Category Archives: Self-Reliant Living

Pacific Northwest Megaquake — it may be just around the corner

By Dave Duffy

Here’s an interesting fact that most people living in the Pacific Northwest (PNW) are aware of, but only a few dare talk about in specific detail: The PNW is overdue for a gigantic — magnitude 9.0 — earthquake that may kill a quarter million people and dislocate whole cities, including Seattle and Portland, for years.

This is the big one, similar to the magnitude 9.2 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami that destroyed the Northeast coast of Japan in 2011, including the Fukushima nuclear power plant, and similar to the magnitude 9.1 Asia quake in the Indian Ocean in 2004 that killed 280,000 people in 14 countries.Here’s an interesting fact that most people living in the Pacific Northwest (PNW) are aware of, but only a few dare talk about in specific detail: The PNW is overdue for a gigantic — magnitude 9.0 — earthquake that may kill a quarter million people and dislocate whole cities, including Seattle and Portland, for years.… Read the rest

Repotting plants

By Tom Kovach

Gardeners use pot containers to plant anything from vegetables to herbs, to flowers. Pot containers are handy when there is limited space for larger gardens, so even town and city folks can use them. But sometimes these plants have to be repotted to keep them healthy. Transferring a plant to a bigger pot, or refreshing the soil in the same pot is necessary for continued health and vigor for nearly all container plants, including trees, shrubs, perennials, water plants, and bulbs.… Read the rest

These six easy tips will help protect your dog’s health

By Krista Lawson

Pull into the driveway of any rural farm or homestead and you are bound to be greeted by a dog or two. Dogs become an integral part of many homesteads as livestock and property guardians or hunting dogs. Living in rural areas, we value our dogs for companionship as well. They often become part of the family. Keeping our homestead dogs healthy, and finding minor issues before they become major problems is important.… Read the rest

Croquettes — The super duper meat stretcher

By Angeline Hawkes

A croquette is a patty of various types of meat mixed with other ingredients. It is often associated with the Great Depression when housewives had to stretch their pennies. This economical dish, however, is far older than that. The word croquette finds its roots in France, circa 1700, and means “to crunch.” Many people associate croquettes with salmon, but the recipe can be created with almost any cooked meat. I use the following recipe with cooked chicken, turkey, and ham.… Read the rest

Yakisugi 焼杉

By Rick Brannan

A Japanese method of preserving wood by charring with fire

Like most urban homesteaders, I live on a small parcel of earth. Living small means utilizing every square foot of ground to produce food for the table. Four foot square garden beds work best for my needs. For me, a garden is for saving money, not spending money, therefore my beds cost me next to nothing. Some old pallets and some galvanized nails are all that is needed for some very functional garden beds.… Read the rest

Establishing a legal family cemetery

By Donna O’Shaughnessy

Take a drive thorough most any rural area of the United States and it’s still likely you’ll see a family cemetery. Unfortunately, most have been abandoned as evidenced by overgrown vegetation, collapsing headstones, and rusty fences. What once was a source of pride and a place of peaceful remembrance is now a rapidly disappearing piece of Americana, a scene of neglect.

 

The reasons for this are numerous and include increased financial and geographical mobility.… Read the rest

Off to a good start — newborn goats and the first days of life

By Donna Insco

Baby animals born on the farm are a rite of spring, and few things are more appealing than young goat kids cavorting in the fields. But the road to healthy newborns actually starts the fall before.

I start preparing for spring kids the first day of August by doing two things: I make my final decision on which female kids to keep as replacement does, and I remove the buck from all contact with the rest of the herd.… Read the rest

Amen to the Praying Mantis

By Allen Easterly

Over the teeth and past the gums, look out stomach here it comes. I don’t know if that’s the prayer being said by the Praying Mantis but I sure hope he gets his dinner. I’ve got too many harmful insects stalking my vegetable garden looking for a tender, tasty treat.

Named for its heavy front legs, held in a position that suggests it is praying, the Praying Mantis is one of the top insect predators.… Read the rest

Fruits for the Far North

By Johanna Melchiore

Eighteen years ago when we moved from our Maine homestead to Canada where we established a new homestead in the wilderness of northern Saskatchewan, we knew gardening was going to be a challenge. I was especially concerned about growing perennial fruit plants such as raspberry and berry bushes that would need to survive winter temperatures of -40 or even colder. Located just above the 56th parallel, our growing season is short, snow is on the ground well into May, our summers are often cool and the threat of frost is ever-present.… Read the rest

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