A Woman's Perspective On The Times We Live In


March 19, 2012

Traditional Products That Still Serve Us Well

     About 5 hours drive north of my country refuge, lies a small Mennonite village that I've written about before.  The time-honored and traditional ways of this hard-working group appeal to my love of history, simple living and faith-based community.  I've been fortunate to attend a bread-baking class there, and this next weekend, my husband will accompany me to a soap-making class.  After experiencing their luxurious soaps at an annual craft fair, we decided we'd like to try making soap not only for ourselves, but as a possible small business.  Who wouldn't want a delicious smelling bar of soap if the SHTF?
     But I'll tell you all about that new endeavor in a post next week.  Today I want to share another resource that's available to you online from Homestead Heritage.  The General Store website will give you access to some of the highest quality "sustainable living" tools and supplies that you can find anywhere.  So I'm going to touch on just a few of my favorites that are available, as well as some things to consider.

1.    On my "To Purchase" list is a small field hoe by Rogue.  These hoes are carbon steel, made in the USA (always a plus!) and come with an Ash handle that is 60" long.  I'm going to purchase the smaller head (6' x 4"), which will be perfect for working in the garden.  The larger field hoe has a head that is 6.5" x 7" for those bigger projects.

2.  Also consider Homestead Heritage for your lantern needs.  I have purchased four Dietz lanterns from them and all were below other internet prices.  Consider at least two Dietz #76 lanterns.  These little power houses will run for 11 hours on very minimal fuel.  Also consider adding at least one Dietz #20 lantern to your supply list.  The #20 has a bit larger tank and will burn for 30 hours.  Both lanterns put out about 8 candlepower.  You don't want to be caught without one; they're a "must have" for emergency use in case of a power failure.

3.   Homestead carries three of the best grain mills available.  As I've posted before, I own the Grainmaker (which is still the one I would recommend), but Homestead also carries the Country Living Mill and the Victoria Mill.  I had the luxury of being able to visit the General Store, where they have all three mills set up for customer use, so you can make an informed decision.  The Victoria is the least expensive of the three, but the quality doesn't approach the Grainmaker or Country Living mills.  This may not be a place to cut corners if TEOTWAWKI happens.

4.   Another item on my "To Purchase" list is an All American brand pressure canner.  I bought my first steam canner last year and had good success canning spaghetti sauce, but I think I'm ready to move to the Big Leagues and try pressure canning.  (I just wish I had paid more attention to my mom and my grandmother when they pressure canned).  Homestead has a 30 quart, 21.5 quart and 15.5 quart canners.  From my research, it appears that All American canners have a good reputation and are top quality.

5.   Perhaps my favorite product is the NorPro sausage and meat grinder.  Nor Pro is the kind of grinder your grandparents used, and is in fact one that we inherited from my husband's grandfather.  He has used it for many years to make venison sausage and he really likes the quality of the heavy cast iron.  It comes with stuffing funnels, to make sausage, and extra cutter blades.  But it's the price of $48.70 that seals the deal!  And it will serve you well in a grid-down world.
     So these are five items to consider adding to your larder of supplies and appliances.  You don't have to purchase them all at once, but make them a priority.   And don't forget to surf the Homestead General Store site.  Click on "All Products" and you'll see a complete list of handy items that will help you maintain and preserve a sustainable lifestyle.  Have fun shopping!

Psalm 119:111     "Your statutes are my heritage forever; they are the joy of my heart."

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