New Years on the homestead

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Happy New Year from Dogwood Hollow Homestead! We are a few weeks into the new year and I am sure there are many people that have made their new years resolutions and already broken them. As an off-grid homesteader, I like to tailor my new years’ resolutions to projects I need to get done at the Homestead. In our tool shed, we built from recycled wooden pallets, there is a blackboard with a list of projects that I have had ongoing since a few years ago.

It seems I can hardly ever mark one of those projects off that list. On the right side of the board is the daily chores list, I guess I can be happy that at least that list is done each day. I guess you can say that each of my projects is a new years resolution. And like most of you, most of those resolutions are carried over year after year. Projects such as, “build a root cellar” or “finish the new chicken house roof”, I have listed on my new years’ resolution/project list.

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One of the projects I want to really expand on in 2018 is to improve my medicinal herb garden. At Dogwood Hollow we grow medicinal herbs. I am a herbalist and so I am always adding to my collection of medicinal and culinary herbs. But for me and my family, growing our own medicine is a very big deal. In fact, I think I may move that project to the top of my list for 2018, and call that my main new years’ resolution. What are some of your new years’ resolutions?

Drop me a line at Dogwoodhollow17@gmail.com and share yours with me. I like to hear what others are trying to accomplish too, sometimes sharing what your plans are with others helps you and that person keep going when the going gets tough, as new years resolutions can sometimes prove. And as a jester of good will, I want to say to anyone out there that wishes to make their new years’ resolution- “moving off the grid into the homesteading way of life”, you can contact me via email.

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I can share a list of online sites where you can secure off-grid land within minutes for as little as $598, or less, with no credit checks. If in some way, I can help make your new years resolution a success I would be honoured, it is part of my passion to help those, travelling any path I have already travelled! If there are those of you that use Facebook and want to follow what Dogwood Hollow Homestead is doing in 2018, as well as learning what you can from us, feel free to follow our page.

For those of you that are interested in my medicine, I just published my new book, “Herbal Remedies”- Spirit Walker, available in print, at lulu.com.

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An off grid Christmas

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So people ask me, “what is it like at your homestead around the holidays?” With the fact we are disconnected from the water, power and internet grid, it must be different right? Although we could decorate our cabin with Christmas lights and run them on our power converter that takes the energy from our deep cycle batteries that the solar panel has harvested and put in there, we choose not to. Living off grid you learn to respect what resources you have and use them wisely.

We still need the energy in our batteries to do the nightly things we always do, such as run our interior cabin lights. We could put up a Christmas tree and decorate it with lights and do the same, but we choose not to, for the same reason. That and we actually live in the forest, we are surrounded by evergreen trees! It’s not as exciting to put another tree in our cabin as it would be if we did not live beneath them every day of the year.

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So then, what do we do? We still decorate but we hand make our decorations from paper and evergreen branches and such, just like they did way back when. We gift give, except we hand make our gifts, just as it was meant to be done. Handmade gifts have a deeper meaning, everyone can agree. We follow a very traditional way of celebrating the holidays as it goes right along with homesteading. We cook food and have a nice meal, we just don’t overdo it as is usually done by most people.

We make just enough for those we expect and sometimes family gathers at our homestead and we eat together. We don’t buy our meat from the store, we choose what we want from the animal pens and butcher the animal the day of or day before, it is very fresh. We do not buy stuffing and gravy in cans from the store, we make all that. We don’t buy frozen apple pies, we make that, too, and bake it in the dutch oven on the wood stove as well.

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We find our off-grid Christmas has more meaning and that means a lot to us. You may not find loads of expensive Christmas gifts under a fake tree decorated with money consuming lights and store-bought decorations. And you may not find our table loaded with overpriced, genetically modified, highly processed “foods”. I also doubt you will find a man dressed in a red and white suit saying “ho ho ho” running around the forest.

But what you will find is a warm cabin, healthy food, love, peace and serenity as well as laughter and a healthy understanding for how Christmas really was celebrated way back when because, on our little off-grid homestead, history lives on and so does tradition. Merry Christmas to yours!

Check out my books here: Books by Spirit Walker

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!

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

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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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