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Homesteading Skills

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Ok, I was surfing and looking for any other ways to do certain skill sets from the Colonial days with modern materials and applications and found this short article on making lye for soap. It's a really simple procedure/recipe and does not give a soap recipe, but gives a very easy to understand method for making lye from wood ash.

 

http://www.countryfarm-lifestyles.com/make-lye.html

 

We spend so much time thinking about the most dire of events to prepare for, this will just help reduce the costs of everyday items and allow something else to paid off. These skills, will really be helpful if we just end up in another depression (highly likely) without the resulting societal collapse.

 

Please add any other recipes/procedures for the other skills or even others for lye.

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Welcome WT. I hope it makes it easy for you to make and if have the hardwood ashes, you can always use it to treat raw skins to make leather as well. It at least can be used in a step of tanning, as the lye from the ashes will remove the fur. Here is a link to get you started with looking to use the ashes to make leather/buckskins. I know they say that using the lye isn't necessary for deer hair removal, but it does help and it will cure small hides (squirrel for what I did) alone.

 

http://www.pioneerliving.net/tanninghides.htm

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I thought this would be useful, because vinegar is not only (apparently) easy to make, you can use it for cooking, for health purposes - like treating wounds - and you can use it for cleaning. Here's a simple how-to explanation:

http://down---to---earth.blogspot.com/2011/05/making-vinegar-old-way.html

 

And here has to be the world's easiest make-your-own-cheese recipe:

http://pantryparatus.com/blog/homemade_cheese_stovetop/

 

And this site has a great list of "how-tos" for those of us who want to know the ins and outs of homesteading:

http://matronofhusbandry.wordpress.com/how-to/

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Anytime Tinder. A couple really good books listed that are great. Also check the Living History thread for several links to websites dealing with Colonial/Mountainman sites for their skills, which would include tanning hides and making clothing from them.

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http://www.northhouse.org/courses/courses/coursesforkids.cfm

 

Here is a site for a school in Minnesota that teaches several homesteading and outdoor survival skills. They have several courses and do family discounts. What better way to spend a family vacation than learning some interesting skills, a bit of history and bonding by working as a team? The link is for family skill courses but other courses can be done that allows each to do something they want or members to get trained in several skills at once.

There may be other schools in your area and if you find them, I know I'd like to know about them. Thanks in advance.

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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Septic_drain_field

 

https://www.thenaturalhome.com/septic.html

http://home.howstuffworks.com/home-improvement/plumbing/sewer2.htm

 

 

A couple links on septic systems and how they work. These are still designed to work with running water, so either a hand pump and/or a bucket to fill the commode or solar pumps to keep running water to the toilets will be necessary in a grid down event. I'd also recommend "RidX" or another septic microbial treatment to have on hand. Leach fields ran deep (3'-4') would help water the garden area and be deep enough to be out of the way of the tiller and root crops.

If an event happens, being able to reclaim all water for other safe uses will greatly expand your abilities to thrive. A vent placed in the septic tank may offer bio gas as being discussed on the BOV forum but I have no knowledge of this subject.

Also remember to keep septic systems and your drinking water well separated as much as possible. I would want a couple hundred feet minimum but I'm not sure of the "safe" distance.

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I,m not a good enough typist to try listing all the instructions on making hominy but if you can make lye.....google the rest.

 

Rendering Lard from animal fat should be another skill to at least know the basics of.

 

Anyone have a clue how to get the oil from sunflower seeds?

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Anyone have a clue how to get the oil from sunflower seeds?

 

I found the link to this article via the Permies website, and it explains how to extract oil, hull seeds in big quantities, and have remaining seeds for eating and for feeding birds, if you're into that. It comes with instructions for building your own press and various mechanisms to hull and sort the seeds, too:

 

http://journeytoforever.org/biofuel_library/oilpress.html

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By the way, I totally giggled over that "for a liberal" comment. You'd be surprised at how many uses there are for liberals, and not just as ballast or cannon fodder!

 

Back to the topic at hand, I just found this great website that provides "video tutorials in the historic arts" like how to comb wool, how to make ash splints for basket weaving, how to do different things using a blacksmith forge (like decorative twists, making nails, etc.), stitching leather, making arrows, tons of different kinds of functional and decorative stitches, and so much more:

 

http://www.howtohistory.com/video-tutorials/

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The liberal comment made me chuckle thinking of a close friends father who kept his sense of humor right up until the end.

 

When my friends dad's cancer had returned and the doctors had given him a month to live my friend flew back home to spend time with his Dad before he passed away. During this time the Dad who had been a lifelong Democrat was talking politics with his son and discussing what he thought should be done about government spending, and giving his opinion about many of Obama's actions. His son listened for a while and then said "Dad you realize that what you just said is spot on with what the Republicans are all saying right now" His Dad thought about it for a minute and said "No reason to convert now, guess when I go there will be one less Democrat in the world" and started laughing. His son put that story into the eulogy.

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