Tag Archives: Winter 2017

Rethinking the weeds

 By Mary Ann Lieser

My father tended a beautiful garden most summers of his life. Each late winter he started tomato plants from seed indoors and then, come May, transplanted four dozen of the healthiest specimens to the large, heavily composted garden plot that he’d spaded by hand. By August, when the tomatoes were beginning to ripen, pumpkin vines curled around the cornstalks, the melons were growing too large to be shaded anymore by the plants’ lush leaves, and the radishes and lettuces had long since been cleared away to make room for a second planting for fall salads.… Read the rest

Impromptu shelters

By Charles Sanders

Emergencies happen. Whether you are camping, hunting, fishing, hiking, boating, or just traveling, there may come the time when you are thrust into a real survival situation. As a self-reliant type of person, you probably realize that there are times when we can not depend upon getting help exactly when we need it and must rely upon our own wits and skill.

As a part of the Survival Basics program that I present occasionally, I stress the importance of remembering the Rule of Threes.… Read the rest

Keeping garden tools sharp

By Tom Kovach

A few minutes spent sharpening garden tools can save hours in the garden. Sharp tools make work easier and safer. A sharp hoe can quickly cut through soil to sever a weed. But a dull hoe will take more effort and may not do as good a job as a sharp hoe does. This holds true for all garden tools. You also keep your plants more healthy with sharp tools. Dull gardening shears can split and tear stems, opening them to infection.… Read the rest

Try harvesting smaller diameter firewood with a bow saw and sawbuck

By Setanta O’Ceillaigh

 Chainsaws are important tools for harvesting firewood, but when money is tight, it is sometimes practical to use a bow saw and sawbuck for part of the task.

seto_sawbuck_0385_optStability is important in a sawbuck.
Bow saws don’t have many parts, don’t often break, and never run out of gas. They do require replacement blades from time to time. A bow saw with a 21- or 24-inch blade can be picked up for about $10, and the bigger 30-inch saws can run between $35 and $50.… Read the rest

How to make carved wooden bowls

By Evan Hoffman

One easy way to make extra money in your spare time that doesn’t involve the purchase of a lot of expensive, new tools or other large costs up front is to carve large wooden bowls from old burls. The burls can usually be purchased quite cheap from anyone in your area that harvests firewood, or you can collect them yourself if you have a large woodlot.

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Your homestead dog

Jackie Clay-Atkinson

I’ve had dogs on my various homesteads for more than 50 years now and wouldn’t think of having a dog-free homestead. My dogs have been wonders, having warned me against prowlers and rattlesnakes, run off bears, coyotes, wolves, hawks, and foxes. They’ve helped herd cattle and goats, told me when we had company, pulled sleds, played with my children, helped me hunt birds and rabbits, and killed varmints like ground squirrels and gophers. Heck, they have even brought in firewood!… Read the rest