Recommended: Quick Dick McDick

Welcome to my second “Recommended” series. Here, you’ll find various sites and channels that I’ve been enjoying and wanted to share with you. With so many people currently looking to find ways to be more self sufficient or prepared for emergencies, that will be the focus for most of these, but I’ll also be adding a few that are just plain fun. Please feel free to leave a comment or make your own recommendation. I hope you enjoy these!

Okay, here’s a recommendation that’s on the fun side of things. Here we’ve got some solid Canadian humour from a farmer in Saskatchewan.

I seem to be finding a lot of really great people in Saskatchewan.

Before I even link to the channel, I’ll just quote their disclaimer from the About page.

If you like to laugh and cannot be easily offended, you had better get watching.
Quick Dick recommends not watching if:
-You are a child
-You have children near you
-You are easily offended
-You hate laughing and have no sense of humour

With that out of the way, I’d like to recommend the Quick Dick McDick YouTube channel.

Any cattle farmer will understand this one.

All humour aside, there is a serious message at the end of this one.

This channel has been around since 2019, before the beard reached its full magnificence. With the issues we’ve been having here, I of course appreciated this old video.

I could really, really related to this next one…

Especially while trying to give directions to delivery companies. 😀

I gotta admit; I was laughing so hard, I was crying over this next one.

For the record, I love our Grader Guy. He does a great job. Also, there are 3 shorts in total in the above video. I love the third one, too. 😀

Of course, politics are fair game.

Yeah, a lot of Canadians can relate. Alas, things did not work out for the better, and have only gotten worse.

While more and more of us will be relying on Saskatchewan Currency.

For those who wish to support the channel, there is a website Quick Dick McDick where merchandise can be purchased, and there are links to various social media to follow.

Check out the channel for more irreverent Canadian humour!

The Re-Farmer

Recommended: City Prepping

Welcome to my second “Recommended” series. Here, you’ll find various sites and channels that I’ve been enjoying and wanted to share with you. With so many people currently looking to find ways to be more self sufficient or prepared for emergencies, that will be the focus for most of these, but I’ll also be adding a few that are just plain fun. Please feel free to leave a comment or make your own recommendation. I hope you enjoy these!

I hemmed and hawed over including this on on my Recommended list. Not because it isn’t a fantastic resource, but because “prepper” sites tend to include a lot of stuff that is well beyond what the average person can, or even should, do.

This one is a bit of an exception, though. City Prepping is, as you can probably guess by the name, geared more towards those living in urban environments. I’ll just quote a portion from their About page.

This channel’s goal is to help everyday people learn the basics of survival in times of crisis. With over 80% of Americans living in an Urban/Suburban environment, many lack the basics to ensure they have the necessary food, water, medical skills, and security in the event of a catastrophe. City Prepping’s chief aim is to help provide survival basics for everyday people that are practical and easy to implement to be prepared should calamity strike.

The YouTube channel has been going since 2015. If you visit the About page, you’ll find links to their other social media and Odysee pages. They have a website, where you can read articles on their blog and shop for supplies.

Their focus is geared towards emergency preparedness, without the sort of “doomsday, the world is about to end” cloud over it that others have. Oh, they do address “doomsday” scenarios. I just find the entire attitude is far more realistic. In fact, that’s one of the first things they address in this older video of theirs.

A lot of the videos are very practical; how to store water properly and safely, how to make a family bug out bag, and …

… how to cook after a disaster.

That’s one we’re working to keep on top of, based on what situations we are most likely end up in, such as losing power.

They also look at and compare various equipment, from freeze driers to solar generators, and much more. You’ll even find videos on gardening, bee keeping and easy meals to cook, should you find yourself in an emergency situation.

They even cover growing vegetables, if you live in an apartment.

Part two

Other topics include medical and health considerations, financial concerns and the spectre of economic collapse, and how to form mutually beneficial communities. Many videos deal with current events and situations, and discuss what to look out for, in an uncertain future. They even cover the importance of things beyond the physical.

One of the major differences with this resource is that it comes from a place of experience. This is someone who has lived through some pretty extreme SHTF experiences.

Part two.

They are also very response to comments and their online community. Shortly after I discovered the channel, they put out a survey that I took part in, asking about what areas we felt were important to address. They also realized that, with so many videos scattered over so many years, it would be difficult for anyone to find the information they need. Especially for people just starting out. To address that, they created a course: The Prepper’s Roadmap.

From the website:

With 18+ hours of video trainings housed inside a private members area, teaching you step by step how to prepare for ANY disaster.

Holding your hand every step of the way, as we move from creating your 3 day “bugout bag”, to storing 3 weeks of supplies – Enough to survive 95% of potential disasters…

To bringing it all together into a 3 month SHTF survival plan that builds your prepping foundation and helps you become self-sufficient for longer and longer time horizons.

And what sets this course apart from every other course out there, is it isn’t just some data dump about how much water, food, and supplies you need…

Instead, it’s customized to your specific situation, with checklists, exercises, and guides for you to follow along with me as we help you reach 3 months of preparation.

Which I think is really fantastic, and would go a long way to keep from becoming so overwhelmed with all the things we “should” be doing, or getting, should some disaster take place.

After the past couple of years, a lot of people are realizing that it really is a good idea to be prepared for emergency situations, whether is it a natural disaster, a job loss, or even the quintessential doomsday event. Even if it’s just to put a few things away for a rainy day, City Prepping is a good resource to get started, and just good a recourse for those who’ve already been working on their preps for years. I highly recommend them.

The Re-Farmer

Recommended: Our Half Acre Homestead

Welcome to my second “Recommended” series. Here, you’ll find various sites and channels that I’ve been enjoying and wanted to share with you. With so many people currently looking to find ways to be more self sufficient or prepared for emergencies, that will be the focus for most of these, but I’ll also be adding a few that are just plain fun. Please feel free to leave a comment or make your own recommendation. I hope you enjoy these!

As I found myself delving further into recourses for the “homesteading” community – a term I still find strange, since it’s how I grew up, and no one called it “homesteading” back then – I saw a lot of really great information. It was very encouraging to see so many young families in particular, diving into lives of self sufficiency and self reliance, while also being part of a larger community that was more than happy to share information and help each other out.

Many happily share their experiences online. Some of the interesting and helpful articles and videos I found where those sharing about the mistakes they made, or what they wish they’d know before they started, and so on. These often included lists of things that they really didn’t think about at all, until after they started homesteading, like unexpected costs of living (home insurance is a big one!).

I also saw a number of sites that had lists of things to help people prepare for homestead living, before they got to actually doing it. One item that I saw cropping up more than a few times was just how much physical labour was involved, and stressing how important it was to be fit and healthy.

Except, in this day and age, when people say “fit” or “healthy”, what they’re really saying is “be skinny.” Also, able bodied and young.

Which is amusing to me, because I’m old, broken and fat, I have a disabled husband, and even my daughters have their own health issues they have to work around. Yet, here we are.

Today’s recommendation is someone who is also breaking all the “rules”, and doing it anyhow: Our Half Acre Homestead.

Don’t have a lot of land? They have only half an acre.

Don’t have a lot of money? They are a single income family that when through a bankruptcy and still managed to buy the property only a couple of years later.

Feel like you’re too old? In one of the earliest of their earlier videos, she mentions that she was 50. That video, at the time of this writing, was 11 years old.

That’s right. This couple has been on their half acre homestead and making videos for more than 10 years! Their oldest video was done in 2009.

As you can imagine, they have a LOT of videos!

The above video was done in 2010. You can see they’re still just setting up their garden, the house is being worked on, they’ve got chickens and talk about the plans they are working towards. Talk about starting from the ground up!

This next video was uploaded in 2011, and shows how things had grown and expanded over the previous years, from the building of a chicken coop and incubating eggs, to building a small barn and getting a calf and goats.

In that half acre, they are able to have chickens, cows, goats, pigs and rabbits – that I’ve seen so far! – supplemented by hunting. Mrs. V is an excellent shot. They’ve got their garden, bee hives, and even tap their own sap and make their own maple syrup.

All of this accomplished by a couple that is older, rounder and kinda broken. Like me! 😀 They’ve also been at it for a long time, and have much to share. Along with the many cooking videos and gardening videos, you’ll also find videos like this one.

Peameal bacon is also sometimes known as Canadian bacon or back bacon.

Now that I’ve seen the video, I want to make some of my own! That looks amazing!

You’ll also find “grocery haul” videos, like this more recent one, showing what they add to their food supply.

You’ll find videos sharing frugal ideas, like this one…

… using bits and pieces to make and can stock.

There are also live stream videos, and shorter Tea Break videos.

Many of the videos are sorted into playlists, too.

Like us, they’ve been itching to get out in the garden, too!

They’re in Eastern Canada, which has a longer growing season than we’ve got. While this video was being made, we were getting more snow, and still dealing with the new snow from our recent storm.

You’ll find videos on butchering and how to dress a deer, baking, cooking with a slow cooker or an Instant Pot, YouTube tax problems for Canadians, and even live streams from the Freedom Convoy 2022. There’s videos on how to knit, and make Christmas ornaments. There are videos on freezing, canning, dehydrating, growing, seed saving, product reviews…

There is just so much that’s covered, as one might expect from someone who’s been making videos for more than a decade! New videos are added very frequently, too.

There’s just a vast wealth of information available, and I highly recommend checking out Our Half Acre Homestead.

The Re-Farmer

Recommended: Gardening in Canada

Welcome to my second “Recommended” series. Here, you’ll find various sites and channels that I’ve been enjoying and wanted to share with you. With so many people currently looking to find ways to be more self sufficient or prepared for emergencies, that will be the focus for most of these, but I’ll also be adding a few that are just plain fun. Please feel free to leave a comment or make your own recommendation. I hope you enjoy these!

Here’s one for the Canadians, and other cold climate gardeners!

In the last few years, I’ve been spending a lot of time researching what sorts of food producing perennials we can grow in our climate zone. One of the things I soon noticed was that a lot of the hardiest varieties of fruits and berries that I was looking at were developed by the University of Saskatchewan. There are a lot of good things coming out of the University of Saskatchewan!

Well, it turns out that the UofS also has good scientists coming out of it, too!

Gardening in Canada started out as only a YouTube channel by a soil scientist. The channel was started in 2016, with just a few videos put out in the first three years, and then a break of no videos at all until the spring of 2020. From then on, videos started getting posted a lot more often, and the channel really took off. Clearly, there were a lot of people out there who were eager to learn more about gardening from the perspective of a soil scientist! Before long, a website was also started, with all sorts of resources available. If you visit the channel’s About page, you’ll also find links to her Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest sites. You’ll also find her on Rumble and Odysee.

With so many people suddenly feeling the need to get into gardening, but not having a lot of funds, I figured I’d start with this video.

Start a productive garden for next to nothing? Yup. It can be done! Pretty much the only thing actual cash spent would be going for is the seeds, and she even has ways to get those for free, too.

Want more information on how to start a cold climate garden? Here ya go.

One of the things I appreciate about this resource is that, being in Saskatchewan, she’s in zone 3, just as I am. But are zones all that important? Here, she explains why they are – and why they aren’t!

Interesting to learn that being in a Canadian zone 3, we’d be considered zone 4 in the US.

There are a HUGE number of topics covering, talking about things like beneficial soil fungus and microbes, starting seeds indoors, the safety of using cardboard as a mulch, and so much more. This next video is why we scarified our gourd seeds when starting them indoors this year, and I think it made a huge difference compared to last year, when we had such troubles with germination.

She even goes into some Canadian gardening history.

How the government handled Victory Gardens in Canada was very different than in the US or the UK! I have to admit to being thrown over the fact that people needed government permission just to teach others how to garden!

Another thing I love about her videos is that, when she talks about the science of things, she is straight up about it, even when it might not be particularly popular. Like this video about glyphosate.

I’m hanging on to this one for the next time I find myself in a debate with someone who has been badly misinformed about the substance.

She even dares tackle GMOs.

Another topic that a lot of people are misinformed about.

She also challenges some of the more common “hacks” out there.

In fact, she has an entire playlist debunking garden hacks with science.

Even if you’re not in a cold climate, I have no doubt you’ll find something useful and informative you can use. Gardening in Canada is just overflowing with excellent, science based information and I highly, highly recommend it!

The Re-Farmer

Recommended: RoseRed Homestead – That “Woman with a gadget”

Welcome to my second “Recommended” series. Here, you’ll find various sites and channels that I’ve been enjoying and wanted to share with you. With so many people currently looking to find ways to be more self sufficient or prepared for emergencies, that will be the focus for most of these, but I’ll also be adding a few that are just plain fun. Please feel free to leave a comment or make your own recommendation. I hope you enjoy these!

Over the past few years, I’ve seen quite a rise in people interested in leading more self sufficient lives, and especially a rise in the “homesteading” area. Which kind of threw me when I first stumbled on the community, since that was how I grew up, and no one called it “homesteading” back then.

There are now many, many websites, video channels, Pinterest boards, social media groups and even streaming services, dedicated to the them. On many of these, you’ll see references to “going back to how Grandma used to live”. Many extol the virtues of living a “simpler” life, going “off grid” and low tech. They’re learning how to grow gardens, raise animals, and preserve the bounty, moving away from certain materials, whether it’s plastics or hydrocarbon based fuels, or away from certain types of companies, like big box stores or massive online shopping services, like Amazon. The goal is to be more “green”, “sustainable”, etc. Just like “Grandma” used to live.

Now, these are laudable goals. I share many of them. But here’s the thing.

That’s not how “Grandma” used to live.

I mean, yes, most of those things were true, but they are true only from today’s perspective. In reality, whenever possible, “Grandma” embraced new technology, new materials, and resources. Canning wasn’t possible until it became cheap and easy to get standard sized jars, lids and rings. Techniques such as fermenting, brining, drying, smoking – these all were continually improved as new equipment and materials came available. Anything that made life easier, made it faster and safer to preserve food, or acquire material goods, was embraced.

Grandma was as high tech as she could afford to be.

When I stumbled on the RoseRed Homestead YouTube channel, one of my first thoughts was, THIS is Grandma. Our previous generations would have absolutely embraced all of the gadgets, if they could, and if they couldn’t, they found workarounds.

I’ll quote this from their About page.

We focus on three simple themes: Emergency Preparedness, Food Security, and Self Reliance. If difficult times are coming, we want to help our channel community be as ready as possible to sustain themselves for an extended period of time and to assist others when possible. You will find videos on safe canning, dehydrating, freeze drying, gardening, and preparedness projects from safe water storage to cooking off grid. We have even done scientific testing of new electric canners with a special “gadget!”

This channel has only been around since the spring of 2019, but is well filled with some really amazing and useful videos – and now they have a new website, too.

It’s really, really hard to pick just a few videos as examples, there are so many fantastic ones.

One of the things I love about this channel is their thorough experiments and comparisons. So surprise that Rose works in Science Education! This is one excellent example.

Here she preserves potatoes by various methods, including freeze drying – yes, she has a freeze dryer! Those things are expensive! – then reconstituting, tasting and comparing the final product.

Interested in pressure canning? Confused with all the information out there? Check this out.

Great information, but I’m also blown away by the gadgets sitting on her counter. 😀

Want to learn about dehydrating? She’s got you covered.

As someone who is interesting in grinding our own flour, I found this one quite useful.

Gotta love that 40 yr old mill she’s got!

In this next one, she tests out a “survival soup” recipe.

There is some great information on that one. In the “emergency preparedness” and “survival” areas, there are a lot of claims made, so it’s great to see some of them being tested out in such a methodical way.

Like this other one.

Here, she shows her off-grid kitchen gadgets – and how her back ups have backups!

It’s not all high tech, though. Here, she makes and demonstrates a home made solar cooker.

Then, when people commented about her many, expensive gadgets and asked if she could talk about some low tech options, she responded with this.

I look forward to her follow up videos on this!

This is just a sampling of videos covering a broad range, and I didn’t even touch all of the topics she covers.

This channel is an absolute gold mind, and I highly recommend checking out their videos, and learn how “Grandma” does things to live a self-sufficient, prepared lifestyle!

The Re-Farmer

Recommended Reboot

It occurred to me that it’s been about 2 years since I added to my Recommended series of posts. I’ve found many more great resources to add to the list, so for the next while, I’ll be making a new series of posts to add to the list. Given the circumstances, most of them will be in some way related to self sufficiency, homesteading, etc., but I’ll also include a few that are just fun.

Last year, I posted these once a week, but even paring things down quite a bit, there’s still quite a few I’d like to share with you, so I’ll probably be making them twice a week, this time.

Feel free to recommend a few of your favourite resources in the comments, too.

I hope you enjoy them and look forward to hearing your thoughts about them.

The Re-Farmer

It’s our anniversary!

Four years ago today, the very first post was made on this blog!

It’s certainly been an… interesting… four years! Mostly in a good way! I’m certainly glad that we are here, even with some of the less than positive things that have happened over the past while. The world has gone crazy, but we’ve managed to maintain a certain level of normalcy that we could not have done, if we were still living in the city.

We made plans, adjusted plans, dropped plans and made new plans. Which we did expect to have to do, even if there was no way to predict the how or the why behind it!

One thing I can say for sure is, I am really excited and looking forward to the next few years out here!

The Re-Farmer

I got balls!!

How’s that for a click bait title? 😀

Seriously, though, I do. The Baoding balls my husband ordered for me came in!

These are made from Afghanistan jade, so they do not have any tones. My husband got a pair of chrome ones for himself, which are hollow and produce different tones while in use.

The cats were VERY curious when he first used them!

As you can see, I had a curious cat while taking the above photo, too!

You can read about the history of them here, with very detailed instructions on how to use them, here.

We both got 2 inch diameter balls. I may be 8″ shorter than my husband, but my hands are just as broad as his are, so the larger size works well for both of us. They do come in smaller sized, though. I’ve even found one place that makes them up to 3 inches in diameter! Made from machined copper, so they way over 4 pounds, so… a bit much even for my simian hands! 😀 I’m seeing others made from materials like malachite and citrine that catch my eye.

I think having more than one pair wouldn’t be a bad idea… 😀

These should go a long way in helping with the osteoarthritis in my hands, and help build my hand strength and mobility back up. It’s going to take a while to get used to manipulating them again, after not using them for at least two decades.

So far, I’ve only dropped one, once. Onto carpet, thankfully! 😀 While using my right hand, of course – I’m predominantly left handed, and it’s my right hand that has the injured middle phalange, so it’s going to be some time before I can use them smoothly with my right hand. For the first while, I will be focusing just on being able to rotate them smoothly, without clacking them against each other. Over time, I should be able to rotate them without the balls actually touching each other.

I am very happy to have these again! I highly recommend them.

The Re-Farmer

Year End Review: top 10 posts!

Today we come to the close of what has got to be the most bizarre year we’ve had in my 5 decades! I think many of us will be very glad to see the hind end of 2020, even though there’s no sign that 2021 is going to be much different. :-/

[edited for formatting problems. WTH, WordPress??]

Thankfully, one of the side benefits of 1) living in the boonies and 2) living on my husband’s disability income, is that not a whole lot of the crazy affected our everyday life. We were already living on a tight budget, and disability payments are not affected. We were already doing things like stocking up in bulk purchases once a month, so that changed only because suddenly, everyone else was stocking up, too! My “job” is taking care of this place, and only one of my daughters had to stop working outside the home because of the crazy. The other was already working from home, so as long as we’ve got internet, she’s good to go. We got to focus on taking care of the property and each other, moving forward as much as possible on our long term goals, and basically be hermits. Which is kinda how we like it! The only real negative thing affecting us is my husband not getting the medical care he needs, but honestly, I don’t know how much of that can be blamed on the virus response. We’ve been here for 3 years now, and he still hasn’t been able to get the same level of care he had access to when we lived in the city. 😦

For me, one of the things I’ve tried to do is keep up with daily posts here on the blog, even if it’s just posting a photo. I’ve learned long ago that if I don’t get at least some writing in every day, it’s not very good for my mental health, but I also hope that the things talked about here will be enjoyed by, and useful to, others.

Though I am making no efforts at all to promote the blog, somehow, people are still finding it and following along. I don’t know how you all are finding us, but I really appreciate you stopping by and giving it a read, liking and commenting. Thank you so much!

In celebration of the end of the year, here are the top 10 most popular blog posts written in 2020. I skipped over any that were written in previous years, just because I want to focus on 2020. All links should open in new tabs, so you won’t lose your place here. 🙂

So here they are, starting with number 10.

Comparisons. As this was our first year gardening, it comes as no surprise that we are starting with a gardening post! This one is from early August.

This year, I did something new, with a series of “Recommended” posts. These ended up getting their own permanent page, with a tab at the top menu. Number 9 is one of these posts. Recommended: Justin Rhodes. There is a massive number of videos on their YouTube channel! If you have any interest in self-sufficient living, do check them out!

This year, I finally started to do some more creative things with all the trees we’ve been cutting down, other than sticking them in huge piles for future chipping, or burning them.

The Wonkiest comes in at Number 8, showing off my first ever carving of a fork… and it truly is the wonkiest!! 😀

This year, we continued our attempts to brew booze, including our first attempt at making hard crab apple cider. Making hard crab apple cider: racking day – what happened? (updated: I found out!) comes in at number 7.

Every now and then, a post becomes popular, and I have no idea why! Like this one, at number 6: Let’s give this a try. It’s just a mix of all sorts of things, but apparently, people found it interesting!

No surprise to see another gardening post on the list! Number 5 is an analysis, First year gardens: what worked, what didn’t

Another Recommended post on the list. Number 4 is Recommended: Kris Harbour Natural Building. This YouTube channel is filled with years of videos, following along as Kris Harbour builds off grid in Wales. Well worth checking out!

Our first post about making hard crab apple cider is on the list, too! Here it is at number 3. Making hard crab apple cider; will it work?

Our crab apples were very popular this year! This time, at number 2, it’s Making Crab apple cider vinegar: airlock or cheese cloth?

And now we reach our number 1, most popular post of 2020.

This one blew away all the other posts, with almost triple (!!) the hits that number 2 got! In fact, it still gets hits almost every day. It’s another from the Recommended series of posts. Recommended: XiaoXi’s Culinary Idyll It’s another YouTube channel, and there are some really awesome videos to check out. Yet, I have no idea what makes this post stand out more than any other, that it should get so many more hits!

If you have discovered this blog through this post, I’d love to hear what brought you here! Please feel free to let me know in the comments. 🙂

Well, there you have it! The top 10 must popular blog posts written in 2020.

I look forward to joining you again in the New Year! May 2021 be a year filled with many blessings, growth, healing and above all, normalcy!

God knows, we could all use some plain, boring old “normal” right now!


The Re-Farmer

Picnic table progress: painting started

While the tech was here to try and figure out why our secondary internet account wasn’t working (more about that on another post), my daughter and I got started on the scrubbed and fully dry picnic table.

First, we set up her tent!

Once we moved it over the table, she got the paint ready while I pegged down the legs.


Tried do.

I was able to get only 1 leg properly pegged down. With the others, it didn’t matter what angles I tried, I kept hitting rocks!

Hopefully, it’ll be enough to keep it down if we get any winds.

Even if we don’t end up getting rain, it provided much appreciated shade!

Since it’s the underside, we weren’t too worried about complete coverage, except for the ends of the legs. Those might even get a second coat before we flip it.

I’m really glad we had those chimney liners to use to raise it off the ground. They really made the job easier! Amazing what a difference just those few inches makes, on preventing back strain.

The colour darkens a bit as it dries, but it’s still really, really bright!

Of all the things we need to work on, this small project is something that will be done fairly quickly. It’s a psychological thing. Once it’s done and set up, we’ll be able to see this one bright object in the yard that is a thing that we actually finished. So many other things have been delayed, or are things that will be worked on over years, not days, or even months.

I really look forward to using it when it’s done! 🙂

The Re-Farmer