An off grid Thanksgiving

People have asked me, “How do you celebrate Thanksgiving at your homestead?” They know we are not connected to the power, water or internet grid and they also know we are not into modern day societal norms. Well, we do celebrate a bit differently I guess you could say. So what is a Thanksgiving like off the grid at the homestead…

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Well, you won’t find any turkey butchered and sitting in a thin aluminium pan on the table, after cooking for most of the early morning in a gas or electric oversized oven. You won’t find Stovetop brand stuffing all fluffy sitting in a big bowl next to the genetically modified cranberry sauce that, from its shape, obviously came straight out of a tin can.

There are no empty cans of processed gravy sitting in the trash can waiting to be taken out by mom or some unlucky kid after lunch or dinner. Our plats are not fancy glass or moms best china that only gets used around the holidays. We don’t have a driveway overflowing with cars from friends and family clogging up the street.

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There is no football game playing on a big screen TV where all the guys are crowded until time to eat or a Christmas parade with Santa leading the way for kids, both grown and not, to sit and enjoy. There are no Christmas lights decorating the house, yard and fence just in time for Thanksgiving day and early enough for the neighbourhood to enjoy before Christmas day.

You won’t find any oven heated previously frozen bread rolls, that got a bit to brown on the bottom, or highly processed, recently frozen, pies for dessert. No loud Christmas music playing all over the house or a Christmas tree decorated with bright LED lights that were just put up the day before Thanksgiving, by the kids and those that arrived early.

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No, you won’t find any modern day Thanksgiving celebration here on our homestead. But what you will find is a traditional Thanksgiving, being celebrated just as it was way back when, before modern day consumerism stepped in and changed tradition. Instead, a wood-fired wood stove heats the cabin for all those that cross her doors thresh hold this day.

Smells of homemade warm apple pie linger in the cabin air. Fresh handmade, Amish style apple and pumpkin pies sit on her counter. A pot of freshly butchered duck and old-fashioned homemade egg noodles cooks in the dutch oven on the wood stove, just made that morning. There are no store-bought bread rolls, instead, round loaves of fresh bread line the shelf of canned veggies.

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Gravy, made from the ducks liver, heart and kidneys sits steaming in the cast iron skillet, recently removed from the little 2 burner camp propane stove. Already on the table sits a wooden bowl of homemade mashed potatoes, recently taken from their dirt mounds still sitting in the garden covered with straw.

Also, some homemade blackberry wine is available to all the adults, recently pulled from their outdoor cooler, where they have sat, ageing, since summer. For the children, there is fresh strawberry/peppermint tea. The peppermint was grown in the homestead garden and a recent trade landed some fresh strawberries, grown without pesticides, from another local homesteaders freezer.

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LED light bulbs light up the cabin as the sun sets, the warm glow of the wood stove illuminates the cabin living room as everyone sits around talking about whatever, watching the children playing. No, you won’t find any turkey on our table, there was no turkey at the first Thanksgiving. You won’t find loads of store-bought, highly processed, genetically modified, overpriced “food” here either.

We do not decorate the homestead with Christmas lights and use up all our energy from the sun that we harvested the day of. We celebrate Thanksgiving as it was meant to be celebrated. You won’t find us shopping for those last minute deals after Thanksgiving dinner either. Any gifts we share, this holiday season, will be handmade as usual and just as it was way back when.

So there you have it, an off-grid Thanksgiving on the homestead. We wish everyone a very happy holiday season!

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10 things you will want to know before moving off the grid

Self sufficient living

1- You do not have to go through a bank to buy off-grid land. There are companies that have proven track records of trust that will sell you a plot of land, at a decent price, for a very small down payment and a very small closing fee. No credit check, no banks, just cash and carry.

2- You can buy solar panels by the pallet load at 50 percent cheaper than the regular price. The reason it is sold to you at 50 percent cheaper is because usually one of the panels, on the pallet, have been broken and they can not break the pallet apart, so you catch a hefty discount.

3- How to grow rabbit fodder before investing years of money into rabbit feed. Fodder is cheaper and grows very fast. One time investment for fodder seed and you will be able to grow your own rabbit food all the time.

4- How expensive it is to have a well drilled on your property. In Texas county alone, it can range from 5k to 7k for a decent well. I have since learned how to dig my own well, but here in rock central Mo. It is a task I do not wish to undertake myself.

5- Companion growing is an ancient technique. Dealing with growing your own food, companion growing will take a load off of you when it comes to organic pest control and weed control and your harvest will be better.

6- You can get free wooden pallets and scrap wood all over most towns, for free, that can be used to build your cabin, furniture, animal pens and all sorts of other things. Do this instead of investing large amounts of money in retail lumber.

7- There are 1000’s of communities nationwide, many off-grid, that you can join before making your permanent leap off-grid, where you can learn tons of off-grid skills that will make life much easier when you decide to take your leap. http://www.ic.org

8- Learn all the wild fruit trees for your area before you buy a fully wooded property and go a hacking a lot of trees down so you have a place to put what will be your home. You will want to preserve your wild fruit trees, not chop them down.

9- Bakers Creek Heirloom seed company is the worlds biggest heirloom seed store and is available online. Why is this important? You will want to make sure you are growing non-gmo seeds when you begin producing your family’s food. Heirloom seeds are non-gmo.

10- Learn how much wood you have to have to burn each year for wood heat, for your area. It is important you think this through if you plan on using your own wood for all your heating and cooking needs. Today’s cheap saws are not meant to cut wood like off-grid life demands.

Off grid medicine: Treat yourself naturally, with these 5 herbs

Living off the grid poses some issues of which a person needs to be able to tackle head-on and do so successfully, in order to guarantee safety. One of those issues could be the medical treatment of situations that are not life-threatening but may threaten your comfort, safety and health. With emergency sources so far from the country and in some situations, off-grid locations being so remote and only accessible with a 4×4, you will need to know how to handle most emergency situations yourself. In order to do this, you need to have some basic and some intermediate knowledge of plants that can be used for medicine.

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Mint family herbs- Peppermint is probably the first things you think about here. But, it is not only hard to locate actual peppermint in the wild, but also not the only member of the mint family you should have knowledge about. Since there are many plants that are members of the mint family you should know that they all do pretty much the same thing medically and are all safe to use. Remember that you can make a warm tea of any of the mint family plants and use the tea to treat almost any ailment with the digestive system.

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Echinacea/Purple coneflower- This herb is well recognized on roadsides across Missouri with it’s tall purple/pink flowers in late summer. Use of this herb as a tea works like a natural antibiotic and has the ability to treat most internal infections such as bronchitis or upper respiratory infection.

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Plantain- There are many types of plantains growing wild in Mo. But they all can be used to treat skin irritations such as poison ivy and bug bites. A simple infusion of the leaves can be used as a wash in this case.

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Mullein/lambs ear- Lambs ear leaves are so soft, thick, strong and absorbent that in WW2 the leaves were used as bandages when the medics ran out of their usual medical bandages. Aside from that very useful fact, a tincture or infusion made of mullein leaf is a great poison ivy remedy as well as.

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Willow bark- Most people have used aspirin in their lifetime and understand how to use it. But what would you do if you needed aspirin for aches and pains OR God forbid, to stop a heart attack and did not have any? In MO. We have willow trees growing. It is true that the inner bark of the willow tree is actually “natural aspirin”. A simple infusion made from a few Tbs. Of the inner bark, paired with honey or sugar for sweetener, if you have any, makes a very effective aspirin tea.

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Part of living self-sufficient, usually off-grid, means you have to be ready for anything. That means that medically, you should have more than just basic knowledge and experience or else you risk possible major issues with something as simple as the flu or even a scratch that becomes infected. So study natural medicine, herbology, native American medicine etc. and learn how to treat things that do not necessarily have to be handled by a hospital or doctors office and thrive!

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For more information on natural living, holistic medicine from Spirit Walker of Dogwood Hollow Homestead check out this link to my new book just published called, “Using Herbal Remedies” Available now in full-colour print!

Why would someone want to live off grid today- Part 5

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In my last 4 articles, I went over 8 reasons why someone might choose to live off the grid in the present day. Although each person’s reasons might be different, over the last 7 years of my own off-grid journey I have talked to many people that have told me their own reasons. I have based my top 10 list on those reasons told to me as well as my own reasons, which in many cases, were the same as what I was hearing from others.

To recap here are the first 8 reasons people are choosing to live off grid in today’s world:

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1- For spiritual reasons.

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 2- To grow their own food.

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 3- Because of the constant rising prices associated with all aspects of life.

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 4- To better be able to afford to live.

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 5- To keep farm animals.

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 6- To get away from society/people.

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 7- To get away from the drama and turmoil of modern day society.

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 8- To prepare their family to better survive anything that may happen.

Here is reason number 9 people choose to live off grid in today’s world:

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9- To escape building codes and regulations. For some, it’s no secret that building codes and regulations make it hard to build your own home, control your own waste management system, your own trash, etc. You can not do anything, inside the city limits, without being bound to codes and regulations. For some, this places a strain on their budget and limited knowledge of building, yet they still want to build their own home and control every aspect of their family’s lives without the intrusion of strict modern day codes and regulations.

Yes, codes and regulations are in place for safety and as a guide that is based on expert aspects, again for safety. However, there are still those people that would prefer to be able to do what they want without the pressure of such rules. This leads us to the 10th reason folks choose to live off the grid, today.

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10- To become more self-sufficient and sustainable. More and more people are “waking up” to the truths that modern day life just isn’t as healthy as it used to be and that our civilization’s way of life is at odds with the planet, in almost all aspects. Also, more people are realizing that as we move forward it does not seem to be increasing our life expectancy, nor the life expectancy of our children. It’s no secret that what we are doing, how we are living just is not natural.

As these realizations, and others, become more prevalent; such as the destruction of our water, air, and soil, more and more people are realizing it is because of the impact humans have on the planet and turning to a more sustainable way of life.

To learn more about all this check out my books online here:

http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/blueyesnangelatyahoodotcom

The quest for higher education in a pre-apocalyptic war era

Dogwood Hollow Homestead-Off Grid

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Higher education….lets look at the truth, and you can research this. America is the most under educated civilization on the planet. Our modern days schools do not educate you with information that will keep you alive when shit hits the fan (SHTF). Instead, America, today, is like Nazi Germany and is indoctrinating its young as either potential military customers, political puppets, societal slaves or as a consumer. They wave BS ideas and promises in front of your face and make erroneous promises of a bright and prosperous future, if you get your higher education. But its all based on consumerism, buy, buy buy. They tell you that you need more stuff, you need the next big thing and that you need to become more, when all they are doing is creating their next puppet or slave in society.

If you fall into their mind games you will forever become blind…

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Why would someone want to live off grid today- Part 4

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Some people scarf at the idea of living with next to nothing. In a world that has been taught that the person who dies with the most “toys” wins and that success can be measured by the amount of money or items a person owns, it can be frustrating to those that try and never seem to be able to keep up with their neighbor. Then the ridicule that is associated with being different, being the outcast. Who wants to live with such utter ridiculous drama? Now don’t get me wrong, you get the drama makers and drama queens even in the off grid community! Sad, but true. Some people can not stand the feeling of not being as successful as the next person even in the off grid community!

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I have personally experienced attacks on my family because of this very issue, well that and the fact that some people just can not suppress their jealous nature. SO in carrying on with my series of why someone would want to live off grid in today’s world, I give you my next 2 good reasons. #7) To get away from the drama and people of modern day society. Some would say, well you are still in “society”, although technically true, when you live far out of the city limits and away from anyone, especially for forest dwellers, life can seem completely separate. Living on private property of your own gives you all sorts of options to distance yourself from all the negative aspects of modern people and life too.

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In fact, most of the off grid folks I know have, at one point, told me that reason was their most prominent reason for their decision. For me, it was a major decision maker as well. Reason #8) To prepare their family to better survive something, or anything, that may happen. The fact is, those that live in the cities and those that are surrounded by people will have a harder time surviving a SHTF scenario. Now we all know that here in Missouri, for instance, it is smart to have your family prepared for natural disasters, such as the flood of 2017 that Texas County MO. endured and is still recovering from!

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But what about things that could happen beyond natural disasters, most believe it’s a matter of when…not if. Things such as the next big war, or country wide famine, economy collapse, or country/world wide financial collapse, could be a persons motivation for preparing to survive a SHTF situation. Living off grid gives you more freedom to prepare for such things as you are not bound by the rules and regulations like you are in the city limits. Kind of hard to dig a tornado bunker or take your house off the electrical grid and onto solar when you live in areas where rules and regulations oppose it.

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For more information on preparing your family for a SHTF event, check out my book titled, “Preparing for the collapse- Food production basics”, available online where ever books are sold. Don’t miss the last part to this series, next month!