Off Grid Living Links

Here I am going to categorize a collection of resources for those wanting to learn more about self reliance, self sufficiency and sustainability. I am going to stick with links to sites I am active on or that I have checked out and feel have useful information. There are a great many topics that fall under the general category of sustainability so please bear with me as I try to come up with a way to organize things in an easy to browse and useful way.

 Skills:

Pathfinder School – David Canterbury (born September 19th 1963) is a hunter, a survival expert, and the author of a Survivability for the Common Man.

EarthSkills Rendezvous – Reconnect with your ancestors by learning indigenous primitive skills like making white oak baskets, foraging for wild foods, starting fire by friction and tanning deer skins.

Primitive Ways – “Primitive (first) skills are our shared inheritance. It is the shared thread which links us to our prehistory and binds us together as human beings.” – Steve Watts

Paleotool’s Weblog – Primitive Technology, Archaeology, and Simple Living

Food:                          

Green’s Produce and Plants – Founded in 1969, Green’s Produce & Plants has been bringing the freshest of fresh food to Arlington, TX for over 30 years.  They bring the best quality of produce from local farmers together in one place along with delicious homemade jams, jellies, sauces, and dressings.  Their produce market offers delicious organic produce including fruits, vegetables, and nuts.

Downtown Arlington Farmer’s Market – A community-oriented market focusing on Texas provided foods, arts, crafts, services and wares. They are located at 215 Front Street Arlington, Texas 76011 and are open every Friday and Saturday from 8AM to 1PM

Potager Cafe and Other Stuff – On Mesquite Street near downtown Arlington, TX. They would like to bring people back to the way we should be eating — with joy and pleasure, experiencing wholesome food, fresh from a local farm.  As much as possible, they get their products directly from nearby farms and ranches having personally gone out to Gnismer Farms in the morning to pick the fruits and vegetables that will be on your plate that afternoon.

Local Harvest – Find Farmer’s Markets, family farms and other sources of sustainable, organic food near you.

Farm To Fork Foods – Farm to Fork Foods is a Natural Foods Co-Op based in the DFW area. Family owned and operated by the Grant family, the company is focused on providing natural foods to the local community.

Harvest Eating – Chef Keith Snow will teach you how to make great meals with foods that are in season. Lots of recipes!

Gardening:

Marshall Grain Co. A Fort Worth institution! They’ve been around since at least 1914 when O. L. Marshall was supplying feed and eggs to the city of Fort Worth from his downtown store. These days they carry organic gardening supplies and animal products in addition to their regular line of products.

All Things Plants The large and active community at All Things Plants is available for people to share information and knowledge with each other. They have a huge database of plantsdaily articlesdaily gardening tips and much more.

Square Foot Gardening The famous system developed by Mel Bartholomew that let’s you get the maximum production out of every square foot of your garden space. Great for those of us who are spatially  challenged. Also good for those of us who don’t want to bust our backs gardening the old fashioned way like my grandfather used to.

Texas Master Gardeners Association The Master Gardeners Association offers training on how to make things grow in your local soil, climate and conditions.

Tarrant County Master Gardeners Association – Here’s our local chapter of this great organization.

Howard Garrett – The Dirt Doctor. If you haven’t heard of this guy you’ve been living under a rock somewhere. We use his Garrett’s Juice on our plants and have had great results!

The Natural Gardener – With tips, recipes and helpful articles.

Melody’s Gardening In Central Texas – Gardening in our part of the world is quite a challenge, but with the right plants and the right techniques you can be a successful Central Texas gardener.

North Central Texas SmartScape – Texas SmartScape® utilizes xeriscape principles, but goes beyond the basics by providing design, care, and plant search tools that are “Smart” for North Central Texas.

The New Fruit Grower – The New Fruit Grower is dedicated to helping people interested in commercial fruit growing as an expansion of their current farming or marketing operation, or as an entirely new enterprise.

Fruit Tree Propogation – …is usually carried out through asexual reproduction by grafting or budding the desired variety onto a suitable root stock.

Growing Blueberries – Blueberry bushes not only provide fresh fruit but also can be used as a source of fall color in a backyard planting. Blueberries are relatively easy to grow, provide about eight quarts of berries per bush at maturity, and the fruits are versatile and high in vitamin C.

Home Vegetable Gardening on Aggie Horticulture – Texas A&M provides a boatload of PDF files on growing several varieties of fruits and vegetables in Texas.

Home Fruit Production – Peach and Nectarine Culture – Good info from the University of Missouri Extension Office. The peach has often been called the Queen of Fruits. Its beauty is surpassed only by its delightful flavor and texture. Peach trees require considerable care, however, and cultivars should be carefully selected.

 

Permaculture:    

Permies: Goofballs that are nuts about permaculture. Paul Wheaton and company share all kinds of great tips about growing things the natural way and letting the land work for you. (If you join the forum over there make sure you use your real name on your profile.  They’re pretty hardcore about that.)

The Art and Science of Making A Hugelkultur Bed Bury those logs!

Permaculture Resources A bunch of good info here too.

                                                                                                          

Food Preservation and Storage:              

The Epicenter – Check out this tip of the week that shows you how to build an Emergency Food Storage Root Cellar from discarded pallets. Also, How About This Stove that not only boils a pot of tea, stew or whatever for you but also recharges your USB devices! How cool is that?

Food Storage Recipes – Anitra Kerr teaches you how to eat what you store and store what you eat the smart and tasty way.

Life Sprouts – This is a product Anitra mentioned once on The Survival Podcast. She says you can sprout the mix that comes in this bucket to provide yourself with a full serving of your daily needs of most vitamins and minerals. I think most multi-vitamin supplements amount to nothing more than expensive urine. Consuming food like this and letting your body break it down naturally, I believe, allows you a better opportunity to get the nutrients you really need.

Thrive Life – Everything you need to eat what you store and store what you eat.

DFW Food Storage – Better 10 years too early than one day too late.

How To Blanch Vegetables For Freezing – O Chef offers up this great article on how and why to blanch vegetables before freezing them.

Blanching Vegetables by Tom Kovach – Another great article on Backwoods Home Magazine.

Canning Basics for Preserving Food – Learn all about canning and preserving here!

U.S. Plastic Corp. – Food Storage Containers

Curing and Smoking Meats – The National Center for Home Food Preservation has some great info too!

Paint Cans – Great for storing food for long term use.

Food Dehydrator Recipes – You can dehydrate all sorts of things for long term storage. Get some ideas for things you might not have ever thought about.

Pomona’s Universal Pectin – I’m told this is some of the best pectin you can buy for your jellies and jams.

The Ready Store – Emergency Food Storage

Survival Foods – Don’t have the time and equipment to preserve your own? Buy bulk, long term storage foods here.

Ready Made Resources – Or here. But this place has MUCH more than food too. Check it out!

 

Foraging:                                

Food Foraging and Ethnobotoany – A collection of links to foraging websites throughout the internet.

Merriwether’s Guide to Edible Wild Plants of Texas and the Southwest

Merriwether’s Journal – More tips and wisdom on foraging.

Eat The Weeds and other things too.

First Ways – An Urban Forager’s Blog on Wild Plants for Food, Medicine and More

Wild Edibles – Don’t tromp on that weed! It might be what’s for dinner!

Forager’s Harvest – Harvesting wild food is the oldest and most basic subsistence activity of humankind, but today we live in a world where these skills are almost lost.

Anarchist Kitchen Blog – Another family living a sustainable lifestyle. They post lots of cool pictures and stories!

 

General Info:

Survival Blogs:

The Survivalist Blog – MD Creekmore, author of “The Dirt Cheap Survival Retreat” and over 2,000 articles on survival and self-reliance maintains this blog.

A Self Sufficient Life – Well Kind Of – With Self Sufficiency & Frugal Living Tips Plus Musings from the Mountain

 

Homestead:

This Cob House – Learn how to build your own cob house. Cob is an earthen building material that is made of clay, sand, straw, and water. It has been used for thousands of years to construct homes and buildings with. It has been used worldwide, but has only just started to pick up interest in the United States.

Rocket Mass Heater – What’s a rocket mass heater you might ask? It’s a super efficient way to use sticks and twigs you can gather up and burn for warmth. You can learn to build your own by lots of instructional videos on YouTube and by posts like this. The flame burns sideways!

Self Sufficient Homestead Forum

Berkey Light Water Filters – Berkey® systems are designed to work without the need for electricity or plumbing. They are “off-the-grid” water purifiers and are gravity fed. You can use several sources for providing water.

Wikihouse – This is a really interesting project! A community of designers make it possible for anyone to design their own house out of parts that are CNC milled and can be put together on site with minimal tools. It’s kind of like building your own erector set on a large scale. There are even plans for building your own CNC mills or you can buy some ready built models pretty afford-ably. But for building a house you’re probably better off finding a local shop to cut the pieces for you. Anyway, cool stuff! I don’t know if we’ll go this route or not but it’s definitely something I want to watch.

Buy Used Shipping Containers – Another potential building method for a bug out location or maybe a ready built storage building on site.

Do It Yourself Collection on CD3WD – A HUGE resource of articles and e-books. Download 2012 version for 6DVDs.

Building Plans – A collection of building and facility plans developed over several years by engineers at Land Grant Universities providing conceptual information and an excellent resource for planning.

Earth Ship Biotecture – Good things to do with a bunch of old, used tires.

Homesteading Today Forum – A community of homesteaders helping one another learn to live a more self-reliant life.

Homesteading Magazine – Homesteading today isn’t just about having several acres of land to clear and build your own log home on. Homesteading can also be done in an apartment or a city lot, or it can be a state of mind.

 

More Websites and Forums:

Mother Earth News – One of the oldest and best magazines for DIY articles and self reliant living.

Survivalist Forums – A community of survivalists sharing tips and techniques for living through whatever life throws at you.

Polyface Farms Joel Salatin teaches people how to farm using nature as a pattern. You can learn a lot just by observing how nature does things and replicating it.

Sustainable Civilization– Much of our present infrastructure and processes are not sustainable. Much of what we do threatens not only us, but all life on the planet.

Safe Castle Survival Gear – Prepare and fortify.

The Ready Store – Emergency preparedness and survival supplies

A DVD with 480 Alternative Energy Manuals – Haven’t tried it myself but it seems intriguing. Anyone know if this is any good?.

I Make My Gas – No, not the way I do after eating a bean burrito either! Steve Harris has, when he isn’t sold out anyway, countertop stills, books, DVDs and other supplies to get you up and running making your own ethanol.

Off The Grid News – A weekly email newsletter and website full of practical information on living and surviving today and in future times when life may not be as easy.

Be Found Alive – Promotes the practice and teaching of self reliance skills in both the urban and wilderness environment, disaster preparedness, primitive technology and urban homesteading.

Backwoods Home Magazine – Practical ideas for self reliant living.

Off The Grid Survival Supply Store – a prepared person is much more likely to withstand a major disaster than one who is not.

Living Off The Grid – Free yourself!