Subject: Re: Christian Homesteading/Faheys
Date: Wed, 22 Jul 1998 18:13:00 EDT
The Faheys teach a fabulous course on homesteading. They can be reached at: Christian Homesteading Movement Oxford, NY 13830
Richard occasionally writes for Full of Grace, the Catholic simple living newsletter.
From: patti <Hausmutti@aol.com>
I am new to the list; just discovered it. Let me introduce myself. I am Patti, husband is Stephen. We have 6 children ages 22 down to 4, all homeschooled. We attend the traditional Latin mass in Atlanta, GA. We live about an hour northeast of Atlanta in the foothills on a little over 8 acres on a dirt road. I have been living a "simplified" lifestyle for some 15 years and have been greatly influenced by my Amish and Mennonite friends. We raise most of our meat, our eggs and milk on our little farmette. I'm working on a garden but I'm better with animals. We have ground our own wheat for baking for years, but I replaced my electric grinder with a large hand model. I try to avoid buying anything that isn't eaten or used up unless it relates to self sufficiency. I have been canning lots of goat milk for the months they are dry and more for emergencies. Currently we are in the process of replacing our electric well pump with a hand pump and are looking into de-electrifying our laundry and sewing. I have already disconnected the dryer and am slowly convincing my husband that I have the ability to handle a non-electric clothes washer.
We already heat with wood and are planning to replace the refrigerator with a gas type as we have an underground LP gas tank already.
One of the most important steps for me has been the decluttering process. Sort of like the sacrament of confession! The weight of excess baggage is lifted. One place I've decluttered has been our book collection. How we tend to collect books that don't really have a place in our home. Now all I have are those relating to the Faith, a slimmed down school curriculum, necessary cookbooks and those which help with the homestead, and a carefully screened collection of books for the children. There is a man in Scottsville, KY who makes a washer similar to the James, but it's less expensive and sturdier. You can see the James washer either in the Lehman's catalog, the Cumberland General Store catalog, or at the Jade Mountain website. You need a washer, a wringer, and a double tub for rinsing. I have a suburban friend who has her James in the house and runs the drain hose out the front door to her garden.
A group of Catholics puts out a homesteading/spirituality newsletter, called Full of Grace. The address is:
HOMES: Underground House
I homestead here in VT. My name is Wendy. Our growing season varies from 90-120 days. One summer we had a frost every two or three weeks!
I live in an underground house back in the woods. We built it ourselves using the $50 and Up Underground House book by Mike Oehler. The main house is 14x48ft, with a 12x48ft attached solar greenhouse and an 8x8 root cellar. We use a home-made composting toilet (5 gal bucket in a wooden cabinet with a vent pipe). We dump the full bucket into 55 gallon drums with covers. These rot for 2 years and become beautiful compost that we use to fertilize flowers and to put around the orchard trees. (Do not use in such a way that it would touch a food crop, e.g. not around your strawberries!)
There is 100 feet of black hose curled up on a greenhouse bench for hot water in the summer. In winter the water runs through a box on the woodstove. We took an old cast iron bathtub, coated the bottom with tar and sunk it into a bed of sand in the bathroom. This takes only a small amount of hot water to keep nice and warm. I developed a spring uphill from the house. It's gravity fed inside. Wendy Martin, Peace and Carrots Farm VT
There are children's books out on how to build solar projects for an oven and such. I have an old one around that I have to find. We homeschool and I plan to make this our first "science" project of the year. May even be good enough for the science fair later on and useful for camping.
For homeschoolers: This is a terrific learning experience for the whole family. I have told my 12 year old daughter about all but the possibility of rioting and looting. I will cross that bridge when I come to it. My 8 year old son knows some but I don't want to scare him or anyone younger. I am focusing on their spiritual preparation, creating a spirit of poverty, building trust and faith, and a desire to share knowledge now and amenities later. I'm billing this all as an adventure and mixing skills such as "home canning" into the curriculum, as well as learning basics about electricity, solar energy, first aid, etc. All useful knowledge that can flesh out a portfolio.
LIVESTOCK: Small Stock - You'd Better Have Friends
Many people are talking about getting "microlivestock" (small livestock like chickens, rabbits, dwarf dairy goats) for self-sufficiency re: y2k. As a homesteader, I say: great! ... but you'd better have friends.
I say this because, first, newbies need experienced neighbors to go for knowledge and advice. The best hot-to books can do is to tell you, for example, how to raise rabbits "anywhere." But you're not "anywhere," you have your own microenvironment consisting of a particular soil type, particular climate, particular diseases ., parasites and predators nearby, and a LOCAL friend is the one who can tell you how to deal with it.
Second, if you raise animals, somebody’s got to be there to feed and care for them EVERY day: no time off, no getting away for a couple of days. Dairy animals especially, really tie you down. You can sometimes get a neighbor to come in and feed your animals, but you'd better be sure you've got someone who's willing AND ABLE to milk one, too. And that's twice a day.
Third: all successful "real" farming communities are based on some degree of long-term cooperation. Even if you're not a farmer, just a self-sufficiency y2k-er, you won't do very well for very long unless you have some people around for give-and-take. In fact "SELF-sufficiency" is a misnomer. It's almost always family, extended family, and neighbor-sufficiency.
RELOCATION: Relocating For Y2K?
Vamoose is, "The Internet's First National (US) Y2K Relocation and Safe Haven Site!". It is an electronic newspaper whose purpose is to assist people who want to relocate and live a more rural and self-sufficient lifestyle. I do this by publishing ads for real estate which is located in Y2K-friendly areas ONLY---ads for land, rural and semi-rural homes, mobile homes, cabins, co-housing, alternative housing, roommates and communities --- as well as real estate or situations wanted. Instead of everyone having to go through thousands of real estate sites, individual for-sale-by-owner sites, bulletin boards, forums, etc., culling those relocation properties or situations that would be Y2K-friendly, I wanted to have a central place to display ads and to link to sites, ONLY THOSE THAT WOULD BE APPROPRIATE FOR Y2K!
I will be searching out ads for the site daily, focusing especially on: (1) Communities ideal for Y2K (2) Unique properties (like survival and Armageddon houses) (3) Unique living situations (e.g., groups of like-minded people searching for each other) This would include Christian communities. If you know of Christian communities that I could contact to offer them a free ad, please let me know.
AND MOST OF ALL, (4) People of varying means, esp. those with limited resources. That's why I'm esp. interested in "creative" ideas for safe havens.
Also, I will be carrying ads for businesses in the Y2K locations that are especially interested in serving those who are relocating. This will bring business to smaller rural businesses who need it, who want to help, and who provide quality services. These ads will ALWAYS be free.
I'm going to be continuously expanding the site, eventually to include other information important to those who are relocating, like ideas for self-support in a rural area ("bringing your own job" to the area). Anything that facilitates people relocating to the safe haven areas.
In addition, I will be marketing the site to groups and individuals who are interested in Y2K preparedness. It's not a site that will educate people about Y2K, but one that will specialize in assisting those who are already educated about Y2K and know that they want to relocate.
Well, I could go on and on, obviously, but better for you to just visit my site and see for yourself---if I can help you in any way, let me know. Also, don't forget the free ad!
Olivia L'Heureux Owner/Operator of VAMOOSE, "The Internet's First National (US) Y2K Relocation and Safe Haven Site!" http://www.vamoose.com
SITES ON HOMESTEADING
I wanted to pass along these sites:
Art Bell's web site: