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21 Hand-Powered Tools & Appliances | The Power Of Primitive Tools

I don’t think hand-powered tools and utensils have ever really gone out of style. I know they have never lost their purpose, that’s for sure! The power of primitive tools is starting to regain some popularity for many reasons. One of them being, what’s old to one is new to the next. There seems to be an increase of off-gridders, hikers, campers, survivalists and travelers which brings about this particular article.

Whether these are tools you add to your collection just for back-up or for regular use, these 21 tools and appliances are worth checking out. For some, it may bring back memories and for others a new find, so let’s get started.

primitive tools hand drill

  • Air Pumps – Hand or foot powered air pumps are a fantastic tool to have around. Before it was the norm for the average household to have air compressors in the garage, there were these simple pumps. You could use them to fill sports balls, bike tires, air mattresses, and even car tires although that took a little while. Hand air pumps are also really great to use when filling balloons at your next big party. Easy to use, lightweight, and simple to store.
  • Grinding Wheel – The hand-powered grinding wheel is something that could be found in many workshops, some still use them today. These bad boys are great for sharpening knives, hatchets, and axes. It takes a little longer to sharpen something using the hand-powered grinding wheel. However, there’s a little more safety because you have more control of the action and force. Whereas the electric or fuel powered grinders have a tendency to snap tools or send them flying.
  • Drills – There is a variety of hand drills that are just as effective as the battery powered drills. Sure, just as with many of the tools on this list the job may take a little longer to get done. However, when there’s no power source around or available there’s no problem. I do a little woodworking and building and I find it more enjoyable to use hand tools for my projects. These hand drills are pretty amazing.
  • Saws – Hand saws are one of the more common hand tools used, even to fell trees.
  • Scythe – Typically used as a Halloween prop and in scary movies but the scythe is actually a very useful tool on a farm or homestead. Farmers would reap the fields come early morning using a scythe. There’s no gas to use, smoke to smell, or loud engines whirring in your ear. There’s more of a connection between person and plant, that’s how I see it anyway.
  • Bow Drills – A tool used for making fire but also for drilling holes. You could say this drill was the inspiration that lead to the invention of the Hand-powered drill. This drill is very primitive and uses sticks, twine or vine, and an arrowhead or sharp rock. The bow drill requires a little more work than a hand-drill but can be just as effective.
  • Augers – The hand auger is the tool that was used for drilling holes for water wells and things of that nature. Augers come in many shapes and sizes and are designed to suit different terrain.
  • Clocks & Timers: Before everything become battery powered or electric clocks and timers were all wind up. You can still buy them today, they are made to work using spring action so you just wind it up and when it’s time it will buzz. Wind-up alarm clocks were always fun to deal with and I find them easier to quiet than the electric versions.

The Next 12 Items Are Kitchen Appliances

primitive tools old fashioned hand mixer

primitive tools old fashioned hand mixer

  • Mixers – Hand-powered mixers allow you to mix ingredients for cake batter and many other recipes. Appliances break all the time so having one of these on hand can save a meal. Living off of the grid taught me a lot about the old ways. Especially how they’re good for the modern age.
  • Blenders – There’s nothing more annoying than blending up a margarita or a milkshake and the motor in the bender going out. With a little muscle power and a hand-powered blender your problems are solved.
  • Beaters – I think using hand beaters for little things like eggs or whipping cream are better to have, especially when it comes time for clean up. You don’t have to take anything apart or unplug it, just wash it off in the sink.
  • Kitchen Timers – Digital timers that are built into stoves are wonderful….if you’re in the kitchen when it beeps. These little crank timers can go anywhere with you. They are also usually much louder and ring longer than the electric versions. I love to put brownies in the oven and still be able to go work out in the garden. I just bring my timer along.
  • Juice Press – Hand powered juice presses are efficient for making small batches of juice but they are also really awesome at zesting the fruits for you too.
  • Pestle & Mortar – I make my own medicines and grow my own herbs having a pestle and mortar are amazing tools to have. It seems more organic to me to use hand tools.
  • Butter Churn – Who doesn’t love old fashioned churn butter? Whip some up in small or large batches using the hand churn.
  • Food Dehydrators – Using an old fashioned food dehydrator/drying rack seems to hold in more of the flavor than using the quick equipment.
  • Food Processors – I remember the day I found out I could still make a nice pesto sauce off the grid. It makes camping trips and outings a little healthier because you can still bring the freshness to the table.
  • Pasta Machine – There’s nothing nicer than making homemade pasta and rolling it out in the machine by hand. I think it adds a little touch of magic.
  • Mandolin Slicer – Homemade chips are the bomb. Before I learned of the mandolin slicer I used a potato peeler, need I say more.
  • Oil Press – Hand pressed oil is delicious. It seems to me that the slower methods to cooking and preparing foods hold in more of the flavors and goodness.
  • Grinders: Meat and Grain – When the local butcher has some meat on sale for a steal it’s nice to get extra and grind your own meat into burger.

pasta machine The Power Of Primitive Tools

pasta machine The Power Of Primitive Tools

If you are a fan of the old or a fan of the new, this list of hand powered tools and appliances might have something to show you that you’ve never considered. Sometimes it’s the hard work that brings about more of a humble feeling and satisfaction in what you’ve accomplished. Old school is the New school.

Did you enjoy our post on the Power of Primitive Tools and Appliances? Let us know in the comments section below!

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Self Sufficiency

NYC Adds Nearly 4,000 People Who Never Tested Positive To Coronavirus Death Tolls

New York City added nearly 4,000 people who never tested positive for the coronavirus to its death toll Tuesday, bringing coronavirus-related deaths in the city to around 10,000 people.

The city decided to add 3,700 people to its death tolls, who they “presumed” to have died from the virus, according to a report from The New York Times. The additions increased the death toll in the U.S. by 17%, according to the Times report, and included people who were suffering from symptoms of the virus, such as intense coughing and a fever.

The report stated that Democratic New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio decided over the weekend to change the way the city is counting deaths.

“In the heat of battle, our primary focus has been on saving lives,” de Blasio press secretary Freddi Goldstein told the Times.“As soon as the issue was raised, the mayor immediately moved to release the data.”

The post New York City added nearly 4,000 people who never tested positive for the coronavirus to its death toll appeared first on Daily Caller

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Self Sufficiency

How To Make Lacto-Fermented Sauerkraut In A Mason Jar

The thing about homesteading is you get to create your own ingredient right from scratch! Cheese, yogurt, butter and now sauerkraut, a delightfully sour and crunchy ingredient you can use on your meals — or consume by itself — while on a homestead, or while facing this health crisis!

This homemade sauerkraut is a great meal because it has a long shelf life. You can either make plain sauerkraut or mix it with herbs and spices. In this tutorial let us make Lacto-fermented sauerkraut that preserves all the good probiotics in a jar, good for your guts.

So how to make sauerkraut in a mason jar?

RELATED: How To Make Buttermilk On Your Homestead

Delicious Sauerkraut Recipe Every Homesteader Should Know

Why Make Sauerkraut?


Not only does sauerkraut spoil a long time, but it is also a meal in itself, and it is also easy to make! You don’t need to be an expert cook, all you need to do is follow these simple steps.

So let us get started. Here are the steps in making sauerkraut in a mason jar.


  • 1 head of cabbage or 2 1/2 lbs cabbage
  • 1 tablespoon of salt

Tools Needed:

  • knife
  • bowl
  • mason jar
  • smaller jar
  • rubber band

Step 1: Wash & Clean the Tools & Ingredients

Wash all the equipment and utensils you need. Wash your hands too.

You don’t want to mix your sauerkraut with bad bacteria, anything that is going to make you sick.

Next, remove the faded leaves from your cabbage. Cut off the roots and the parts that don’t seem fresh.

Step 2: Cut the Cabbage Into Quarters & Slice Into Strips

Cut your cabbage into quarters and remove the core. Then, slice it into strips.

Step 3: Place in a Bowl & Sprinkle With Salt

Put the stripped cabbage into a bowl. Sprinkle the cabbage with 1 tablespoon of salt.

TIP: Use canning salt or sea salt. Iodized salt will make it taste different and may not ferment the cabbage.

RELATED: Homemade Yogurt Recipe

Step 4: Massage the Cabbage

Massage the cabbage for five minutes or more to get the juice out.

TIP: You’ll know it’s ready when you see a bit of juice at the bottom of the bowl and will look similar to coleslaw.

Step 5: Press Cabbage Into the Mason Jar

Add the cabbage to the mason jar gradually. Press it in hard to allow the juice to come out. Do this every time you add about a handful of cabbage.

IMPORTANT: Food should be covered by the liquid to promote fermentation. Add any excess liquid from the bowl to the jar.

Step 6: Press a Smaller Jar Into the Mason Jar

You want to squeeze every ounce of that juice from the cabbage. To do this place the mason jar in a bowl and get a smaller jar.

Fill it with water or marble to make it heavy. Press it into the bigger mason jar. Allow any juices to rise to the surface.

Step 7: Cover the Jars With Cloth & Tie With Rubber Band

Leave the small jar on. To keep your jars clean from annoying insects and irritating debris, cover your jars with a clean cloth. Then, use a rubber band to tie the cloth and the jars together, putting them in place.

Step 8: Set Aside & Check Daily

Set it aside in a cool dry place, away from direct sunlight. Check the water level daily. It should always be above the cabbage.

Step 9: Taste Your Sauerkraut & Keep at Cool Temperatures

Homemade Sauerkraut Cumin Juniper | How To Make Lacto-Fermented Sauerkraut In A Mason Jar

After about five days, you can taste your sauerkraut. If the taste is to your liking, tightly cover it with the lid and store in the fridge or cellar.

NOTE: If after five days it’s still not your desired taste, leave it for a few more days. This will allow the fermentation process to continue.

You can now enjoy your sauerkraut in a mason jar. Enjoy its goodness! You can use it as a side dish or mix it with your favorite sandwich.

Things to Remember in Making Sauerkraut

  • Store away from direct sunlight and drafts.
  • Colder weather will make the process longer. Spring is the best time to make them since the warmth helps activate the fermentation.
  • Always make sure that the cabbage is below the water level during the entire fermentation process.
  • If the water level decreases during the fermentation process, you can make a brine and add it.

Let us watch this video from Kristina Seleshanko on how to make delicious Lacto-fermented sauerkraut in a mason jar!

So there you have it! Making Lacto-fermented sauerkraut in a mason jar is as easy as slicing the cabbage into strips. Remember that as long it remains unopened, your sauerkraut can last for months. Best of all, you can partner this sauerkraut in many recipes.

What do you think of this homemade recipe? Share your best sauerkraut recipe in the comments section below!

Fellow homesteaders, do you want to help others learn from your journey by becoming one of our original contributors? Write for us!


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Self Sufficiency


Having plants in the house will bring peace to people. Having a little garden with vegetables is even better! You can grow these vegetables in your backyard garden easily as well!

RELATED: Microgreens Growing Guide

In this article:

  1. Tomato
  2. Eggplant
  3. Beet
  4. Spinach
  5. Pea
  6. Carrot
  7. Radish
  8. Cauliflower
  9. Asparagus

Growing veggies in your garden will give you an opportunity to understand what you eat and value it more. Early spring is when most vegetables are being planted. Keep reading to learn about 9 spring vegetables that anyone can grow in their garden!


Tomato is the most popular garden vegetable in the States! There are different varieties to choose from. Tomatoes need to be planted in early spring because they won’t survive a frost.

Because tomatoes are consumed daily, try adding them to your garden! They’re not difficult to grow either.


Eggplants are known to have low-calorie, vitamins, minerals, and nutrients. Plus, they are delicious! So why not plant them in your garden?

Eggplants shouldn’t be planted too early because they won’t be able to survive a frost. So you could consult an expert in your area before you plant your eggplants.


Beets are known to be a superfood for its various health benefits. They’re easier to grow in the garden, usually around late March or early April.

If the weather is always cool, beets will keep getting bigger and bigger. Once the weather starts to warm up, you’ll need to harvest them, or they’ll go to waste.


Spinach is a delicious early spring veggie, and it’s also very beneficial for health. And it’s not difficult to grow spinach in your garden!

Spinach needs cold weather to grow. Getting spinach to grow is easy, but keeping it growing will require some extra care.


Peas are usually planted in late April. Peas will die in freezing temperatures, but they also won’t survive the heat either. So make sure you plant your peas in early spring.

Peas are widely used in many different ways, and there are different types of peas. The soil you’ll be planting your peas should be suitable for them, so make sure you ask while buying seeds.


There are different types of carrots, but regardless of their size and color, it’s a fact that carrots are both delicious and rich in vitamins.

They’re root vegetables, so with proper sun and watering, they can be picked up as baby carrots as well.


A radish is an excellent option for beginners because it doesn’t require too much care. Radish is easy to harvest.

Radish grows fast, so it’s better to keep an eye on it after a few weeks. Radish usually is grown pest-free, but there’s always the chance of unwanted guests, so watch out for worms. Radish can be eaten raw or can be added to garnish recipes.


Cauliflower isn’t the easiest vegetable to grow at home, but it is very popular.

Cauliflower grows better in colder weather, so before you plant it, consider the climate of your garden. Cauliflower can be eaten raw or cooked, and it is known to be very beneficial for health.


Freshly picked, tender asparagus is very delicious!

Asparagus plants get more productive with each harvest, and mature asparagus harvest can last for months! Make sure you plant them at the correct time, or else they might go to waste.

All the vegetables listed above are great for your healthy diet, and it’s fun to watch them grow. So don’t miss out on the opportunity to grow your own veggies and eat healthy this spring!

So tell us which veggies will you be growing this spring? Tell us in the comments section!




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