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Why Every Homesteader Needs Community 

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Homesteaders care strongly about self-sufficiency, but they need community just the same.

In fact, it can get lonely. Not to mention, no one can do everything on their own. 

Which is why it’s always good to have a community you can turn to when the going gets tough or simply to provide day-to-day support.

  • If you have questions, you can turn to your knowledgeable homesteading community.
  • If you feel lonely or isolated, your homesteading community can provide friendship.
  • If you are in need, your homesteading community will be willing to barter or lend.
  • If you can’t perform a task alone, others in your homesteading community will pitch in to help.
  • If you experience a disaster, those closest to you will help you pick up the pieces.

Community is critical for preparation and survival on the homestead. 

Keep reading for tips on how to build community and where to find like-minded people to support you on your homesteading journey. 

People creating a homestead community by throwing a BBQ together.

Tips for Building a Homesteading Community

While most homesteaders understand the importance of building community, many homesteaders struggle with actually forming a community (or integrating into one).

It’s harder as an adult to form new bonds than it was when you were a child on a playground.

It’s hard but not impossible.

The key to building a homesteading community is to be intentional.

You need to be intentional about meeting and getting to know others in your homesteading community.

A wave here and there won’t do it. 

Here are some ways to turn casual waves at acquaintances into a comfortable homesteading community.

  • Get to Know Your Neighbors: Even if your neighbors are not homesteading, it is still important to get to know them. If there is an emergency, they will likely be your first point of contact. Moreover, you never know when you will need to borrow a cup of sugar or have someone watch your child when you have to rush out. 
  • Shop Local: Make a point of shopping locally. Support your local farmers and small business owners. As you frequent certain farms, stores, or markets, you will get to know the owners and form relationships. 
  • Find Like-Minded Individuals: Be intentional about seeking out fellow homesteaders. Head to places they might be instead of going someplace random and hoping to find a like-minded person. If the library is hosting a gardening class, head here. Spend time at the farmers’ market on the weekend. Look online for local homesteading groups.
A homesteader teaching another homesteader out in the fields.
  • Seek Help: Sure, you want to be self-sufficient, but there is no shame in admitting you need help. When you humble yourself and ask for help, people tend to be receptive. Plus, people like to feel needed. If there is someone you know who has a beautiful garden, reach out to her to ask how she got it to grow so well. If you admire someone’s chicken coop, ask if he’d tell you how he built it or where he found cheap supplies. 
  • Share Meals: Few things bring people together as quickly as sharing meals. If you want to build community, share a meal! Simply invite those you’d like to be part of your little homesteading community over for dinner or a weekend potluck. 
  • Get Involved in the Community: A great way to meet like-minded people is to get involved in the community. Is there a community service project that you are passionate about? Get involved and get to know the others doing the same. 
  • Find Something to Contribute: Do you have an abundance of fresh produce? Do you have honey from beekeeping? Do you know how to knit? Consider what you have that you could contribute to your community, and make it known!
  • Share the Workload: If you hear or see someone in your community who has a big task to complete, such as mending fences or repairing a roof, offer your assistance. Likewise, if you have a big job to tackle, reach out and ask if anyone is willing to help you. 
  • Have Fun Together: A great way to bond is to have fun together. If you want to move from casual acquaintances to people you can turn to in a crisis, find ways to have fun together. For example, invite fellow homesteaders over for an outdoor picnic, pumpkin carving event, or kickball game. 

Related Read: How to Start a Homestead with No Money

A woman attending a farmers market to find like minded people.

Where to Find Homesteaders in Your Community

Now that you have some ideas of ways you can build a homesteading community, you need to know where to find like-minded people.

Here’s a list of places to look. 

  • Meetup: The online site has several different homesteading meetup groups. Search by location. 
  • CSA Groups: Joining local CSA groups are a good way to get to know local farmers.
  • Facebook: Follow the Facebook pages of local farms and join Facebook groups for local homesteading groups.
  • Buy/Sell Groups: A unique way to find other homesteaders nearby is by following local buy/sell groups. You can often tell who is homesteading by what they are offering. 
  • Farmers’ Market: Introduce yourself to the different vendors at your local farmers’ market. 
  • Library: In addition to having free resources to borrow, local libraries also offer a variety of classes, including classes that are beneficial to homesteaders, such as gardening and rain barrel workshops. They also serve as meeting locations for groups.
  • Farm Supply/Feed Store: Homesteaders spend a good amount of time at their local farm supply and feed store. If you don’t casually meet others here, ask the employees about local homesteading groups, and they’ll likely be able to point you in the right direction.
  • Livestock Auctions: A quick and easy way to find the local homesteaders in your area is to attend livestock auctions.
  • Gardening Groups: Join a gardening group.
  • 4-H and FFA: If you have kids, encourage them to get involved in these extracurricular clubs. 

Related Read: 10 Ways to Become a Suburban Homesteader

Source link: https://survivaljack.com/2023/06/why-every-homesteading-community/ by Survival Jane at survivaljack.com

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Family

Clean Up: Getting Started With Homemade Soap

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homemade soap bar with lavender

The best survival projects aren’t just things you need to survive. Because, after all, who knows when the end of the world as we know it will be upon us? The best survival projects are things that you can undertake are enjoyable projects you can do with your family that allow you to spend quality time together while building new skills. 

One of these is making soap. Soap is one of those things you don’t think about needing… until you really, really need it. Not only will soap be necessary in a SHTF scenario so that everyone can keep clean, it will also be a valuable trading commodity in such a situation. 

Homesteading

What’s more, you don’t need to wait until the end of the world as we know it to enjoy the fruits of your labor. You can spend valuable time with your family while creating a product that you can use in the here and now. 

Here are the basics of getting started with homemade soap projects for the entire family.

What Is Homemade Soap?

Soap, for the most part, is made from a simple chemical reaction. This means that homemade soap projects can be a great and fun way to teach your homeschool kids about science. 

The chemical reaction is known as saponification. This is just a fancy, 50-cent word for “turning lye and fat into soap.”

Once you know how to do this, you can make basically any kind of soap you like from invigorating blends of goat milk and citrus to charcoal-based soaps and soaps made out of coffee grounds for exfoliating the skin. 

How To Make Homemade Soap: Making Lye-Water

The first thing we should say is that making real homemade soaps involves using lye, which is a highly caustic substance. You will need protective gear like gloves and goggles. You will also need to work in a well-ventilated area. 

Homesteading

If you have very young children, they’re probably not going to be able to work with lye safely. Only you can judge the age at which your children are ready to work with lye. For younger children, melt and pour is probably a better option. 

Everything in soap is done by weight, so weigh out the proper amount of lye and water on a digital scale. Once you have them measured out, slowly mix the two together, taking care not to inhale the fumes, before putting them in a cool, safe place for future use. 

How To Make Homemade Soap: The Cold Process

The first and easiest way to make true homemade soap (we’re not including melt and pour which is basically ordering pre-made soap online, melting it down and making it into a cool shape) is the cold process.

Start the process by heating your oils n a pot to about 100 degrees. Then slowly add in your mixture of lye-water until it thickens to trace. “Trace” means a lot of different things to a lot of different soap makers, but ultimately it’s the point where you’ve got soap and you can’t go back. 

Homesteading

Once you reach trace it’s time to start adding in colors, scents, herbs and other additives before pouring the final solution ijn a mold, where it will sit for 24 hours to harden up. 

Once you know how to make soap, there are tens of thousands of recipes online. Try a few of them and then see what your imagination can cook up. When it comes to homemade soap, the sky’s the limit. 

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Family

Gardening Season Isn’t Over: Fall Gardening Tips

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greenhouse for growing vegetables

The harvest is over but the work for the year isn’t. The best gardeners know that fall is the perfect time to get your garden ready for next year’s crop. It’s not only prudent, it also gives you a great opportunity to spend some time outside enjoying the fall air and getting some relief from the heat and humidity of winter. 

Here are some ways to get your garden ready this fall for next year’s crop. 

Clear Dead Leaves

Your lawn is likely going to be covered in the beautiful problem of dead leaves. That’s not good for your grass and thus not good for your garden, so as much as you might not like the idea of doing yard work after a hot summer of mowing your lawn, you’re going to need to get all those leaves raked up and bagged for the dump or the incinerator. 

Clean Out The Beds

Cleaning out your beds regularly is especially important for people who are growing vegetables in their gardens. Pests love to feast on the debris leftover from last year’s harvest, so you need to dig down and get absolutely everything you can out that’s not soil. That will save you a lot of work next year when it comes to pest control. 

Pull Those Weeds

Due to the decline in temperatures, fall is the perfect time to pull the weeds. Weeds aren’t just an eyesore, they’re choking the nitrogen out of your soil meaning that your plants, be they edible or otherwise, aren’t growing as lushly as they ought to be. So take advantage of the cooler weather and dig those weeds out.

Save Those Seeds!

If you’re a seed saver now is the time to dig out the annuals and have your “second harvest” of seeds. Dry them, label them and put them in a safe place for next year. This is the whole fun about growing annuals – buy once, grow forever!

Throw Down Some Compost

You might think you don’t need to take care of your soil during the colder months, but nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, this is when your soil is in the most dire need of nutrients. The sun is gone and so are most of the critters that keep it healthy. So a thick layer of compost, about 2-3 inches, is going to help maintain the health of your soil during the cold season. Don’t bother tilling – mother nature will do that for you. 

Get Organized

Few things about gardening are most frustrating than having absolutely no idea where all your gear is. So clean everything up and spend an afternoon in the shed making sure there’s a place for everything and everything is in its place. 

Plant Your Winter Crops and Cover Crops

Especially if you have a greenhouse, it’s essential to be growing all year round. Other crops will grow better if you have cover – including during seasons when other stuff wouldn’t normally grow. Cover crops and winter crops get you thinking about your garden as a year-long project, not just something for the warmer months. That’s important, especially if you’re growing as a supplementary or primary food source. 

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Food and Water Storage

Hardtack: Crafting the Ultimate Survival Bread for SHTF Preparedness

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Hard Tack Biscuit

Having a dependable source of sustenance is a paramount concern. Amidst the chaos of unforeseen emergencies, the ability to create and preserve nourishing food becomes a critical skill for hardcore survivalists. Enter survival bread, a timeless solution that stands the test of time and turmoil. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll delve into the top 5 types of survival bread, with a focus on the iconic Hardtack recipe. Discover how mastering this ancient method of sustenance can become your saving grace when SHTF, ensuring you and your loved ones remain nourished and resilient in the face of adversity.

NEVER Go Hungry if SHTF! Claim Your Food Survival Sampler Here!

Hardtack: The Timeless Classic

Hardtack, also known as “survival bread” or “army bread,” has earned its reputation as the ultimate survival sustenance. With a history dating back centuries, Hardtack has sustained soldiers, sailors, and adventurers through countless trials. Its simplicity lies in its ingredients: just flour, water, and a pinch of salt. Mix, knead, bake, and voila – you have a durable, long-lasting bread that can withstand the harshest conditions.

The beauty of Hardtack lies in its shelf life, making it a staple that can be prepared well in advance of any emergency. When stored properly, Hardtack can remain edible for years, making it a crucial asset when modern conveniences are no longer available.

How to Eat Hardtack (A tip you will need)

Hardtack can be quite hard, so it’s best to soften it before eating. You can achieve this by dipping it in water, tea, or soup, or by soaking it for a few minutes before consuming. Some survivalists also use it as a base for toppings like cheese, spreads, or dried fruits.

NEVER Go Hungry if SHTF! Claim Your Food Survival Sampler Here!

Hardtack is a versatile and enduring survival bread that has stood the test of time. By mastering this simple recipe, you’re equipping yourself with a reliable source of sustenance that can provide much-needed energy and nutrition during emergencies or challenging situations. Whether you’re on a long expedition or facing unexpected hardships, hardtack is a hardcore survivalist’s ally that will keep you fueled and ready to conquer whatever comes your way.

Here are other great options for survival bread, just not as good as hardtack bread. 

Sourdough Starter: Fermented Resilience

Sourdough bread isn’t just a culinary delight – it’s a living, breathing survival resource. Crafting a sourdough starter requires only flour and water, harnessing wild yeast and bacteria to create a natural leavening agent. This starter can be perpetually fed and used to create flavorful and nutritious sourdough bread. The beauty of sourdough lies in its versatility; it can be baked in various forms, from loaves to flatbreads, making it an adaptable and sustainable option for survivalists seeking long-term sustenance.

NEVER Go Hungry if SHTF! Claim Your Food Survival Sampler Here!

Oat Bread: Wholesome and Hearty

Oat bread, with its hearty texture and nutritional benefits, is an excellent addition to any survivalist’s repertoire. Mixing oats with flour, water, and a pinch of salt creates a dough that bakes into a satisfying and energy-packed bread. Oats provide essential nutrients, including fiber and protein, ensuring you stay nourished during challenging times. Oat bread’s heartiness and ability to keep hunger at bay make it a reliable choice when resources are scarce.

Pemmican Flatbread: A Nutrient-Dense Delicacy

Pemmican, a staple of indigenous cultures, offers a nutrient-dense survival bread option. By combining lean dried meat, rendered fat, and dried fruits, you create a portable and energy-rich food source. Incorporating this mixture into a flatbread unleashes a burst of flavors and sustenance, making it an ideal choice for survivalists on the move. Pemmican flatbread provides a powerful combination of protein, fat, and carbohydrates, ensuring you have the fuel needed to overcome challenges in demanding situations. Check out one of our favorite videos from City Prepping about how to make the cultural delicacy.

City Prepping: How to make Pemmican (High Energy Food)

Cornbread: Comforting and Versatile

Cornbread, a beloved comfort food, can be transformed into a survivalist’s ally by using simple ingredients like cornmeal, water, and salt. Baking cornbread provides a taste of familiarity during times of stress while delivering essential carbohydrates for energy. Cornbread’s versatility allows for creative additions like dried herbs or even foraged ingredients, adapting to whatever resources are available.

NEVER Go Hungry if SHTF! Claim Your Food Survival Sampler Here!

Flourishing Through Adversity

In the unpredictable landscape of survivalism, the knowledge of crafting survival bread – particularly the enduring Hardtack – is a skill that transcends time and circumstance. These diverse types of survival bread offer not only sustenance but also a sense of self-sufficiency and empowerment. As a hardcore survivalist, the ability to transform basic ingredients into nourishing survival bread ensures that you and your family can thrive, even when faced with the most challenging scenarios.

Whether it’s the storied resilience of Hardtack, the living legacy of sourdough, the wholesomeness of oat bread, the nutrient density of pemmican flatbread, or the comforting embrace of cornbread, each type of survival bread is a testament to the unyielding spirit of survivalism. By mastering these recipes, you’re arming yourself with a timeless and invaluable resource – a source of sustenance that can sustain you through any storm, ensuring that you not only survive but also flourish in the face of adversity.

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