Anyone else get really into homesteading/prepping after the quarantine?

Because I did. I put in a large garden for the first time this year, started seriously discussing getting chickens and rabbits with my wife, I bought a spinning wheel and a loom with my stimulus check, and have been making plans for installing an electricity-free refrigerator in the shed. Hell, even just today, I saw some crayfish while my wife and I were swimming in the creek, and my first thought was “I should buy a minnow trap to catch crayfish with.”

Yes, I know, I’m a fucking weirdo. And while I’m not fearful for the end of the world, I just sometimes get freaked out by how dependent we all are on technology and external forces to meet our basic needs. Surely, I’m not the only one?

No? Just me?

lol hey friend you’re not alone. I’ve been living at costco and stockpiling like the apocalypse is coming. got a snake. started talking about painting and building shelves in my apartment. started talking to my wife about driving out to farms for produce and sh*t. why not.

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Nope you’re not the only one. I have chickens and rabbits, we have a huge garden and a root cellar to store everything during the winter. All I need now ia a cow or a couple of goats.

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I watched a video recently about canning your own tomatoes. It looks really easy and the tomatoes are cheaper if you buy them direct from the farmers in bulk. I bet you could do it with other produce too.

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I told my wife that I want a milk goat. I wanted a particular Angora variety so that I could use it for milk and fiber, but she said she’ll just get me an Angora rabbit for the fiber, and some kind of Nubian Pygmy goat for the milk, lol.

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Oh yeah, you can pressure can green bean, carrots, and all other kinds of veggies. We have shelves in our cellar that get jar after quart jar placed on them of all kinds of veggies.

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Homesteading is a way of life, and it’s my way of life. Have a garden that is in it’s ninth year of production, 16 chickens (started with 3), and one pig that was left with us years ago.

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I don’t know if I will have enough of the other veggies to do it this year (I planted a fairly small garden since it was my first time trying it), but I think I might get enough tomatoes to can a few. My squash plant is producing like crazy right now, but I’ve just been cutting it up and freezing it.

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I want a Lamancha goat, they have now external ears but the produce a lot of milk.

I have a Great Pyrenees livestock guardian dog and his fur is so long that when we brush him in the spring we can actually spin his fun into yarn if we wanted to.

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Oh that kind? It’s definitely funny-looking, but I guess it doesn’t matter as long as they produce milk. Is it possible to buy a milk-goat pre-bred? My in-laws had a couple goats that they were planning to use for milk, but they died during delivery. I would like to avoid that if I can.

Oh my god, that’s so cool!

You can, but of course they’ll be more exspensive.

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I’m trying to convince my wife to get six chickens (she only wants four). I know there is no way in hell she’ll get pigs (her parents had pigs when she was growing up, and she ended up getting so sick of ham). But I know I can talk her into meat rabbits.

That’s alright. I would rather pay a little extra than potentially waste my money on a goat that ends up dead.

I have meat rabbits, silver foxes. They give a lot of meat and I’m tanning the hides. Once I get enough I’m going to make a blanket. In the winter their fur gets almost four inches thick.

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When I was a little girl my dad would insist on teaching me and my siblings everything there was to know about the forest. Which plants are edible and which aren’t, how to build snare traps for rabbits and squirrels with things we can find and make in the forest, how to make a fire etc. All these basic survival things that I was sure I would never, ever need anyway cause why would I ever wanna live in a forest. Then when I was like 16 I learned in school that all it would take to kill every single piece of technology in the world just like that was a single solar storm, which happen regularly btw. (In fact, in 2012 we just barely dodged getting sent right back into the stone age for that exact reason.) So guess who dragged her dad back into the forest so she could learn all the tricks again and take a ton of notes too. I still have those notebooks. They’re like my personal treasure that I keep. Literally the only material things I’d try to save in case of a house fire.

Homesteading as a method of preparation is a stupid idea. You’re making yourself a target with keeping livestock during a time when food may become scarce. People would raid the fuck outta your hobby farm. Learn to live off of the land instead. Get to know your local forests. Learn to hunt and track. This shit could come in handy one day.

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I would love to do that. I’m a seamstress, and I actually bought a coyote pelt last year to use for a winter jacket I was making (and yeesh, was it expensive…). I would much rather just tan my own hides. You pretty much just mash up their brains, mix it with boiling water, and then stretch it after the solution sets in, right? If I saved up enough pelts, I could maybe even make my own fur coat! All my coworkers at the bridal shop would be so impressed!

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It’s a lot more complicated than that. Look it up online and you can find exactly how and everything you’ll need to do it right. It’s a lot more manual labor than people think.

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I’ve been an avid vegetable gardener for over 20 years, growing as much as 60% of the produce a year for as much as four people (my now ex-wife, our children and myself) on postage-stamp sized urban/ inner-ring suburban lots. Intensive, organic, grow tunnels… the whole nine.

Now we live in a condo. And I still grow enough in the ten-feet along the back of the place that’s “ours” to provide that 60% for two people. Downside is with COVID, we have five people living here, including my mother and the kids who’ve been stuck here since they shut down their college campuses in February, so that plot is less than adequate.

But I’d never advocate being 100% self-sufficient. It’s a pipe-dream.

Instead, provide what you can and find others to trade with. For instance, I have a buddy who’s an ace fisherman. I used to trade tomatoes for fish when I had a larger yard. It was so worthwhile for both of us that I used to plant two extra plants to accommodate his family’s needs. Worked for me and him.

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The hunting and trapping courses are on the list (like, my wife and I literally made a list…). We need to save up for a proper hunting rifle (or maybe a compound bow. All I have is a recurve) and get proficient at shooting before we do all that. I only know handguns since I use to live in Baltimore, and it was damn near impossible to find a range where you could shoot anything above a pistol caliber round.