Homesteading · Money savers · Recipes

Making Homemade Piggie Soap

In my previous post, I described how to render fat to make lard. In this post, I will show you how turn that lard into homemade lye soap (cold process) that’s better than anything you’ll ever buy in the store. Before I begin, I should note that this post has lots of information. Don’t let… Continue reading Making Homemade Piggie Soap

Homesteading · Recipes · Sustainable food

Rendering fat for cooking and soapmaking

Rendering fat is much easier than you might expect. All you need is a good stock pot, some heat-proof utensils and bowls, and… some fat to render. It’s a great way to use “waste” products and turn them into either tasty stirfry or, better yet, homemade soap. To get the fat, you can take the… Continue reading Rendering fat for cooking and soapmaking

Coexisting with nature · Herbology · Urban skills

Eight reasons not to mow my lawn

With all the rain that drought-stricken Austin has experienced lately, my lawn has gone kind of crazy with green growth. In addition to the weedy grass that inevitably grows there, I have a great herbal pharmacy and salad bar. So far the following plants have graciously popped up in my front yard: Dandelion Milk Thistle… Continue reading Eight reasons not to mow my lawn

Homesteading · Recipes · Urban skills

Mmmm… the world’s best meatballs!

One important aspect of “survival” and self-sufficiency is being able to cook tasty food that is both inexpensive and simple to prepare. Recently I was going through a bit of ‘food fatigue’ where my usual dinner fare just wasn’t exciting me, and I found myself wanting to pick up BBQ or something on the way… Continue reading Mmmm… the world’s best meatballs!

Healthy lifestyle · Homesteading · Sustainable food · Urban skills

Grainy indoor yogurt

Usually, yogurt making is fool-proof. This week I made nine pints of yogurt using my food dehydrator, since the outdoor daytime temperatures aren’t anywhere near 100°, which is necessary for porchgurt. I have an Excalibur 4 tray dehydrator like the one in the image here. I take out the trays and there’s just enough space… Continue reading Grainy indoor yogurt

Reviews · Survival

Book Review: Lights Out by David Crawford

Over the holiday I read the 2010 novel Lights Out by David Crawford. In this novel, which he originally distributed via the internet and only subsequently published as a paperback, Crawford takes us on a speculative journey, allowing us to imagine what might happen if an electromagnetic pulse hits the United States and disrupts the… Continue reading Book Review: Lights Out by David Crawford

Urban skills

There are no “get out of jail free cards” in life

In the board game Monopoly you can erase all penalties for criminal behavior with a simple card that lets you get out of jail free. Wouldn’t it be great if real life worked the same way? Every so often as you went about your daily business, you’d get a free pass that you could use… Continue reading There are no “get out of jail free cards” in life

Coexisting with nature · Homesteading · Survival · Sustainable food

From hoof to sausage: processing a wild hog from start to finish

A million uses for pig fat. Well, maybe there aren’t so many. But it was an interesting discussion as part of The Human Path’s recent day-long class on processing large game taught by wildlife biologist Greg Pleasant. In the class, we learned how to humanely kill, bleed out, quarter, butcher, and render an entire wild… Continue reading From hoof to sausage: processing a wild hog from start to finish

Prepping · Survival

Long-term food storage and civil disobedience

Long-term food storage may soon become an act of civil disobedience. [Note: on 12/11/11 I learned that the following news was a hoax. See the explanation and Oath Keepers retraction for more information.] According to Oath Keepers (an organization of military members, veterans, and law enforcement personnel), federal agents have been observed demanding customer… Continue reading Long-term food storage and civil disobedience