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Sat Mar 21, 2020, 06:58 PM

Subsistence living examples from some of you older ones in days gone by

Some stories of how families would cope in times of dire need is just fascinating. People would grow their own garden, raise and hunt animals for food. Churn butter from the milk of their cows, bake their own bread. The list goes on.

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Reply Subsistence living examples from some of you older ones in days gone by (Original post)
Blueplanet Mar 2020 OP
The Velveteen Ocelot Mar 2020 #1
Blueplanet Mar 2020 #2
customerserviceguy Mar 2020 #42
meadowlander Mar 2020 #3
handmade34 Mar 2020 #4
Blueplanet Mar 2020 #7
handmade34 Mar 2020 #10
Blueplanet Mar 2020 #11
handmade34 Mar 2020 #13
democrank Mar 2020 #17
handmade34 Mar 2020 #18
Blueplanet Mar 2020 #14
Maeve Mar 2020 #5
Igel Mar 2020 #6
Blueplanet Mar 2020 #9
dixiegrrrrl Mar 2020 #46
tavernier Mar 2020 #8
phylny Mar 2020 #12
Blueplanet Mar 2020 #19
dixiegrrrrl Mar 2020 #15
Blueplanet Mar 2020 #20
dixiegrrrrl Mar 2020 #45
Lars39 Mar 2020 #16
The River Mar 2020 #21
Blueplanet Mar 2020 #22
Kaleva Mar 2020 #23
trackfan Mar 2020 #24
Blueplanet Mar 2020 #26
Arthur_Frain Mar 2020 #25
Blueplanet Mar 2020 #28
Arthur_Frain Mar 2020 #44
backtoblue Mar 2020 #27
LisaM Mar 2020 #29
Glimmer of Hope Mar 2020 #30
CountAllVotes Mar 2020 #31
Blueplanet Mar 2020 #35
MustLoveBeagles Mar 2020 #37
CountAllVotes Mar 2020 #41
Blueplanet Mar 2020 #43
radical noodle Mar 2020 #32
Blueplanet Mar 2020 #38
hamsterjill Mar 2020 #33
hunter Mar 2020 #34
Blueplanet Mar 2020 #39
MustLoveBeagles Mar 2020 #36
smirkymonkey Mar 2020 #40

Response to Blueplanet (Original post)

Sat Mar 21, 2020, 07:00 PM

1. I think there will be something like the old victory gardens this summer,

especially if the current shortage of fresh produce continues. In my city (Minneapolis) a huge victory garden that was created during the war was later converted to a community garden, and it is still in use.

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Response to The Velveteen Ocelot (Reply #1)

Sat Mar 21, 2020, 07:09 PM

2. We need more gardens

I'm always looking for home grown tomatoes. I've had a garden for many years, but now I have deer and or other animals that will eat the plants.

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Response to Blueplanet (Reply #2)

Sat Mar 21, 2020, 11:26 PM

42. I'm hoping

that I can grow tomatoes on my enclosed back porch. We'll see.

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Response to Blueplanet (Original post)

Sat Mar 21, 2020, 07:13 PM

3. I used to watch these videos all the time during the Financial Crisis

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Response to Blueplanet (Original post)

Sat Mar 21, 2020, 07:15 PM

4. which story do you want??



I used to teach homesteading and lived off the grid in the past... I've got a story for almost everything



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Response to handmade34 (Reply #4)

Sat Mar 21, 2020, 07:23 PM

7. Living off the grid and homesteading!

And anything else you have time for.
These stories may be helpful to some of our younger ones.

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Response to Blueplanet (Reply #7)

Sat Mar 21, 2020, 07:43 PM

10. I have a few acres

so have the luxury of growing food and animals if I choose... for those in the city...

microgreens are easy to grow inside... just need seeds, flats and a growing medium... or you can grow sprouts with a jar... if you can get ahold of seeds, it's easy to keep yourself in fresh greens

bees are easy to keep anywhere, city or country... lots of fresh honey and I use the beeswax to make healing salves, lip balm, muscle rub, candles, etc...

food coops are a must for group subsistence

most of the skills needed can be learned a bit by watching youtube videos

today I had to trap a white ermine that was terrorizing my chickens... out here in the wild, I have to deal with bears, fox, weasels, skunks, etc... not so much in the city.... there are other vermin there


my way too crowded garden last year Ö of course the weed is in the center

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Response to handmade34 (Reply #10)

Sat Mar 21, 2020, 07:52 PM

11. handmade34-what is a food coop?

when younger, I would turn chickens into pets.

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Response to Blueplanet (Reply #11)

Sat Mar 21, 2020, 07:57 PM

13. yes, my chickens are my pets

ducks make even better pets though I am a vegetarian, eat the eggs but would never harm my girls (and even the rooster, although he starts crowing every morning at 4 )

buying club... group of people buy in bulk (usually monthly) and all work to split up the goods


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Response to handmade34 (Reply #13)

Sat Mar 21, 2020, 08:07 PM

17. Have you ever read any books from the Foxfire series?

Thereís every kind of down home, back woods, homesteading, self-sufficient idea in that set.

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Response to democrank (Reply #17)

Sat Mar 21, 2020, 08:12 PM

18. all of them

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Response to handmade34 (Reply #10)

Sat Mar 21, 2020, 07:57 PM

14. Beautiful

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Response to Blueplanet (Original post)

Sat Mar 21, 2020, 07:18 PM

5. My city won't allow chickens, much less a cow

Bread I bake all the time...butter takes cream and squirrels really aren't that great eating

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Response to Blueplanet (Original post)

Sat Mar 21, 2020, 07:22 PM

6. Maybe this year

all the people in my neighborhood who complain about the food desert we live in and who have back yards developed to St. Augustine grass and little more will repurpose some of their dirt.

Not that into hope, however. Much more satisfying to complain and use that as an excuse for crappy diets.

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Response to Igel (Reply #6)

Sat Mar 21, 2020, 07:37 PM

9. This may be a time to rid ourselves from a crappy diet.

Families will have to cook and not eat out so much. There are some families that do not cook very often; they rely on fast food to feed themselves and their children.

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Response to Blueplanet (Reply #9)

Sun Mar 22, 2020, 01:21 AM

46. True story:


I use very few processed foods except for tomato sauce/ketchup, pickles, type stuff.

One afternoon Mr. Dixie's 14 year old daughter was poking around in the kitchen, looking for something to munch on, and then complained "There's nothing here except...ingredients!".

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Response to Blueplanet (Original post)

Sat Mar 21, 2020, 07:31 PM

8. I visit my daughter who lives on a farm in Indiana at harvest time.

Everyone has an abundance of zucchinis and tomatoes. We make jokes that if you put a zucchini in your neighborís mailbox in an attempt to get rid of your overwhelming stock, a camera still from your neighborís yard showing you attempting a squash dump, will get you ten to life in a federal vegan facility.

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Response to Blueplanet (Original post)

Sat Mar 21, 2020, 07:56 PM

12. The only thing I can share won't be much help.

When my kids were babies, I breastfed and used cloth diapers. I never worried about formula or diaper shortages. I think I'll buy our daughters cloth when their babies are born, and if they never use them they make great cleaning rags once your kids are toilet trained.

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Response to phylny (Reply #12)

Sat Mar 21, 2020, 08:13 PM

19. It helps a great deal.

Breastfeeding has many advantages. Cloth diapers-dump and wash. Buy the cloth diapers for your daughters, chances are they will use them.

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Response to Blueplanet (Original post)

Sat Mar 21, 2020, 07:58 PM

15. I did that in the 1980's.


Even learned how to make tofu.

Made butter in a blender.

Good times.

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Response to dixiegrrrrl (Reply #15)

Sat Mar 21, 2020, 08:18 PM

20. I've made butter in a blender

Could not believe how easy it was.

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Response to Blueplanet (Reply #20)

Sun Mar 22, 2020, 01:02 AM

45. I KNOW!


It was almost as if something had to be wrong with it, I was so used to the way my grandma made it in what I called a paddle-jar, decades ago.

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Response to Blueplanet (Original post)

Sat Mar 21, 2020, 07:59 PM

16. Many forests and woods were hunted out

Not a squirrel,rabbit, or deer to be seen.

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Response to Blueplanet (Original post)

Sat Mar 21, 2020, 08:36 PM

21. I Built a Mother Earth Homestead

in the seventies. Grew most all our food. All natural, etc.
The only crisis I couldn't weather was the one I didn't plan on; divorce.
It was for the best; I would have worked myself death years ago.
Subsistence homesteading isn't easy.

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Response to The River (Reply #21)

Sat Mar 21, 2020, 09:00 PM

22. You do the best you can to live a healthy life

Subsistence living is not easy. Then something comes along that you did not plan for. Such as divorce or death of a loved one. It throws you off. But your knowledge of homesteading will help many.

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Response to The River (Reply #21)

Sat Mar 21, 2020, 09:06 PM

23. A number of people where I live went back to the land in the 70's but didn't last long.

Working long hours for little gain soon lost it's charm.

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Response to Blueplanet (Original post)

Sat Mar 21, 2020, 09:08 PM

24. If you have cream, you can make butter in a few minutes without any equipment.

Take half a box of cream, seal it off well, then start tipping it back and forth. You'll have a glob of butter pretty soon. You can clean it up by hanging it in cheese cloth and rinsing with water to get rid of any of the milk stuck to it. The liquid remaining in the box is buttermilk.

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Response to trackfan (Reply #24)

Sat Mar 21, 2020, 09:26 PM

26. Yes-takes a whole lot of shaking

Left over liquid is buttermilk. Can use it for biscuits!

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Response to Blueplanet (Original post)

Sat Mar 21, 2020, 09:18 PM

25. I still do much of this.

Hand pump on the well out in the garden.

Come July, the produce section in the store is eclipsed by the garden, it will be a sad day when I finally succumb to buying veggies from the store again that year.

Iíve baked my own bread now for nearly 30 years. Turns out when you have a high stress job like I did, kneading bread by hand after a rough day at work helps calm you right down. It works wonders these days too, I bake a ton of bread.

We are partly solar, and moving more in that direction all the time. By the end of this year, Iíd like to have my remote property 100% solar.

Currently if any type of real ďlockdownĒ were to seem like it might be a reality, it would be the remote property anyway. Outhouse. Wood heat. Hand pump. Itís almost like Iíve been working up to this, practicing for the last 15 years or so.

All of the garden is with heirloom quality seeds. Iím on my 4th generation of Alaska peas now. I havenít done a ton of preserving, but Iíve got the equipment (acquired at yard sales over the years) and the resources to learn how to use it.

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Response to Arthur_Frain (Reply #25)

Sat Mar 21, 2020, 09:31 PM

28. I love baking bread

Not as good as my mother-she baked bread everyday.

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Response to Blueplanet (Reply #28)

Sun Mar 22, 2020, 12:08 AM

44. There were days that pulling the flour out of the cupboard

and starting the process kept me sane. The fact that you get home baked bread in the deal is just a plus, and you never want to go back to store bought.

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Response to Blueplanet (Original post)

Sat Mar 21, 2020, 09:29 PM

27. Plant an extra row of corn for the crows

Not sure if this was meant tongue in cheek, but my great grands used to say that.


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Response to Blueplanet (Original post)

Sat Mar 21, 2020, 09:36 PM

29. Well, a lot of us have been pushed into apartments.

For years we had a little rental house with a yard. But this is Seattle and that way of living is now deader than the dodo. So we are in an apartment that doesn't even have a balcony or window box.

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Response to Blueplanet (Original post)

Sat Mar 21, 2020, 09:45 PM

30. Baking bread is easy and therapeutic. Do it!

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Response to Blueplanet (Original post)

Sat Mar 21, 2020, 09:48 PM

31. My 84 year old husband is from a farm in Ireland

He knows how to work the land and make it work.

He took a fall last year and was not well.

He was really sad and I went to the local dispensary and bought him a clone. I brought it in and showed it to him and he seemed uninterested in it. I took it and put in in the car so the cats wouldn't get it.

It was not 15 mins. after that he was up out of bed and in the yard digging a hole. He planted the clone in the soil and it grew to be decent insect free plant with no pesticides used. No one could believe it as it was meant to be grown indoors under special lights, etc.

Everyone wanted to know how he managed to pull this off.

I told them I did not know and that he is from a farm in Ireland and that is what he does in life, he grows things; he is a farmer.

He got better after that and he is doing pretty good today.

He is not horribly worried about the virus but he's seen a few things in his day. Both of his grandparents on either side lived through the Great Famine in Ireland and died over the age of 100 years in the 1940's.

And we think the old people are not valuable! He often asks me "Where are all of the the old people today?" I don't want to tell him that many are stuck in these assisted living centers and nursing homes, something that no one in his family ever considered doing to an old person. You kept them at home and kept them safe, you valued them, you cared for them and most importantly you loved them until their time came in life to go, just as his family did.

I am so very sad when I hear or read things like "Go die already you old useless fool!", as it is the old people that are still here that can tell us what to do at times like this when we are afraid and scared to death. They know because they've have lived through perhaps far worse times than any of us could possibly imagine, that is what I happen to think.

I also believe that the very old are sacred, as are all living things.





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Response to CountAllVotes (Reply #31)

Sat Mar 21, 2020, 10:28 PM

35. Thank you CountAllVotes

Our older ones are a precious gift. Very touching, indeed.

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Response to CountAllVotes (Reply #31)

Sat Mar 21, 2020, 10:33 PM

37. A beautiful post

Your husband sounds like a great guy.

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Response to MustLoveBeagles (Reply #37)

Sat Mar 21, 2020, 11:16 PM

41. I thank both of you that replied

I met him when I was 22 years old; he was 41 at that time. It was a love at first sight sort of thing and we have been together ever since that day which was March 17, 1978.

We married some 7 years later as he was over 40 and had no health insurance and I had a found a very good job with great benefits, so we married alas.

Neither of us wanted any kids for different reasons so we had none.

We've been together ever since and always with a few cats around.

I often wonder what I will do if he were to die before me. However, many times I've often thought he'd certainly outlive me.

When I was almost dead, the hospital advised him to find out what money might be around to hire a nurse to care for me at home.

I'll never forget what he said. He replied, "What is it that needs to be done? Tell me and I will do it for she is my wife and I will care for her". And so he did, colostomy bag and all. I managed to slowly heal after the tragic events that led to this in 2009 and I got rid of that damned bag as well thanks to his very loving care.

He always acted as if he did not know how to cook but he sure figured out how to make the recipes he liked the most in my cookbooks, and so he did just that while I healed.

Many have eyed our situation negatively over the years for different reasons, even my parents. However, even they both realized what a fine man he is before they died and I thank God for that. If I were to die tomorrow, I would have no regrets.

I was very lucky that St. Patrick's Day in 1978 when I was all of twenty-two. Luckily, we both realized it.

Take care everyone and I wish you all the best in life. Live while you can and love all you can learn to love in life for that is the greatest gift that can be found.

Peace be with you all!


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Response to CountAllVotes (Reply #41)

Sat Mar 21, 2020, 11:46 PM

43. All the best to you and yours CountAllVotes

You are very fortunate to have such a loving and caring husband.

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Response to Blueplanet (Original post)

Sat Mar 21, 2020, 09:49 PM

32. We canned fruits and vegetables

and I must say it's a hot job since air conditioning was rare in those days. We made jellies, jams, and apple butter. We sewed most of our clothing. There was very little disposable stuff. Napkins were cloth. We used handkerchiefs, not kleenex. We used dish "rags" instead of paper towels. Coffee was made in a percolator and didn't require coffee filters. Sandwiches didn't go in Ziploc bags, we wrapped them in waxed paper (and I still remember how to do it to keep them fresh).

Life was a lot more work in those days. Most women didn't work outside the home. My mother was one of the few in our community that did.

Oh, and TVs (if one was lucky enough to have one) were about the size of a laptop computer screen and there were only three channels where we were. CBS, NBC, and an independent station that was only viewable part of the time. Rabbit ears had to be adjusted for the different channels. But gosh, we did love our televisions.

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Response to radical noodle (Reply #32)

Sat Mar 21, 2020, 10:47 PM

38. Handkerchiefs-Heirlooms

Napkins were cloth. I remember the "dish rags." The old fashion percolator-blue one with the white dots on it.
T.V. with an antenna on the roof. High winds would knock out the signal.

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Response to Blueplanet (Original post)

Sat Mar 21, 2020, 10:04 PM

33. I'm ready to think about a commune.

In all seriousness, if we survive this, life isnít going to be the same. I think a lot of us are going to need to pool our resources and talents.

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Response to Blueplanet (Original post)

Sat Mar 21, 2020, 10:17 PM

34. Don't forget that people are made out of meat.

Fuck, maybe I've been on this planet too long... I'll eat anything when I'm really hungry.

When I was young, wild, very poor, and alienated from this society I was pretty good at dumpster diving and I had a good working knowledge of edible plants.

Rice is my comfort food. Take rice, add something, you've got a meal. I've always felt most secure when I've had a stockpile of rice and a cupboard to put it in.

Most human cuisines were created in times of shortage.

There's a few fermented foods I'm somewhat competent with, but you have to be careful with those.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_fermented_foods



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Response to hunter (Reply #34)

Sat Mar 21, 2020, 10:55 PM

39. Love rice

You can use it for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

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Response to Blueplanet (Original post)

Sat Mar 21, 2020, 10:29 PM

36. We're baking our own bread since it's now difficult to find

Hubby's talking about doing a small garden this year.

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Response to Blueplanet (Original post)

Sat Mar 21, 2020, 11:08 PM

40. I'm not old, but I am glad during these times that I know how to cook just

about anything from very basic ingredients.

I am pretty resourceful and talented in the kitchen so I definitely won't starve. The strange thing is that I find I am much less hungry than I am when I am working in the workplace. I was always so hungry in the office.

One meal per day is fine for me now. Maybe it's because I am not as active or as stressed.

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