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9 Things I Always Have at the Barn | Homesteading Essentials

Home Self Sufficiency Emergency Prep 9 Things I Always Have at the Barn | Homesteading Essentials

Homestead tips from a real farmer, and best advice for tools and equipment to A L W A Y S have on hand at the barn.

9 Things I Always Have at the Barn

Never Get Caught Without These Things At The Barn

By Katy Light of Poppy Creek Farms

In my experience, things go wrong at the barn under some very specific conditions:

1 – You just ran up there to grab something and you’re wearing pjs and / or flip flops;

2 – You were on your way out and just noticed something out of place out of your peripheral vision;

3 – You have two minutes to spare before visitors arrive to look at a chicken / goat / rabbit;

4 – It’s raining / snowing / storming / there’s a tornado forecast

5 – A combination of any or all of the above

Therefore, there is a selection of things I always like to keep at the barn, just in case. I find that having these items quickly on hand can foil the escape attempts of most creatures, and fix whatever it was that they tore down.

I truly saw the value of the items on this list recently, as my mature bucks – angora and nigerian dwarf – all came into rut as the females began to cycle. While rut has previously always been a relatively civilized experience, this year the bucks really knocked it out of the ball park. The five bucks I had on property went wild, fighting each other with an aggression I had never previously seen and, no matter how many fences or walls I put between them, they simply flattened them and left them in their wake.

Buy yourself a small tote or Rubbermaid tub to keep all this in, or even one of the nylon bucket covers that you can get from Home Depot or Lowes and slip over a 5-gallon bucket. Having it all together in an easy-to-grab place will save time, effort – and frayed nerves!

9 Things To ALWAYS HAVE On Hand At The Homestead:

1. Zip ties

Zip Ties | 9 Things I Always Have at the Barn

Using Zip Ties | 9 Things I Always Have at the Barn

Zip Ties for The Barn | 9 Things I Always Have at the Barn

I keep zipties in three sizes. I like the 8”, 14” and 24”. I used to use baling twine (the string they put around bales of hay and straw) for anything and everything, but since the green string became more popular than the orange, I’ve found zip ties to be more useful. The green string frays way too easily and snaps at the least convenient moments, I’ve found. Use zip ties for temporary fence fixes, for pulling wire taut if it is sagging, for keeping a cage latched if the lock breaks (or if another animal has figured out how to open the lock!), for pulling tarps tight when used as windbreaks, the list is endless.

2. Scissors

Scissors | 9 Things I Always Have at the Barn

Scissors for trimming wings on a bird determined to fly out of a pen and get eaten by your LGD or a stray dog or coyote. Also invaluable in the situation where a bird may have gotten a stray piece of string wrapped around a foot (I find that the strings from feed bags are especially elusive, even though I am fanatical about picking them up and putting them in the trash). And, in the absence of battery operated clippers (the batteries never hold a charge to my satisfaction), you can carry them out to the pasture if a goat has gotten itself wrapped up in stickers, thorns or brush and needs releasing.

3. Fencing pliers

Fencing Pliers | 9 Things I Always Have at the Barn

The one-stop-shop tool for hammering, pulling, cutting and prying. It’s everything you need!

4. First aid kit

via poppy creek farm

First Aid Kit | 9 Things I Always Have at the Barn

This is my first aid kit, here. It has everything that I keep on hand, and everything is what I would class as an essential. It covers the main disasters that can occur, including some random ones that have caught me out and I’ve learned from experience. In all but a few circumstances, it’ll get the job done, or cover your back until you can call a vet.

5. Knife / Leatherman

Knife / Leatherman | 9 Things I Always Have at the Barn

I keep a knife on hand at all times, and my husband carries a Leatherman all the time. You just never know when you’ll need a sharp blade, pair of pliers or a screwdriver in the barn.

6. Baling String

Baling String | 9 Things I Always Have at the Barn

If you can get your hands on the coveted orange stuff, hoard it. It’s actually better for stringing tarps when used as roofs or rain shelters than zip ties, because it allows for some blowing.

7. Slip lead


Slip Lead | 9 Things I Always Have at the Barn

This is for arresting a runaway goat! I always find that the one I want to catch is the one without a collar on… Also useful for leading horned goats who believe that leading by the horns is rude; one of mine will run right through the backs of my legs, head down, if I try to lead him by the horns.

8. Halter and Lead Rope

Halter and Lead Rope | 9 Things I Always Have at the Barn

This is essential for anyone who owns horses. I do not turn out in halters, except for a particularly skittish youngster who hates to be caught (always use a leather or breakaway halter if turning out in one). If a fence is down, horses will often grab the opportunity to go looking for the greener grass, so keep one halter and lead rope on hand for each horse in the pasture.

9. Bucket and small amount of feed

via etsy

Bucket and Small Amount of Feed | 9 Things I Always Have at the Barn

It’s good to keep one in the barn. In case of a breakout, rattling a bucket with feed works wonders in corralling the runaways.

That’s all, fellow homesteaders! Did you enjoy our list of 9 Things I Always Have at the Barn? Let us know in the comments section below what you thought of our list of 9 Things I Always Have at the Barn. Do you have an object in your barn that’s a staple on your homestead? Share it with us and we’ll give it a shot!!

Katy Light has a 44 acre homestead in North Georgia, where she raises goats, rabbits, sheep and chickens. She is passionate about self-sufficiency, natural ways to live, and fiber. Find her blog at She can be reached at [email protected].

Want to have a laugh with some funny barn fails? Then check out this video from FailArmy:

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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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