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What Should I Do?

Wall Construction: Phil Williams

How to Build an Earthen Pond and Dam Wall

Steps to constructing an earthen pond
Monday, February 23, 2015, 2:19 PM

It is extremely important that you choose your pond site wisely before bringing in the heavy equipment. I addressed how to do this in my pond planning article. In this article, we use the existing topography and soil types to make the best pond site choices. » Read more

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Sheet Bend Knot

Advanced Knots For The Beginners

Knot knowledge for survival
Tuesday, February 17, 2015, 8:45 PM

Being able to tie a variety of knots may not be something that comes to mind when you are preparing to survive in the wilderness (or in an urban environment after an economic collapse) but knowing a few advanced knots can save your life. Knots are useful for building shelters, constructing traps, securing a fishing line, and climbing steep terrain. If you use the wrong knot for any of these situations, you may have to cut the knot when you can’t untie it, or have it slip out and come undone. Here are five advanced knots that amateurs can master – and they each have unique applications in survival situations. » Read more

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Growing Bamboo

A Multi-Functional Permaculture Plant
Monday, February 9, 2015, 10:49 AM

Bamboo is actually a member of the grass family. There are over 1000 types of bamboo worldwide. Some grow as tall as 100 feet, and others only a few inches. Many do well in the tropics, but some can handle cooler weather. Colors and thickness of canes abound. Some grow in clumps, while others grow with their rhizomes extending out taking up more and more real estate. » Read more

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How to Stack Firewood

Preparing your wood stack for seasoning and drying
Monday, February 2, 2015, 5:22 PM

Why stack firewood?

Stacking is necessary to dry out wood that is not yet seasoned. If you have green wood that was recently cut, it must be dried to burn efficiently. Ideally, it needs to be stacked outdoors and in the sun if possible. You should never store green wood indoors. This can result in mold because of the moisture coming out of the wood. Another benefit to stacking is getting the wood off the ground so it can dry out faster. It's important to get good air circulation underneath and around your stack. Another great benefit to stacking, it looks nice and orderly compared to a big heap, and is easier to deal with when taking wood to your wood stove or boiler. » Read more

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How to Operate a HAM Radio

A basic primer
Thursday, January 29, 2015, 5:29 PM

HAM radio is a popular hobby that allows amateur operators to communicate with one another on multiple frequencies. It is also a useful skill to develop in the event of an emergency or disaster.

During a disaster, cell phones and internet might be out of service so having an alternative way to communicate with your family, friends or network is going to be crucial to obtaining information and ensuring you thrive during the emergency. Having a working HAM radio and knowing how to operate it will prove invaluable in a survival situation. Here’s what you need to know: » Read more

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Storing your Harvest in a Root Cellar

The right setup and conditions for proper storage
Monday, January 19, 2015, 12:51 PM

When it comes to storing your harvest, you have a couple of options. Freezing, dehydrating, canning, and storing fresh in a root cellar. I prefer freezing berries, corn, beans, peppers, peas, tomato based vegetable soup and eggplant. I like to dehydrate my herbs, early season apples and pears. Canning is great for pickles, tomato based soup (which can also be frozen), and beets. The root cellar is a great place to store your late season fruits, root vegetables and pumpkins for the winter. Onions, carrots, potatoes, parsnips, turnips, cabbage, pears, and apples do well in a root cellar. » Read more

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9 Permaculture / Garden Books for the Resilient Homestead

Books for every great reference library
Thursday, January 8, 2015, 2:58 PM

When seeking ideas and solutions to your permiculture and homesteading projects, its always good to have a few key resources to reference and provide inspiration.  Here are a few of my favorite books to help in giving guidance and knowledge and make your next project wonderfully successful.

Permaculture: A Designer’s Manual, Bill Mollison

For the hard core permaculture designer. This is more of a reference book than a book you would sit down and read cover to cover. It is filled with incredible detail on designing in every climate. This permaculture book has more information than any other in existence. » Read more

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How to Ice Fish Like a Professional

Tips and tricks for success
Thursday, December 11, 2014, 7:02 PM

Ice fishing has come a long way since its origins with Native Americans in the great lakes. It’s moved from a basic line in the water to people building fully stocked ice houses around the hole.

Ice fishing is a great recreational activity, but it can also be a great way to bring food to the table during the winter time. In a survival situation, ice fishing can provide an essential meal when there are no plants to scavenge. Here are some basic tips on ice fishing. » Read more

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In Praise of Motorbikes

Transportation alternatives for declining energy
Sunday, December 7, 2014, 3:52 PM

Vietnam was and is a nation that travels predominantly on two wheels. Uncle Ho's supply chain, consisting of tough human beings propelling supply-laden bicycles, proved equal to the challenge of defeating the US, whose petroleum-powered network of supply lines spanned the globe. Even today, while cars and trucks clog the avenues of Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, much of the rest of Vietnam sits astride two wheels. » Read more

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Raising Turkeys On A Homestead

The basics of raising turkeys
Friday, November 28, 2014, 7:54 PM

Raising turkeys can be a great way to become a little more self-reliant and show your independent spirit around the holiday times.

While they are fairly easy to raise and similar to raising chickens, there are some differences, especially when they are young, that you’ll need to consider. You’ll have to consider how much space the turkeys will take, what breeds you should have, the cost of feeding and water and what you’ll end up doing with the turkey.

Turkeys are a great way to be more self reliant!