The $1 garden
By Jonathan Nunan
The dollar garden is simple in concept: buy as many seeds as you can for one dollar and harvest as much food as possible from the plants you grow. You see, sometime last year my mother, Susan, read something somewhere that claimed a tomato cost some incredible amount to grow on your own. Mom—whose plan to build a house out of firewood worked out just fine—made it her mission to grow as much as she could on as small a budget possible.
Build a hybrid go-kart for kids for $150
By Dorothy Ainsworth
When his grandson turned 5 he decided to build him a go-kart in the low-budget Ainsworth tradition. But not just any old go-kart-----a HYBRID Go-Kart! 'Gene would go Green' just for the challenge of it. He also wanted the project to be a learning experience for the little guy so he could see how an engine works, and how the linkage is hooked up to drive the wheels. He wanted the parts visible (moving or not) to give inquisitive kids something to ask questions about.
Savage Model 110 - A proven economical backwoods rifle
By Massad Ayoob
Fifty years ago, Savage Arms introduced a new bolt-action sporting rifle. In the gun world, this was news. Savage was most famous for its sleek lever action Model 99, named for the year of its introduction at the end of the 19th century. The firm had produced a few bolt actions, but they tended to be undistinguished in styling and performance, and were seen as "poor man's hunting rifles."
The new rifle, dubbed the Model 110, was different. It was...
Is steam power in your future?
By Skip Goebel
If you're thinking steam is old-fashioned, consider this: Almost a century ago, steam cars and ships attained speeds and efficiencies which are still difficult to attain, even with today's modern internal combustion engines.
Buying a used mobile home
By Daniel Motz
One of the quickest, easiest, and cheapest ways to get your country home is to consider a used mobile home. Sometimes you can even find these homes free by looking in a local newspaper. But like anything else, cheaper and easier isn't always better.
Small Town America
Thorne Bay, Alaska
By Jon Stram
Let me just give you an idea of some of the advantages of life on Prince of Wales Island, especially in Thorne Bay. First off, Alaska has no state income tax, no state property tax, and no state sales tax. That's right. None. Vehicle registration fees will be under $100 per year for the average vehicle. To make the situation even better, Alaska has a unique thing called the Permanent Fund Dividend, where the state actually pays each individual in each family who lives there, just to live there.
Homeschooling through high school
By Janet Leake
Whether you're experienced or inexperienced, whatever your situation, you already know why you want to homeschool your kids through high school. Now, what about how?
Kick the credit card habit and learn to stash cash
By Claire Wolfe
I'm not here to tell you The Secret of a Perfect Life Savings Plan....But I have found ways to make saving small, targeted amounts a pleasure. Ways that can make it sort of a game. Ways that yield enough little rewards to keep me enthusiastically stashing cash away for special needs. Because of that, I've been able to pay my property taxes without a twice-a-year pinch. When the plumbing broke, I didn't blink. And when I needed a new DVD player I could buy one right now, today, without approaching the borders of credit purgatory.
Traditional trail foods — transportable calories
By Brad Rohdenburg
If you have a need for trail food—storable, transportable, convenient, affordable and palatable calories—maybe we can learn something from the old ways.
For a truly independent energy system, your choices are solar, wind, and water
By Larry Elliot
Anyone who is seriously considering a move to the country should become informed about energy and its proper use and production, the same as one would learn about raising livestock, growing a crop, or making a living.
Free pallet wood and birdhouses add up to big country dollars
By Rick Brentlinger
If I could show you how to manufacture a product anywhere in the country and if I offered to find you the raw materials free, would you be interested? If so, here is a business plan that works.
Tips for finding your affordable home
By Dave Cournoyer
If you haven't yet made the move to the country, here is helpful information about the cost and availability of land in the U.S.
Tastes Just Like Chicken
By Allen Easterly
So you want to raise some critters that taste just like chicken? There's no better critter than the chicken itself. Chicken has become the most sought after meat in the marketplace. Raising your own birds can save you a few bucks at the grocery store. Even more satisfying is the great sense of accomplishment that comes with raising your own food from egg to dinner table and providing this healthy meal to your family.
I heat my house by burning corn
By Judith W. Monroe
In the past ten years, there has been a revival of a heating method so obviously efficient that it is remarkable how few people know of it: using corn for fuel. A corn stove does not burn stalks or left-over cobs. It burns kernels, less than a handful at a time.
Nursing a perfect backwoods career
By John Mclane, RN
For many of us, a job in the traditional economy is crucial to being able to maintain our chosen lifestyle. Others who are pondering a move out of the cities are hampered by economic concerns. Yet a rural lifestyle should be about practicality, flexibility, and pleasure taken in the work we choose. When approached properly, a nursing career can provide all of this and more.
Is "peak oil" the new end-of-the-world?
By John Silveira
"Peak oil" is becoming the latest doomsday buzzword. What is it? It's a well-thought-out theory that predicts that the rate at which we find and recover oil is soon going to fall behind the rate at which we consume it. The point at which that happens is the "peak." Prior to this peak, prices will have been relatively stable and reasonable, and the economies of the world have grown because the supply of energy outpaced the demand. But there is coming a time, and some say it's here now, when the world's oil fields cannot produce as fast as we consume. Demand will exceed supply, oil prices are going to skyrocket, and the world's economies are going to begin to fail as the oil fields themselves fail...
...It's all very neat, but that doesn't mean it's accurate.
Stairs: the next level
By Skip Thomsen
A staircase can be so visually inviting that it beckons one to try it out—to see where it leads.
You can become a hardcore forager
By Larry Cywin
Becoming a hardcore forager is not difficult, but it does take some time to learn the basics. This article will get you started.
By Allen Easterly
Raising quail is inexpensive, easy, provides very healthy low-fat white meat, and supplies the fertilizer you need for your home garden.
By Dorothy Ainsworth
Attention: Would-be loggers. There have been changes in policy at the United States Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management. You can no longer go into a ranger station and simply get a permit to cut your own logs in a given area. Now you have to go through a "process".
A small creek provides plenty of power for this off-grid home
By Scott Gentleman
For eight years, Tracey and I lived in a solar powered home and for eight cloudy winters, we ran a small Honda generator every week to recharge our batteries. We understood that the original owner of our home had operated a small hydro system from the property's year round creek but we never investigated this option because the creek ran through dense forest. Besides, we could just tell there wasn't sufficient drop over its course.
We finally decided to use Backwoods Solar's Site Level just to confirm hydro didn't make sense. Much to our surprise...
7 Mistakes of food storage
By Vicki Tate
If you are going to store food, make sure that the food you store is adequate for the need you and your family anticipate. This may not be as easy as to achieve as many people think, because the facts are that most people make serious errors when storing food—errors that will come back to haunt them when the food they've stored is the only thing that stands between them and their empty, dissatisfied, bellies.
There are seven common mistakes people make when storing food. They are...
Armed and Female
By Massad Ayoob
I remember one of my first female students. She was in her sixties, an accomplished academician and author with strong roots in what was then called "women's liberation." She had considered the gun to be a hideous side effect of testosterone poisoning. Then, she was assaulted by armed criminals and nearly died. "It occurred to me," she told me later, "that I had neglected one element of my empowerment."
How to butcher a chicken in 20 minutes or less
By Dr. Roger W. Grim, D.C.
Learn a quick and easy method of butchering that's been passed down for generations.
Parge the ugly out of your concrete wall
By Bill Leonard
Learn how to cover ugly cement blocks so they will have a more aesthetically pleasing look.
You can make your own fertilizers
By Christopher and Dolores Lynn Nyerges
There are many low-cost methods for making your own fertilizer.
How to buy your first sheep (without getting shorn)
By Anita Evangelista
Sheep are one of the ideal small homestead animals: they can return quality meat and fiber on an annual basis for very little cash input.
Get out of debt — stay out of debt
By Darlene Campbell
If you are in debt now, you should be working to clear all indebtedness during the next year. We did it, and you can, too.
Trusses low-cost marvels to roof over most large spaces
By Martin Harris
Wood trusses may be the engineering innovation that comes along only once in every few thousand years, but they still have their drawbacks and cautions. Here's a brief review about what's good, and what's not so good, about wood trusses.
The enchanting Chanterelle
By Devon Winter
They're prized by the world's top chefs. They're served in the most elegant restaurants. You'll pay a pretty penny for them at farmers' markets. Yet they're abundant and often free for the taking in forests all over the world.
Reflecting on a life in the woods
By Marjorie Burris
It is a good life here on the old homestead. We've worked hard, and we are enjoying the fruits of our labor.
The art of living in small spaces
By Claire Wolfe
Living in a small amount of space presents special challenges, from what to do with all your "stuff" to coping, to decorating, and more.
Converting a gasoline-powered rototiller to electric
By Glenn Willis, Jr.
The author did it. So can you!
For safety's sake, homestead fuel storage must be handled properly
By Emory Warner
Home storage of fuel is a necessity for homesteaders. Even if you are still on the grid, your truck, tractor, standby generator, etc. will still require fuel. Learn how to store it safely.
Here are some answers to often asked questions of anti-gunners
By Massad Ayoob
When your beliefs and values are challenged, you want ready answers. The following have worked for me when debating the civil rights of gun owners in this country.
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America, land of the free...ha, ha, ha!
By Dave Duffy
Here are two stories that should scare you. They are about what happens in America when we have stupid laws, overzealous prosecutors who want their conviction rates up, and too many prisons that need to be filled.
Waterpower for personal use
By Rudy Behrens
Waterwheels run because "gravity" causes a "mass" of water to fall some distance. This energy is absorbed by the wheel to do work. There is more than one way to absorb the energy, so wheels have evolved into two classes...
Why we have no "constitutional" rights
By John Silveira
Our rights are not constitutional rights. Our Founding Fathers never intended them to be.
By Tom Kovach
Having the best vegetable garden in the village might put food on the table and make some money at the market, but it also can cause some problems.
Just Say NO! to the Federal Government
By Oliver Del Signore
The real target of Nancy Reagan's "Just Say NO!' campaign should have been the Federal government itself.
Get a piece of history: an M1 Garand rifle
By Mike Blank
We've all heard about getting government Garands, but personally I never knew anyone who had, so I thought I would give it a try and document my experience.
Gather rose hips for health
By Gail Butler
Vitamin C-rich rose hips can be found in dried form in most health food stores, but why not gather your own? You'll save money and you'll know where they came from.
Just For Kids
Some farinaceous folly
By Lucy Shober
Try this experiment. The next time that you are served rice, potatoes, noodles or corn for supper, take a big bite but don't swallow it until you have chewed one hundred times.
Here's how to make a musical bamboo flute
By Robert E. Kramer
Make a real flute the old-fashioned way.
How to make money from storage building auctions
By Bill Wilson
Across the United States, a huge supply of desirable products exists for low prices. Furniture, electronics, appliances, clothing, books, art, toys, tools, and a plethora of other goodies can be had for a fraction of their true value. The purchaser can use these items themselves, or resell them for a generous markup. Startup costs are minimal: a van or pickup truck (a trailer towed by a car will do) and a few hundred dollars are all that is required to begin your own business.