It’s time for our favorite article of the week: News from Around the Bend for 3/1/19.  It has been another winter week here in Minnesota; we had snow on the weekend and on Tuesday.  That snow pile along my fence is now over 6 feet tall!  When I am shoveling and knocking snow off the roof of my house, I am listening to podcasts and videos. I also listen to podcasts as I drive across Minnesota and Wisconsin as part of my job.

Speaking of driving, Julie has been consuming podcasts on her drive to work, and she has some great picks this week.  I know that the winter weather has made a relatively straightforward drive into a real pain in her rear.  Fortunately, podcasts keep her somewhat sane!

Anyway, enough of the chatter, and let’s get into the News from Around the Bend for 3/1/19! 

Featured Post of the Week

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Contrary Homestead Podcast

Welcome to The Contrary Farmstead – Episode 1
Greg and Susan Burns – The Contrary Homestead Podcast

Greg and Susan Burns have been working on a secret project this winter, and that project is being released to the world today!  The secret project is a new podcast called the Contrary Farmstead!  Both Julie and I had a chance to preview the podcast, and we both thought it was really good.  As Julie said, “It is awesome, and it has all the giggles in the right places.” 

I thought it was great to hear Greg and Susan talk about things that have been rolling around in my brain since 2008: getting back to the land, learning from the old ways and becoming more self-resilient.  I love the discussion about being a lighthouse to others and showing people a better way to live. 

Julie and I are so thrilled to have another couples podcast out there and telling folks about similar themes!  We will be doing a Couples Homesteading Podcast with them in the future, and man, what a show that will be!  Everyone should click the link and check out The Contrary Farmstead Podcast! I know I have listened to it three times now….

Julie’s News Picks of the Week

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Julie was listening to podcasts as she made homemade cleaning products last weekend – February 24, 2019

These are Julie’s News Picks of the Week for 3/1/19:

5 Homestead Kitchen Tools I Can’t Live Without
Jill Winger – The Prairie Homestead

Julie has been really following Jill Winger at The Prairie Homestead.  While Jill does not have a podcast, she does have a YouTube Channel and posts a new video each Tuesday.  In this video, Jill talks about the five homestead kitchen tools in her kitchen.  Julie wanted me to include this video in her News Picks of the Week. The good thing about these tools is that you can acquire them (new, on Craigslist of Facebook Marketplace, or at a Thrift store) without having a complete homestead in place. 

You cannot construct a house without the right tools, and making meals from scratch is so much easier with the right tools!  Jill makes a great point right up front: most modern kitchens are set up to make mac and cheese, not for preparing food from scratch.  I bet if you think back to your grandmother’s house, she had a lot of pots, pans and tools that you don’t have in your kitchen.  Right?  Well, it’s time to start getting those tools.

  1. Cast Iron (YES!  Agree!  Use fat when you cook and display your cast iron)
  2. Good Wooden Spoons
  3. Dutch Ovens (YES!  We just bought a Cast Iron Dutch Oven at Aldi for $20 last weekend)
  4. Glass Jars and Canisters (YES!  Totally agree!)
  5. Stainless Steel Bowls (YES!)  

The Pursuit Of A Better Life: How To Start Homesteading Where You Are
Harold Thornbro – Small Town Homestead

Our friend Harold Thornbro is offering a webinar on Sunday, March 3rd, at 7:00 PM Eastern.  The webinar is all about starting to homestead where you are.  As Harold has said in a number of podcasts, not everyone can afford a place in a country.  Not everyone WANTS to live in the country.  A lot of people WANT to homestead. 

Harold has developed a webinar to encourage folks to start their homesteading journey where ever you are: in an apartment, an urban home (like us), a suburban home or in the country.  There are things you can start doing that will make your property work for you and live a more self-reliant lifestyle.  Harold should know: he lives in a town in Indiana on a town lot!  Check this out and join us at the webinar on Sunday!

Tipping Points with Nicole Sauce
Tom Domres – Small Scale Life

Julie really liked the conversation Nicole and I had about her story, homesteading, starting a small business (breaking free of the cube farm), building an audience, canning and self-reliance.  We had a great conversation and several laughs, particularly about light rail! 

I enjoyed talking with Nicole, and Julie and I have really been liking her podcast called Living Free in Tennessee.  As I said in the introduction of the podcast, Nicole is further down the Homesteading Highway than most of us, but she is leaving some great breadcrumbs for us to follow.  Find your passion, start working on it and you will find opportunities to monetize it over time! 

Thanks to other folks who have given some very positive feedback for this show, and I hope you are finding some inspiration and truth bombs in this one!  It’s a long podcast, but it is really worth it.  Make sure you listen to the “Easter egg” at the end of the show….bada boom, bada bing!

Tom’s News Picks of the Week

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Making breakfast with a full house. Why not listen to a podcast? – February 24, 2019

These are Tom’s News Picks for the Week of 3/1/19.

What Preppers Can Learn from a Mercenary with Shawn Swanson

Glen Tate and Shelby Gallagher – Prepping 2.0

Glen and Shelby interview Shawn Swanson, a Private Military Contractor (PMC).  Shawn has been a PMC all over the world, and he is also a character in Glen’s 299 Days books and Shelby’s A Great State books.  Shawn discusses different types of PMC’s, and he also talks about how people with combat skills will be very valuable in the future.  This is a serious interview, where Shawn talks candidly about collapse scenarios and what people should do to prepare for times when the government cannot protect you. 

Remember: connect with your local government and plan how to solve problems locally.  Be a leader in your area, find resource and offer solutions to people in your area.  Shawn’s final bit of advice is the following:

  1. Be lethal
  2. Be clear-minded
  3. Be cunning

Mindset is huge, and getting your mind right will help you for tough times, whether it is a collapse scenario, a death in the family or a job loss.  This was a fascinating interview, and I will be listening to it again on my drive across the state today!

Declutter: Stop the Emotional Speedball

Victoria Wilfred –  Hitch Pitch or Flip

I met Victoria through the Living Free in Tennessee Coffee Break Facebook Group, and we have had some conversations about gardening and decluttering since connecting.  Victoria has recently starting to focus on decluttering her house, and she was brave enough to post video of her efforts in the Living Free Group.  Victoria has a blog called “Hitch, Pitch or Flip,” and she recently wrote about decluttering and retail therapy. It is a different take on the “got a lot of stuff” problem that a lot of us have, and she talks about it in blunt terms.  Victoria is making strides to clear out the stuff… about you?

52 Meads in a Year – #8 The Apricot & Cinnamon Delight

Michael Jordan – Underground Meadery

Michael Jordan is an award winning mead maker, and he is a great teacher.  In this video, he shows step by step how to make an Apricot and Cinnamon Melomel.  For those of you who don’t know, a Melomel is, it is a mead (wine made with honey) that has fruit in it.  Yes, I had to Google it to make sure I was correct too! 

Anyway, Michael is making a gallon of this Melomel using canned apricots and cinnamon from the spice rack.  This is really a simple recipe, and anyone could do it.  Just watching it, I get the itch to make a small batch of mead. Part of that would be because I want to taste it, and part of that would be to make up for the crappy mead I made once upon a time. 

Putting It All Together

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Contrast – Bongards, MN

As always, if you have a great post or podcast that you would like to include in these weekly news updates, send me a note at realsmallscalelife [at] gmail [dot] com or hit the Small Scale Life Contact Page.

There is a lot going on, so check out these content providers as you get your Weekend 3 Things done and enjoy some downtime (while I am shoveling…..again). Yes, we are getting more snow on Friday.

Have a great weekend!  Go get em, Lifers!