Best Places To Find Homestead & Off-Grid Tools

Best Places To Find Homestead & Off-Grid Tools

Yardsaling, flea markets, estate sales, antique and thrift stores, the locations are endless…  As most of you know, I am NOT a shopper, despise being in town more than I need to be BUT I love looking for treasures! This is the perfect time of year to get out and find the things you need for your home or homestead.

Last Friday, on Mountain Woman Radio I spoke about Yardsaling in Podcast #149.

We live very frugally by choice and also by choice we have eliminated most of today’s modern day conveniences. Using antiques in our home is just part of the romance and often the items we are using are family heirlooms used by our grandparents or great grandparents.

They are 50+ years old and are quality products that were durably made. They have stood the test of time and still decorate my home and are used often daily.

We don’t live with worry in regard to our future, but we do take our future greatly into consideration with everything we do. We envision life totally without power and strive to be sure that we have every tool we need on our homestead to survive and thrive if that were ever to happen. So that means that we need to have the antique counterpart to many of today’s modern day conveniences to be able to move forward.

When we are out and about and see a yard sale, flea market, auction, thrift store or antique store and have a couple extra minutes we pop in and take a look. You never know what you will find and even better yet – have a list of the items you are looking for so you can even be more strategic!

On my podcast last week I spoke about getting canning supplies at yard sales and this week while I was running errands I stopped at a thrift store to find big bins with canning jars and rings for $6.60 per dozen. I walked away with 14 wide mouth jars and rings. I could have gained a LOT more jars, but I was being a bit of a snob that day in that we can a LOT of meat and it is SO much easier to fill, empty and clean the wide mouth jars so I am working on only stocking up on the wide mouths that fit our needs the best.

As I also mentioned in the podcast on Friday how I found an Excalibur dehydrator at a yard sale last year for $20 which actually retailed for over $300. These are the kind of treasures you can find when you take the time to look.

This is truly how I enjoy finding our homestead & off-grid tools!

Some people feel that this kind of shopping is beneath them, but I regularly purchase clothes that still have the tags on them. It is an amazing feeling when you get yourself to a place that you don’t feel you have to purchase every great deal you see or you find that you are able to limit yourself to only the things you actually need and will use. I hate clutter and there are often things that catch my eye when I am out, but if it does not have a useful place in our home, I am to a place in my life that I will not waste the money on it just for pure pleasure.  By living this way, it truly affords me to live this life!

Additionally, it is very important to do your due diligence and research the items you are looking for and price them because you will find stores that have great prices and you will find others that have insane prices. Knowing your prices and knowing also what you are willing to pay for something is important or it could end up being highway robbery and you really didn’t save yourself any money.

I often see things that make me want to jump up and down with excitement, but when the price tag is way out of my price range I have to walk away. This is my theory – if I walk away from something that is nicely priced because I just can’t afford it that day – if I return to the store when I can afford it and it is still there – it was clearly meant to be. With the items that are hideously priced – you might return to find the price has been brought down to something you can now afford. Another little trick – if the price is out of your price range, but not by much – you might try asking the store clerk or the person running the yard sale if they would be willing to take a lesser amount. I have even asked if they could take what I was able to afford and to my surprise – sometimes they will accept your offer to make the sale. I learned early in life to ask – the worst thing they will say is no, BUT they may also very well say YES! Take the chance – be bold – step out of your comfort zone….

Something else I have found in shopping this way, my son no longer thinks money is endless and that you just swipe that little plastic card…. He understands the value of money, budgeting, risk taking and only spending within his means. It is also good for our children to see us not purchase something we obviously love, but just can’t afford or don’t need.  Being a good role model is truly in everything we do and say. These are perfect teaching moments.

Shopping this way has been something that my son and I enjoy doing together – not just for the treasures we find, but for the priceless gift of time spent together.

Have fun this summer and find yourself some quality treasures….

What is something you are looking for?



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The Importance Of Good Men

The Importance Of Good Men

As we celebrated Father’s Day yesterday, I wanted to share my thoughts about something I feel very strongly about.

Today, more than ever with society unleashing so many things as a norm that was once considered offensive, our boys need good men for role models.

The role of the man in a house is very important and looked at inappropriately so often by both men and women. Women today automatically do not want a man in charge and men take that role to places it was not intended to go.

The man is supposed to be the head of the household, the spiritual leader – not the ogre or overbearing person in control, overusing and greatly misunderstanding God’s design for his role.

When this role is upheld appropriately, the man is the head of the household, spiritual leader, good role model and final decision maker with the HELP of his wife as his helpmeet! The man and woman walk side by side helping and respecting one another. This is how God intended things to be and unfortunately, this is no longer the case in so many households today.

The benefits of this role are that the boys become men and our men, in turn, are strong, confident leaders that are good providers, caretakers of their homes and families and spiritual leaders. Children from such homes I feel are so much more balanced and have a better understanding of what a family is truly meant to look like. The environments are so much more wholesome and the children are more well-rounded understanding as a boy how to treat a woman and as a girl how to support a man.  Our children learn best by example.

As a woman, I feel there are definitely situations that required and warranted the need for women’s rights to be put in place, but also as a woman, I feel that this movement was taken too far in many cases! Many will argue this with me and frown upon my sentiments today, but for me, I feel this is a truth!

I want to take the time today to encourage our men to be good, strong, God fearing men that lead their families securely into our future!

With so many uncertainties, I feel this is an extreme must and I encourage you, wives, to support your men and be the helpmeet that God intended.

Men and women have very different feelings and emotions and ladies, you may not realize that our men worry greatly about the well-being of their families and their responsibilities as the head of the house. For a man to have a woman by his side that fully supports and helps him on his journey will make him a better and stronger man. Men, I encourage you to be good listeners if you haven’t noticed your beautiful bride needs to share her thoughts and worries with you – she typically doesn’t want you to fix those problems – she just wants to share them with you.

The Bible clearly discusses the roles of a husband and wife in Ephesians chapter 5 & 6. One of the verses that tend to send the feathers a flying for the woman sometimes because the men might use it or understand it incorrectly is Ephesians 5:22 and it is essential that you read Ephesians 5:22, 23 & 24.

22 For wives, this means submit to your husbands as to the Lord. 23 For a husband is the head of his wife as Christ is the head of the church. He is the Savior of his body, the church. 24 As the church submits to Christ, so you wives should submit to your husbands in everything.

Woman are asked to submit to their husbands in everything – this does not just mean in sex. We are to submit, help, support and love.

Men, it is essential that you read Ephesians 5:25, 26, 27 & 28.

25 For husbands, this means love your wives, just as Christ loved the church. He gave up his life for her 26 to make her holy and clean, washed by the cleansing of God’s Word. 27 He did this to present her to himself as a glorious church with a spot or wrinkle or any other blemish. Instead, she will be holy and without fault. 28 In the same way, husbands ought to love their wives as they love their own bodies. For a man who loves his wife actually shows love for himself.

Ephesians 5:31, 32 & 33 truly sums up the intention of this direction God has given.

31 As the Scriptures say, “A man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one.” 32 This is a great mystery, but it is an illustration of the way Christ and the church are one. 33 So again I say, each man must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.

The dynamics mentioned above serves our family well and it gives me great pleasure to support, respect and submit to my Mountain Man the way God intended!

If this is not how you currently run your family or these verses in Ephesians were misunderstood, I highly encourage you to make an effort to embrace this family design because the results are well worth the effort. All good things take time and for a man and a woman to have the support of each other only helps each to grow in ways you can never imagine.

Here are some resources that will help you along your journey, Fighting For Families and Fighting For Families Radio with Joe McGee.


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How We Get So Much Done On Our Homestead

How We Get So Much Done On Our Homestead

Everyone today is running the rat race, filling every waking hour with busy.

We embraced our off-grid lifestyle to create our own lifestyle in a crazy mixed up world. We were seeking a freedom and a pace that was to our liking, but when we first embraced our dream we hit the road running and kept pushing on.

At some point, we realized that we were pushing so hard that we missed our mark. We were no longer enjoying our dream the way we intended and we found we were running the rat race just like the rest of the world. What??

We needed to step back and realize that there was more to our desires and our dream than killing ourselves with a crazy pace. We found our freedom, but we needed to make changes. We forgot to take time for ourselves, to have fun and to do things other than work as a family. Don’t get me wrong, we did enjoy our chores as a family and it was quality time while accomplishing things on our homestead, but as they say “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy”!  Well let me tell you, the same applies for Jill!

We needed to find a balance in our lives and we also needed to put God first. Our Sunday’s were reserved for church and God, but we didn’t fully rest. We were still busy and found things to do. Our first adjustment was to make our Sunday a complete and total day of rest spent with God and as a family! Once we fully took that day of rest our lives changed.

The next thing we did was incorporated PLAY back into our lives. We take time to do the fun things we enjoy. This was a bit hard for us because our work and play blended.  We were still doing things we enjoyed, but when you take time and walk away from the fun chores and work and truly enjoy playing, you restore yourself. In doing so, you return to the home or homestead and have more to offer not just to your family, but your projects too.

In addition to taking time for yourself and God, having a To Do list and a budget that you base your projects on will help remove the stresses of finances which can be huge. The To Do List helps to keep you focused and the budget helps to keep you out of debt and working on projects as the money is available.

Accomplishing a lot on the homestead is great, but if it comes with a cost, that is not so great. Finding a balance can be hard, but only you and your family can find that balance and make changes. You will know your needs and desires better than anyone so focus on putting something together that works for your family. We find that with a set schedule things roll so much smoother as well.

If you sit down and truly analyze your schedules and all the things you are doing to fill your week, I am sure you will find things that can be removed. This is my suggestion to you, evaluate what is most important to everyone and look at all the tasks you are trying to squeeze in.  Remove the ones that really don’t have value to you. Free up some of your time and then focus on how you need to put the important things into your schedule.

As I said, we focus very heavily on our Sunday as our day of rest and we have a night of devotions each week and a night of games all of which is spent as a family which pulls us all together and provides some amazing quality time and in depth conversations. Every family needs their together time. Because my days are spent in front of a screen the majority of the time and researching things, I thoroughly enjoy just a night on the couch crashed and watching a movie (doing something I don’t have to think about and can just sit and enjoy). We have found Amazon Prime and PureFlix to be our go-to resources for our movie nights.

It kinda sounds almost backward when you read this, that in order to be productive you have to slow down but please trust me when I say this is SO important and SO true!

Take those steps to put your home or homestead back on track because I have to imagine the majority of you are also running the rat race!

Does this apply to you?  What are some things you have done?

If you enjoyed this and found it helpful you may also enjoy my Podcast #145 How To Avoid Overwhelm

Are You Really Prepared For Medical Emergencies?

Are You Really Prepared For Medical Emergencies?

Are You Really Prepared For Medical EmergenciesIt is really easy to think we are prepared for anything, but are we really?

It is important to live without fear as it is a waste of time and precious energy and to focus on being prepared.   You will find great comfort in times of turmoil when you have already rehearsed things in your brain many times, practiced them as a family or have protocols in place.

May 11th on our homestead is not a day I wish to relive. We were having a nice evening enjoy a good Christian movie and just having a quiet night. All was good and God certainly had this night specially orchestrated.

Normally I am a few minutes later heading to bed than the Mountain Man, but THANKFULLY this night I was ahead of him and getting settled in prior to him lying down. He took a natural over the counter sleep aid which was 100% valerian root, BUT he chewed it when he should have swallowed it. Was it the coating? Did he actually take two and not one? That will always be a mystery because after he chewed the pill EVERYTHING was forgotten.

He headed out of the bedroom filled his water container and returned to the bedroom. He shut off the light, laid down and was no longer really communicating with me. Had I come to bed even two minutes after him that evening like I normally do I would have assumed he was just exhausted, I would have left him sleep and morning would have come and he would have been with Jesus‼

I asked him if he was ok, because he just seemed off… Usually, we will chat before we sleep about our day and we would do so with the light on so when he turned the light off that was a BIG indicator that something was off and then he did not communicate well with me. I asked him if he was ok and in a dreamy voice he said “I am fine… I love you?.” So I rattled him (shook him) and a normal response to that would have been, “What the heck are you doing to me‼ “. When he didn’t even react I knew something was up so I turned on the light to find his pupils HUGE and extremely dilated… and he wasn’t very responsive…

911 here we come… I’ve played this out many times in my mind… Was I freaked out? SURE, but I knew I needed to stay calm and roll with what was happening…

911 would not go through when I tried. The direct line to the sheriff’s told me it was the wrong number when indeed it was correct and on a ditch effort, I tried a friend of ours that on occasion runs with the ambulance and Praise The Lord I was connected…

I told him our gate would be unlocked and to please call the ambulance and got them in route, the Mountain Boy headed and opened the gate while my dear friend Rhonda and I kept the Mountain Man breathing. It was getting harder and harder to do so. Shortly after calling my friend, another friend reached out via FB messenger to tell me that 911 needed more information so while rattling my man to keep him awake, I was also messaging my friend Jaque to keep the EMT and ambulance up to date on his condition. He literally stopped breathing 7 or 8 times before the ambulance arrived.

We also have a Life Flight plan so that we can quickly call and have a helicopter dispatched to our location. Having these things in place, numbers by the phone and a plan in place will make these experiences much less stressful, but living in the wilds of Idaho, off-grid, things can happen and we knew this stepping into this lifestyle.

We do not live in fear, fear is debilitating and a waste of priceless energy, but we do live prepared. We discuss these things as a family and as a family we have protocols in place for many different things such as these types of situations, fires, intruders, etc… Being prepared keeps us a step ahead and in this case, ALL ALIVE!!

As soon as the EMT arrived and saw the Mountain Man’s condition, they got him into the ambulance and in route to the hospital. He did not have an anthralactic shock experience, but more just a reaction to the pill(s) – the pills caused his side of the brain that tells you to breath to basically stop working. We arrived at the hospital at about 11:20 on the evening of the 11th and it wasn’t until 3 am after sedating him and putting a breathing tube in that they got him settled. Blood work, cat scans and many chest x-rays were taken and nothing else appeared to be causing his issues.

I just thank the good Lord that he orchestrated things that evening the way he did or I would have awoke on Thursday as a widow! Selfishly, I am thankful that God has further purpose for him here on earth and was not ready to take him!

This is not something I ever wish to relive, but I am thankful we had plans in place and that in experiencing this we have all grown in our knowledge and are proud of how we handled things and that we were prepared. This was a good experience for the Mountain Boy as well. It has matured him in ways I could have never prepared him for and he learned that he is capable of reacting properly in such situations. When the Mountain Man fell 16 feet from the ladder that started to fall while building our house in 2010, the Mountain Boy was paralyzed by the event and didn’t react nor knew how to react. Good can always come from bad experiences and there is always something to learn from each experience we go through.

I can’t encourage you enough to have plans in place, discuss things as a family, numbers by the phone and protocols together for all scenarios that may affect you in your neck of the woods. Whether it is hurricanes, tornados, earthquakes, wildfires, health emergencies, bug out plans, bug in plans, etc…, discuss it, be prepared and be ready!

Our families are our most valuable possessions and if you don’t take time now to be prepared you may be putting one of them or yourself at risk!

Know who to call for whatever needs you may have and have backup plans if you can’t get through. Being proactive and having things such as Benadryl, and Epipens available for those with allergies and things on hand for known varying needs. In this case, had we not been able to get help and attention for the Mountain Man the next step would have been to get him in the truck and get him to the hospital as quickly as we could. Thankfully we did not have to take matters into our own hands, but knowing what to do is important.

Here are three resources I feel are very important to have on hand or to participate in:

The Survival Doctor’s Complete Handbook by James HUbbard, MD, MPH

The Survival Doctor’s Lifesaver Course

The Survival Doctor’s Master Course

If you are considering a jump to off-grid and remote living, please take into consideration that you will most likely be in a location that will have definite delays in varying services such as fire, ambulance, police, etc… And all the more reason we need to be extra prepared living this lifestyle.

Do you have protocols in place?? What scary situations have you experienced?



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Goals vs. Reality – Gardening, Canning, and Building

Goals vs. Reality – Gardening, Canning, and Building

[guestpost]This is a guest post by Michelle Hedgcock. Be sure to read more about Michelle at the bottom of this post![/guestpost]

Goals vs Reality Gardening Canning BuildingIn my previous post, MORE Was My Catalyst,  you read about how I got started on my journey and the progress made.  Now that I have another year under my belt I still feel like there is so much to do.  Initially, I thought that we’d be able to get everything how we wanted it within three years.  Yeah, not so much!  So let me tell you about our goals for 2015.

Our plan was to get chickens in the spring, put up a pole barn or update our garage, put in a greenhouse, start seedlings for the garden, add to the orchard to include some nut trees, plant grapes, hardy kiwi, rhubarb, blueberries, strawberries, and cranberries, as well as expand the garden with raised beds and in ground.  Additionally, I wanted to increase the amount of canning to be put up to not only include things like fruits, veggies, and broth but meat as well.  And the plan was to do all of this in addition to our normal everyday things, stock up on wood for the winter to keep our heating bill down, and a couple week long vacations (we don’t usually take more than one so this was an exception for 2015).

Pretty aggressive right? Do you think we accomplished everything?  Nope.  Not a chance.  What do you think was our set-back?

Our set-backs were money and time.  So typical right? The year started out well for the most part.  The garden plan was created with the knowledge that the raised beds would be finished in the spring (hubby started in the fall but with getting firewood ready for winter he wasn’t able to complete that particular project).  The seeds were planted during the correct time according to the garden planning calculator from Seeds for Generations. Finally, when the weather cooperated, the raised beds were completed.  We put in two 4X12, two 4X8, one 4×24 and one 4×4.  The 4X4 was claimed by my daughter so she had a hand in every step of the building of it.

Now, can you imagine filling those darn things with soil?  It was back breaking work using the wheelbarrow but I did it with a little help from the family.  But before I did that I put some wire down in the bottom to prevent moles and such from disrupting the plants during growing season.  Next I threw in some small branches (my version of hugelkultur) with the soil/compost mixture on top.

goals vs reality building

Around the time that the raised beds were being finished a friend of ours contacted us and asked if we wanted a free pole barn.  Who can say no to that??  The catch was that we had to dismantle it. So we made a trip out to the farm where it was and found that there was a small shed with some damage to the roof and sides that needed to be removed as well.  And we could have that for free too.  My husband worked tirelessly to get everything taken apart and brought home.  The only problem is that it took away from his time to find and cut wood for the winter.

2015 was also the year that my best friend got married so I made a trip out to Nebraska during prime planting season, over Memorial Weekend, to spend a week with her.  Because of this trip, several plants were delayed getting into the ground.  And then there were nutrient deficiencies in a section of the garden.  And come to think of it, the seeds that I planted in that section in 2014 never took off.  So that may be why.  I normally don’t buy anything to add to my soil but I had to make an exception in this case because my tomatoes were severely stunted and sickly looking.  After a quick internet search to figure out exactly what the deficiencies were, I used a combination of things for this area: bone meal for phosphorus, crushed egg shells for calcium, and an Epsom salt water spray for magnesium.  My tomatoes started doing better but my harvest still wasn’t very good due to the combination of late planting and then having to fix the nutrient deficiency.

Goals Vs Reality Gardening

One of the best parts of the summer was spending time with my daughter picking strawberries and then preserving them by canning, dehydrating, and freezing.  While we planted both 4×8 raised beds with strawberries and they filled out nicely from the runners I’m not convinced that we have enough for this family.  I may have to find a spot to put in a big patch.  Good thing is that I won’t have to purchase strawberry plants anymore.  Those plants send out a ton of runners!

goal vs reality canning

August was extremely busy with canning new things.  I never knew that when processing corn that it smelled like buttered popcorn.  And no butter was used!  It took a bit of time because there were so many pints filled.  And trying to remove the pit from peaches was a difficult task for me.  I’m sure it was user error though as that was my first attempt at that.  One of the jams that I made using the peaches was the Maple Vanilla Peach Jam found in the Preserving with Pamona’s Pectin book which is great on waffles!

We have an apple tree on our property that was there when we moved into this house in 98 which we always thought was a crabapple tree.  It wasn’t until a few years ago that we realized that it wasn’t!  I took the plunge and decided to make applesauce with the windfall apples from it and was pleasantly surprised at how good it was and how little sugar had to be added.  Those apples are absolutely perfect for applesauce.  I’ll be making applesauce every year from now on.  And the apple butter from those apples? Delicious!

My daughter’s little garden did really well.  She had decided to grow onions, carrots, cucumber, and a small pumpkin.  The pumpkin seeds never germinated but everything else grew well.  The onions were huge!  The carrots were a cool purple color (Purple Dragon from Baker Creek Heirlooms ( and grew big.  In fact, we used them on the veggie tray for my husband’s 40th birthday party and everyone loved them.

goals vs reality gardening carrots

In November, I picked up my order from Zaycon Fresh which I had heard about from Tammy in this video (  Her How to Can Chicken videos gave me the courage to try it myself.  I’ve included the links here so you can watch yourself either in another browser by clicking the links below or you can watch the same videos directly below.  ( &

Canning chicken is a long process due to the processing time and with the amount I had it took me well into the early morning hours (like 3 AM early).  After having this experience as well when I canned the corn, I decided I needed to have two pressure canners. I can’t fit two on my stove side by side but I can remove one and put the other on to get it going while the first one is depressurizing which still saves time. I love having Amazon Prime and being able to get my order within two days.  I now have two Presto canners . Since I have a glass-top stove the All American Pressure canner can’t be used.  Always refer to your user manual to verify if the Presto canner can be used on your glass-top stove.  Whatever you do, don’t slide the canner across the top of the stove.  Unless you like the scratched look.

Wondering how we’re doing on the chicken coop and pole barn?  Well, we have the pieces here except the big metal siding as we need to borrow a flatbed trailer for that.  And everyone’s schedule just hasn’t worked out to make that a reality.  So nothing has been built.  And how did we do in gathering wood?  Well, if it hadn’t been for my brother-in-law, it would have been a cold winter.  He gave us at least 4 face cords even delivering some of it himself.  And a co-worker of my husband’s knew of someone who needed a tree removed.  The best part was that it was already felled and mostly cut up.  We’re very fortunate to have others looking out for us.

Here’s a list of what we did accomplish in 2015:

  • get chickens in the spring put up a pole barn or update our garage
  • put up a pole barn or update our garage
  • put in a greenhouse
  • start seedlings for the garden √
  • add to the orchard to included some nut trees √
  • grapes
    hardy kiwi √
    blueberries √
    strawberries √
    cranberries √
  • expand the garden with raised beds and in ground √
  • increase the amount of canning to be put up √

We ended the year with a road trip to Hilton Head Island, SC where we enjoyed some unusually warm weather and got to see dolphins.  It was awesome!  There’s nothing like spending that week between Christmas and New Year on vacation (we left Christmas night and returned on Jan 3rd).  During the trip I reflected on how the year went and what’s ahead.  I’m happy to say that I TRIPLED the amount of food put up!  In 2014 it was 106 jars and 2015 was 320!  It truly was a busy year of learning and growth from starting seedlings effectively for the first time out of several prior attempts, making food from scratch, preserving enough to feed my family to being more realistic in our goals. While we didn’t get the pole barn built or the garage fixed up we did have to get a small inexpensive shed out of necessity.

I hope 2015 was a good year for you and am really looking forward to all the good things to come in 2016.

What is on your list for 2016?


#TrayerWilderness  #Gardening  #Preserving  #Inspiration

MORE Was My Catalyst

MORE Was My Catalyst

MORE Was My CatalystHave you ever thought “There’s got to be more to life?”  Yep, that’s where I was at September 2013.  I was working a full-time job with a minimum two-hour commute daily and an elementary child in before and after school care (known as Latchkey here in our school system).  I was dissatisfied with my job and just knew that there had to be more than just going to and from work to pay bills and spend money on things.  I wanted MORE quality time with my family.  MORE time to garden.  MORE time to take care of my health (I had been diagnosed with ulcerative colitis in February 2013). I wanted to feel like I was making a difference.  At the same time, I started perusing Pinterest where I kept coming across homemade laundry detergent posts.  And from there I started finding other homemade items.  This led to finding homesteading blogs, including Trayer Wilderness which quickly became one of my favorites.  My eyes OPENED!  That was what I had needed.
So I made a plan.  I made a list of pros and cons to quit my job to be a full-time homesteading Momma.   I ran budget numbers…over and over and over.  Then I presented it to my husband.  It took several months to convince him but we had many great conversations about what we wanted for our family of three.  From there plans and goals were developed.  It took us about three months to get everything in place in order for me to quit the job that I  thought I’d retire from.  This included paying off as much debt as possible. In May 2014 I gave my notice and my last day was the first week of June.
 More Was My Catalyst Garden
Part of the preparation for me being home was getting the garden in.  In previous years I had planted a garden, but could never keep up with it.  So the weeds had taken over.  So it was a ton of work to not only plan what and where to plant but to till it, mound up raised rows, and put cardboard down in between all the rows .  In addition to a garden, we wanted to put in an orchard right away because it will take several years to see a harvest from it.  The orchard included apple, pear, peach, apricot, plum, cherry, mulberry, and fig trees as well as blackberry, raspberry, and elderberry bushes.
 MORE Was My Catalyst Orchard

Other goals included increasing our food storage thru canning and dehydrating, neither of which I had never done before in my life.  All the tools to do this were purchased before I quit my job as that was part of the plan.  So, there I was with a water bath canner AND a pressure canner.  My first foray into canning was water bath canning making strawberry jam and sauce and strawberries in syrup.  I also dehydrated strawberries (which were excellent in oatmeal and cereal).  Blueberries were next on my list.  By this time, I was becoming a regular at the farmers market.Finally I was brave enough to use the pressure canner.  I was tense the whole time but I successfully canned chicken broth.  I haven’t bought broth or stock since!  In all I successfully canned and dehydrated 106 jars of food.  Not bad for six months and just learning!  I also learned so much from all the homesteading and preparedness blogs that I knew 2015 had to be even better.

What was your reason?  What led you on your journey?


#TrayerWilderness  #Gardening  #Preserving  #Catalyst

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