Loading...

Follow Small Town Homestead on Feedspot

Continue with Google
Continue with Facebook
or

Valid
Small Town Homestead by Harold, Harold Thornbro, Urban Home.. - 1d ago

The Modern Homesteading Podcast, Episode 109 – December 11, 2018 – Emergency Back Up Power Options.

On this podcast episode I discuss some possible options to have in place just in case you lose power on your homestead for an extended period of time.

Homestead Updates:

Things are starting to really rock in the winter greenhouse even with temp regularly falling into the teens at night. But it comes with a price!

Pond heaters I purchased this year are working well in the aquaponics system and pond.

Something new at the Homestead Front Porch Facebook Group – Sub Groups.

If you are already looking to start your seed shopping for next year or maybe you are setup to grow food right now consider buying your seeds from Mary’s Heirloom Seeds. They have also partnered with us to offer a 10% discount on purchases over $15 to our Homestead Forum Members.

Main Topic: Emergency Back Up Power Options

Why you probably need a back up power source for your homestead.

  • To keep essential appliances running.
  • To keep the sump pump running.
  • To keep you and your family safe.

Power Source Options:

12 volt DC to AC  Inverter

This is a device you would connect to the battery of you car when the power goes out that you can plug extension cords into which you would then run to house to supply power for appliances, lights, etc.

Advantages:

  • Affordable
  • Simple

Disadvantages:

  • Requires some time and work after power goes out to supply power to home.
  • You need to idle your vehicle.

800 Watt Inverter

1500 Watt Inverter

Generator Options

Conventional Gas Generator

These generators come in any size you might want from small quiet low power generators to large unit that can power your entire house and property directly through the breaker box.

Advantages

  • Probably the most affordable option for generators.
  • Fuel is easy to acquire.
  • Generally easy to work on and maintain as well as acquire parts for.

Disadvantages

  • Loud
  • Storing gasoline has safety and longevity concerns.

Diesel Generator

Like larger gas units these generators are usually large and can be hooked up to a breaker box to run an entire house and property.

Advantages

  • Generally a little quieter than a gas engine.
  • Can run longer intervals between maintenance than gas engines.
  • Overall run longer and last longer than gas engines.
  • Fuel is more stable than gasoline for storage.

Disadvantages

  • More expensive
  • Even though quieter, still pretty loud.

Propane Generators

These are essentially gasoline generators set up to run on propane so they have many of the advantages and disadvantages of gasoline generators with the main difference being that propane is more easily stored in bulk and very stable for a very long period of time.

Natural Gas 

Like propane these too are essentially gasoline generators set up to run on natural gas. With these generators come one advantage and one disadvantage. If you have natural gas than you basically have and endless supply of constant fuel going to your generator at all times. The disadvantage is that the generator will need to be in a fixed location so you lose the mobility aspect of the unit, if the generator is wired to your breaker box this won’t matter.

As a side note the only issue I can see with using natural gas is if you live in an area prone to earthquakes and this might be the main reason you experience power loss than you may want to use another fuel source as natural gas lines are generally shut of after an earthquake to prevent explosions.

Inverter Generator

Inverter generators are a recent technology, made possible by advanced electronic circuitry and state-of-the-art magnets. The technology generally outputs AC current like most conventional generators, but the current is then converted to DC voltage, and then “inverted” back to clean AC voltage, thus how it gets its name. The advantage to this inversion, is that it maintains a constant flow of current to your appliance. Whereas conventional generators have a fluctuating current which “possibly can” damage sensitive electronics on some appliances.

Major Disadvantage: Much More Expensive.

Military Surplus Generator

These are military used units you can purchase that can be gasoline or diesel engines and can sometimes be mobile units on trailers or sometimes very large fixed units.

I only bring this up because this can be an affordable way to purchase a very large generator that has generally been maintained well. You may in fact be able to purchase one that needs work at an extremely low price.

Wood Gasifier

This is yet another option for fueling a generator. Even thought the fuel would be inexpensive and readily available there is an aspect of whether or not it will be reliable in a time of emergency but I did want to mention it as an option.

https://www.tacticalwoodgas.com/online-store/Big-Dragon-Wood-Gasifier-System-p55274825

Battery Back Up System

Having a battery backup system to power your home is another option for emergency power. These batteries can be charged by solar, wind, generator or just be kept charged with the grid power and used until they run out.

There are commercial units that can be installed and wired into your home or you can install a system yourself using deep cycle batteries such as trolling motor batteries or golf cart batteries. Probably the best information available for building your own unit can be found from Steven Harris at http://www.battery1234.com/

Storing Gasoline

  • Easy fuel rotation system using 12 – 5 gallon gas cans for 60 gallons of fuel storage
  • PRI CP123 G Gasoline Treatment Fuel stabilizer – https://amzn.to/2U9TkRl

This Podcast Made Possible By:

Those Who Join Our Homestead Forum Membership Community.

Learn More about the Benefits of Membership at https://thehomesteadforum.com

Show Notes For This Episode Can Be Found At:

https://smalltownhomestead.com/109

What Are Folks Saying About The Modern Homesteading Podcast?

Been listening to you for years now, Harold. Love hearing about you and your family and all the wonderful things you've been doing on your homestead. God bless.

Excellent!

This is one of my favorite podcasts! I look forward to getting each new episode and really appreciate the balance it has between inspiration and practical advice. The topics cover such a wide range of homesteading areas that there is something for everyone - no matter where you are in your homesteading journey.

My favorite podcast!

My Favorite Podcast

I listen to a lot of podcasts but when this one pops up in my player with a new episode I listen right away, I never miss an episode! Keep up the great work!

Wealth of knowledge

Harold has a wealth of knowledge and experiences

Page 1 of 2:
«
 
 
1
2
 
»
 

Leave A Review

Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 
Small Town Homestead by Harold, Harold Thornbro, Urban Home.. - 2w ago

The Modern Homesteading Podcast, Episode 108 – November 24, 2018 – Finding Cheap and Free Resources To Build Your Homestead.

What are you lacking to really get your homestead going; time, money, land, stuff?  In this episode I will discuss how to find free and cheap resources to build your homestead.

So what are you lacking? Is it time? If you had more money could you buy back your time? What I mean by that is that if your lacking time because you are trading your time for dollars would having money allow you to take some of your time back?

Would being able to get your hands on free and cheap resources for you homestead allow you to keep more of your money which in turn could allow you to buy back your time?

You see where i’m going with this don’t you? It’s all linked together. So by taking advantage of the free and cheap resources out there to build or advance your homestead you could potentially work toward solving all of your resource lacking problems.

So what are some of these potentially free or cheap resources?

Purchasing soil amendments could cost you hundreds if not thousands of dollars over the years. The good news is if you know what to look for this can be one of the easiest and most available free or cheap resources to get your hands on.

Manure: Finding manure, depending where you live is very easy to get your hands on, usually free. Horse ranches are a common source of this valuable resource, they usually have mounds of it that they are trying t get rid of. Horse manure isn’t the only kind you can look for however, cow, sheep, chicken and rabbit manure can also be found in abundance in many places and can be good for soil building.

Compost: Many counties have free or cheap compost via yard waste centers where folks bring their leaves, grass clippings and other organic waste material where it gets put in huge piles, stirred and turned into rich compost. These centers usually give the compost away to anyone who wants to come load it themselves.

Leaves and grass clippings: Especially in the Fall getting your hands on bags of free leaves can be extremely easy. Leaves can make a great garden cover mulch for the winter and can be used as leaf mold as it decomposes and also be turned into finished compost over time. Grass clippings also make a great organic material for composting but can also be used as animal fodder for your livestock, just make sure you know who your getting it from and that it hasn’t been sprayed with anything.

Wood Chips: These make a great mulch for your garden and around trees and shrubs and can be expensive if you are purchasing them by the bag. This is also possibly available for free or cheap from county highway departments and tree trimming companies. County Highway Departments usually require you to come and get it yourself but many tree trimming companies will even drop it off at your homestead if they are working in your area.

Top Soil: If you are gardening using raised beds especially you will discover you need to get your hands on a lot of soil to fill them up and this can get really expensive really quick. Many County Highway Departments also have topsoil available for pickup but another source is excavating companies. Many times when they remove soil from a job site and they will bring it back to their property and pile it up. If soil isn’t available for free from these places in your area just remember that buying it by the cubic yard in bulk is much cheaper than by the bag usually and it’s also usually a more trustworthy source of good soil.

Most homesteaders find they become builders of many things on their property. Whether it be a potting bench, raised garden beds or a chicken coop, most will do these projects themselves or get a family member or friend to help. Doing this work yourself can save you a lot of many but you can save even more by being creative when it comes to getting your hands on some building materials.

Pallets: These are usually available free or very cheap is many places and depending on what you are building can be a great source of material. Three things to remember when using pallets for projects, 1. as you are collecting them they will take up a lot of space and can be quite an eyesore on your property. 2. Breaking them down into usable lumber can be a lot of work especially if you don’t have the proper tools for the job. 3. Some pallets are treated with dangerous chemicals and used to transport toxic products so know where they come from and check the codes on the pallets to find out there treated condition.

Used Lumber: Though usually not free unless you can help someone dismantle something in trade for the lumber, used lumber can be purchased at a huge discount. All of the ranch style fencing around my property was built using used 2×4’s and 2×6’s I purchased from an individual, I saves hundreds of dollars by using this resource I found on Craigslist (which I will talk about later).

Blocks, Bricks and Rocks: These can be another great resource for your homestead for building raised beds, retaining walls and walkways and can sometimes be found for free or cheap. Sometimes someone will have something torn down like a chimney and have a pile of bricks or block they need to get rid off and you can be there to help. Many times farmers will clear a field for planting and have a huge pile of field rocks they need to get rid of and once again you can come to the rescue. Even if you can’t get them for free these can often be purchased cheap from some of the resources I will talk about at the end of the lesson.

Making use of what most people throw away can be a huge money saver and provide you with many resources around your homestead. As a warning I do want to tell you to be aware of what you use for certain things as some products contain toxins or harmful heavy metals that you may not want on your property at all or only being used in certain places, So do your homework when repurposing items on your homestead. One of the great things about this day and age is that finding information has never been easier so in these cases google is your friend for research.

Trash: You’ve probably heard the saying that one man’s trash is a another man’s treasure, that’s because the one who counts it as treasure can find a way to use it. I have a friend who works as a janitor and all year he saves the empty toilet paper tubes he gets at work and in the spring he uses them to plant seedling in. Cutting the bottoms out of milk jugs and other plastic bottles to use them as mini greenhouses for individual small plants is another common practice. The list can go on forever but you can probably imagine the possibilities of using items most people throw away for a special purpose on your homestead.

Used Items: I couldn’t possibly mention all the possible things you could get your hands on that could be repurposed and used for something on your homestead but some of the more common things are barrels which can be used for water collection or feed storage or perhaps an aquaponics system, who knows. Old windows that can be used to build cold frames or whole greenhouses. Five gallon buckets are also a great resource around the homestead that can be used for a great many things. However, nearly anything can be used and repurposed for something if your creative enough.

Yes, even some animals can be attained either free or very cheap. Many people will purchase an animal like a rabbit, chicken, or duck on an impulse buy especially around Easter for a child and they don’t realize the work they take or that they don’t have the proper infrastructure for the animal. Although it’s sad that people do this it can be to your benefit. By using some of the resources I will go over at the end of the lesson you can often find livestock in this way.

Just as a warning, many of the people you get these animals from will not want you using them for livestock but for pets only so the ethical thing to do is not deceive someone with these conditions, just don’t take the animal. Also beware of getting sick animals and bringing them onto your homestead where they can infect other livestock. Have an area where you can quarantine new livestock for a while because you can’t always tell if they have an issue right away.

No Resource will have a bigger impact on your homestead than just cold hard cash. There are two ways to put cash in your hand, you can make more of it or keep it in your hand by spending less of it.

Frugality: Being frugal is a common and I think an important practice for homesteaders. I will point you to a free resource I have, it’s a PDF titled “21 Tips For Homesteading On A Budget” This can give you a few ideas for saving some money on the homestead.

Selling Things You Don’t Use or Need: When I was growing up, every year my family would have a huge rummage sale to get rid of the things we didn’t use anymore and put a little money back in our pockets. These days there are many places you can sell your unwanted items online for free so it’s a good way to get your hands on some extra cash to use on your homestead.

Making From Scratch: Making things from scratch is not only a healthier practice but can be a huge money saver as well. Many of the things you purchase from the store such as prepackaged food items and household cleaners can be made yourself for just pennies on the dollar.

Sell What Your Producing: Even if on a small scale selling some of the things your homestead is producing can go along way to providing some money for your homestead. Selling eggs or setting up a vegetable stand are some simple things you can do but your only limited by your own creativity and the limitations of the demand of your local market, in other words someone has to want what your producing.

It’s not as common as a practice as it used to be but it’s a skill I think homesteaders should develop as it can do a lot to provide for your homestead especially if you don’t have a lot of cash.

Labor: Doing work for others for barter is a great way to acquire resources for your homestead. Many times this can pay better than working for cash, just do the math, what is the value of what your bartering for and how much would you charge for the labor your doing.

What Your Producing: I recently traded some live rabbit breeding stock for half a freezer full of pastured pork products. You can trade eggs or produce for things you need also. Maybe you can bake bread better than everyone else or have an abundance of apples on your homestead, someone probably wants what you have that has something of value you could use that you could trade for.

Where To Find Free and Cheap Items:

It used to be that newspaper classifieds were a great place to find items but now the best use of the newspaper is to locate rummage sales and auctions and as organic material for your compost bin. All of the resources listed below are great places to both find and buy items but also places to sell items.

Garage Sales

Flea Markets

Auctions

Facebook Marketplace

Craigslist

FreeCycle

Next Door

Amazon

Ebay

This Podcast Made Possible By:

Those Who Join Our Homestead Forum Membership Community.

Learn More about the Benefits of Membership at https://thehomesteadforum.com

Show Notes For This Episode Can Be Found At:

https://smalltownhomestead.com/108

What Are Folks Saying About The Modern Homesteading Podcast?

Excellent!

This is one of my favorite podcasts! I look forward to getting each new episode and really appreciate the balance it has between inspiration and practical advice. The topics cover such a wide range of homesteading areas that there is something for everyone - no matter where you are in your homesteading journey.

My favorite podcast!

My Favorite Podcast

I listen to a lot of podcasts but when this one pops up in my player with a new episode I listen right away, I never miss an episode! Keep up the great work!

Wealth of knowledge

Harold has a wealth of knowledge and experiences

Love this podcast

Harold's podcasts always have something for me to learn. I love listening to them when I go for a walk in the mornings. Keep up the good work.

Leave A Review

Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

The Modern Homesteading Podcast, Episode 107 – November 5, 2018 – Just Chewin’ The Fat While Driving: Homestead Updates and More.

In this podcast episode I just wanted to chat with you about what has been going on around the homestead. I talk about why I took a short break and some of the things I’ve been doing in the garden and with the livestock. I also talk about a few changes I’m thinking of making around the homestead. Mostly just chewin’ the fat with my friends as I take a drive to go get some homestead supplies.

Using a soldering Iron in the greenhouse.

Using comfrey as a living mulch around my fruit trees.

Submit A Question For The Podcast

You can send your questions to ask@smalltownhomestead.com – or – Call or Text in your questions to our Voicemail at 765-203-1949. Submit questions as often as you like. 

This Podcast Made Possible By:

Those Who Join Our Homestead Forum Membership Community.

Learn More about the Benefits of Membership at https://thehomesteadforum.com

Show Notes For This Episode Can Be Found At:

https://smalltownhomestead.com/107

What Are Folks Saying About The Modern Homesteading Podcast?

Excellent!

This is one of my favorite podcasts! I look forward to getting each new episode and really appreciate the balance it has between inspiration and practical advice. The topics cover such a wide range of homesteading areas that there is something for everyone - no matter where you are in your homesteading journey.

My favorite podcast!

My Favorite Podcast

I listen to a lot of podcasts but when this one pops up in my player with a new episode I listen right away, I never miss an episode! Keep up the great work!

Wealth of knowledge

Harold has a wealth of knowledge and experiences

Love this podcast

Harold's podcasts always have something for me to learn. I love listening to them when I go for a walk in the mornings. Keep up the good work.

Leave A Review

Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

Having a greenhouse, even a small one can be very useful on the homestead, we use ours in all four seasons. In this video I talk about some things I do to transition the greenhouse over for growing a few things through the winter.

Setting Up The Greenhouse For Winter - YouTube

Some of the things I do to help us grow food in the winter.

  • Partially insulate the greenhouse using bubble wrap.
  • Paint jugs of water black and place throughout the greenhouse to create a “battery” that stores heat through the day and releases throughout the night.
  • Use a thermostat controlled electric heater to heat the greenhouse.
  • Collect rainwater with a water collection system I installed in the greenhouse.

The greenhouse I have is a Palram Nature Harmony Greenhouse, 6′ wide x 8′ long – https://amzn.to/2yCxixs

Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

Welcome To The Modern Homesteading Weekly Link Share

Week 3

Check Out All These Great Links Shared The Week Of: 9/1/18 – 9/7/18

To Add Your Links To The Current Weekly Link Share Go Here

Share Homesteading Related Links to your Blog Posts, YouTube Videos, Podcast Episodes or any other Linkable Content. As long as it’s someway related to homesteading, you can share new or old links.

What belongs here? Content about gardening, livestock, diy, recipes, food preservation, hunting, fishing, foraging, bushcrafting…etc.

Share up to 3 links a week with a new Weekly Link Share starting every Saturday.

 Loading InLinkz ...

 

Embed a link to The Modern Homesteading Weekly Link Share on your website.

The Modern Homesteading Weekly Link Share

<div style=’width:100%;text-align:center;’><span style=’margin:5px;padding:5px;border-radius: 5px;border:1px solid lightgrey;display:inline-block;’><a<span data-mce-type=”bookmark” style=”display: inline-block; width: 0px; overflow: hidden; line-height: 0;” class=”mce_SELRES_start”></span> href=’https://smalltownhomestead.com/the-modern-homesteading-weekly-link-share/’> <img style=’border: 1px solid gray;width:300x179px;height:300x179px;’ src=’https://smalltownhomestead.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/The-Modern-Homesteading-Weekly-Link-Share300.jpg’> <p style=’align: center;’>The Modern Homesteading Weekly Link Share</p></a></span>
Instructions: Select all code above, copy it and paste it inside your blog post as HTML

Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

If you were to ask me what my 3 most used gardening tools are, the Hori Hori Knife would be on the list and it would be on the list for most serious gardeners I think.

What is a Hori Hori Knife? 

Sometimes referred to as a “soil knife” or a “weeding knife”, it is a heavy serrated multi-purpose steel blade for gardening jobs such as digging or cutting. The blade is sharp on both sides and comes to a semi-sharp point at the end.

The word “Hori” means “to dig” in Japanese. The tool itself is commonly referred to as a leisure knife or a Mountain-vegetable knife in Japan.

What do you use a Hori Hori Knife for?

Digging holes for planting. It is especially helpful for gauging the depth at which you need to plant certain things such as bulbs. I also find the Hori Hori very helpful for transplanting when you’ve started your seeds in trays in the greenhouse or indoors,

Weeding. The point of the knife makes it a great tool for getting under weeds and removing them from the garden.

Harvesting. This is an ideal tool for harvesting many vegetable. Anything that needs cut at the stalk to remove a leaf or digging under a root vegetable to easily remove it, this is a great tool for the job.

Foraging. I find the Hori Hori helpful to take to the woods with me when harvesting things like ginseng root. This tool makes digging and cutting light work.

Pruning. The serrated blade makes cutting of small branches and stalks easy when it time to prune and clean things up a bit.

What To Look For In A Good Hori Hori Knife.

The truth is most of them do a great job, but here are a few thing I look for in a good  Hori Hori Knife.

The Right Size. I want a knife that is large enough to do all the jobs I want it to do so I’m looking for a knife with an overall length of at least 11 inches and a blade length of at least 6 inches.

A Good Blade. It needs to be a quality, heavy, stainless steel blade that will hold a good edge, be strong enough to do tough jobs and not rust. The blade also needs to have both a sharp edge and a serrated edge to do a wide range of jobs. The blade should also have engraved measurements in it to help with planting depths. The blade should also be concave in shape to make digging, planting, and prying much easier. Also the blade should have a good sharp point to it to help penetrate hard soil

A Solid Handle. I want the handle to be made of a good hardwood that is well attached. I don’t want a plastic or composite handle even if it means saving a few bucks on the knife.

Is There One I Recommend?

HORI HORI KNIFE By Oakridge Garden Tools – Japanese Style Stainless Steel Gardening Knife With Handguard – Serrated Edge And Whetstone, A Perfect Hand Weeding Tool

The Most Used Gardening Tool By Master Gardeners DAILY!

Features of This Knife

– Made of the highest quality stainless steel
– Versatile All Purpose Knife
– Full Tang handle to blade tip
– Beautiful Rosewood Handle
– Serrated Edge For Cutting On One side and sharp blade on the other
– Overall Knife is 12 inches
– Blade is 6 3/4 inches long and nearly 1/8th inch thick
– Heavy duty nylon sheath w/belt loop for storage and protection
-Strong Blade Excellent for Digging in Hard Soil

I use my Hori Hori knife every time I work in the garden, the only tool that even comes close to being used as much is my hand pruners. This isn’t the exact knife I own but it seems comparable with a great amazon rating and favorable reviews at a great price.

Get your Oakridge Gardens Hori Hori Knife from Amazon today!

See Our List Of Other Recommended Items For The Homestead

Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

Separate tags by commas
To access this feature, please upgrade your account.
Start your free month
Free Preview