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Self Sufficiency

The Ethics Of Homesteading

Sometimes, life gets in the way of what you always just knew you should be doing. Such was the case for me. I grew up in a farming community and, right from being a little girl, I always knew what it was that I wanted to do. Work with animals. I wanted to be a farmer, but somehow life and cost of living and good old-fashioned familial expectations got in the way. I graduated school and college and ended up with a Masters in Creative Writing, then spent many years working in print and online publishing.

In 2008, I decided enough was enough. I went back to being 100% freelance with my writing and editing, and my husband and I started to set up our own farm in North Georgia – Poppy Creek Farm.

As a child, we had kept chickens and cows, so my husband and I began small with just a few hens and a medium-sized garden plot where we grew herbs, peas, beans, tomatoes, peppers, onions and a variety of root vegetables. As an enthusiastic cook, I aimed to grow what I used most of in the kitchen; my idea was always maximum self sufficiency, and my husband was already a keen prepper, so this shaped our beginning endeavors.

chicken farming

The birds we started off with were hatchery chickens from the local feed store, but it wasn’t long before I realized that this didn’t fit with my overall animal-raising ethos. I believe that in order to truly raise quality food – eggs, meat or milk – you need to start with quality animals. When you are going to be breeding these animals for any period of time (and in a prepping situation, you have to plan for that period to be ‘indefinitely’), you really need heritage animals, in order for them to breed true.

I’m a big fan of the Livestock Conservancy, so I started there with some of my research. Over the following years, I learned more about the breeds and how they fit what we wanted for our farm, and I now raise the birds that work best for me: Orpingtons, Sussex and Barred Rocks. All are heritage birds from breeders who have worked hard to raise excellent birds which conform to the American Poultry Association Standard of Perfection, none from a hatchery. I chose them because of their excellent egg production, and the fact that mature birds have a good body size, and thus do well on the table. Extra roosters are never a bad thing here! I chose birds from reputable breeders, many of whom have since become friends. All the breeds I keep are docile by nature, and this is one of my main requirements; farming is a hard enough job as it is, without trying to work with flighty, crabby animals!

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I confess that I also keep a couple of birds simply because they are rare and beautiful, but of limited utility. A dear friend and highly respected lady in the poultry world slimmed her flock down a couple of years ago, and gifted me with a trio of Bantam Mille Fleur Cochins and another of Bantam Columbian Plymouth rocks. They are not the most prolific layers, when they do lay their eggs are small, and they’re far too little to be of any use as a meat bird. However, good quality birds of these breeds are hard to find, so they fall broadly under my header of ‘stewardship’; raising beautiful birds for future generations. At least – that’s how I justify them to my husband.

After the chickens came guineas. I love the idea of guineas, the practice significantly less so. While they have spectacular plumage, and their bug and tick fighting abilities are second to none, the constant noise they make causes me to fear for my sanity. I have tried twice since to keep these gorgeous birds, and it has always ended up the way it did the first time: with the guineas on Craigslist.

raising chickens

raising chickens

Goats are my other must-have for my farm. I researched and debated at length which of the breeds was best for us; large breeds give a superior quantity of milk, yet the smaller breeds give a sweeter, richer milk. I ended up with Nigerian Dwarfs as my small breed, their milk is high in butterfat and is simply delicious, yielding an impressive amount of cheese from each gallon. They are also easy to handle, impossibly cute, and can be turned out into the most overgrown areas as improbably fast weed-eating machines.

We chose American Dairy Goat Association (ADGA) registered stock from breeders who tested for the common goat diseases – TB, Brucellosis, CAE, CL and Johnes – because many of these diseases that can be found in goats have a human equivalent and can be passed through the milk. Because the milk was going to be consumed by our family, including our child, we felt that this was a top priority. Also, tested animals sell for a higher amount and are more desired by fellow producers. While it is tempting to keep all the adorable kids that are the by-product of wanting milk, we knew that eventually we would have to sell some!

goat farming

goat farming

The larger breed took longer to decide on. We knew we wanted one that we could keep for both milk and to raise the excess wethers for meat, but unlike the small breeds – of which the Nigerian is pretty much the only significant milk producer – there were SO many to choose from. Nubians, Saanens and Alpines were all readily available in our area, and we eventually settled on Saanens. These large, white, agreeable animals are dairy through and through, milk-making machines who just keep on giving gallons of milk a day. When we got to the point that no more milk could be absorbed by our family in the form of milk, cheese and ice-cream, and the freezer was full of milk for winter, the local cat rescue was delighted to have real, free milk to raise their orphaned kittens on. After all, cats eat mice, and rodents are the enemy of the farmer!

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The final caprine addition was Angoras. As a very small child, I was taught to spin and crochet, and I felt that this was a useful skill to add to our prepping arsenal. Two does and a buck were added to our farm the first year, and our herd now stands at three angora bucks, three angora does and three pygora (pygmy x angora) does. Each animal yields up to 1″ of fiber a month, and they are shaved twice a year, giving 3-5lbs of fiber per shearing each. I find the fiber has a high barter value, and have acquired useful items and additional stock by offering it for trade.

Bartering is a vastly underrated tool, in my opinion. I have found that as the economy looks worse and worse, and people’s disposable income lowers, I can have more success bartering than selling. For instance, just in the last few months, I needed to get rid of a bunch of chickens that were not suited to my breeding pens; I breed heavily and then cull heavily to keep only the best birds who are large, thrifty and meeting the standard of perfection, but culls are perfectly useable yard birds for eggs and meat. After selling only a handful through my usual channels, I decided to take a look around the farm and get ready for winter and breeding season.

farming goats

farming goats

I added just one line to the bottom of my ‘for sale’ ads: ‘Will trade for gates, cattle panels, t-posts and hay’. My phone started ringing off the hook. Within two weeks, I had moved all the birds, and had obtained enough round bales to last several months, enough gates to finish my fencing, and enough t-posts and cattle panels to stall my barn out into kidding pens. My husband, exhausted from my brutal honey-do list of bashing posts and wiring gates for houdini miniature goats, declared it my greatest idea yet.

Next spring will see me tilling my garden with bunny poop – I have decided that meat rabbits are some of the most productive animals ever; they have large litters, produce a good amount of meat, and even their poop is useful! There’s nothing like it for ensuring a bumper crop of squash and tomatoes, then just add the ash from your winter fires to your tomato plants and you’ll never have had a better garden.

Spring also brings baby goats and heralds the turning on of the giant cabinet incubator. Each year, I hatch two batches of eggs from each of my breeding pens to ensure fertility before I start selling hatching eggs. Then each year I select one main breed to concentrate on, and I work to improve my stock of that breed through extensive breeding and culling.



I will also be milking all the does who kidded in spring. Some will have gone off to my friend’s farm to spend the season on the show circuit, while the ones who remain with me will either be milked, dried up and turned out for a season off, or re-bred for fall kidding.

Summer means canning in an already stifling hot kitchen, and my husband asking how many more ways I can find to feed him the glut of squash we are experiencing from our garden. You can never eat too much squash, right?

In late summer as it cools slightly, I start sowing root vegetables at two-week intervals for a continuous crop throughout later summer, fall and winter, because there are few things more rewarding than seeing your Thanksgiving and Christmas feasts filled out with your own produce!

I like all my fall kidding to be done by the end of September so that I don’t have to run expensive heat lamps for them as the weather turns cold, and there’s nothing more pathetic than a shivering baby goat.

homesteading skills

homesteading skills

Through winter, we simply maintain the bare minimum to provide for our family; milk from the goats, root vegetables from the garden, the occasional fresh chicken or rabbit. And, of course, hunting season! This means plenty of venison and duck.

So that’s me and my family, and I am looking forward to sharing my ideas with you through this blog to perhaps help you make more of your farm, and prepare for whatever eventualities might be in our future.

I hope you learned a lot with these ethics of homesteading.

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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!

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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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