from OffTheGridNews Website
Although it can seem difficult and frustrating to work toward living off the grid when you work forty hours a week, have children, pets and other responsibilities, itís not impossible!
Try and think of working toward
self-sustainment, not as a chore (and just one more thing to tack
onto your already busy day!), but rather working toward a huge
transition. And rather than assume it will be time consuming, if you
approach things in a different manner, it wonít be.
Whether your goal
is to supplement what you buy or (as weíd all like to work toward),
living completely off the land, imagine having your own tomatoes,
green beans, mint, parsley, potatoes, etc. etc. to put on the table
In fact, rather than think of it as a chore, something that zaps the precious time you have with your family, think of it in this way:
But if you attack them as you see them, it wonít be such a nuisance. Ignore them for a month and itíll feel like youíve been deluged with a week full of Mondays. See one, grab hold of it and pull!
When you come home from work, just take a walk through your backyard and as you see them, yank them. Trust me when I say, it wonít seem so daunting. If you own a farm, yes itís more time consuming, but hereís what we do.
During our twice daily hikes, as weíre walking up the hills (our
farm is at the top of the mountain, so parts are steep), we just
pull as we hike. Itís mindless and thatís exactly what pulling weeds
On occasion not looking for anything in particular or perhaps being mindful of the latest zit on my face, staring at my reflection in the mirror, I might spy one hair that is longer than the one next to it. I will trim it and be done with it. If my hair canít grow evenly, I guess there is no reason to believe a tree and its branches can. I then cut back my hair about 6 to 8 inches, once a year.
My mom taught me
this if I want to continue promoting healthy hair. I think it works.
I say December for us, but we donít prune according to the seasons. We live in the tropics where the temperature never drops below 50į F, so our trees donít go dormant in winter.
But our main crop at the moment is coffee, so after the
big harvest between September and December, we cut back all the
coffee trees so theyíre not expending excess energy when they arenít
producing. In spring they will come alive again and the birds and
bees will take care of the rest.
Farming is obviously nothing new - nearly every culture on earth has been practicing some form of it for thousands of years.
Years and years of trial and error went into creating such a worthwhile reference manual. Itís by no means an accident that the Mayans, the ancient Egyptians, the Chinese, and the Africans all stumbled upon the same knowledge.
Some plants do better if they are
planted during the full moon while others donít. The same is the
case for uprooting and replanting or taking a plant from a pot to
Seriously, it doesnít matter how large your piece of
This ensures two things:
The information I am imparting is based on two things: My limited experience, which is supplemented by the Internet.
humble and will ask you to consider this a teachable moment for me.
If I offer misinformation in this area, it is not with the intention
of trying to misinform you, but out of sheer ignorance. Please give
me feedback and if you think things can be done more easily one way,
or that I erred in other ways, please tell me.
You can pickle
various vegetables with a brining technique using many household
items you already have, such as teakettles, saucepans, tongs, and
measuring utensils. You may need to
purchase some large containers
or stoneware to start your canning collection, but these initial
buys are well worth the investment as they will last you through the
years and many canning adventures.
The heavy plate or large glass lid with keep
the vegetables below the surface of the brine. The food grade
container or large glass jar makes a good weight with 4 Ĺ
tablespoons of salt and 3 quarts of water. Donít use brick or stone
weights because it can leak minerals into the water and you donít
Be sure to use an open kettle, and make sure the pot is large enough to have enough clearance for a rolling boil so nothing spills over.
After filing the jars, use a
boiling water bath to wrap everything up. Now all you have to do is
wait for the brine to do itís work, and youíll be enjoying your
pickled vegetables in no time!
instance, you would use 1 tablespoon of lemon juice in a pint size
container and 2 tablespoons in a quart size container. If you want
to add a bit of sweetness to offset the acidity, throw in a
tablespoon of sugar. You can also add salt, but itís not necessary
for the process to be completed safely.
Youíll find that
itís easier to put up a few jars at a time rather than waiting until
the task is overwhelming.
After the headaches and chaos of the day in modern civilization, youíll find coming home to your off-grid lifestyle a wonderful oasis of rest and relaxation.