Prep Like a Homesteader

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Even if you don’t consider yourself a prepper or a homesteader.

Country folk think a little bit different than the rest of the population. They reside in the countryside because they like the serenity and the chance to be more self sufficient whether that’s raising their own food or raising to sell.

green beans
green beans

A big old yard invites the wildlife in. Deer cross the front yard on a regular basis. Turkey and quail come in for an afternoon stroll. The fresh air does everyone good. (You can smell the honeysuckle acres away!)

The native wildlife makes it’s presence known and seeing a wild animal out your kitchen window can put a smile on almost anyone’s face!

deer
deer

It’s isn’t all wild roses though. Country living aka homesteading does come with it’s issues. We learn from our mistakes and we’re all the better for it.

Did you realize that most homesteaders, at least those that aren’t off-grid rely on the electrical system to power their homes. This means that when the power goes out, you aren’t just without electricity you’re without water as well. Most homesteaders have an electric water pump in their well. No power, no water.

A prepared homesteader will find alternate methods of acquiring water. This might mean building a cistern, installing a multiple rain barrel system or even having a means of pulling water from the well via a well bucket.

downspout
downspout

No power also means that food in a freezer has the potential to thaw and spoil. For this reason many homesteaders (and preppers alike) will opt to can a lot of their foods that would traditionally be frozen. There’s also dehydration and freeze drying although the home freeze dryers are presently out of the budget for most people.

Weather can be an issue as well. Drought can cause your rain barrels to be useless. Tornadoes can wipe down power lines. Heavy rains and floods can wash out the roads making them impassable.

Because, for the most part, a prepper and a homesteader are both trying to achieve the same thing, to become more self-reliant.

This will mean different things to different people. It might mean stocking up on non-perishable foods for a good period of time, be that one month or three. Having toiletries and first aid supplies on hand for many a medical emergency. Stocking up when things are on sale. Putting by your excess garden produce by dehydrating, canning, freezing or freeze-drying.

In the old days… say the 30’s, 40’s and 50’s it wasn’t uncommon for a lady to put up several HUNDRED jars of food from the garden for the winter. Most families were rather large compared to todays standards and a bounty in the summer meant some work to make sure that the family could be fed all year long. Their meals weren’t necessarily the same as what a typical family eats today but they were well fed.

jellies put by

What they couldn’t grow they traded for and/or bought outright by selling some overage. Dried corn was taken to town to be ground into cornmeal as cornbread was a staple with the mountain of beans they dried.

The breakfast meal was often ham/sausage/bacon from the pig they raised the year before, accompanied by milk and gravy from the cow milked that morning. They made their own butter from that same milk and baked bread from scratch, often times more than once a week depending upon how much was consumed. Lunch was often butter beans and cornbread and supper might have been the same.

Desserts were big! Cobblers from the berry plants, jams/jellys on biscuits, pies from the apple, pear and peach trees.

pie
pie

While you’re stocking up on your families essentials remember the animals. It doesn’t hurt to be a few bags ahead for the farm animals as well as the pets. If you feed hay during the winter months, better buy it in the spring/summer when it’s available. Sure, hay can be had during the winter but the price will be higher and you’ll be forced to get what you can get.

Being a prepared homesteader takes time, consideration and some funds. Make a plan, whether it’s buying an extra can of spaghetti sauce when you’re out or growing your own tomatoes for some homemade sauce. Prepping takes forethought and planning.

Two is one and one is none.

Take stock.

Take inventory.

What do you need to work on for making sure your family is taken care of no matter the circumstance?