Welcome to my “Recommended” series of posts. These will be weekly – for now – posts about resources I have found over the past while that I found so excellent, I want to share them with you, my dear readers. 🙂 Whether or not I continue to post these, and how often they are posted, will depend on feedback. Please feel free to comment below, and if you have a favorite resource of your own, do share, and I will review them for possible future posts.
I hope you find these recommendations as useful and enjoyable as I have!
This week’s recommendation is a US based permaculture vlog by Justin Rhodes and family.
Now, I grew up here on the farm, in conditions I affectionately refer to as “two sticks ahead of the stone ages”. We were subsistence farmers. We grew enough to feed ourselves and our animals, we sold beef cows at auction once a year for money, and if things got tight, my parents got odd jobs to pay the bills. We had chickens and cows for as long as I can remember, plus we, at various times, had sheep (I think my parents got rid of them before I was born), horses (they came with the farm; my dad upgraded to tractors, and the horses were eventually sold) pigs, geese, turkeys, bantam chickens, and probably other critters I don’t remember. We also had a huge garden where we grew and preserved most of our food, we butchered our own meat and, of course, we had our own eggs.
So basically, I grew up in the “back to the land” environment so many say we should all be going back to. There are many positive things to say about this life, but I find that most of the people who say such things have no clue just how difficult it is, and unreliable it can be.
Then there are people who are doing it for real, and they have no illusions about such a life. They’re also making it work in creative ways.
These days, they don’t call is subsistence farming anymore, but “homesteading.” As far as I can tell, it’s the same thing, really. There are some significant differences in some things, though, and this is one of the resources I’m learning a lot from.
I stumbled onto Justin Rhodes videos through something called a “chickshaw.” It was a variation on a concept I’d never heard of before.
The chicken tractor.
Our chicken coop was an old log cabin that was previously used as a summer kitchen. The idea of having a chicken coop you could move was quite novel to me. Why would anyone even want to?
Well, it turns out there are all sorts of advantages to moving them around! Not just with chickens, but pigs, too.
Man, that would have saved us SO much work, when I was growing up on the farm!
After watching some of his videos, I now really want chickens again. Our soil could really, really use them.
There are a lot of permaculture resources out there, but I find I really enjoy this one. Part of what I like about it is that a lot of what’s covered is that, while the channel has been going since 2012 (the earliest videos start in 2015), it’s still very much a learning experience for the entire family. He talks about their failures as well as their successes, and they don’t shy away from some of the harsh realities of raising animals for food. He really gets into the hows and whys of the things they do, and his enthusiasm is contagious. They also share their knowledge, and while some is available to members only, they also have things like a free course at their Abundant Permaculture website.
There is a LOT available on their channel, on a variety of topics.
There are quite a lot of well organized playlists to follow as well.
I think that, even for those who aren’t planning to do any homesteading, it would still be useful for those interested in maybe growing more of their own food, or having a few backyard chickens. If you are thinking of homesteading some day, I definitely recommend checking this resource out.
On top of all this, now that so many people are affected by the Wuhan virus lock downs, there has been a sudden increase in people wanting to know how to grow their own food. Fast. That call is being answered, as new videos are coming out to directly address how people who may never had had gardens before can find ways to grow food for themselves and their family quickly.