Homestead Skills That Transfer Over To Survival Skills

If you are lucky enough to live on a homestead, there’s no doubt you’ve probably learned some very impressive skills. Homestead life can be tough, it can be challenging, but it can also be highly rewarding, especially when the skills that you’ve learned can be put to good use elsewhere.

It’s interesting to note that there are a lot of homestead skills that can be transferred over to survival skills. This means that if you fancy becoming a bit of a prepper, you should already have a lot of skills and knowledge that will help you to get through a survival situation.
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Clearing the Land – Finally a “Little” Progress

Have you ever just felt like you have been so busy for so long and still don’t have anything to show for all of your efforts and hard work? That’s kind of the way we’ve been feeling for awhile now even to the point we have been MIA on the blog. Along with trying to do all of our normal daily routines, garden, and animals we have been trying to work on clearing that patch of land we bulldozed back in January.

Bulldozing Trees with a D4K Caterpillar
Bulldozing Trees with a D4K Caterpillar

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Clearing Land the Hard Way

Back in January our son rented us a bulldozer to clear an area of the land. As exciting as it was to finally feel like we were making some progress we quickly realized this job was bigger than we had anticipated and we had already anticipated it to be quite difficult. After seeing just how many trees we had to clear after they were dozed over we had decided to try to get someone to come and chip it for us.

One of Four Large Piles of Trees
One of Four Large Piles of Trees

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Bulldozing a Patch of the Land

Since the purchase of our land in February 2013, we have accomplished a few small tasks. However, we have mostly been in a stalled holding pattern until we could get some of the land cleared. Our first priority is to clear off a tear drop shaped patch of land that is about 2+ acres. There is already a logging road cut that goes all the way around this tear drop. Our goal is to build a permanent deer fence around the tear drop and plant our fruit tree orchard leaving a space for our future garden.

Luckily, our oldest son is a diesel mechanic for caterpillar and is able to rent equipment at a discount. We had planned on clearing this section months ago, but it fell through. Since we are depending on the employee discount we are at the mercy of when the equipment is not in use by other “real” customers. Finally, this weekend he was able to rent a D4K Caterpillar bulldozer.

He started pushing at the “tip” of the tear drop. It was about 20 degrees Saturday morning and there was still some residual snow on the ground.

Bulldozing the Tear Drop Starting at the Tip
Bulldozing the Tear Drop Starting at the Tip

 

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How to Make Crab Apple Jelly | Canning Crab Apple Jelly

Jon and I are on vacation from work this week and decided to try our hand once again at making crab apple jelly. Last year was our first attempt at any jelly and it was a fail. Then we made it in November so we were worried that the crab apples were too far gone on the tree this year. There were more overly brown and rotten crab apples than in November, but still the tree was loaded down and Jon was able to pick about 1.5 gallons of crab apples from our ornamental crab apple tree.

There are tons of varieties of crab apples. Most people do not use the ornamental crab apples because they are so small and tedious to use, but they are perfectly edible and since we had them we thought we would put them to use.
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Peak at Our Garden Progress

It seems the weather in April in May has just been a bit bi-polar and our garden is not as far along as we had hoped. But we are finally having some consistent warm days and our garden is starting to improve. Here is a little bit of what’s going on in our garden.

Contender Green Beans, Carrots, Tomato Blooms, Top-Pick Crowder Peas, Leaf Lettuce, Potatoes Plant, and Oregano

Our Cute Visitors

First, I wanted to share some cute pictures of our recent visitors. Last week Sarah looked out the back door and saw a rabbit inside our fence. We both started watching as it ran back and forth along the fence several times.

Then we realized there was another rabbit on the outside of the fence. They were trying to figure out how to get to each other.

We then saw a third rabbit come in from the left side of the yard. It was just too fast to get a picture of it. It was as if it was trying to lead the one trapped inside our yard to the escape route in our picket fence. Two sides of our fence are chain link and two sides are a white wooden picket fence. Sarah was amazed that the rabbits were able to get in the back yard through the fence. She admitted she now understood the need for a garden fence. Finally, the trapped rabbit found its way out and our entertaining visitors were gone. What kind of protection do you have around your garden?

Chicken Cam

Three weeks ago we integrated our new chicks with the flock. Other than the occasional hen peck or chase which is expected it has gone very smoothly. The young chickens are now almost as big as the older chickens.

The Older Gals – Commercial Black and Red
Left: The Older Gals – Commercial Black and Red. Right: Younger Girls/Guy – Barred Plymouth Rock
Left: Our Rooster is growing fast! Right: Just a little chicken butt.