One of my favorite people recently started taking an interest in a more self-reliant lifestyle and has gotten her toes wet in the world of canning and seed saving, which I can only imagine will be addictive and lead her into even deeper waters. What’s next? I’d imagine there will be at least a small garden in the works next spring, and perhaps eventually some bartering for fresh eggs or meat.
I’m so excited for her! Naturally I want to share everything I’ve read, re-read, watched and learned so I sent a few favorite links via facebook. Then I thought of another and another I ought to send. Then I realized I’d better not send them at all, or she’d have nothing but links in her news feed, and she’d get annoyed and “hide” me!
That’s why I started blogging in the first place, after all. I caught myself writing novels for status updates on facebook and realized it wasn’t the best way to share my ideas.
So, Kristin, rather than flood your news feed with a million links, I gathered them here and organized them by topic for you. I hope it helps!
First up are a couple of magazines I read, which are LOADED with useful information and good ideas. They both have archives and search boxes where you can access past articles to read online :
Backwoods Home Magazine. This is the one that got us started down the crunchy/farmish path. This magazine has it all. From great recipes, to gardening, to earning a living without punching a time-clock, pretty much anything you want to know can be found in the archives.
Mother Earth News A bit more commercialized and Hippie-Dippie (how they accomplish that paradox, I’m unsure), but also chock-full of useful ideas for gardening, alternative fuels, and farm life.
Starting a Self Sufficiency Garden, Even In A Small Apartment Great ideas for small spaces and container gardens and what grows well in them.
Grow Open Pollinated Seeds for Self-Reliant Gardening How to save seeds and ditch the seed packets.
The $1 Garden I’d say one dollar is pushing it, but this article has some good advice for gardening without spending a lot. FYI now is a good time to get seeds for cheap if your stores still have them. Many will still be viable next year if you put the pouches in the freezer until spring. I almost always have some seeds left over and use them the next year.
Plant Once, Harvest For Years This one is all about planting things that produce year after year with minimal tending. I really need to get around to developing an asparagus patch.
Amending Garden Soil in Early Spring This is something I’ll be putting more time into this fall and spring. Good thing we have plenty of chicken and rabbit poop!
Back To Eden A film about how deep mulch gardening helps save on water. Especially useful if you don’t happen to have irrigation.
Saving Seeds The ins and outs of which seeds are worth saving.
National Center For Home Food Preservation This PDF will be a good starting point for any beginning canner. I’d recommend either printing it, or getting a copy of a good up-to-date home canning guide such as the Ball Blue Book.
Canning 101 A great read by one of my heros, Jackie Clay-Atkinson. Actually we have several of her books and I read anything of hers that I can get my hands on. This woman can do anything.
Make Your Own Dried Fruit And Vegetables Not only practical but, much healthier than store bought snack foods.
The Survival Mom Radio Network Here you’ll find information on such topics as gardening, food preservation, frugal living, health and wellness, and disaster preparedness. Best of all you can listen while you work, so you’re not stuck in front of the computer!
And for tons of great ideas on everything from trimming the grocery budget to gardening to cleaning tips, mostly from other moms, be sure to check out the blog hops I’ve linked at the end of this post.
One small word of advice: Don’t get so caught up reading about all the cool things you can do that you never actually have time to do them. Actually, it’s probably good that gardening season is nearly over for most of us. You can spend the winter making a list of things to try when spring rolls around!
Good luck, and have fun!