Thursday, April 17, 2014

Extopian

Disaster preparedness, survival, self sufficiency and sustainability resources.

Whether you have a homestead, farm or simply some spare yard space at your residential home, there is certainly no other
species of animal more suited nor more than the chicken. Meat, eggs, fertilizer, waste disposal, and pest control are among the qualities of the home flock. Because of their comparatively minor outlay, ease of care and short turn around on your effort and money, they are an excellent “starter crop” for individuals looking to dabble in self-sufficiency. With many urban areas loosening or completely repealing their restrictions on suburban and urban farming, there has rarely been better time to give it a go.

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Optimizing Your Homestead Farming & Gardening

| June 15, 2009 | Featured, Food
Views: 3352 | No Comments

Many of us have a garden and enjoy fresh vegetables during the summer and fall. Maybe we even have a few chickens for eggs and meat. But many of us may want to extend our homesteading to what I call “hard-core” homesteading. This is serious homesteading, aimed at being able to provide your family with nearly all of its basic needs. Luckily, most of us with a piece of out-of-the-way land can become nearly “store-bought-free,” raising much of what we need in nearly the same way as did our ancestors. There is a vast difference between this type of survival homesteading and stars-in-the-eyes, back-to-nature, recreational homesteading to relieve stress and provide enjoyment. The difference is not so much in how-to, but in discipline and learning.

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The Dairy Goat — A Gallon of Milk a Day

| May 20, 2009 | Featured, Food, Resources
Views: 21786 | No Comments

Looking for a way to combine sufficiency with efficiency? The most efficient animal on the place is the goat. It is scoffed at by skeptics, eyed by the curious, and well-loved by those who know. Countless people already know the benefits of goat milk, but in case you haven’t heard, the milk from goats contains considerable smaller fat globules, making it easier to digest than milk from a cow. The curd is much softer and smaller, and vitamin A appears in pure form, as contrasted with carotene found in cow’s milk.

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Angora rabbits have a long history. They are one of the oldest breeds and it is thought that they were kept for wool in Roman times. For hundreds of years, breeders in France have kept them and exported some of the wool to Britain, often in a yarn which was a mixture of Angora and sheep’s wool. Most Angoras you see are white, but they can be in any of twelve colors. The wool can be as long as six inches, with feathery plumes on the ears and feet called ‘furnishings’. They seem to be particularly docile, sweet-tempered animals.

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Backyard Rabbit Keeping, Part 14/15 – Showing

| February 24, 2009 | Featured, Resources, Urban
Views: 3060 | No Comments

If you would like to get involved, join the club of the breed of your choice, or let your children join – these clubs are particularly kind to young exhibitors. In this way your knowledge will quickly build up. Breeding for showing can get very complicated and, in fact, it can be well out of the realm of self-sufficiency, but there is still an element of backyarding about it. Very rarely do you find a large producer who exhibits rabbits. The Fancy are dedicated and extremely knowledgeable, but they are nearly always ‘in a small way’ with their livestock.

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You may have made up your mind against fur production; it could be argued that a fur coat is out of place in a back yard. There is certainly an image of slightly decadent luxury clinging to fur, even now, in some parts of the world. But there is also the frontier man, Davy Crockett sort of warm fur clothing with no pretensions whatever so if the image bothers you, think of Davy Crockett. Most of the published material about curing skins says don’t (but if you must, they add, do this or that). The reason is that curing furs is a skill like many another, presumably once known to mankind in general and now something of a mystery to most of us. Experts have heard so many wails of anguish from enthusiastic amateurs who have expected to get professional results at their first try, and failed, that they are wary of giving advice.

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