Tag Archives: Self Reliance

Be Prepared Series

Be prepares is a series offered by Wolf-Beach Farms. It is designed to be a multiple series of classes picked by the audience, and delivered as often as you would like. The course designers pick from a series of classes or all of the classes. The class on average is about 2 hours and can be one a week, twice a month once a month or every other month. The goal is to fit what your needs are in the time you have.

The series starts with an opening class to go over what and how the classes will be organized. The beginning class the participants will be given a binder. This binder will hold the class notes, handouts, examples, etc. from that particular topic. Each class, the participants will get the handouts, listen and participate in exercises and gain useful insight into the particular topic. Each class will have a section in the binder. At the end of the series the participants will have a handy binder with the necessary information all in one spot. This binder can be used as the “go to” book whenever it is needed.

Classes can be purchased on an individual bases, a series of classes (at a discount) or a whole series at once for a set number of participants. Pricing and classes are flexible and affordable. These series can be customized for your group. Do you want a stronger community built around your church group? When an event happens, who in your group or organization has the skills to help the fellow members out?

Be Prepared series were designed to give participants tools and information in case something happens. This is not to instill fear or doom and gloom. This series was design to help participants face challenges and situations with knowledge and strength rather than fear and ignorance.

Here are some examples.

When a snow storm is announced, what happens at the grocery store? A rush on bread, eggs, and milk. Is everyone going to make French Toast during the storm? These are the wrong things to be stocking up on. Two of the three require electricity to keep them cold and preserve freshness. What if, an announcement was made of a bad storm and you and your family didn’t blink an eye, because you didn’t need a single thing at the store, EVEN if the power went out for days?

Here is another example.

A family of 4 on average spends about $400 per month on groceries according to recent information. Some may be more some may be less. What if I told you that our family of 6 can spend less than $275 per month? It isn’t rocket science, and our pantry is completely full. We eat three meals a day. We even have reserve that if needed could outlast any storm sent our way. Hurricane Sandy had some people without power and local groceries for 6 weeks.

In both cases people say they will just go to the store. Having worked in a major grocery store I can tell you what you see on the shelf is ALL there is in the store. There is little to nothing in “the back room”. The fancy scanner that is used to checkout automatically places an order for the item as it leaves with the warehouse or distributer. IF the trucks are running and they are able to get on the roadways it is 48hrs or more before delivery. The benefits of on demand stocking.

A tornado comes in and wipes out your house. Everyone made it out to safety and you had the keys to the car and everyone is in their PJ’s. You are thankful your family is OK. You return home and everything is gone. How do you document who you are, what you had? Where are all of your papers for insurance, mortgage, bank accounts, and credit cards? In this day and age fraud is rampant. You will need to prove who you are, that your kids are YOUR kids, that what was once your house was YOUR house. Can you imagine the stress, the heartache? Taking a few simple, easy steps and proving who you are, and all the important information will be easily retrievable. Better yet, what if you left, but each had a bag that had cloths, the documents and everything you needed for three days. Three days to put things in order, Three days to not worry about where to sleep, clothing, feeding the family. Sounds like a lot but it is easy to accomplish.

Did you know if you drive a car, SUV, truck etc. you already have access to a generator capable of giving you power in your home if the electrical grid goes down?

Did you know you may already have access to 60+ gallons of water in your home if the water is shut off?

Did you know that you can still communicate with loved ones if cell towers are overloaded?

Did you know that you can produce 800+lbs a year of food on less than 1000sq feet of yard or patio?

Did you know that you do NOT need a rooster to enjoy the benefits of backyard fresh eggs?

These are just a few examples. The Be Prepares series allows you to plan ahead, so that IF you ever have to use these skills, tools, and tips it was planned and thought out when you had a cool, calm, and collective thought process. Here are just a few classes

The series is designed for groups as small as 5 and up to 100 or more.

This is for the average person. It explains things from a basic point of view and uses practical, real world solutions. The series explains how to use what you already have. This isn’t a demo of the latest and greatest gadgets. This is how to accomplish your goals with little to no investment and on a budget.

Do you already have a meeting location? Church space when no services being offered? Meeting rooms, halls apartment club house? All can be used. No location? We work with various venues on different sides of town in and around the Indianapolis area.

Contact us for more details or to start scheduling your own series.

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Full day homesteading skills class

Thanks to everyone who completed the survey for what people are looking for as far as education here in Indy. Here is the first response to that. Based on the survey results this is what most people wanted to see.

Full day homesteading basics class. 8 full hours plus free samples to take home. As of now here is the breakdown of the class. This is for people from apartments to rural areas. I will give examples of how you can implement in just about any situation. I will bring examples, what materials I use, photos, and a CD/DVD of resources I use when I need additional information.

Class will be $40 per person or $60/couple. If bringing the family or more than 2 please contact me for other arrangements. Pay in advance or at the door. Cash only at the door. You will save the cost of the class alone if you just adopt and use a few of the topics mentioned.  Due to the limitations of Meetup payments (can’t do discounts based on number of people) contact me if you want to pay in advance with cash or use electronic payment.

Register through one of the Meetup groups below although not required. There is a limited number of seats but should accommodate a larger class size but to guarantee a seat registration is recommended.

http://www.meetup.com/AlternativeGardening/

http://www.meetup.com/Indiana-Disaster-Preparedness/

Here is what is being offered. I can add additional topics if time and my experience permits. Seats, and tables provided along with two large overhead screens for notes and examples. There will be breaks and a lunch period as well. Bring your lunch or visit one of the many local places.

  1. Backyard Grocery (fall is one of the best times to start this)
    1. Mini Orchard
    2. Vegetable garden
    3. Edible landscaping
    4. Aquaponics
    5. Backyard Chickens
    6. Goats
    7. Bees
    8. Rabbits
    9. Vertical Gardening
    10. Potatoes
    11. Container Gardening
    12. Medicinal Herbs
    13. Composting and mulch
    14. Water harvesting and rainbarrels
  2. Food Preservation (what to do with everything you harvest)
    1. Canning
      1. Water bath canning
      2. Pressure canning
    2. Dehydrating
    3. Freezing
    4. Smoking
    5. Fermenting
  3. DIY
    1. Laundry soap – how to make – free samples 5 ingredients or less
    2. Tooth paste – how to make – free samples 3 ingredients or less
    3. Bar soap – how to make –(free samples if cured in time)
    4. Fire starters – how to make
    5. Homemade bread – very simple steps <5 ingredients. Way more healthy for family
    6. Homemade pasta – very simple steps <5 ingredients. Way more healthy for family
    7. Make your own ethanol
    8. Battery backup for emergency home power use
    9. Make your own generator from your car with an inverter

Help needed to design self sufficent expo here in Indy

A colleague and I were throwing around some ideas the other day and we think we hit on a good one. There are lots of classes and expo’s in other parts of the country and not a real good one on self sufficiency here in the Midwest. At least that we knew of. We started talking about what we would like to have and presenting. I think we came up with a plan to be offered as early as November but more than likely February of 2014. We have several well known, national speakers within a relatively short commute to Indianapolis. We have started reaching out to them. So far many have shown interest in presenting. I would love to host a few events here and LOVE to host a 2015 expo at the convention center. It would be great to have a Self-Reliance type expo here in the Circle city. You can help. Complete the survey, pass along, and send to friends. The more data I can gather the more we can tailor the event or events. It is anonymous and I would really appreciate it.

Thanks in Advance
Rick
Wolf-Beach Farms
Permaculture Consultant

Survey Link

http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/HKTQM9T

Homesteading – How did we get here?

        Today I hosted some good folks from the communist state of Illinois. I gave them the outdoor tour and talked about what we have done and where we are going. How we got where we are today and lessons learned along the way. They made the comment we are just getting started and wanting to learn more. I remember being there several years ago. It made me think to when we got started to where we are today.

         Many people look at what we are doing on our 0.2 acre suburbia homestead and think we are so far ahead of the game. I see it as the opposite. I see how much more I have to do. I look back when we bought this place and think how it has evolved, how we have evolved. The one common denominator was it didn’t happen overnight.

                I wasn’t always homestead minded. I once was one of the sheeple following the next person in line. Buying, consuming, and spending. I got hooked from listening to The Survival Podcast. It isn’t the doom and gloom, doomsday prepper, and militia. It is a lot of common sense, and I have learned quite a bit just from having it on in the background.

                The bushels of pears and apples ripening on the trees didn’t just come with the property. We planted them. One tree at a time. We used to buy in spring when everyone had them in the box stores or the 1 year old seedling from the catalogs. Now we trade, start our own, grafts, and buy on clearance or end of season at 50% off or better. We learned there was a better more cost effective way. We learned the hard way and bought full price trees before we learned there is a better way.

                We make our own laundry soap. We just recently started this. $0.02/load vs. $1.00 load does add up. It was a learning process. Rather than use the dryer we are line drying our clothes. This alone cut our eclectic bill in ½ . From March-November I know we will not use it, and if all goes well will not use it again. “So what do you do when it is raining or snowing, or freezing outside?” Either don’t do laundry or hang in our garage. We don’t park in our garage. It is for storage, workout area, and a play area for the kids when it is raining outside. For the cost of a few feet of paracord I have two lines in my garage.

Here is a picture in our garage.

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 Here is one where I turned the pergola into a clothesline.

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                The strawberry groundcover didn’t happen overnight. It took time and planting. Now we get to enjoy fresh strawberries, chemical free, organically grown, and well free year after year.

                You can start at any time, and start small. You do not have to do everything at once. When it came to canning I started with one package of jars, one pot, and tome tomatoes out of my garden. I now have 500+ jars accumulated from family, craigslist, and goodwill. My next step is to get the reusable lids.

                We have boxes of dehydrated foods from our garden and grocery deals. It didn’t happen overnight. We found our dehydrator in a family members storage unit. Started with a few herbs, after gaining success and learning the skill, we now will dehydrate shrimp, eggs, and make jerky.

                I remember when I first started learning about homesteading and preparedness I was overwhelmed by all that I thought I needed to do overnight. I had lists, schedule, priority of items. What I once thought was the top most important item has since fallen to low or no importance. There is no golden book or plan to follow. Waking up and becoming more aware is the best tip I can give. Your bran, the knowledge you learn, the experiences is what is key. I have made many failures for any success. I never consider them failures, but more a lesson on what not to do the next time, or how could I have made it better.

                Start small, but start today. Challenge yourself to learn something new each week, or a goal each month for prepare and grow your homestead. It could be planting a fruit tree, or reading a book on canning, or try a new more sustainable food on your next trip to the grocery. We tried goat and were pleasantly surprised.  When I look back we have come a long way, and I have learned so much more than I did 5 years ago. I learn something new almost each day. For instance I have 24 more hours of new permaculture videos Geoff Lawton just posted as part of my class. If you feel overwhelmed, don’t. You eat an elephant one bite at a time. Get your own homestead in order by one thing at a time. What helped and scared me was when I made lists of all I wanted to do and get accomplish. Some are low hanging fruit, and easily completed. But seeing it all there on a list made it more manageable and easier to grasp. Putting in out poly tote rainbarrel seemed overwhelming, and I kept putting it off. It took less than 30 min.

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One more thing to check off my list.  What can you cross off your list today? This week? This month?