Everyday I am learning more about how to do for myself. I am learning from people who already have done what I am about to do, from my elders I collect knowledge. When I find out how easy it is to make some things I am left baffled at how easy it can be.
I often hear these words echo from deep within my brain from my father "Shut up and listen, you`ll learn more" As a teen I rolled my eyes, as an adult getting of the grid I understand completely. I came from parents that were farmers that moved to the city but still had that tomato plant or pepper plant in the flower bed, or that small greenhouse at the edge of the postage stamp size backyard. I can still remember my grandmothers house, she had an out house no inside toilet, she slaughtered her own meat, I watched them kill a hog an string it up.
For me I have only helped clean and process deer, rabbit, squirrel, turkey and chickens, although we did not pluck the birds and just skinned those it was much easier. The first time I processed the deer myself it took most of the night and hours to clean up the mess I made. I have to say I just removed the meat from the bone and packaged then froze it back then, now 30 years later I can clean the meat, slice it and home canned it in a few hours with minimal mess.
More on : home canning deer meat
Fish is another staple for a homestead because the cost is minimal. For me its just the $10 license fee. I go out and dig my own worms and yes a worm bed is on the "to-do list" or I fly fish or jig fish, with homemade jigs. Its rare I used other fish as bait but I have in the past, minnows or shad. Cleaning fish is something I had never done till I was in my early twenties and although I watched and knew how to fillet the fish I never did till a couple years ago when the men had got older and sick and could not clean the fish, I did it often but left them whole but one day I tried filleting and I have to say I was good at it. BUT the only way I have preserved fish has been by freezing them, however, I do have a vacuum packing system so I can remove all the air and they will last longer, up to one year. I would like to find a way to home canned them and the fish be tasty.
So far I am just a vegetable and fruit farmer, I do not have any animals for food, no chickens for eggs and no cows for milk, no pond filled with fish. I am just starting out and it takes time to get everything that one will need to survive on a farm.
Of late I have been interested in making other things like cheese and soaps and such. Some of its all natural and some is not, store bought stuff put together but still made at home and will last longer and is just as good.
How to make Lye soap By RexTrulove
How to make cheese By Homemade by Jade
These two caught my eye and will be very useful.
Now if I could just get this natural sun stored for false light at night and the well diggers out, I think I would be a step further is getting off the grid.
As far as the well diggers, I got the name and $2,500 was the cost this lady paid for hers, we will see.
The solar stuff? I am due a few books on this, I really do my homework before investing.
Do you have a goal of being self reliant? Could you do for yourself is there were no more grocery stores?
You may also like this weeks "getting off the grid update"
By Andria Perry
Photo By Andria Perry