might think. Maybe we are not all going about it the same way, but we are all on the same page and moving in the same direction.

I understand 50 or 100 years ago was not a "pie in the sky" easy life, and what is choices for us today, were not a choice for those back then. There was hardships, (and still will be) associated with the lifestyle we choose, and they lived. I believe these hardships along with the promise new technology brought, is what moved many of our parents and maybe even grandparents to abandon the farm and move to the city, or at least adopt the "City" way of life in many ways. I have heard many stories from my father about things he did as a child and I have experienced many of these things through my grandparents and other family members, but we moved to the city when I was young. I know we all make choices based on what we believe is the best for our family at the time. I know many moved to the city, my parents included, believing it offered better opportunity for themselves and their family. Many of the old ways of doing things were simply not available to continue and teach in those settings. I also believe many of these ways were remembered as not being so much fun, but there is bad that comes with the good, this is simply life. Many realized this New life in the City, held many empty promises as well, some did not?

I guess I do hold a certain amount of contempt for a previous generation, a certain amount of "You dropped the ball" by not passing on many of the things they grew up doing. I am hopeful it is not to late and much of this old technology can be salvaged by this new group of enthusiastic Homesteaders, if you will. It will not be easy, my children are not enamored by all of the things I attempt to have them participate in and learn, but they participate and learn, none the less. I believe the day will come when they look back and are glad they had the experiences and are glad they have the knowledge. I do caution however, we must prove these old ways are viable, not through words only, but through action. The old saying “I do not want to hear what you are going to do, I want to hear what you have done!! Still holds water. If we are going to prove to a new generation this is a viable lifestyle, we can not simply tell them all the benefits, while continuing to live as everyone else.

I have told the story before, but I will tell it again here. I was in an antique (junk) store some time back and I found an old cross cut saw, so I took it to the front to buy it. There was an old man sitting in a chair passing time and I remember he said to me "I bet you never seen one of those being used have you? You gonna paint it up and hang it on the wall?" I remember how shocked he looked when I told him I had seen one used, and I had used one. I told him I was not going to hang it on the wall, but take it home and fix it, so I could use it, along with the others I have. Then he told of the days he spent cutting wood with one when he was younger and went on to talk about how the younger generations did not know what work was. His next statement, I have to admit angered me some. He said "Well, my kids are grown now, but they would not have any idea how to use one!" I wanted so badly to say "who's fault is that?? How can you set there and talk down about the next generation, but at the same time admit you did not even teach your own children?" But out of respect I kept quiet. But that has stuck with me, and that motivated me a lot to insure I pass on the knowledge I have to my children. To gather as much knowledge as I can from my parents. My grandparents are all gone now, but thank God I knew them for a while, and learned a lot.

Do not get me wrong. I love my chainsaw and have no intention of giving it up any time soon. Technology is not the enemy. When used correctly it can be an enabler, a means of preservation, not afforded previous generations. The same technology which separates us from our neighbors who have chosen to embrace everything new and shun everything old, allows us to join in this community of like minded people on this forum. We can now have neighbors, hundreds or even thousands of miles away. The same technology that Hollywood uses to poke fun of preppers and mountain men and all the other self sufficient folks, is the same technology we can use to take pictures and make videos and preserve this information for future generations. I can not begin to imagine the dedication and devotion it must have taken for the scribes to set down and hand write a copy of the bible to share this information with others. Today, technology allows us to buy books on whatever subject we want and instantly have it available to read, or even watch!!

I agree with Joel Salatins assessment of the situation we face. No, We can not turn back the clock and go back to the stone ages. I would not wish for that to happen, even if it were possible. (although hunting a dinosaur does hold a certain amount of interest, hmmmm!! But seriously, we do not have to! We can preserve the old ways, and pick and choose the technology we use where it offers a benefit. Modern freeze dried foods, modern water filters, the internet, etc. All good things in my opinion, but not if we gain them at the expense of losing the old technology. As antiquated as it may seem, pressure canning was once seen as “New Technology”, cartridge firearms was once “New Technology”. It is hard for us to comprehend now, but can you believe that when modern smokeless gun powder first came out it was viewed by many as a “Passing fad” that would never replace black Powder. There are definitely some new technology's worth using.

We may not change the world and to be honest I have no desire to do so. I do however have a deep felt desire to preserve as much of the old technology that is being lost as possible. All of it?? maybe not, we have certainly made some improvements, but much of what is seen as a “Better way” today comes at a great expense, either in un-sustainability, reliance upon an industrial complex, or a less healthy product, such as modern processed food. Yes, technology has made life easier, but at a cost for sure.

So what does all this mean (besides the ramblings of “One of those wacko self-sufficient, survivalist type crazy people” that we are sometimes thought to be). To me it means I need to prepare to become more self sufficient myself. Not just for the sake of protecting MY future, but also for the sake of preserving and passing on the information to my children. I feel a responsibility to them to prepare them with the knowledge they may some day need to sustain their chosen lifestyle, or maybe even their life. I also feel a certain responsibility to show others that this is not just an academic, historical exercise, but a viable means by which to live. A lifestyle that offers long term sustainability and satisfaction. A lifestyle that does not shun new technology all together, but rather one that embraces improvements, without simply dismissing all the old technology. In this endeavor my actions will speak much louder than my words ever could. Not all will be open, but those that have an interest will appreciate our efforts, choose who you share with wisely.

So what do you do now????

Listen, learn, prepare and go out and tell someone about a self sustaining lifestyle that can offer great personal satisfaction, even use words if you have to!!

Thanks for listening
 

Attachments

·
Banned
Joined
·
292 Posts
I think that, once upon a time, city life was probably alright. People left the long hours and sparse living of the country for an easier life with greater opportunity in the city. This was in the days of 9 to 5, weekends off, paid holidays, etc. Nowadays that just does not cut it if you want to make it in a major city. I have friends working 80 hours in finance, hotel management, and restaurants.

Even when they are off, they have their little hand held gizmos with them everywhere, constantly in touch with their job, constantly going back and forth with texts and emails. Technically they get time off but if they take it they lose their place in the pecking order. Whats worse, is that the cost of living in these places means that they still can't get ahead, even with all the hours.

I tried it, I lived in the city and it just never appealed to me. It's crowded, dirty, and depressing. I was never so lonely as when I lived elbow to elbow with millions of people.

I can imagine it the way it was, and even the way you could see it was on old reels, and pictures. Cities were big but the populations were still relatively small. My dad used to tell me when he was a kid that there just weren't half the people in the city as there are now. Demand for work was high because it was growing, so wages, benefits, and consideration for workers was better.

Now contrast that with how things have changed in the country and on family farms, etc. We don't have to spend months wearing ourselves down to cut wood by hand. We have the chainsaw. We have high efficiency mowers, rakes and balers for hay collection. What took a whole family a week of back breaking work can be done by one man in an afternoon! Veterinary medicine is more advanced, our understanding of livestock care and disease prevention is better. We know more about soil and how to hold it. I work on my farm everyday, seven days a week but, look... I'm here at two oclock chatting online. I just had a nice meal and I'll head out in a few minutes with my chainsaw and in 2 hours I'll cut more wood than any 2 men can do with a cross cut saw. I've never worked an 80 hour week on the farm, ever! ( even during haying)

Alot of the problems that wiped people out and caused so much hardship on the small farm are over. In contrast, the bright lights and easy living that the city promised doesn't exist anymore for most people.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
292 Posts
Yup, just got done cutting some wood, then cleaned the barn. Now I'll relax a while and bring the animals back from grazing in about an hour then I'm done for the day.

My friend who manages a restaurant started about 10am and wont get off until 11pm. A friend of mine who works for Goldman Sacks will get off about 7pm and he'll answer texts, and emails until about 10. They both live in small apartments and struggle to make their bills. But everytime I talk to them they remind me that farming is a hard life :shrug: And they wouldn't want to do it. I just nod solemnly and keep quiet ;)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
210 Posts
Junkman, the junkstore/antique store sounds like some of the ones up in Hardy! Love that town and going through the stores. Have to admit though as I get older the antiques are items I used when growing up!!! We too have used a lot of the hand tools and still know how to use them. We have a lot of handtools although I do love my DeWalt battery tools! :)

My wife and I keep in practice with all sorts of non-powered tools when we can.

BTW how did you get our coffee pot out of our Arkansas cabin? LOL!!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13,422 Posts
You can buy those style of coffee pots in the camping section at Walmart for $15. I picked a new one up a couple of weeks ago.

The design is kind of poor though in that you have to make an entire pot of coffee for it to reach the little basket where the grounds sit. In order to not waste water, I generally use that pot to boil the water and then pour it into my little French Press. :)
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,184 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
I always just boil water then pour the grounds in. I do not have a little basket in mine. Just pour a little bit of cold water on the top when you are done and they mostly all go down. A few coffee grounds never hurt nobody.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13,422 Posts
I always just boil water then pour the grounds in. I do not have a little basket in mine. Just pour a little bit of cold water on the top when you are done and they mostly all go down. A few coffee grounds never hurt nobody.
I tend to re-use the grounds 3-4 times before I toss them, so I like to keep them contained as much as possible. But yeah, some always escapes. It ain't exactly Starbucks.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,184 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
I have heard of using an egg for it also. Always seemed like a waste of an egg to me. Unless you were to eat the egg after?? I think I would rather have coffee grounds in my coffee, rather than eat an egg with coffee grounds??

When I am going away from home out in the woods to work, like cutting wood or something, and it is cold. I make hot chocolate and melt butter in it. The butter adds lots of readily accessible calories that are easily used up. Probably not the best idea if you were just sitting on the couch watching TV as the extra calories may add up? But you can pack lots of calories with a small amount of butter or lard. Much more compact calories than in other foods.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13,422 Posts
When I am going away from home out in the woods to work, like cutting wood or something, and it is cold. I make hot chocolate and melt butter in it. The butter adds lots of readily accessible calories that are easily used up. Probably not the best idea if you were just sitting on the couch watching TV as the extra calories may add up? But you can pack lots of calories with a small amount of butter or lard. Much more compact calories than in other foods.
I think I'm gonna go make some now! Mmm ... butter ...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,727 Posts
To me a city has a purpose. But in my opinion, it's a place you could go to work, then when you are done working, go back home to the country where life is clean and comfortable. When they started stacking people on top each other it's gone to far. People were never meant to live like that. When you fight nature, you will eventually lose.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
17 Posts
I keep some cheese cloth and a little metal twist tie. I put my grounds in it and drop it in. When the pot is empty, I pull it out and put it in a little zip to reuse a second time. When it has been used up, I empty the grounds on one of my potted plants to keep aphids away, and add more grounds for the new pot. I guess it's because i'm a girl, I don't like grit in my coffee. :coffee:
 
1 - 14 of 14 Posts
Top