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Chuck Douglas
Navigating Upheaval and Building the Next Economy; One Home, One Family and One Community at a Time.
Interests: Homesteading, Gardening, Food Preservation, Alternative Transportation, Alternative Energy, Wood Stoves, Outdoor Cooking, Book Reviews, Home Repair, Hunting and Trapping, Saving Money, Home Crafts, Disaster Preparedness
Recent Activity
As of 9:30am, sixteen inches of snow has piled up on my front lawn, and it's still snowing...good grief...pictures as soon as I can get out...Good Lord, I just remembered Valentine's Day...I was sitting here hoping to be out of the driveway by Easter... Peace Continue reading
Posted Feb 13, 2014 at Homestead Journal
How many days until spring?..38?..The wife just reminded me that the biggest snows of my lifetime have all been in March or April...oh well, the snow will make for great pictures...and mud... Peace Continue reading
Posted Feb 10, 2014 at Homestead Journal
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Cold...and beautiful... Out and about; shooting photos for Homestead Journal...Here's part of my winter weather commute. Top picture shows the road looking up the mountain. The bottom photo shows a snowy view looking over into the valley below. The top of this particular mountain is about 3400 or 3500 feet in elevation and the valley floor is about 1000 feet above sea level... Continue reading
Posted Jan 25, 2014 at Homestead Journal
But hey, a trillion dollars ain't what it used to be, right? A trillion dollars of deficit and a trillion in quantitative easing equals, "a trillion here, a trillion there"...we'll see both in 2014. I should be out of the prediction business. We are, after all, still running after the can that was kicked ahead of us in 2008, 09, 10, 11, 12 and 13. The much-deserved, inevitable, and oft-predicted reckoning remains out there, just below the horizon...but I can't call its arrival to within twelve months, I've tried, but I can only apply reason and common sense and neither... Continue reading
Posted Jan 12, 2014 at Homestead Journal
Know what good gear looks like. Sometimes, older gear--just as serviceable, but lacking "cool factor"-- can be found at reasonable prices. Read older books and articles and take note of the things that were considered state-of-the-art and highest quality when written. Someday, I'm gonna find a Specialized Stump Jumper mountain bike at a yard sale for cheap. Know what gear you need. Have a list. Don't shop willy-nilly. Purchase ahead of need. Avoid panic buying. Use shows and conventions( gunshows, hamfests, thrasher conventions) tag sales, flea markets, Craigslist, trading papers, and used goods stores to get good deals. Pick it... Continue reading
Posted Dec 14, 2013 at Homestead Journal
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You can see the ice covering the trees at higher elevations (about 3300 feet) and the Autumn colors down below... Damn, I love living out here... Peace Continue reading
Posted Nov 21, 2013 at Homestead Journal
Our little house on the creek was in serious danger of bursting at the seams... 800 square feet, one real bedroom, two sons (at home, two more children away, but home some), all our stuff and no washing machine. It was time to move, and that is what we did. It's nice to have more room, but the move screwed up my favorite time of the year...Fall, and hunting season. That, and the fact that the only internet service available is one meg dsl, just a bit better than dial-up, and the lack of firewood on the new property (my... Continue reading
Posted Nov 16, 2013 at Homestead Journal
I've spent the last two months working on a 25 to 30, 000 word addition to the "Guide"...I am hoping to have that work, including photographs, completed before Christmas. I have also been working a cash job, drying corn, and taking classes...busy...but well... Peace Continue reading
Posted Nov 6, 2013 at Homestead Journal
Not quite there, just yet, but steadily heading in that direction. Poland confiscated private retirement accounts this week (Welcome to paper-and-ink capitalism, cousins. What did that take, 35 years, since you were staring down Soviet tanks and secret police in a bid to be free? BO is just dying to bomb something in Syria, ostensibly over the Assad regime's use of gas on it's own citizens. The real reason that BO wants to help topple the Assads is suspended in the political ether. Who gassed those poor people is uncertain. What is certain is that the proposed attack but has... Continue reading
Posted Sep 8, 2013 at Homestead Journal
I had no idea when I planted my field what an undertaking it would turn out to be. I was expecting hard work. I got that, and more. With sincere apologies for being away so long, I return to report that the corn is up and bearing fruit. It will be ready to harvest on September 25th, though we will leave it up through two frosts before we pick and shell it. This particular summer has been one of unprecedented rainfall. My field received 14 inches of rain in the two weeks after planting. Much has fallen since, thirty inches... Continue reading
Posted Aug 23, 2013 at Homestead Journal
You have to be able to build a decent life for yourself and your family, and help rebuild a community and an economy... You need tools, skills, ideas and vision... As the book says;"Where there is no vision, the people perish..." (Proverbs 29:18)...First, survive. Then, bounce back healthy and strong. That's resilience. Related articles Common Sense Survival Continue reading
Posted Jun 13, 2013 at Homestead Journal
I'm all in favor of folks using and knowing how to use good, historical hand tools like scythes and broadforks. Come a calamity, a family can feed themselves with a good set of hand tools and husbandry of animals (with a bit of luck hunting, fishing and trapping). Hand tools makes horticulture possible. Agriculture, however, takes machines. You can feed yourself with hand tools. For you to feed yourself and your neighbors is going to require machinery...horses and/or tractors, tillers, wagons and implements make agriculture possible... Continue reading
Posted Jun 6, 2013 at Homestead Journal
...What an acre is. I got hold of my lease in May. Everybody involved agreed that I had "a little more than an acre" to plant (mostly with hand tools, so that' a big piece of ground). But I wanted to KNOW how much material I needed to get her planted and manured and watered, so I bought one of those measuring wheels, and proceeded to walk around the plot twice, carefully measuring. She's 22 thousand squre feet... half an acre. Continue reading
Posted Jun 6, 2013 at Homestead Journal
Farmers have a reputation for being men of few words; taciturn, quick-paced and silent as they move from place to place. I always wondered why. Now I get it. There are roughly 150 days between last frost and first frost. There ain't no plowing or planting on rainy days. Once the seed is in the ground, you pray for the right kind of rain, which falls straight down, in one inch increments, a few days apart. That never happens, of course. Between planting and harvest there are a hundred things that can go wrong on any given day that will... Continue reading
Posted May 26, 2013 at Homestead Journal
Rocks, rocks, rocks, all kinds of rocks; yellow rocks, grey rocks, rocks round and rocks flat; rocks the size of baseballs and rocks the size of Buick engines all must be harvested--pulled, rolled, picked, shoveled and pried, prayed over, cursed at, extracted. I am sore, blistered and bruised (a digging bar popped loose from a rock that I was working and hit me in the chest=bruise). Having been to college, and taken Statistics, leaves me with the disheartening knowledge that, statistically, the tractor, with its plows set to turn the dirt relentlessly to the left, covered as many rocks as... Continue reading
Posted May 15, 2013 at Homestead Journal
...Almost five inches of rain falls in two or three days. It will be a week before the ground is dry enough to work, IF we don't get more rain. I am struggling to keep Bob Marley and "Don't Wuurryy about uh ting. Evry little ting gonna be all right", in my head. But it's hard. Staring at my field of swampy mud-ruts, I am reminded of John Steinbeck's description of the feeling of "impossible desolation" that he got as he sat down to begin a new novel. Like my friend, John, who died when I was small and never... Continue reading
Posted May 9, 2013 at Homestead Journal
I have always wanted to be a farmer. Not just a gardener, a farmer. The other day, I got a chance to lease some land, and I took it. Then, I asked a neighbor/ farmer, "What do I do now?". I figure that life is going by pretty fast and I am either going to do the things that I want to do, or die with a bunch of regrets. And, with the state of things, a move to farming makes me a cutting-edge economic leader--I think Jim Rogers would be pleased. What am I going to grow? Don't know... Continue reading
Posted Apr 24, 2013 at Homestead Journal
THAT was the weirdest week ever: 15 Apr to 19 Apr, 2013. As I type this post, more than a million people in the Boston area are "sheltering in place", a euphemism for hiding in their homes, because A SINGLE LONE JIHADIST ASSHOLE is prowling the streets of their city, looking to kill even more Americans. How one man alone can hunt a million people, and have those people cowering in front of their televisions, praying that their house isn't chosen to be the site of this young man's last stand, and their family his last (certain) victims is lost... Continue reading
Posted Apr 19, 2013 at Homestead Journal
Yesterday, 4 April about two in the afternoon, I walked outside the building that I had been working in and thought that I smelled snow. The guys that I was working with uniformly disagreed..."too warm, not in the forecast" was the general consensus. An hour later, I was on my way home in a snow storm. The road was covered with a combination of sleet and snow. It took two hours to make a 45 minute trip home, and before it was over, we had 5 inches of snow in our yard. Today, It's 60 degrees and I got a... Continue reading
Posted Apr 5, 2013 at Homestead Journal
Before you head out to buy preps, it makes sense to inventory what you already have at your disposal. You compare this list of what you have against a list of things that you need. Be thorough. Does your 80 year-old Uncle Bob really need his tools? Is he willing to pass them on? What else is laying around your family's garages, barns and basements? The same goes for firearms, trucks, tractors and other equipment. Don't buy before you know what you, and your network of friends, already have. Share? Yep, share. Skills are just as important as equipment and... Continue reading
Posted Apr 2, 2013 at Homestead Journal
What scares you more, "The Walking Dead" or North Korea with nukes and China and Iran for allies? Me? I'm not digging holes in my yard over a damn TV show. But Little Kimmie has me wondering if I have enough batteries stored and hoping that he lets me get a good harvest in before he ionizes us completely from Key West to Pugent Sound. Now, those of us with a working memory know that we have been through this with the Kim family before. Little Kim wants some money, some food, some fuel, some Ben and Jerry's, a Rolex... Continue reading
Posted Apr 1, 2013 at Homestead Journal
My wife's family are masters at making do and making things last. My Father-in-Law has cheap Chinese tarps that have lasted him for years. The secret being not leaving them out in the weather too long, and cleaning and drying them when they get put away. All my Grandparents were good at taking care of their things. My Grandfather's Remington 1100, made the first year that they were available (about 1965) looked good-as-new when he passed away in 1991. He kept it clean and oiled, and was careful with it when he used it--pretty simple, really. Being careful with our... Continue reading
Posted Apr 1, 2013 at Homestead Journal
I was driving down the road with my six-year-old in the back seat. The BIg Guy doesn't make a more beautiful day. I was answering yet another profound question (profound questions come at you rapid-fire when a six-year-old is in your back seat) having to do with bad guys vs. good guys as we rounded a bend in the road and found ourselves unexpectedly confronted by death: real, live, death right in front of us. A small deer had not-quite made it over the top strand of barbed wire on the fence by the road. Her back legs were caught... Continue reading
Posted Jan 21, 2013 at Homestead Journal
Not a lot of Gurus do this, but I'm gonna stretch the mold a bit and take a moment to review my predictions for 2012, before we talk about 2013. Here's what I wrote: I almost forgot, having a blog makes me a guru, and gurus are required to make New Year predictions. Okay, here goes: In 2012, we will limp along like we did in 2011 as the polyticians struggle to keep it together for another election cycle. 2013 will be the year when it all falls apart. The train went off the trestle in 2008. It hasn't hit... Continue reading
Posted Jan 4, 2013 at Homestead Journal
These days,it's tough to get appropriately dressed. We so rarely dress up, and when we do, "dressed up" may not mean what it meant just a few years ago. We no longer wear a suit and tie to church. "Business casual" is a style considered dressy enough for most funerals. We wear a tux two or three times in our lives (prom and wedding). Nobody knows what, "dress for dinner" even means (It means a dinner jacket and tux pants for guys and a dressy dress with full jewelry, hairdo and makeup for women.) Showing up over dressed is a... Continue reading
Posted Dec 14, 2012 at Homestead Journal