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Homesteading & Self Sufficiency

auscraft

Henry Arthur Readford
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A good TV show from the past which can show a lot of the pitfalls is the "The Good Life" great for a laugh as well.

We use to breed rare breed (pure bloodlines) chooks and many show chooks as well but the poultry we now keep are.
Guinea Fowl great eating and massive layers when they do ( 1/3 the Cholesterol compared to other poultry both flesh and eggs) also great for tick and snake control. eggs are excellent for hiking , camping and so on
Silver Hamburg chooks great layers medium to large bird lay most of their lives not just for 2 -3 years, Known to lay regular to the end.
Muscovy ducks, big tasty, very little fat unlike other duck and breed like rabbits, males don't fly and females don't fly far.
We do free range but lock away at night, all birds and buy all grain in 1tone lots for big savings.
All birds I mention are very easy to care for and are strong breeders and live long time.
 

auscraft

Henry Arthur Readford
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darren

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I have had poddys in our outer house yard in a temporary pen that has straw on the floor for them to sleep on. During the day when the calves are out the chooks get in an turn the straw and feed on anything living in it. If you can let your chooks out during the day they are very good for keeping garden pests at bay like snails etc and they don't do too much damage.
 

Mickldo

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I was over at the in-laws place for dinner last night and they had the latest issue of "Grass Roots" magazine. It is the 40th anniversary issue and there were a few articles on how it has changed over the past forty years, the fads, the terminology, the technology. I haven't finished reading it all yet but I have picked up a lot of good tips even after just half reading half an issue, and to think, I have forty years of back issues to find and read.
 

Bloffy13

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Wow Mickldo, Love Grassroots but I haven't seen it for years. Is it still produced on really cheap paper? Have picked up many hints and tips at all levels through this magazine.
Hey Mods, just a thought but I can see a definite link between bushcrafting and homesteading (as well as a lot of interest). I am wondering whether this is worth having as a category in its own right?
NatureNovice, I'ved just added you to the "I am from WA and proud of it" thread.
http://bushcraftoz.com/forums/showthread.php?5475-I-m-from-WA-and-proud-of-it

Cheers
Bloffy
 

auscraft

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Yes Grassroots mag is still being printed on the same paper it is a very good mag with heaps of info on many different technics .
A very good mag for anyone raising poultry is the "Australasian Poultry Magazine" it really is the best info around for Australian condition it corrects a lot of info which is northern hemisphere related only. And like the Grassroots is still around the $6 mark.

Any references should be verified they are for Australian conditions I have seen many books on animal husbandry by Australian writers that have really only restated Northern hemisphere practises.. SAD
 
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Dusty Miller

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Any references should be verified they are for Australian conditions I have seen many books on animal husbandry by Australian writers that have really only restated Northern hemisphere practises.. SAD

This is true for a lot of animals and plants. Department of primary industries often has good free info, area specific things like best pasture improvement for a regional area.

You can often find big piles of grassroots magazine at second hand shops, boot sales, markets etc.

A lot of similar looking things can be quite different too. Salt licks are species specific, a salt lick for cattle may kill sheep due to the copper content. Sheep are very sensitive to copper, but cattle need heaps.
 

Ol Grumpy

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I grew up in Melbourne but spent every weekend, school hols, etc in Yarra Junction on a working market garden. Whilst not strictly self-sufficient, the lifestyle was 'living off the land'. The parents of the farmers I lived with were Colin & Dot Cochrane who were in Woori Yallock and were both foundation contributors the both 'Grass Roots' and another similar 'Self-Sufficiency' magazine I can't quite recall. I do however distinctly recall the farm kitchen and the constant endless stream of incredibly diverse flow of all manner of fresh, smoked, preserved, dehydrated, baked, you name it- life revolved in and around this symphony of produce and food.....
There was never enough (any) money and it was incredibly tough- but I have the fondest and richest memories and whilst 'hard', life was an incredibly rich tapestry of constant and diverse challenges and adventures....
Yes, fond memories indeed, but the pursuit of wealth steered my life in a very different direction. Whilst my now teenage children have wanted for nothing, reading this thread has given me cause to 'pause' and reflect on the enormous differences in my childhood, to theirs. I'm sure they wouldn't change a thing, but they do view their world very differently to how I view mine....
At the end of the day, through Scouts, camping and general weekend adventures I trust and hope I have instilled in my children a deep and natural love and appreciation of the land- 'bushcraft'- if you will....
Because; it is our basic love and appreciation of the land that is the common thread that ties us all together and provides the common ground that we can all meet and share together.
It is how we maintain a sense of 'balance' and 'stability' in our own lives....
I've found in my life that at the very most intense moments of highs and lows that I am driven to the land... Just gotta go- bush.... Or... just gotta get to the beach...
Just gotta connect with the Land...
Bushcraft is not merely a 'skill' we should pass on... It is the very essence of life and how we maintain a healthy 'balance' in this ever more hectic life we all live....

EDIT: To Mods... This is only my second post so I cannot start a new thread.
However I'd like to propose a new Thread and call it: "Bushcraft: What does it mean to you" and move this post to that thread.... Just a thought?
 
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Hairyman

Ludwig Leichhardt
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@ Old Grumpy; " 'Grass Roots' and another similar 'Self-Sufficiency' magazine I can't quite recall." Earth Garden magazine?
 

Ol Grumpy

Les Stroud
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@ Old Grumpy; " 'Grass Roots' and another similar 'Self-Sufficiency' magazine I can't quite recall." Earth Garden magazine?

Not sure if it was Earth Garden, although I do recognise the title...
It was 40 odd years ago, so the details are somewhat fuzzy round the edges....
I can see their faces as clear as yesterday though...
I may be wrong but I suspect there was another older magazine and Earth Garden became 'the new kid on the block'.... Doesn't matter anyway... Anyone, who read the magazine back then would recognise the name Dot Cochrane... She was quite famous in her own lunchbox... So to speak... lol3
 

Ol Grumpy

Les Stroud
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@ Old Grumpy; " 'Grass Roots' and another similar 'Self-Sufficiency' magazine I can't quite recall." Earth Garden magazine?

Yeah, maybe... It was 40 odd years ago so the details are a bit fuzzy....

Doesn't matter anyway.... If anyone was reading them back then they knew of Dot Cochrane, whether they realised it or not.

Funny thing is I've noticed in this age of 'Google knows all' that so much of these old skills and knowledge are now being 'discovered' by a whole new generation.
I reckon that's great!

Me for example... I've been contemplating building an earth oven for a while, but frankly the long-long lead time of pre-heating has put me off...
Lately I've discovered the Aprovecho research into rocket stoves and building that new high efficient stove into a large outdoor earth insulated oven...
It's a 21st century Aga....
 

Hairyman

Ludwig Leichhardt
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For those living in SEQld, here is a link to Crows Nest Community Nursery stock list. http://toowoombaplants2008.blogspot.com.au/
Crows Nest is just north of Toowoomba.
"Specialising in local native plants grown from local seed, this nursery supplies plants to the public, to organisations, and to government bodies.
It is owned and managed by the Toowoomba Regional Council, with much of the actual work in the nursery being done by an enthusiastic little band of volunteers."
Patricia Gardener's 'Toowoomba Plants' is a great blog about local native plants.
 

Bezerker Viking

John McDouall Stuart
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I grew up in Melbourne but spent every weekend, school hols, etc in Yarra Junction on a working market garden. Whilst not strictly self-sufficient, the lifestyle was 'living off the land'. The parents of the farmers I lived with were Colin & Dot Cochrane who were in Woori Yallock and were both foundation contributors the both 'Grass Roots' and another similar 'Self-Sufficiency' magazine I can't quite recall. I do however distinctly recall the farm kitchen and the constant endless stream of incredibly diverse flow of all manner of fresh, smoked, preserved, dehydrated, baked, you name it- life revolved in and around this symphony of produce and food.....
There was never enough (any) money and it was incredibly tough- but I have the fondest and richest memories and whilst 'hard', life was an incredibly rich tapestry of constant and diverse challenges and adventures....
Yes, fond memories indeed, but the pursuit of wealth steered my life in a very different direction. Whilst my now teenage children have wanted for nothing, reading this thread has given me cause to 'pause' and reflect on the enormous differences in my childhood, to theirs. I'm sure they wouldn't change a thing, but they do view their world very differently to how I view mine....
At the end of the day, through Scouts, camping and general weekend adventures I trust and hope I have instilled in my children a deep and natural love and appreciation of the land- 'bushcraft'- if you will....
Because; it is our basic love and appreciation of the land that is the common thread that ties us all together and provides the common ground that we can all meet and share together.
It is how we maintain a sense of 'balance' and 'stability' in our own lives....
I've found in my life that at the very most intense moments of highs and lows that I am driven to the land... Just gotta go- bush.... Or... just gotta get to the beach...
Just gotta connect with the Land...
Bushcraft is not merely a 'skill' we should pass on... It is the very essence of life and how we maintain a healthy 'balance' in this ever more hectic life we all live....

EDIT: To Mods... This is only my second post so I cannot start a new thread.
However I'd like to propose a new Thread and call it: "Bushcraft: What does it mean to you" and move this post to that thread.... Just a thought?

Thankx !
This is a great post ! I really enjoyed reading it, sharing what you have experienced in life, even as a kid is a key to how you treat the world around you and others.
Being environmentally aware at a young age is great if you plan to have kids, to teach others is a great gratifying feeling and to teach your kids what you know must be a buzz ! I like to teach others what I know about the bush and wildlife, power to you mate. :)
 

Ol Grumpy

Les Stroud
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@ Old Grumpy; " 'Grass Roots' and another similar 'Self-Sufficiency' magazine I can't quite recall." Earth Garden magazine?

Yeah, somehow I think of Earth Garden as the 'new kid on the block'.
Doesn't really matter anyway... This was over 40 years ago now and frankly some of the details are a bit cloudy....
: +1 beer Cheers!
 

Ol Grumpy

Les Stroud
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Sorry guys- I've tried responding to your posts above- in a conversational manner but it seems I've not got enough posts or maybe it's ios7 playing quirky tricks with my iPad and Crapatalk... Dunno?
 

Jeepcreep

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Ressurecting an old thread again,so I apologize up front.I was raised on a farm,not a farm designed to make a profitable living,a farm as a way of sustaining life.What we did everyday,had a purpose,and not much if any was wasted.Our farm fed us well with leftovers for others.My grandfather was the patriarch of the farm,I never knew him to make a bad decision,they would be to costly.
We raised cattle for eating,only selling to replace for breeding.We raised hogs for butchering,and rendering the fat for lard,using the lard for cooking and salves.Chicken were free range numbering well over 100,along with several ducks.Weekly we would butcher a few chickens and a duck for meals all week.We raised several acres of corn,early corn would be eaten and canned,late corn,dried,hand picked ,some hand shelled for seed,hog and chicken feed,and the rest put away on the cob in outside corn cribs.
Several varieties of apple trees surrounded the back yard.These were canned,dried,and bartered for farm supplies to neighbors,town folk,and stores.We planted 40 acres of sugar cane each year.At harvest time,all the family came to help,us kids would line up side by side,each taking a row of cane on the right and left.Our duty was to strip all the leaves from the 12-14' high cane stalks.Once we all completed a pass through the cane,we would move down and take two more rows each,and stip leaves back to the other end,repeating this process untill all the leaves were stripped,leaving a 40 acre field of bare standing cane stalks.
The men of the family would follow through the can with tractor and wagon,cutting the canes off at the base,then cutting the seed heads on top the cane,letting them fall onto the freshly pulled leaves us kids just stripped.The men then stacked the cane stalks unto the wagon,while us kids gathered all the seed heads into feed sacks to be dried for future seed and chicken feed.the stalks were taken to a set of rollers on a hill above the heating vats.Once again us kids would help the men toss the cane stakes into the rollers,powered by an old engine .The cane juice that was squeezed out through the rollers,would drain down a flume designed with whatever we could make on the farm.The cane juice would drain into a set of boiling pans ( also homemade on the farm out of halved steel drums and connected with metal piping.)these pans were heated to boil the juice.As the juice heated the women in the family would use skimmers made out of scrap wood to skim the foam that accumulated of the boiling cane juice.The heating and skimming process lasted several hours,often well into the early morning.
Once the boiling was complete and all the foaming ceased,the final product (Molasses ) was tasted,approved,and bottled in 5 gallon jars and sealed.Many ,many 5 gallon jars were cooled and placed in a caller for bartering and use.each family was awarded one 5 gallon jar of molasses as payment for helping.I know this was lengthy,but everything done on the old farms, we're just to get through the next day.I miss the hard labor involed ,and miss the reward of the farm.I am 52 years old,but I can still smell the fresh molasses as it filled the shed between two corn cribs.I still smell the morning air just at daybreak as I sat on my grandpas lap,watching the sun rise above the pine trees on the ridge above the old farm house.I can still taste the fresh eggs and fresh bacon,cooked in old iron skillets,I still see the smile on everyone's faces at the end of the day,smiles unaffected by city life and city noise............Those memories are why I still do all I can now,to live as we did then,peaceful and satisfied.
 

Aussie123

Never Alone In The Bush
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Sounds like you had some great times growing up.
Do any of your family still live on farms ?
 

Jeepcreep

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Yes,my aunt and uncle still farm the original family farm.Though I don't live on the farm,I maintain much of the original life style of my nurturing years.My son and I built an off the grid cabin on a section of land we own,I have a small band mill set up for wood projects.I will be building my blacksmith shed this spring,set up completely off grid.I will also complete my pole lathe and shaving horse for my woodworking and bow building.We farm much like my grandfather,only our family is considerably smaller.We also tap maple trees for making maple syrup and raise bees for honey,again on a smaller scale.
Our meat supply is largely from hunted game and fishing,much off our foods are raised and preserved by canning.We have chickens for eggs,and rabbits for meat( pound for pound, a pair of rabbits produce more meat per feed ,than a butchering size steer provides ) This makes raising rabbits for meat more cost efficiant than most meat animals.We have two milk goats,they provide a huge money saving ( our current milk prices average $3.75 a gallon) our feed bill for the goats are less than $100.00 a year.We drink and use 7 gallon a week = $26.00 dollars a week=$1300.00 a year just for milk.our goats give us 1-3/4 gallon a day,that's 638.75 gallon a year,or $2,395.3125 dollars worth of fresh,whole,naturaly pasteurized milk,all for $ 100.00 dollars yearly.:_:_applauso:
 

pap11y

Richard Proenneke
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Great posts jeepcreep. Very enjoyable to read and very helpful as I am soon off to 2.5 acres and am contemplating which animal's to own.
 

Jeepcreep

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Thanks,and good luck,it is amazing what can be done on small acreage.A dozen laying hens,with proper care should give you at least 10 eggs a day for nearly 2years.By raising a new batch of hens,you will not notice any drop in egg production,plus you can butcher your older hens.Rabbits are easy to care for,and give quality meat fast.4 does and one buck will keep you eating well,a couple weeks before a doe weans her litter,rebreed her.She will finish weaning just in time to birth her next litter,at 8-10 weeks,butcher the previous litter.Keep records of breeding,and you will not go hungry.
We planted clover for feed in the spring,summer ,and early fall,choosing to keep ours penned,was for the rabbits Safty ( cats,dogs ) love rabbit.We would pull baskets full of fresh clover every morning,feeding them for free most of the year,feeding pellets in the winter,with supplement salt and clover bites.Goats are browsers,making them great for small lot animals,supplement nutrient blocks for health,feeding good baled hay in the winter.
Start small,get a feel for it,and don't be tempted to take on more than you or the land can handle.By the way,consider bees,two hives in the far corner of your lot will hardly be noticed.Always have two hives,at times you will loose a hive,and you still have another available for when your remaining hive decides to swarm.
 
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