Start A Lifestyle Change And Become A Urban Homesteader

Start A Lifestyle Change And Become A Urban Homesteader

Who says that homesteading or living off the grid is a fad? I hear this from time to time but in reality being a homesteader is a growing trend and has been growing since the 1960’s. More and more people are turning to homesteading in order to separate themselves from growing government corruption, corporate America, wanting to live a similar life style and then there are some folks that are turning to homesteading in order to reduce the carbon footprint and impact on the environment.

If you are one of these people that is looking to start a new way of life then you have come to the right place. Learning how and where to start can be very frustrating and confusing. Many people including myself have jumped into projects head first and learnt the hard and expensive way and wasted a lot of hard earned money. Here we are going to take things slow in order to process the transition into living as an urban homesteader. By doing things slow the lifestyle change and the cost will not be an overwhelming experience for you and it will help you from failing.

Getting Started To Be A Homesteader

One of the things that most urban homesteading families will start with is gardening. Most people do not have an acre or two to start a garden. I highly recommend starting with a raised garden about 4ft x 8ft or 6ft x 10ft if you have the space. Don’t try growing all the food you need for a year right from the beginning, try just growing a few items and then when you’re comfortable growing these vegetables then expand and make your garden larger so you can add more items. Great resource for the Backyard Gardener .

Preserve Food

You have grown your food, you are enjoying eating what you have grown. Now you need to store some of this food for the future. One way to do this is by canning. Many people are afraid of the idea of canning. In this article: Water-Bath Canning I explain how easy it is to get started with canning what you have grown.

Form Partnerships

Many of us are not skilled at everything and some people have knowledge in one or two fields of expertise. This may be hard for many of us including me, but we need to talk to our neighbors and get to know them and find out what they are good at. Back many years ago before technology many of us knew our neighbors and we made friends with people around us. But today we may simply wave to our neighbors and I bet most of us do not even know our neighbors name. We need to break out of this mold and build some friendships and partnerships with the people that live around us. These friendships and partnerships will come in handy when disaster comes and we cannot rely on technology to save us.

Lay Your Own Eggs

Now this may sound far-fetched but have you ever considered having your own chickens in your backyard?  Many homesteaders have chickens in their backyards for supplying many things that homesteaders need to have. There are many advantages to raising your own chickens. My wife and I started about four years ago raising chickens. We started by having five baby chickens that were about a week old, we made sure that they all were hens and no roosters. In about six months we started having fresh eggs from our girls. Now besides fresh eggs we also have fresh nitrogen rich soil from our girls that we use in our garden. We give the chickens our food scraps and they just love when we bring out these treats for them. These recycling machines turn our food scraps into great compost for our raised gardens. Chickens are fun to raise and the grand kids love coming over and playing with these feathered girls of ours. In an upcoming post we will talk in depth about raising chickens and making a chicken coop.

Store Water

Living here in Central Florida one of the things we do every spring is stock-up on water. Living on a well is great for having great tasting water but when we lose power we lose the use of our well. Besides hurricanes that knock out our power we get a tremendous amount of thunderstorms that knocks out the power grid. All it takes is a lightning strike or a tree to fall and there goes the power and our water source. We could be without power for an hour or we could be without power for days, ether way you want to make sure that you have water stored for these times. The nice thing is water is cheap and easy to store. Depending on the size of your family will determine how much water you will need to have on hand. For my wife and I we will usually pick up about six to cases of bottled water each spring for the upcoming summer. Water is very important when you are considering being a homesteader.

Conclusion

Now this is not everything that you will need to be a homesteader but it will get you started in the right direction. In upcoming post we will start digging deeper into what it takes to be a homesteader or living off the grid. This post should help you get started and get you thinking of what you may need to get yourself started down the road of changing your lifestyle.

 

 

Posted by Tom in Urban Homesteader
Surviving a EMP Strike Even If It Is A Natural Disaster

Surviving a EMP Strike Even If It Is A Natural Disaster

A few years ago when I started my prepping it was because of a book that a friend of mine loaned me called the “One Second After” written by William R. Forstchen . After reading this amazing book I knew that I needed to start getting ready for whatever event would take place on this planet from a minor inconvenience like loosing power do to some sort of natural storm or a major catastrophic event.

Every day I read the news to see what is happening in this crazy world that we live in.  If you are not living under a rock you can see for yourself that things around the world are spinning totally out of control.  Everyday there are articles about how our enemies like Russia, China, Iran  and etc. are ready to take us on head to head in war. The one country that has my interest peeked at the moment is North Korea. The unstable radical President  seems to be putting on the finishing touches on a ballistic missile or some sort of satellite nuclear bomb.  This crazy person has only one intention in life it seems and it is to wipe the United States off the map. 

Additional reading: “Link”.

More Reading: “Link

Why Should We Prep?

Most of us prep for various reasons and it is by all means great to be ready for whatever comes our way. A household should have about twelve months of supplies on hand for whatever disaster comes our way. When I talk about disasters I just don’t mean war or being taken over by zombies or aliens, what I am talking about could just be a natural disaster like tornadoes, hurricanes, solar flares or etc. Whatever the risk you need to be prepared and have the basic understanding and supplies on hand for whatever comes our way.

Most people that have been prepping for a while may have head of “EMP” or Electromagnetic Pulse. If you read the articles that I have linked above or read the book “The One Second After” you will see that this is one of the number one threats to our country and our way of life.

What is an EMP?

Again an EMP is just an Electromagnetic Pulse and these pulses do happen periodically all around the world. So what is the big deal, let’s look deeper and you will see what the big deal really is.

When dealing with an EMP an EMP can be caused by either man made device like a nuclear explosion or it can happen by a natural disaster like a thunderstorm or a solar storm. Many of us have experienced an EMP on a small scale already and many of you have not even known it. Small EMP’s happen during lightning storms or major thunderstorms. Living here in Florida we have thunderstorms all year long and we lose our power with just about every thunderstorm. What happens is lightning hits a transformer in the neighborhood and it sends a large surge of electricity through the electric lines blowing other transformers or sends the energy down the lines to the homes. When this energy enters the home it blows out devices that are not connected to surge suppressors. These devices would be televisions, computers, dvd players, just about anything that is plugged into an electrical outlet. This would be a low-level EMP which just causes us to be inconvenienced and annoyed.

Now let’s take a look at an EMP which occurs on a much larger scale. An EMP could occur by either a foreign nuclear explosion or by a major solar storm which either of these could take place at any time. Now if a disaster like this was to take place we would be a lot more than inconvenienced it would a disaster that would cripple a nation or cripple the world. When this does take place it would not just leave us without power for a few days like a thunderstorm it would crash our whole way of life for many years.

Additional Reading:  Gauging the Threat of an Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP) Attack

Like I mentioned above, this threat is knocking on our door as we speak. The two articles that I linked above came this week when I was scanning my news that I read about what is happening in our enemy’s countries. The article satellite bomb talks about North Korea arming a satellite that would cause an EMP to go off over the United States. So the threat is real and if you are not preparing I would suggest start doing your homework and get started immediately.

Additional Reading:  What Happens When the Lights Go Out for Good?

When we talk about a major EMP taking place we are not just talking about not being able to watch television or running your electric hair dryer we are talking about everything that is plugged in to the power grid or anything that has electronic circuits will be fried and made unusable for good. If your car is newer than 20 years old then it will be fried and you will not be able to use it either. Now if you have a generator and you think you will be ok think again, generators have electrical parts in them so your generator will not work either.

What Do We Do

Now I am not saying all this to cause you to think like a mad person and you have to go out and purchase everything off the shelves at the store and start hording everything in your home. I want to scare you enough to start thinking like a prepper and get you to start preparing for the day that an EMP will take place. Whether an EMP by our enemy’s or an EMP by a solar storm you need to be ready. Solar storms that can cause an EMP take place about every 11 years. A major solar flare will take less than five minutes to cause major catastrophic destruction. Just like in the book “One Second After” planes fell out of the sky, transportation came to a halt, the power grid shut down, the nuclear power plants had major melt down, fires erupted all over the place, and so on. Life as we know it would be turned back in time to the 1800’s.

Here is Florida when a hurricane comes knocking on our door we see people running to the stores several days before the storm is to take place and wiping everything off the shelves that they can put in their carts. Gas stations have lines at the pumps, lumber yards selling all the building material as fast as it comes in. This is just for a possible storm, what will happen when disaster happens?

I remember back to the day of Y2K, we were supposed to lose everything and time was going to be turned back to 1900 and life was going to be over. Again people horded everything and there was panic on the streets. We were lucky back then and the threat was taken care of. But this kind of threat, either man made or natural cannot be contained. Get prepared and get your family ready for whatever happens, because it is going to happen one day we just don’t know when or how.

Posted by Tom in Homestead
Water-Bath Canning At Home To Preserve Food

Water-Bath Canning At Home To Preserve Food

Canning for a lot of people may seem like a lot of hard messy work or just sometimes extremely overwhelming. In reality it is fun, safe, a great way to save money and canning can be a great family

hobby.

I remember as a child my parents would do a lot of canning, my parents grew up in the depression so they learnt a lot of essential ways to make things last and one of them was canning.
When people think of canning they think that they will be needing to purchase a pressure cooker for canning, but in reality there is a
very simple way of canning called water-bath canning where you do not need a pressure cooker, all you will need is a large stock pot and some mason jars.
Water-bath canning is nothing new, it has been around for
years. A person can water-bath can for almost any food that is acidic foods. If the food group is low in acid then it is best to use a pressure cooker.

 

Items
Needed To Start Canning
  • To get started you will need a large tall pot, something on
    the order of a stock pot. After you put in your jars of fruit you will want to be able to fill the pot with water about 2 inches above the top of the jars.

 

    • You will also want another pot for boiling water in order to
    • sterilize the rings and lids of the jars.
    • Having a simple canning tool set makes things very handy for
      handling the jars and lids and the hot boiling water during the canning process.
    • Now check all the jars for cracks, nicks, sharp edges, be
      careful but run your finger along the top edge of the jar. Now check the rings and the lids that will be screwing onto the jars. Check them for dents, rust, bent, it is best to use only perfect jars and lids in order to get a good airtight seal. Wash the jars and lids, dishwashers are the best to make them as
      clean as possible, some recipes call for the jars and lids to be sterile.

    • Fill your pot about half full with clean warm water and put
      the pot on the stove centering the pot in the middle of the burner. Preheat the water to just simmering for raw canned foods and if the food is hot to be canned heat the water to just barely boiling.
    • While the water is preheating fill your jars with the food
      to be canned and work out any air using a nonmetallic spatula. Wipe the edge of the canning jars and lids with a clean dry cloth and install the lids on the filled jars. Adjust the band so the lids are snug on the jars so they do not leak.
  • Load the filled jars with the lids installed into the pot
    one at a time until you cannot get no other jars into the pot. Add more boiling water so that the water level is at least one to two inches above the tops of the jars. Then cover the pot.

  • Check the recipe that you are using to see how long the jars
    need to stay in the boiling water. If the water drops add more water to keep the jars covered. No need to have the jars in a rapid boiling bath, just make sure that the water continues to boil during the entire process. Once the recipe says the time is finished, turn off the heat to the burner and leave the jars in the water for an additional five minutes. Then lift the jars out of the water one at a time being careful not to tilt the jars.
  • After the jars are cooled and have rested for about six
    hours check the seals on the jars to make sure they are all fully sealed. If the seal did not hold, try the process again or use this jar first.

 

 


Posted by Tom in Homestead
Google Changing To Renewable Energy

Google Changing To Renewable Energy

Google Going Off The Power Grid:

Google announced in 2016 that in 2017 Google will be able to power all of it global centers and their corporate offices using 100% renewable energy. Google uses the same amount of energy as the city of San Francisco uses. With all of the offices, data centers and all their production companies around the country and world this is a large undertaking by Google to turn towards renewable energy and not rely on fossil fuels.

In the last several years Google started to look at signing long-term agreements to purchase renewable energy from solar and wind turbine farm suppliers. A lot of effort took place by top level executives behind the scenes to make these large purchases of carbon-free renewable energy purchase
agreements with twenty plus renewable energy projects. Technology companies similar
to Google use a lot of power to make their systems work and with electricity cost continue to rise electricity is one of the largest expense for these technology firms.
The Technology Giant
This technology giant is already the world’s largest corporate purchaser of renewable energy. Technology firms are one of the
biggest users of fossil fuels even more so than the aviation industry. Other tech companies like Apple and Microsoft have announced that they are looking into plans to power their data centers with forms or renewable energy. Apple has even entered into partnership with First Solar to invest 850 million in a solar plant. More and more corporations are looking into renewable power as their sources of energy. In the next several months we should be hearing updates about how the change is taking place for corporations like Google and Apple to switch from traditional electricity from the power
grid to renewable energy in an effort to reduce the carbon environmental footprint.
Posted by Tom in Off The Grid
Living Off The Grid Does Not Mean Being A Purist

Living Off The Grid Does Not Mean Being A Purist

LIVING OFF THE GRID: There are always people with an opinion on everything and of course their opinion is the only one that matters and the only one that is correct. When you search on the internet or talk to people about homesteading or living off the grid you will find a vast variety of information and people’s opinion about this subject.

One of the more controversial subject that people are very passionate about when it comes to living off the grid or any sort of homesteading is where and how you should live. To live off the grid does not mean that you have to become a recluse or stop enjoying modern day life or give up the enjoyment of a high tech society. To separate yourself from society and move to the wilderness and live off the land this is fine for those that want to be a purist and remove themselves and their family from all aspects of society.

 

Here we are not going to be going down the road of being a hermit or purist, we will be looking at ways to be more self-sufficient and use more of what God has given us in nature to live on.

 OFF GRID PERSPECTIVE

As the world is changing around us every-day and with these changes we need to have an open mind to these new and exciting things.

 

Just in my neighborhood alone in central Florida I have seen ten homes install solar panels in the last three months. Changes are taking place and we can use these changes to help us be more self-sufficient, make life easier and separate us from depending on being connected to the grid. This does not mean that we have to give up being connected to the internet, have a cell phone, use GPS for navigation, or use other new sources of high technology that will be coming out. We can still enjoy all these luxuries and still be off the grid and that is what we will be exploring in future post.

Posted by Tom in Off The Grid