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6 Off-Grid Lessons From Amish Life We All Should Learn

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Visitors to my neighborhood in central Maine are often startled by the presence of Amish people. Locals, though, are accustomed to the yellow road signs with black silhouettes of horse-drawn buggies, tracks of bicycle tires and horse hooves in the snow on the shoulder, and the sight of women in bonnets and long dresses in line at the local grocery store. The handful of families that arrived eight years ago have grown into a sizeable and thriving group which coexists well within the greater community.

As neighbors, friends, vendors and customers, the Amish provide an integral niche in the lives of other residents. Sharing a region with the Amish is rewarding. They are my go-to for organic livestock grain, barn boots, fresh vegetables and kitchen gadgets, as well as the source for my full-sized wood cook stove.

I am a regular customer at an Amish dairy farm, as well. I drive out to the milk room every Saturday to pick up rich raw Jersey milk, leave off clean jars to be filled for next week, and drop my money into an open plastic bucket on the shelf.

Customers for ready-made buildings, bicycle repair, and charcuterie also seek out Amish businesses. But commerce goes both ways. The Amish buy from local merchants, hire drivers for transportation, provide education at agricultural events, and contribute to municipal building projects.

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Living in close proximity to Amish people as I do, it is easy to observe the way they live. I often admire the large homes with tidy no-nonsense yards as I pass by, or smile at the sight of school-aged children helping parents hang laundry on the line or hauling firewood. While they are certainly human and by no means perfect, they do portray a highly venerable lifestyle.

My experiences with Amish people have led me to believe that there are many positive things to be said for the way they live their lives. Following are six ways that I think they are doing it right.

1. Community is everything. A friend told me a story of how, when she first arrived from out-of-state for the purpose of living sustainably, she told an Amish woman she encountered of her plans. “Oh my dear,” the Amish woman said gently, touching my friend’s arm, “you need community in order to do that.”

As a homesteader, I cannot agree more with that statement. Living on the land is a tough row to hoe for a single household. The sense of isolation and the feeling of being overwhelmed are two of the most common reasons people consider giving up homesteading.

6 Ways Amish Life Is Just Plain Better

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Amish people band together for building homes and barns, tending animals and gardens, supporting one another’s economic endeavors, completing household and culinary tasks, and spiritual solidarity. They buy land and build homes in clusters that support their sense of collective cooperation in a way that much of mainstream society no longer does.

2. Technology is a tool, not a master. Contrary to popular belief, Amish people do use modern technology. They have very localized rules, enabling some groups to use technology more or differently than do other groups. I have seen Amish people ride buses, hire cars, keep telephones in outside buildings, operate chainsaws, and shop at big box stores. The line in the sand might be defined at that which keeps them adequately separated from those who do not share their beliefs.

I wonder if it is also a question of what serves whom—they seek to use that which will serve their needs and reject that which may come to control them.

3. Comfort and value trump trendy and superficial. When I see Amish people, they appear neat and put-together, in clothes that fit well and do not have holes or missing buttons. But while they do take pride in their appearance in that way—and I assume that most individuals try to look their best—they do not embrace mainstream trends.

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I see fun holey rubber clogs on their feet, but no designer bags on their arms. It seems that value is measured by actual usefulness instead of by what is perceived as valuable to others.

6 Ways Amish Life Is Just Plain Better

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4. They are not slaves to society’s expectations. Many Americans hate to let society control them, but most do not reject the insidious pressure to do so as well as the Amish. No big screen TVs. No fancy cars. No cruises. No body waxing or tanning beds. No political correctness. No four-star restaurants. No smart phones. No social media. All those things that mainstream culture tries to tell us we cannot live without? The Amish live without them.

At first glance, the Amish lifestyle seems restrictive. But when the absence of having to keep up with the Joneses is taken into account, maybe their lives are ones of freedom, not restriction.

5. They do not expect anything for free. Amish people work hard and expect to be paid accordingly, but do not ask to be paid extra. They ask nothing of the greater public and nothing of the government. They pay taxes like everyone does, and occasionally grumble about them like everyone does. But I would be surprised to see many Amish people applying for state benefits.

6. They do not lose sleep over politics. Without television or social media in their lives, many issues that flood mainstream airwaves can be lost on the Amish. Whether or not Sarah Palin knows about foreign affairs or whether Hillary Clinton used a specific email account to send sensitive documents—none of that matters to those solely focused on home and family. Amish people do hold strong opinions on many subjects, but do not get caught up into distant controversies.

It is true that no one culture has all the answers, and no single way of doing things is right for everyone. But the Amish do practice a lifestyle admired by many, and I count myself as fortunate to share my neighborhood with them. I appreciate the value they bring to the community, and I love the ways they do things right.

Do you agree or disagree? What would you add to this story? Share your thoughts in the 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?

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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.

Ingredients:

  • 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!

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Self Sufficiency

9 SPRING VEGETABLES FOR YOUR GARDEN

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!

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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

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.

Eggplant

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

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

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.

Pea

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.

Carrot

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.

Radish

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

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.

Asparagus

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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