All gardeners desire higher yields from their garden!
We want less weeding less watering less work and MORE harvest!
We have become masters in the field in our own garden when it comes to improving our harvest every year while creating a garden that remains sustainable and doesn't need a lot of work.
One of the key elements we have implemented for our garden often gets overlooked. And that is succession planting.
We rely on our garden to help fill our pantry so this is serious business. We have become master manipulators in the garden when it comes to getting more with LESS!
Succession planting is so easy and doesn't require a lot of work or preparation. I literally just throw seeds out every week to ensure I get a continual harvest throughout my growing season.
Forget about growing in rows and creating a Martha Stewart picture of perfection. This is all about maximizing your gardens potential
There are a lot of great planting charts out here that will walk you thru what to plant when. I say, GROW WHAT you eat and what you want to store long term.
Here's some key ti ps that may help organize your succession planting
Variety selections are also important when planning how to use the harvest in the kitchen.
Always think about what you can store and not just eat for the moment!
For canning and freezing, grow varieties that produce a concentrated harvest—such as determinate tomatoes, bush beans, pickling cucumbers, and broccoli varieties . As soon as plants such as lettuce, spinach and peas — have passed their prime, pull them out and replant.
Don't allow any dead space in that garden.
And one last point. DON'T MAKE this harder then it looks! Seriously you can do a lot of research on the web and find charts and interval planting and climate information for each plant and AHHHH your head will spin!
Seriously GROW WHAT you eat and just keep throwing the SEEDS out there! THEY wil grow. The proof is in my garden and we are doing it!
Real life information that doesn't require a book, a chart or a PhD!
This week I did a video about growing 54 plants in 4 square feet.This growing season my goal for all of you is to share more of our alternative WAYS of growing food here on our off grid homestead.
See, we have a unique situation here unlike many standard homesteads and farms. Being off the grid we have set up a sustainable lifestyle that is a balance of renewable resources, cultivation from our own hands, a a symbiotic environment that MUST work together in order to keep US sustainable and independent.
Its a very particular process that has taken us years to CREATE build and MASTER
But we have!
Food production for us isnt just a seasonal garden that supplements our food needs.
Instead this is our life blood. So settling in after all these years we can confidentiality say we have developed a successful plan to LIVE and THRIVE by implementing THESE methods that WORK to our success.
Now we continue to pass our experience onto those seeking their own knowledge and truth for sustainability in their own lifestyle! AND we are more then happy to provide that!
The first entity I wanted to address is something thats easy for many people to implement to increase their food production.
This works so well with people who are in urban areas and dont own land. THERE'S alot of you out there.
Renters, apartment dwells, suburb dwellers with only lawns!
Thus that is why I created the video this week addressing VERTICAL GARDENING and more specifically the use of the GREENSTALK container and how well it has worked for us and our food production here on our homestead.
Now there is a double edged sword with sharing actual products we use. Many people think we are paid by the company. They incorrectly assume companies are sending us freebies for endorsements.
For us, it would ruin our credibility and the authenticity of our lifestyle.What I will say is if a company sends us a product it would come with a disclaimer. We will try it, but if we dont like it and never use it, we certainly are not going to do a video on it. I think that is why companies who are not confidant in their products dont send us anything and then go to other channels. For I know other channel do reviews all the time and its funny to see that you know DARN well they never had that product on their homestead. For me thats just plain wrong!!!
The bottom line is in order to become self reliant..you must spend some money! Its not all about re purposing and refurbishing and recycling. We offer real life advice. And the reality of creating what we have involved purchasing items that could assist in helping us become more FREE and independent.
Thus the Green Stalk planter!
We love this GARDEN planter for many reasons.
First it is a REAL garden planter. Not a herb strawberry planter which for us would offer us nothing beneficial. Growing food is serious business here. We needed a planter we could incorporate into our food production efforts and yield more vegetables for our year. This planter provided that. Compact space, close growth, high yield.
Second it is self watering. We all know the value of water. I needed a planter that could use water conservatively. This one does it.
I also was concerned with safety and with sturdiness. We have had this planter outdoors thru every season including winter. I haven't moved it. It has easily put up with the elements and is still standing strong. Plus it is SAFE to use for my plants. No leeching chemicals, no "made in china." I like that
And finally the SPACE saver. For us we may have 13 acres but it is not all usable for food. I have created a edible food forest in VERY little space and part of that is being able to utilize many different techniques and ways to GROW food. A vertical garden planter offered me this and more! There are other brands and I have looked at them. However most cheaper planters are made from flimsy material and are more for herbs and strawberries. This is a real garden planter and we have grown potatoes, carrots, radishes, tomatoes, celery, and many more spoils that is REAL food for a real family!
All summer long I will be introducing more alternative ways that we use here on our homestead to increase that food production that you may find helpful.
Keep watching the videos and coming back here to my blog articles for more information.
In the meantime go to GREEN STALK.COM and check out the planter. If you do buy one the company offers a discount for using my name. "Starry". A win win situation for those who want to save a little cash on increasing their yield!!
Pallet Gardening. A pinterest dream!! A You Tube video! A DYI idea!
RIGHT? Creative, pretty, saves space. REALLY?????
Pallet Gardening IS A JOKE for homesteading and gardening! THERE I SAID IT!!!
I FEEL BETTER!
My G friend way over in Tennessee was having the same issue with her pallets!
Appalachia's Homestead with Patara uploaded a great video FINALLY telling the truth about pallets and EVEN raised beds. After HER failed projects and SEEING THE TRUTH about pallet gardening, she decided to share her experience in her new video and on her Facebook p age.
The response was overwhelming. People from all over where talking about how they to had rotted pallets, termites ants, issues with watering. It was as if we had awakened the DEAD!
As homesteaders, her in TN and me in the mountains on the pacific northwest coast..WE were oddly experiencing the SAME thing with our pallet gardens! And then to find out others also had the same issues?
Funny isn't it?
Thus we were thinking the SAME thing this month as she was tearing up
her rotted pallets and I was actually walking thru my garden with my camera showing MY failed project!
Funny how we both came to the SAME conclusion!!! THIS SUCKS!!!!!
So its time to SPEAK out!!!
Our goal is to provide good solid practical information that has ACTUALLY been tried!!!
We arent suddenly building a experimental pallet garden and then waiting to see the results are we? We arent trying to CREATE video for views and doing a pallet potato bin holder or a pallet herb garden and showing you how WHEN WE HAVE NEVER DONE IT BEFORE!!!
We have been living this life and sharing what we know so that you all can become more informed AND be more successful in your efforts. IF I WOULD have seen Patara Marlow video a couple years ago..THERE would have been no pallet garden!
So want facts about WHY THESE PALLETS dont work?
Consider what we both ran into
1) A full pallets takes a huge amount of soil! (One pallet for us took close to 2 garden bags of soil) AND think about this.IF you have your own soil WHY would you put it in a pallet? They are LESS growing friendly and are inefficient way to use your good soil!
2) They take a enormous amount of water and are ineffective for retaining water and moisture
3) Very difficult to maintain nourished soil Every year your soil will become depleted. How do you mulch a pallet? You can add fertilizer but THEN you are purchasing and spending money AGAIN when the idea was to Use something free and save money. RIGHT?
4) They rot! Wood doesn't last.
5) They attract ants and termites if you live in the south
6) YOU DONT know how safe those pallets are ! Where did they come from? What was shipped on them? If you found them in the recycling center how long were they there? Did anything drip on them while in the pile of junk??
They may have the right logo "HT" or kiln dried but wood is porous! What did they "suck" up that you may be bringing into your GARDEN???
Bottom line is, we need to hear the other side of the pallet gardening story. THE REAL LIFE side that for those of us who desire to be successful in our gardening effort may want to HEAR. We all want to save money space WATER soil, and time. So lets be real and evaluate this in real terms!
Pallets serve many great practical purposes on a homestead.
BUT to feed your family? NO WAY!
Paul Gautchi was having difficulties growing his vegetables in his garden. One day he noticed something u unusual. As he bent down and dug his hands into the forest floor brushing aside the layers of twigs and needles and leave, there was rich organic humus. BLACK EARTH! Seemed to him that somehow without MANS intervention of tilling and weeding and watering and chemical fertilizers, that this soil was was doing quite well without MAN! THUS The Back To Eden Garden Method was uncovered!
-The Back To Eden Garden method really is a simple approach to gardening. It creates a sustainable soil and environment for plants to thrive. The foundation is layering and wood chips. The re-creation and mimicking of nature is the foundation of the method. Too many people get wrapped up in just the wood chips. Paul started off with wood chips which does have a perfect nitrogen carbon balance when it breaks down. The recipe involves starting with wood chips, allowing them to break down over a period of time then adding that layer to the garden. As the wood chips continue to break down one can layer other organic mulch and compost and manure on top to assist in feeding the soil. Over time what will happen is soil will be created. There is no weeding for the wood-chips choke out the weeds. There is minimal watering for the water retention and moisture management created by the wood chips virtually eliminate that. Pest control isn't a issue for this natural method seems to take care of it. No tilling no digging. And it creates such a bio diverse soil for your plants that the gardening season is extended and the tolerance of the plants are increased!
Dr Mercola wrote a excellent article on why we need to be looking at The Back To Eden Garden method for ourselves and the planet!!
What he pointed out in his article is so many of us fail to realize is that OUR health ultimately depends on the health of the soil . Its a fact that when soils are depleted of nutrients, the foods grown in it will be deficient lacking in the important minerals and phytonutrients we require!
Unfortunately, the Earth's soils today is depleted and raped of all the nutrients we need. Then when man gets involved we look towards other means of making the situation better such as correcting the soils and adding more chemical fertilizers we defeat the purpose of eating fresh!
Thus the fresh vegetables we think are healthy really are toxic!
"The "magical" ingredient that maintains and maximizes soil health is actually the microorganisms living in the soil. This includes bacteria, fungi, protozoa and microscopic roundworms called nematodes.
Far from being scourges to be avoided, microorganisms are an essential necessity for optimized plant growth."
The Back To Eden Garden method actually provides a environment for all of this good bacteria to thrive and live. Reflecting back to nature and its self sustainability. When left alone the forest floor and covered ground has the ability to turn itself into lush compost adding nutrient BACK to the soil. A win win situation for a Gardner with any type of SOIL!
If you are struggling with your garden, if you are still tilling and weeding and wasting precious water on feeding your plants daily. STOP. Look into the Back To Eden garden method. Start with trying to locate wood chips. Let them age for at least a couple months. Remember its all about layering. So once you get established you can add other layers such as organic compost, leaves grass clipping and manure. Dont disturb the ground. Dont till! Allow nature to do what its intended to do.
You will see the fruit of less work in harvest time where if anything, this is where you will work the hardest..picking your produce!
Forgetting the power of nature! This is enduring! And a reminder that we are so vulnerable. We went up the road the other day. THIS is our road...this is where we live..our neighbors are up here! However what started out as a eroding hole in the road has now become a major catastrophe!!! THE WHOLE road has collapsed!
All around us we are experiencing more slides, more earth moving beneath our feet, more rain and now our road is washed out completely. We can still GET out to go to town but we NOW cant go the other direction where we spend the majority of our time gathering resources we RELY on like our wood and hunting and foraging!! THIS is huge for us.
I know we sound like a broken record, but THIS is why again it pays to be prepared. You need to have a over abundance on your homestead instead of little. It is impractical to live day by day or even month by month when you are homesteading. Take for instance wood harvesting. The backbone of most homesteads rely on wood! Therefore is cutting as you go a practical idea?
Or to only have enough for a year?
What about even storing extra wood somewhere else? Sounds novel but what happens if THAT road too is caved in!!! HA! The irony of it all right!
OUR wood supply is on the other side of this road! THAT could be a disaster for our homestead. BUT because MR Hilder is prepared and sees into the future we have years worth of wood!
Same with the food. The pantry is stocked with the venison and bear meat we have hunted over the years. The jars are filled with my foraging efforts from the precious seasons of berry picking and gathering!
So look at this as yet another great learning opportunity!
As you set up your own homestead keep in mind that anything can happen at anytime. I know often I may feel as if I am repeating myself. BUT use us as examples. There are so many poor examples of how to set up homesteads, how to do things on You Tube and the internet that it is getting worse! The information many are being feed is incorrect. Or more too often being feed to you by people who have NO clue! Who dont even live the life! Its all about production! BE WISE as serpents! THIS is your life!
Are you prepared for a disaster?
Have you assessed what you would do if a natural disaster happens in your own backyard? A tornado, a mudslide, flooding or a major snowstorm?
For months people have been watching our You Tube channel sharing one disaster after another on our homestead. It started back in August of last year with a simple bike ride home. Within minutes I was violently thrown off my bike, hitting my face full force then proceeded to flip over breaking my neck. THAT was a blink of an eye game changer.
Then this winter we had a serious epic storm blow in which left our whole county paralyzed! People were snowed in for days! Crews couldn't get out fast enough to even keep up with the major roadways more or less the secondary roads. Power was lost and roofs started caving in . All hands were on deck to save the hospital and the schools.
Simple Steps To Take Now
In lew of what we have experienced here on our homestead we first-handed discovered some valuable preps that we feel saved us during these very pressing times. So I complied a simple list that may help prepare a home and family for the worse of the worse because WE NEVER know when that blink of an eye will happen
1) Bug Out Bag
If you don't know what this is look it up. We keep a ready to grab backpack with key emergency items. This is a life saver for a grab and go event. Mudslide forces us to leave we don't have time to gather up things, we grab the pack!
2) A Packed Pantry
GET on the pantry bandwagon. This last week I shared my frugal shopping purchase of toilet paper. The lady in the store behind me in the check out lane may have been laughing, but during a crisis I wont run out of such essentials as toilet paper now will we? Stock up on everything not just food items. Think about not being able to leave your home for a while. What supplies will your family need to sustain? Often we think only food items and we miss the simple everyday things. So make a list of all the everyday provisions and start purchasing
3)The Right Equipment
Invest in you! You are your only life insurance. So get prepared with the right equipment. Mr Hilder loves his tractor. Quite the "man tool" but that piece of equipment has dug us out of a epic snow storm, diverted mud and water from the slide, and has excavated many things here on the homestead. Think about your own particular situation and what piece of equipment you might get the most use out of. Sometimes it may be something as simple as a McLoad Rake which the firefighters use when there is a fire. THINK be smart but address this area
4:)Alternative Cooking Items
In a event that takes out your electricity or even propane you still need to eat. And trust me freeze dried prepping food gets old after a while. So be practical in this department and use alternative ways to cook. I love my All Season Solar Cooker. When the sun comes out I can cook desserts, side dishes and even a whole chicken! I also like my lodge pole dutch oven (I have two) . We also keep a couple camping grates around also and if worse comes to worse I will cook on a open fire!
All Season Solar Cooker website HERE
Last week I posted a video inspired by my good friend Patara of Appalachia Homestead about being DONE homesteading.
I have seen newcomers come and go. I have seen them struggle and make mistakes that often could have been avoided. I believe many people who are seeking this lifestyle are indeed coming from diverse backgrounds.
Backgrounds that-in some instances have not been exposed to the rural life, a homesteading life. Picking up and leaving the city is only half the battle. The rest begins on your homestead.
And its not just about the disconnecting from the power grid. Nor is it about just planting a garden and getting some chickens.
The KEY to a successful self sustainable walk starts with being acutely AWARE of what you are diving into. AND being prepared, and well versed. You will need to look at your homestead in a manner that asks yourself "WHAT do I need to live...what do I require to be less dependent on others, and more independent on myself??
So lets address what we have done here on our off grid homestead that has added to our personal success and may give you inspiration for your own walk down the self sustainable road!
Source Of Heat
This is where homesteaders can be caught with their pants down! Not having a practical plan in the beginning can lead to serious consequences.
Wood heat indeed is a freeing and self sustaining resource we think every homestead should invest in.
So have a plan! Before you start your homestead ensure you know
1) Where you can harvest firewood. Get the proper permits. Scout out how you will get there and how you will haul the wood home.
2) Figure out the time it will take to cut, split and stack your wood.
3) Estimate how much cord wood you will need for a winter or two.
4) Have a place close enough to the home to haul it in the dead of winter. Make sure you have the proper shelter for the wood also.
5) Ensure you know how to use all the equipment properly. Chainsaws, snatch blocks, cables. Know how to maintain and service these also
Poor planning can lead to unnecessarily finding yourself running out of wood in the midst of winter and now your scrambling to find it! And usually in the middle of winter the only option is to purchase expensive presto logs or local firewood if available. These types of unplanned purchases only add debt and can stress a already tight homesteaders budget!
Avoid rookie mistakes by being properly ready in the firewood arena!
Source Of Electricty
Off grid life can appear very inciting. But the reality of using a alternative source of electricity for your home is that sacrifices will have to be made.
Rethinking your energy consumption becomes essential and often getting back to the basics a requirement. However, will that fit with your family needs? Consider this list.
1) How much electricity are you currently using? You can find this out by looking at your own electric bill
2) Do you want to change the way you use electricity?
3) Is the whole family willing to consume electricity differently and have a more basic approach to their electrical needs
4) List the appliances you must have for your off grid homestead
5) Go online and use a solar calculator to size your array and give you an idea of how big or small you may need to go
Off grid living is very freeing but make sure you go in with eyes wide open. Talk to people who have alternative energy. discuss battery bank, panels, appliances, the use of generators.
Be practical in this department. There is nothing wrong with staying connected to the grid IF you have a prepared minded mentality. Have a back up generator, have a small array if needed. Dont go over board with to may electrical items that you will find you have to much reliance on. You can still be a homesteader and self sufficient connected to the grid. BUT preparation is the key!
A Source Of Food
rFrom gardening to farm animals to hunting fishing and foraging, all of these resources are options for the new homesteader. But how you utilize these opportunities will be of the utmost importance.
Many people fail in the homesteading world because they take on to much. They go too big to fast. They want it all. Small baby steps will ensure success. So think about this list
1) How many mouths will you be feeding?
2) How will you preserve the food (Canning Dehydrating? Freezing)
3) Consider the time and effort that may go into your garden
4) Consider things that can affect the garden, pests, drought, weeds is the method you chose able to handle all of these things
1) Consider time effort and cost.
2) Consider housing and if they need room to roam?
3) Do you want to be enslaved to your homestead with lots of animals or do you want to be free to leave for the weekend? Plan carefully
4) Are you able to care for a sick or injured animal?
Finding Time For God
For us we attribute everything to our Lord and Savior. There is no denying the power of His influence in our lives. We feel we cannot do anything without His guidance and blessings
Proverbs 16:3 tells us
Commit your work to the Lord, and your plans will be established.
I canot argue with the good advice God gives us as homesteaders. He is the voice of logic and reason. Thru Him all my strength comes
Psalm 46:1-3 God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging.
If we seek Him first in o ur homesteading endeavors anything can be possible!
But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.
Homesteading on or off grid is a wonderful lifestyle to embrace. But being ready and having a strategy will assist in ensuring your prosperity!
God Bless and Good Luck!
Does it sound like something too simple to even talk about? Dressing for winter? I thought perhaps this was a area that people just didn't care about because they already KNEW how to dress for winter. But it wasn't until I met a young lady who told me her story about moving from New Mexico where she knew nothing of winter. Her first year was spent off the grid wearing jeans and a very impractical jacket. She shared how cold she was that first winter and how she now relishes in her layered polar tech and new lined pants.
So I got to thinking about those out there who may be looking at relocating to a wintry state who never had to ponder what to wear when it gets twenty degrees and below!
Now you will know!
There are only three concepts you need to know.. Close to skin moisture management, mid layer for insulation, then the shell
My first layer starts with a light chamois that is wicking. Moisture management is key to staying warm in this first base layer. Materials that work well are merino wool or a brand name material like Patagonia Capilene®.
There are other materials you can use for close to the skin-base layer such as silk but I find the moisture management of some of these brand name companies pretty darn good.
I buy all of my active winter wear from Sierra Trading Post. This is a online store that sells brand names at deep discounts.
Your next layer is going to be the mid layer for your insulation. I always check to see what the temps are to decide how "thick to go." Polar fleece comes in different weights so if you buy this material it is versatile for your mid layer. We also like merino wool Merino wool is a commercialized wool which is more streamlined then regular wool. You can wear it close to your body and its warm soft and works well for winter use! In fact most of the socks we own are merino wool.
Lastly will be your final outer layer which will vary also according to the weather. For cold windy days I pull out my Good Will ski jacket from Solomon. It is thick and woven tightly but not to thick to restrict my movements. Ski jackets usually are not as practical for chore wear but that is why I use Good Will. I can buy a brand name ski jacket that will work for my chores and not worry about getting it dirty.
My husband will wear a waterproof shell on windy days when the temperature drop below zero and he finds himself in the woods or on the ice fishing. We also both swear by WOOL!
Wool is warm and is water resistant. We both have army issued wool pants that are over twenty years old still in excellent condition. In addition we both have wool shirts and sweaters. Nothing beats wool and I find myself wearing my wool pants and sweater more then my conventional winter jacket.
Car Hart And Skirts
One brand we haven't mentioned is the workhorse Cart hart. This is a tried and true brand of many farmsteads and homesteads. We purchase a off brand Cart hart wear that is just a tough and durable. You will not go wrong with this brand but for me personally as a woman I find the jacket a little to restrictive stiff and not warm enough.
Another Starry oddity. I do wear skirts and tights during the winter. I crouch and squat and crawl around when doing my chores. (I know that sounds weird but I do) From picking up wood to cleaning out the coop. I find my winter skirts very useful for these types of range of movements. I then wear winter thermal leggings which keep me very warm and toasty. So dont "knock" the skirts and tights. I can bear weather down to zero with my "Starry" outfits!
So just remember there is three simple principals you need when dressing for winter. Next to skin warmth and moisture management, mid layer for insulation and then the outer shell. Keep these in mind and you will be able to do all of your chores without being cold this winter!
When we talk about bush crafting and survival and off grid sustainability so many times fishing is OVERLOOKED
On our off grid homestead we have set ourselves up to be VERSATILE!
Which means versatile with how WE GET FOOD!
And WE dont rely on the grocery store to do all of that!
From our huge garden,pantry....canning...foraging,... to hunting trapping and now fishing..WE look at the renewable resources provided to us in these mountains . Nothing is ever overlooked!
Thus skill and knowledge is a must. Ice fishing is fun for Mr Hilder, but it also involves knowing alot of different ways to GET the fish. He also takes care of all his fish which means going home and carefully filleting them for food perpetration.
Many times all of these things are just simply overlooked.
There are a large number of "shtf" preppers who believe the false premise that having survival food and a bug out bag is going to help them when and if everything goes down the tubes. They dream about and talk about running out to the woods or forest and living in a tent with their survival gear. They rely more on their STUFF then they do learning practical applicable skill.
The prepping "commercialized sellers" sell their wares to these people and teach them nothing. So when it comes to surviving I think they believe the fish perhaps just jump onto your hook and its as easy as that NOT SO!
TRY ice fishing just once. You will see that the FISH dont JUMP onto your hook!
THESE are all real skills that WE should all have. If not ice fishing, then maybe hunting, if not hunting then maybe gardening. BUT we need some basic STUFF JUST in case! DONT WE???
We just do things a little different here on our homestead. And for those who follow us see firsthand just how multifaceted and adaptable we are. AND how useful this type of mentality is ON or OFF the grid is!
So enjoy the new video. Mr Hilder you will see is skilled not just at catching the fish, but filleting them to. He uses the right KNIFE...and the right technique. SOMETHING that is VERY valuable! So pay attention ! He teaches while he talks!
Over the years people have come to our You tube channel asking many good questions about living off the grid and our self sustainable lifestyle. One reoccurring question that I just never got around to addressing is, what happens if someone on the homestead gets sick or injured? How would that impact your life financially, emotionally, physically? Could you still do chores? Could you still pay your bills? Would this lifestyle be more difficult in this face of adversity like a injury or illness?
Well friends here we are. August of this last year I was in a very serious biking accident which I was thrown off the bike going around 28 mph. I hit the pavement with my face. No time to break no time to even shield myself with my hands. Apparently the momentum of hitting the pavement with the face wasn't enough to slow me down for I proceeded to flip over. Yes I saw the sky which was very particular, then I blacked out. When I awoke I knew it was bad. Extensive facial damage, a humeral tear to the arm and a broken neck with extensive spinal ligament damage.
I was a mess!
But I HAD CHORES to do! We has wood to gather, chickens to feed, canning to do, hunting season would soon be here!
Planning Prepping Does IT Pay Off?
When life stops there is no such thing as timing. And this is why it is so imperative that no matter where you live, urban America, rural or suburb, preparation on all levels need to be addressed.
I became living proof , a poster child to showing my viewers that life goes on, with or without you and having that preparedness in your pocket does indeed make the sting of injury or sickness a little less taxing. So what preps did we do to make this life changing event EASIER to handle for both of us?
1) Addressing Basics: The foundation for preparedness needs to start with basic essentials. A stocked pantry, a alternative source of heat with plenty of wood or propane on hand. A sustainable water source or stored water.Extra items such as toilet paper, cleaning supplies, medical supplies, household items. Dont just focus on food but include items that you need in your house!
When I got injured Mr Hilder couldn't just leave me and run to town to shop. So the pantry was a lifesaver. In addition having extra essential items on hand helped. We never ran out of anything. This made life easier for him. Having piles of cord wood was also a blessing. I wasn't able to assist him in hauling and stacking anymore. This could have been a huge burden for him if he waited til fall to harvest wood. Mr Hilder uses the terms "jokers" for the people who put up videos and talk about cutting wood "on demand." We stress this is so impractical and almost idiotic. It may be great for views but that is not the workings of a true homestead. Dont follow the hype on this particular subject. Be wise in your planning
2) Financial Fitness:
Being debt free was a huge advantage. We have always advised trying to place your homestead in a position where you are either debt free or you have funds available for that rainy day.
So often we overlook this as being essential. Yes money can be tight. But if one allows ourselves to overlook even putting away fifty bucks a month into a kitty for the future you can find yourself in a situation financially where you may never recover.
Speaking frankly we were blessed when the accident happened because a fan/viewer took it upon herself to start us a Go Fund campaign. We did not implement this ourselves and were very grateful. In the beginning we were a little embarrassed. We thought people might look at us as beggars even though we had nothing to do with the fund raiser. But God humbled us and changed our hearts. There is nothing wrong with getting help from others.
As believers God tells us:
"When God puts you in a situation, He wants you to ask for help. It’s never meant for us to do God’s will by ourselves. God is the one who guides us in the right path.
Believing that we can do everything leads to failure. Trust in the Lord. Sometimes God helps us by doing things Himself and sometimes God helps us through other people. We must never be afraid to get wise counsel and help for big decisions from others.
Asking for help doesn’t mean you’re weak, but it means you are strong and wise. Being proud is a sin and that is why many people fail to ask for help even when they desperately need it. Continually ask the Lord for help and strength daily realizing it’s impossible to live the Christian life without Him."(http://biblereasons.com/asking-for-help/)
3) Trust In The Lord
Part of our preparedness is always trusting in our Lord and Savior. I know there are people out there who do not like it when me and Mr Hilder talk about our faith. But for me it is part of who I am.
God tells us that,
Romans 8:28 - And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to [his] purpose.
My accident was the greatest testimony to God. During my vlogs I shared every step of my journey. The tears and the pain and the miraculous miracles God worked in my life. It was there as living proof that our God is a great God. And that having faith in Him will sustain you more than any PREP out there!
4) Having A Helping Body Of People To Call On
Often we pride ourselves in being independent and self sufficient. It is indeed a philosophy that focuses our energies on doing things ourselves. But the reality is, if you cut yourself off from the body of help you could call upon in a dire situation, you will be left without any resources. This could be just as bad as having a empty pantry. Never take for granted the relationships we build a long the way to assist us all. People are the greatest assets to our homesteads. Each person can offer something different. If not a helping hand, solid advice, practicality tips, a different view!
Build those relationships on or off grid! They will indeed pay you back in full when the time comes!
There is no getting around me not being real and honest with all of you. You know we are just a average couple who enjoy sharing and really desire to help encourage all of you to become more independent and sustainable. We really believe that everyone can make changes even on a small scale. It is never to late, and it is never unobtainable.
We do not create fiction here on our homestead. And I believe that is something most people appreciate. Our love for Christ, our "realness" and our joy for life in general.
Yes this accident changed many things. And even today as I write this my body still suffers the effects fro m the trauma. But I am still here and we are still successfully living off the grid. As a couple this has made us stronger. Emotionally the trials have taught us that we as a untied front can conquer anything, as long as we do it together!
So for all of you who like to wait, who think it will never happen.
WAIT!!! IT WILL! And it comes like a lion so get prepared now!!
Bless you all!
Luke 21:36 Be alert at all times. Pray so that you have the power to escape everything that is about to happen and to stand in front of the Son of Man.