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What Should I Do?

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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!

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Phil Williams: YouTube Capture

How to Setup a Moveable Electric Poultry Fence

Setting up fencing for pastured chicken containment
Wednesday, November 26, 2014, 3:23 PM

Using an electric fencing system for livestock and poultry containment can be an easy and effective way to pasture animals and protect against predation.  In the following video tutorial, you will learn the steps of setting up a moveable electric fence and some of the considerations when incorporating one into your homestead plan. » Read more

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Enhanced Problem Solving

Resources for finding new answers
Wednesday, November 19, 2014, 1:33 PM

Executive summary: Day after day, humans are challenged to solve problems big and small, yet our brains didn't evolve for optimum problem solving! Fortunately, many simple techniques have been developed to overcome our brains' problem-solving drawbacks, and these techniques can greatly improve our chances of problem-solving success. Unfortunately, while most people solve problems to the best of their natural ability, they have little to no understanding of their brain's shortcomings in this regard, or of ways to overcome them. To better enable us to work smarter, not harder, this article seeks to demonstrate the validity of these assumptions, and to point readers to further problem-solving resources.

Imagine this: Someone offers to pay you $100 for every song you can name! Whoopee! Easy money, right? There's just one catch: you can only use your unaided mind to come up with songs. That's right, no outside assistance – so just step away from the computer, and put down that smartphone! (Just for fun, do spend a few minutes trying to name every song you know.) » Read more

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Phil Williams

Additions to a Food Forest

Planting Red Mulberry Trees
Friday, November 14, 2014, 11:41 AM

Red mulberry trees are one of my favorite trees. They make fantastic additions to any permaculture garden or farm. I actually have two mature mulberry trees on my property, which is great, but I also planted half a dozen in my food forest. » Read more

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What to Keep in Your First-Aid Kit

The basics for medical supplies
Friday, November 7, 2014, 5:07 PM

In an emergency, a properly stocked first-aid kit can often mean the difference between stopping a situation from escalating before it gets out of control and winding up with a life-threatening incident on your hands. » Read more

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Phil Williams

How to Care for Chickens in the Winter

Protecting your flock from harsh winter conditions
Friday, October 31, 2014, 5:01 PM

When I talk to people about my chickens during the winter, many people ask me if I have to bring them inside over the winter. Of course the thought of my red birds running around making a mess, roosting on my couch, scratching the floor, and the manure would be horrible! Believe it or not there are people that keep chickens inside like a dog. They use chicken diapers. I know it’s crazy. Anyway, chickens are much more cold-hardy than most people think. I think it is actually cruel to provide heat for your chickens. It doesn’t let the chickens become acclimated to the cold properly. They are definitely not meant to be inside. » Read more