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Why We Live Off Grid in a Tiny House, Pt VI

This series explains our family’s choices in lifestyle, including early impressions shaping our world view, a commitment to live debt-free, building family values, simple living and sustainable life skills, living close to the land, and family ministry. Last, but not least, we share our desires to prepare for the future and provide a safer place [...]

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The Incredible Edible Vine

This post was delayed by a quick trip north for the funeral of Silver Oak’s aunt. She was truly a special lady who left a legacy of selflessness and generosity which I could use a bit more of. She is blissfully at rest with Jesus whom she loved, and her dear hubby who preceded her. [...]

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Grow Your Own Animal Feed, Part III

This is the first time in central Florida I’ve experienced so much vibrant edible plant growth and color in my own yard in the intense heat of summer (and I’ve lived here 40 years…wow, that makes me feel kinda old!). I hope to share more soon about what we have done differently to make this [...]

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Grow Your Own Animal Feed, Part II

In Part One of this series I reviewed reasons for growing our own fodder for our dairy goats, cow, horses, chickens and rabbits, and some beneficial plants for the job. Now I’ll share how we’ve started some of these crops quite inexpensively. Of course I must mention that I am not responsible for anything you [...]

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Grow Your Own Animal Feed, Part I

Things have been moving right along here on the off-grid homestead. Between building and planting an herb garden, building raised garden rows for fall planting (we’re in Central FL), planting edible shrubs and trees, laying sod, building fence, installing gutter for rainwater collection, and the learning curve from doing many new things, I’ve been so [...]

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DIY Technologies Using Local and Recycled Materials

It has been a long time since I wrote an update about what is going on around our homestead. The truth is we have been so busy redoing fences and putting up new ones; making new grow beds; planting perennials, trees, and some annuals; enclosing our deck with screen to keep the yellow flies from [...]

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ECHO – Alternative Gardening Methods

If you are a woman I hope you had a great Mother’s Day last week, whether you are a biological mother, a mother through love, service, or adoption, or you have children waiting in heaven. I was blessed to grow up with a wonderful godly mother, which is priceless. I’m blessed with a loving mother-in-law [...]

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ECHO – Growing Massive Amounts of Food the Fast Way

As our country faces economic collapse, we search for more efficient and economical ways to feed our family and livestock. Moving to our off-grid homestead has been a major learning experience as we look to become more sustainable and less dependent on the fragile food transport system. We are also increasingly concerned about the growing [...]

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Our Windmill – A Sustainable Pump

We dug our well last year with the goal of using a windmill pump. Our idea of living sustainably means we aren’t dependent on the availability of fossil fuels or grid power to exist. Since installing solar panels, we normally run our generator only about 30 minutes daily to fill our water tanks. Our inexpensive [...]

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Absolute Preparedness

We’ve had a preparedness mindset for a number of years now, working toward becoming sustainable and relearning basic life skills lost to our generation.  We educate our children to prepare them for life…a life that will likely be different than the way we grew up.  But no matter how long or hard we prepare, the [...]

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Sustainable Soap that Grows on Trees

At first I thought it was a joke. But there really is a soap-growing tree! In fact, other plants also produce natural detergent, but today’s focus is on the soapberry or soapnut tree from India, which produces nuts (actually berries) that contain saponins to make soap. A few years ago I researched these trees and [...]

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DIY Slow Cooker With No Fuel or Sun

We have learned a very simple idea that greatly reduces the energy (fuel) needed to cook. Stoves take lots of electricity, gas, or wood, depending on what kind you use. What if you could cut your fuel or electricity usage for cooking by 50-70% using items you already have on hand? An added bonus with [...]

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Canning Applesauce Off-Grid

We recently made applesauce from apples my parents brought down from Michigan. This is our annual fall tradition, but last year we missed out because we were in the middle of moving here to our new off-grid homestead (can you believe it’s been nearly a year!?!). That means this is the first time we’ve made [...]

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When There is No Dentist, Part Three of Three

If you haven’t already done so, read part one of this series here, and part two here. This post is a summary of the tooth infection story and what worked for us. Silver Oak has had only minor tooth decay the past 20 years, but in his younger years he had many large fillings, especially [...]

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When There is No Dentist, Part Two of Three

Part one of this series can be read here. I was recently reminded that serious infections must be fought in at least three ways. The first is prayer.    The second is fighting it locally (or externally), and the third is attacking it internally. These should be continued two days after symptoms disappear to make sure [...]

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When There is No Dentist, Part One of Three

Six weeks ago Silver Oak came down with a serious toothache that incapacitated him. That means it was really bad! He had stayed up the night before to finish connecting the newly installed solar panels. He was tired of high fuel bills to run the generator for hours every day, and the electrical work had [...]

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I Shot a Rattlesnake!

Yesterday it happened. Silver Oak was gone and a big rattlesnake showed up. We had practiced just in case, especially since killing one this spring, but I was sure hoping it would never happen. It was naptime and the younger children were snoozing before our traditional Friday night date in town while the children spend [...]

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I’d Die Without Air Conditioning!

As I write this paragraph I’m enjoying 77° F (25° C) inside our cozy tiny house while Hurricane Isaac brushes past us, blowing and raining. We even uprooted ourselves a few hours ago because a tornado was spotted south of us, and we slugged through the mud holes out to the end of our dirt [...]

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Solar Mint Tea

During these very hot days it is refreshing to make iced mint tea. I know that is not a common drink to many, but both Silver Oak and I grew up drinking iced tea made from mint grown in the garden. If you think that’s weird you should try it! There’s nothing better on a [...]

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The Frolic

The hardest worker of all! Recently we were blessed by several families from our local preparedness group who held a frolic at our little off-grid homestead. In February many in the group had come out for a barn raising. They had set the foundation baseboards and put the first several rafters in place on the hoop [...]

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