Month: December 2023

Long-Term Power Outage: Be Prepared for the Worst

candle burning during long-term power outage

It’s the emergency situation no one wants to think about: A long-term power outage lasting two or more weeks.

The thought of losing lights, refrigeration, heat, washing machines, and hot water understandably leaves some people paralyzed with fear. If you’ve never lived without these resources, then their long-term absence is not just inconvenient, it’s potentially dangerous. Modern conveniences are wonderful; but when they fail, it’s worse than never having them in the first place.

emergency survival kit

Long-Term Power Outage: Be Prepared for the Worst

But living without modern amenities – and living comfortably – is more easily achieved than you might think. To find out how to handle a long-term power outage, it’s best to turn to those who spend their lives without electricity, including the Amish and those living off-grid.

The secret is to realize what you would suffer most going without – such as heatlights, bathing, washing clothesrefrigerationcooking, etc. – and figure out what’s needed to provide those things without electricity. Fortunately, there are modern, efficient options available to supply these needs.

waterford stanley cookstove

A wood-burning cookstove is a reliable choice for cooking AND heating your home! Visit Lehmans.com or our store in Kidron, Ohio to see our wide selection.

Consider what tools provide the most bang for the buck for supplying basic needs. A wood cookstove, for example, not only heats the house, but it cooks and bakes food and provides hot water for laundry, dishes, and bathing. A non-electric clothes washer and a couple of drying racks can make one of the most time-consuming chores far quicker and easier. That’s a lot of benefits and sustainability from just a couple of items!

There are other things to consider. During a prolonged power outage, emergency personnel are busy helping those in need. The best thing to do is stay off the roads and out of their way. But that doesn’t mean you should stay home and ignore everyone else. It’s also a time to reach out to those around you who might need an extra hand or perhaps shelter: the elderly, the disabled, and families with young children. These are people who would suffer the most without assistance.

How to Prepare for a Long-Term Power Outage

Power lines can go down for several reasons: storms, natural disasters, wildlife, and human error just to name a few. Sometimes power is restored quickly, but sometimes it can take days or even weeks.

If you already live off-grid, then you are golden! However, those of us who are still on the grid are at risk of losing access to the things that we need to survive comfortably if we were to lose power for more than a day. It is vital to prepare ahead of time before a storm or other natural disaster knocks the grid down. 

There are six main categories to think about when preparing for an extended power outage: 

  1. Clean Water
  2. Food Supply
  3. Light source
  4. Heat source
  5. Connection to other people
  6. Health & home.

Long-Term Power Outage Prep #1: Clean Water Supply

When the power is out, water pumps don’t operate so you will have very limited water coming from your pipes. It is a good idea to stock up on clean water by storing it in large food-grade containers or simply purchasing a couple of cases of bottled water. 

Keeping a water bottle with a built-in filter or a water filtration straw can also help if you have a water source on your property, but don’t have any bottled water saved.

Long-Term Power Outage Prep #2: Food Supply 

Food that is kept in the refrigerator or freezer is at risk of spoiling during a power outage. There are a few things that you can do to prepare to keep your food from going bad.

1.Buy a generator. A generator will provide power to your appliances even when the electricity is down in your area. This is pricey, but if you store a lot of food in freezers it is well worth the investment. Portable generators can cause carbon monoxide poisoning if used indoors. Be sure to keep the generator outside and have a carbon monoxide detector in your home. 

portable generator for a long-term power outage

2. Keep fridge and freezer closed. Try not to open the doors unless necessary. Food can last about 4 hours in the fridge without power and 48 hours in the freezer if the doors aren’t opened.

3. Stock up on Non-Perishable foods. Canned and dried goods don’t require electricity and you don’t need to open the fridge or freezer to access it. When you are preserving your harvests, consider canning, dehydrating, or freeze-drying instead of freezing. You can also purchase extra canned and dried foods from the grocery store to build a supply. 

How to Prepare Food in a Power Outage

You have an emergency food supply, but how will you prepare it without electricity? 

The easiest thing to do is to consume foods that can be eaten without cooking such as sandwiches, canned beans, fruit, etc. If you need to cook during a long-term power outage you can use a cast-iron skillet or Dutch oven over an open fire. Wood and propane stoves are great to have for emergency cooking as well. 

Also, be sure to have a manual can opener for store-bought canned goods. Your electric can opener won’t be of any use when the power is out. 

Long-Term Power Outage Prep #3: Light Source

Supplemental light is important to keep in with your emergency supplies because when the power goes, so does the light source. Sure, we all have cell phones with flashlights, but that will only get you so far when you don’t have electricity to charge the phone. 

oil lamp burning

Battery-powered flashlights, candles, headlamps, oil lamps, and propane lamps are all good supplies to have on hand. You may also want to keep extra batteries for flashlights and headlamps just in case. 

Long-Term Power Outage Prep #4: Heat Source

Power outages during the wintertime can be extra difficult because you have to find a way to keep yourself and your family warm. 

  • If you have a wood cookstove, fire it up to create extra heat. 
  • A propane heater is a great option as well. However, you will want to have backup propane on hand in case the power is out for an extended time. 
  • A generator can be used to power electric heaters, but be sure to only run the generator outside because it can cause a build-up of carbon monoxide.
  • Use hot hands to warm hands & feet.
  • Gather blankets and wear layers of clothing to preserve heat. 
  • Block drafts to reduce the amount of cold air coming in. Roll up towels and push them against the base of exterior doors, keep curtains closed, and wrap windows in plastic film.
  • If possible, stay in one room with doors to the other rooms closed. This will help to keep the heat centralized.

Long-Term Power Outage Prep #5: Connection

When the power is out for a long time, you may find the need to connect with other people. Not necessarily for the social aspect, but for sharing information and goods. 

  • If you have a corded landline phone, then it is a good idea to keep important phone numbers written out so you can contact neighbors and loved ones when needed. 
  • Visit your neighbors to see if they need help or if you can work together to get your families through the power outage. 
  • Keep a battery-operated radio so you can stay up-to-date on emergency news and storm warnings.
  • Use a portable power bank to keep your cell phone charged for as long as possible. These power banks can be charged and stored with your emergency supplies. Then they will be available to transfer power to your cell phone when you need it.

Long-Term Power Outage Prep #6: Health & Home

It is important to prepare your home for potential power outages to keep things running and to make sure your family stays healthy and clean. Use these tips to get through a long-term power outage fairly easily. 

Carbon Monoxide Detector 

The use of a generator and other fuel-burning appliances can cause a carbon monoxide buildup within your home. Keep your generator outside and be sure that you have a working battery-powered carbon monoxide detector. 

Unplug appliances

When the power goes out, unplug all of your appliances. This can help to avoid power surges when the electricity is turned back on. 

Laundry Supplies

You may not need to do laundry unless the power is out for weeks or more, but in the event that the outage lasts that long, it is a good idea to keep a manual clothes washer and a drying rack.

First Aid Kit

Keep a simple first-aid kit with bandages, alcohol swabs, gauze, herbal salves, and anything else that you may need for minor injuries when you are stuck at home with no power. 

Backup Home Power

If you can purchase a home generator system, do that! A home backup generator can power your fridge, freezer, internet, washing machine, heaters or fans, and other electrical appliances. 

Preparing for a long-term power outage

E29: Preparing and Protecting Your Homestead | John Lovell of The Warrior Poet Society

If you are paying attention to current events, you know how important it is to prepare your home and family for an uncertain future.  In this episode, John shares why it is also equally important to protect what you have prepared.  We dive into why and how to prepare, where faith meets preparation, choosing your community wisely, and more.  If you are feeling compelled to ready your family for the coming times, let this conversation inspire and guide you as you take your next steps.

In this episode, we cover:

  • How John’s desire for freedom brought him to homesteading
  • How John is helping men access both the lion and the lamb mentality
  • Why it is important to secure your homestead for the future
  • What signs to look for as the world begins to experience bad times
  • Is preparing for hard times rooted in a lack of faith?
  • Answering the most common question John gets about securing your home
  • The role of building community in light of protecting your homestead
  • Where to start if you want to learn from The Warrior Poet Society

E29: Preparing and Protecting Your Homestead | John Lovell of The Warrior Poet Society Homesteaders of America

Thank you to our sponsor!

McMurray Hatchery offers a wide selection of poultry breeds and supplies to assist you with raising your flock. Find what you need at McMurrayHatchery.com!

About John

John Lovell is a best-selling author and the Founder of the Warrior Poet Society — a values-based community dedicated to physical protection, the pursuit of truth, and living for higher purpose. His message has garnered over 100 million views across social media and streaming platforms. John is a former war veteran and Special Operations soldier, having served in 2nd Ranger Battalion. After his military service, he served as a Christian missionary in Central America full-time. Today he is a video content creator, public speaker, firearms trainer, and homesteader. John lives on a small farm in Georgia with his wife and two sons.

Resources Mentioned

The Warrior Poet Way by John Lovell

Watch Warrior Poet Society Network

Become an HOA member to hear John’s lectures

Connect

John Lovell of The Warrior Poet Society | Website | YouTube | Instagram | Facebook

Homesteaders of America | Website | Instagram | Facebook | YouTube | Pinterest

Preparing and Protecting Your Homestead Transcript

Amy Fewell Welcome to the Homesteaders of America Podcast, where we encourage simple living, hard work, natural healthcare, real food, and building an agrarian society. If you’re pioneering your way through modern noise and conveniences, and you’re an advocate for living a more sustainable and quiet life, this podcast is for you. Welcome to this week’s podcast. I’m your host, Amy Fewell, and I’m the founder of the Homesteaders of America organization and annual events. If you’re not familiar with us, we are a resource for homesteading education and online support. And we even host a couple of in-person events each year with our biggest annual event happening right outside the nation’s capital here in Virginia every October. Check us out online at HomesteadersofAmerica.com. Follow us on all of our social media platforms and subscribe to our newsletter so that you can be the first to know about all things HOA (that’s short for Homesteaders of America). Don’t forget that we have an online membership that gives you access to thousands—yes, literally thousands—of hours worth of information and videos. It also gets you discount codes, an HOA decal sticker when you sign up, and access to event tickets before anyone else. All right. Let’s dive into this week’s episode. 

Amy Fewell Welcome back to this week’s episode of the Homesteaders of America podcast. I am really excited to have guest John Lovell with me from Warrior Poet Society. Welcome to the podcast, John. 

John Lovell Thanks for having me on, Amy. 

Amy Fewell Yeah, if you guys don’t know, John will tell you guys a little bit about himself. But John has been a speaker for the last couple of years for HOA events, and he is an author and he normally talks about security at our events, which we’ll talk a little bit about today. He just has a lot of stuff going on that’s not even normally like on the radar for homesteaders. Right? But it absolutely should be, which is why we invited you to HOA. So, John, why don’t you tell us a little bit about yourself and what you do? 

John Lovell Sure. My wife and I were reluctant homesteaders. It wasn’t in our purview. We didn’t grow up around animals or farm, property, land. I grew up kind of in suburbia, and when I saw certain indices socioeconomically a few years back go awry, me as a freedom loving individual, realized ultimately the only way to secure freedom from overreaching government institutions is through self-sufficiency and autonomy, which meant going back to what people have been doing for ages, forever until recent cities. And that’s homesteading. The problem is after we bought some land, we realized we knew jack squat. We knew nothing. We had less than zero skills. And so we really started at the basement and we wanted to learn, hey, how do we do this homesteading stuff? We want to grow some food. And then we got some chickens, and chickens were great fun. Didn’t know how fun they’d be to just watch chickens. So, yeah, we got chickens and that went well. And then we added some cows, some beef cows. And then now we’re horses and alpacas and we’re growing stuff and we’re off grid. And we’re a few years down into the homesteading movement. And we have a whole bunch of the homesteaders, the folks that people look up to that are tuning into this podcast, we learned from them. And so it was out of that appreciation that the homesteading world would accept us, which didn’t go to it for the typical means that a lot of people do, and that’s, hey, they want a healthier lifestyle, which is absolutely true. They want to be out of screens and the mundane and kind of shopping at grocery stores and to be able to… Whatever reason people get into the homesteading movement. We felt real accepted by the community, and I wanted to be able to give back. So I have a unique skill set. I was a former special operations guy. I work in security. I teach rifle and pistol classes. I teach tactics classes. I want to make the world a safer place. And I really don’t like evil people using violence to hurt innocents. And so that’s our whole gig is we want to be able to be forces for good, to be able to protect people because we love people. And so we saw the homesteader community and we wanted to give back. And that kind of brings us up to speed. Did I answer that? 

Amy Fewell Yeah, you did. You did. You answered it very well. You have a book, right? Why don’t you tell us a little bit about that. 

John Lovell Sure. It’s The Warrior Poet Way. We are The Warrior Poet Society, it’s a values based community, so we revolve around an ethic. We live for higher purpose, and we’re ready to sacrifice in the defense of others. And so part of that is the physical security aspect. Others is defending truth ideals. And so ideologically, we’re freedom fighters motivated by love for our fellow man. We want to be protectors of the innocent. And so that’s the idea. And so in our pursuit to hold up the ideals of both the warrior—someone who’s bold and strong and long suffering and has grit and is willing to sacrifice in the defense of others and is skilled in arms—we wanted to embody the archetypical warrior, but also the poet. And that’s somebody who can be romantic, who’s philosophically and emotionally deep waters and successful in relationships, that appreciates awe-inspiring beauty and wonderment and be able to think hard about the things that matter and have good philosophy and good theology. We want both. And so that’s a matter of balance. And it doesn’t happen accidentally. Typically, people wax into one of the two archetypes, which leads to an unbalanced life. And so The Warrior Poet way, my book, is able to help those who are naturally predisposed to be more lions become a little bit more lamb so that you’re both/and, not either/or. And those who are a little bit more air on the side of passivity, that are more lambs, would become more lions so that we can appreciate both of the strengths. And so the book really gets deep down into the nitty gritty rubber meets the road of how do we grow as lions and lambs? 

Amy Fewell I love that so much. That’s amazing. It’s really nice to see more men get into homesteading because when we first started HOA, it was mostly just women and they were all like, “How do we get our husbands on board with homesteading?” And so we were constantly being asked by other women, like, “How do you convince your husband to come?” And so funny enough, my husband actually watched Warrior Poet Society YouTube channel for quite some time before I even knew who John was. And he’s like, “You know what? If you got John Lovell to come, then that’s a conference I’d go to.” And he’s like, “I bet more men would go, too.” And so that’s exactly what happened. The first year that we had John come, we actually had so many women that were like, “The only reason I’m here is because my husband wants to come see John Lovell,” and so it’s a win win, which is pretty incredible. So and we’ve really enjoyed having you and your wife with us. Your wife is a plethora of information, too, and we really enjoy mingling with her at events. So, John, you talk a lot about homestead security at our events, and we don’t obviously have hours of time to talk about it. But I wonder if you might give us maybe like your top three things that you would tell homesteaders as the world is getting a little bit more crazy. What are some things that they could do to help secure their homesteads? 

John Lovell Some of this would be intuitive to a lot of folks that are gaining strides toward self-sufficiency. I also noticed there’s a great amount of people in the homesteading movement that are sweet, to say it the best, and naive, to say it the worst, and that want to imagine that the world is a sweeter, calmer, nicer place than it really is. And what I fear as our economic structures, our supply chain, our power grid, everything is a lot more fragile than people really understand. There is an author—I’m blanking on the name who first coined this, but it’ll be well known—and that’s we’re always nine meals from anarchy. And the idea is everybody in America generally on average holds about three days of food—three meals, three days, nine meals away from anarchy. And that means if your family has no food because supply chains have come to a grinding halt or power grid fails or some type of socioeconomic collapse, some type of revolution, some type of societal unrest which made it unsafe to be able to go expeditionary to get groceries or go into town and do whatever, what wouldn’t you do to feed your family? What wouldn’t you do if you saw your family without food? And if you imagine that over a longer period of time—days spread into weeks, spread into months—people could become quite desperate, and bad players wanting to take from the innocent could really jeopardize you and the livelihood of other people. Now, it’s not our stuff that I’m interested in protecting, it’s our people. But in such a down grid, socioeconomic collapsing structure or societal unrest, in such a scenario, people cannot survive without their stuff. If you don’t have food, guess what? Now it’s just a slow attrition into starvation. If you don’t have access to water, if you don’t have access to energy, it’s the winter and you can’t heat your home, deaths around the country skyrocket when that kind of things happen. And so we want to be able to protect our resources because we love people and we want to be able to protect people. And so I want to be able to give people tools so that they can make small steps to make their home and then their homestead more defensible in such a scenario that any type of energy or food, water, any supplies becomes scarce. You know, demand goes up and supply is eviscerated. People who have ill intentions will go expeditionary. They’ll be looking for ways to be able to take what you have. And so if you understand how precariously a lot of our structures truly are, you’ll realize security is your most important preparation. It’s not the food, it’s not all the stuff. Ultimately, if you’re preparing for some type of apocalyptic event to say it at worst, but hey, how about just bad times in the future to say it even more plausibly to a lot of the listeners out there. If you are not able to secure your things, your lifestyle, your home, then you’re really just preparing for someone else. Someone else will take what you have. Someone like me, I can look at homesteads and I’ll be like, “I’ll take everything you have in an afternoon and there’s nothing you can do to stop me.” And that’s for me. That’s because of what I know. Some paramilitary guys will be that way. And some folks that are not controlled by certain ethics and a theological Christian worldview that I am, you know, marauders start to arise. And this sounds all too fantastic to a lot of people of like, “Oh, because it hasn’t happened lately, it will not happen at all.” It’s an inductive reasoning. Not recognizing that in the scheme of empires, America is kind of a new kid on the block. All the ancient empires have all gone by the wayside. No nation sits secure. And make no mistake, all the nations that sit secure seemingly now will one day be swept away and replaced by other structures. We are in the decline of our civilization right now, and it’s speeding up at an alarming rate. So I tell people, have the courage to read the writing on the wall and buckle up. Bad times are ahead. 

Amy Fewell Yeah. You know, one of the things that we have noticed over the last couple of years is there are a lot more military folks that are joining the homesteading community. And so I know like for us personally, there’s a large community here of either retired military or people who work in government contracting or special forces types of contractors and military and ex-military. And so we’re seeing that, and we really started seeing it maybe four years ago. And one of the things that they do tell people is they stress the security. And it’s interesting because you being ex-military and doing what you do, you see things differently. You can see something in the media and think automatically, “Well, I know what that is. That’s a war tactic or that’s something else that common citizens wouldn’t understand.” And so as things do start happening in the world, what are some maybe some alerts? Like what are some things that people… As if right now isn’t enough? Right? Like there’s so many red flags now, but especially rural people, because I know a lot of rural people, they don’t necessarily watch the news all the time. They don’t necessarily read a lot of newspapers. It’s probably one of the downfalls, and it’s the blessing and the curse of homesteading, right? You want to live a simple life, but sometimes you’re oblivious. So what are some things that you might anticipate happening? Some warning flags happening in America that can alert people things are really starting to get bad and maybe even tomorrow might be ten times worse. 

John Lovell Sure. So if you’re not noticing any signs currently, you’re just not paying attention. We just had Thanksgiving. Three years ago, it was illegal in major cities to eat dinner with your family. It was illegal. They could arrest you and send you to jail for eating a Thanksgiving meal with your family. What kind of totalitarian control is that? They literally shut down the churches for a couple years. In places in the UK and Canada, you tweet the wrong thing and you will go to jail for it. So there is infringements on First Amendment, certainly on the Second Amendment, and every piece of the First Amendment, too. That’s a right to assemble that was absolutely just completely jeopardized. And that’s still very, very fresh. Your freedom of religion was jeopardized. Freedom of the press. Much of the press is just bought up billionaire pawns. They’re owned by private entities. They’ve already shown themselves to have an anti-American agenda. The freedom of speech, obviously under attack. Then the Second Amendment, right to bear arms. That is constantly under attack, and they’ve gained some humongous ground over the last 50 years as well. And so you see the underpinnings, the foundation that our country sits on. The Constitution undermined at every turn, and at an alarming rate is getting worse. You also see a degradation in things like our supply chain, where remember the big toilet paper scare when people were freaking out because they weren’t sure whether they’d have resources and there was just this crazy run on toilet paper and you couldn’t get it anywhere? And I remember different grocery stores just emptying out of some basic and essential goods. And that’s happened a couple of times in the last decade. I’ve also seen gas station lines just out, you know, like people waiting in line and then they run out of gas and all you’ve got is what you’ve got. And so you’ve seen little clues around that bad times are coming. And so if that stuff doesn’t wake you up, if you’re not seeing some of the totalitarian power games that are happening right now, if you’re not seeing runaway inflation, regardless of what propagandistic media is reporting, we are in double digit inflation. That is terrible economic woes. And it is getting worse, not better. Wishful thinking isn’t going to make it go away. And so if you just look at the normal trends, you should be doing things to become more self-sufficient and autonomous, investing in renewable energy sources and different assets, be able to make sure your skills are going up. Remember, I was really scared, so to speak, into the homesteading world. I didn’t arrive there by default. I’m a guy who saw the writing on the wall, had the courage to at least recognize what it was and take advantage of the freedom I currently possess to make sure I can grow in freedom. Which means I’ve got land, I’ve got water, I’ve got food, I’ve got energy, and I don’t need the government’s permission. If they shut my bank account off, we can eke by. If the grocery stores close, we can survive. If the power grid goes down, we can be okay. If no one can heat their home, we can still heat our home. And so that makes me very difficult to bully. I don’t have to choose between following a totalitarian socialist law and feeding my family. I don’t have to choose between those two. And so I think people need to really wake up. And it requires, I think at its core, it requires some courage to be able to see the world as it is, not as you wish it to be. 

Amy Fewell Hey, guys. Thanks for joining us for this week’s episode. We’re going to take a quick break and bring you a word from one of our amazing sponsors. McMurray Hatchery officially started in 1917. Murray McMurray had always been interested in poultry as a young man and particularly enjoyed showing birds at the local and state fairs. Nowadays, the hatchery is still completely through mail order, but they offer way more than ever before. From meat chicks and layer hens to waterfowl, ducklings, goslings, turkeys, game birds, juvenile birds, they even have hatching eggs and a whole lot of chicken equipment. Make sure you check out our Homesteader of America sponsor McMurray Hatchery at McMurrayHatchery.com and get your orders in today. And don’t forget to stop by their booth at the 2023 HOA event. 

Amy Fewell Yeah. And one of the things I think we find, too, especially in Christianity, is we know that the Lord’s going to take care of us, right? We know that he has us. But also there’s maybe some lack of wisdom in preparation. Like we see this a lot in homesteading especially that people will put off security or prepping or taking care of their family now and just expect the Lord to be the only one who takes care of them. Right? But people like you are teaching like it’s good to have wisdom to navigate life in a new world that you weren’t expecting to live in. And so as you teach that, what’s one thing that you typically find with people who come to your classes or even at Homesteaders of America, I’m sure you get a ton of questions there. What’s probably the most popular question in regard to homestead security that you get on a regular basis? 

John Lovell So you said two things there. One was leaning in a little bit to a theology of preparation and self-sufficiency, and the other one was the most common question I get. So I take the very first one. I think some of the lack of preparation people take, they’ll excuse it as if it’s a matter of faith. Like, “I have faith and therefore I will not make future provision for my family.” It’s just really bad theology. It’s lazy at best, and at worst, it’s a terrible, terrible read on theology. By the exact same logic you’d say, “Oh, I was commanded by Jesus in Matthew 28 to go and make disciples of all nations. But God will save who he’s going to save. So no need to do evangelism.” It’s the same crappy argument of like, no, even though God could, He’s called you to do it. God could provide for your family, but men, he called for you to provide for the family as he provides through you and for you. It’s not an either/or. It’s a both/and. When it comes to security, there’s an interesting verse in the book of Proverbs which says, “Ready the horse for battle. But the victory lies with the Lord,” right? And so I’m like we’re still supposed to ready for battle. We’re still supposed to do training and saddle up the horse and get ready and then go to war and do the thing. “There’s a time for peace and a time for war,” Ecclesiastes 3 says. “There’s a time to plant and a time to harvest,” as well. Same chapter of Ecclesiastes 3. And so there is a time for both. But you can even look at some of the meta narratives that were crafted in the Old Testament, which were a foreshadowing even to maybe some futuristic times. But Israel was headed toward a total famine of the land. God, knowing this was coming, had Joseph sold into slavery by his brothers. They counted him for dead. Little did he know he was rising up the ranks in the Egyptian government to become number two in charge. Then, in a dream, he found out that a famine was coming. No one’s got any food. Their supply chains are failing, their crops are failing, government control. And so he was able to store up years and years of food, self-sufficiency, preparations. And it was through him, his preparation that Israel was saved. The people of God were saved. Perhaps God wants you to do the same thing. You have been named as the provider of your family. Second Timothy says, “Those who do not provide for the needs of his family have denied the faith and are worse than an unbeliever.” So, Christian, you provide for your family, and if you think dark days are ahead, then provide even harder. 

Amy Fewell Yeah. 

John Lovell Don’t wimp out and be like, “Nope, God’s going to take care of it.” No, God has sent you to take care of that as well, and He’s going to work through your efforts. But we got to do stuff. Real faith works. So that’s how I’d answer that. Before I jump into the next question. You got anything to say? I kind of went on a tirade there. 

Amy Fewell I love it. So I’ve actually asked a couple of people that on the podcast and they have never explained it as well as you just did. So I loved that you threw those verses in there, and they are spot on. And so I 100% agree with you. Actually, I wrote about the Joseph story in the HOA program at this year’s conference, and it’s something that we talk about a lot. And we actually spoke about it at the women’s event, too, that we just had November. And so we truly believe, like every event that I do, I often say that I feel like the homesteading movement carries the Joseph mantle because we are born for such as time as this. It’s the way we are living to take care of ourselves, our family, our friends, our neighbors. And we’ll get into that in a second about taking care of your neighbors. But go ahead and feel free to answer that second question. 

John Lovell So the most common questions I get are usually about, hey, what type of firearm should I be getting? That’s, I think, the most common. And people have different contexts because I need a follow up question immediately. What are you defending a homestead with is not necessarily the same as what do you defend a home with. And what you defend a home with is not necessarily what you’re carrying in public. And so it’s all different answers. And so I’d need a follow up question on that as well. But I’m quick to add that, hey, you don’t just go out, get a gun. You do some training as well. Training is important. It is critical. It is more important than what hardware you’re packing. As I say, it is the Indian, not the arrow. So somebody who is trained with an inferior type of firearm can crush somebody who’s got the Gucci-est, whatever high dollar thing you want to go of, like, man, give me a little snub nose revolver and you get whatever you want. I’m still going to win in a room clearing fight against an untrained person. So anyway, it’s the Indian, not the arrow. And so there you go.

Amy Fewell Okay. So one of the things that you talked about last year at HOA, and I think you probably touched on this year, too, was about kind of building the community around you. It’s not necessarily just you and your fortress, but building like minded people around you. And so how could one do that? I mean, we talk about it a lot at HOA, but how would someone like you do that? Because I imagine you’re very selective in who you let in your inner circles. And I know a lot of homesteaders are finding new friends and trying to build trust with new people in their community. What’s the best way to go about building a community around you? 

John Lovell Sure. I think security is the most important preparation because it’s the only thing that keeps all your preparations in your possession and keeps you and your loved ones alive to enjoy it. It’s like the First Amendment of our Constitution is the most important. It’s all our freedoms. And then the Second Amendment is there, right to bear arms, because it’s the only thing that allows you to keep the First Amendment. And so similarly, security is the prep that allows all of your other preparations in your homestead to continue to exist. Now that being said, a lot of people are like, “Oh, what do I do?” And they’re looking for a quick check the block security thing as if they’re going to go out, buy a gun, and now you’re good to go. And that is a wild oversimplification of a difficult problem. It is a certainly not that easy, especially if the context were really bad. Now, the worse the fallout gets, if you imagine some type of absolute socioeconomic collapse with no end in sight, where it’s kind of like one second after months go by and resources and systems and institutions of power are not replenishing stores and it’s just you against the world. The only way you’ll be able to keep an actual homestead is through multiple families living on that one homestead. It can’t be just you, the Mrs. and a couple of kiddos against the world. And so this is where I have some experience in that I was an Army Ranger. What we did abroad in my five combat tours is we’d take land and we would keep land. That’s what we would do. And though we weren’t protecting crops and things like that, we had not homesteads, but they were kind of like compounds. Series of houses behind enemy lines in enemy territory were all the people around us wanted to kill us. And so we go and we take that land and then we live in that land and keep it and run operations out of it. So, I mean, this is not theory for me. This is something I did tour after tour after tour, operating really behind enemy lines with minimal support, sometime in very small units. And so it’s very similar. And so you have to apply the same age-old small unit tactics to be able to keep land from those who want to take it. And that means roaming security positions that set up in key terrain pieces with interlocking sectors of fire. And you have standard operating procedures of how you’re greeting people that want to penetrate your perimeter, whether they be friendly seeking a handout, or they’re posing as friendlies, but they’re really gathering intel for a greater force to be able to probe your perimeter and be able to get in or take people captive or be able to roll over and take everything you got. And again, the point isn’t to keep all the stuff from everyone else. The point is to keep everyone alive. But if you have no food, that is just a slow death sentence for everyone. And you don’t know what those marauders would want. Maybe they’re just going to come in and kill everyone. A couple of years ago, I did my very first homesteading event, and I made a mistake. I thought because of the just electrified audience—everyone was so pumped up and rallied—I thought like, “Oh, these are my people.” But what I didn’t know is inside the homestead community is a lot of really, really sweet people who are a little bit more—I don’t mean it in a condescending way—they’re a little more granola. They’re a little bit more hippie. They’re a little more pacifistic. And so some of these, particularly the pacifistic men who understand provision of a family, but they have completely abdicated all protection of their family as if that’s not something that they would ever have to do, they are not doing what men should actually be doing. And instead what they do is they attack men who highlight and underscore that they are not doing manly responsibilities. You’re not leading your family like a man. And so I had one YouTuber in particular really craft a real straw man argument. He dealt very deceptively of what I said to build in who I was and what I represented as something that was, frankly, just not true. It was not true. And his idea is kind of the old idea of like don’t build a higher fence, build a bigger table, right? That’s the same ideology that says open up the U.S. border. No reason to close that. It’s a beta pacifistic idea that is weak men, that allows everything to be taken by those who wish harm. It is a dangerous ideology. And so that was something I wasn’t really ready for. But I would say just, hey, in love, we care about people and I care about security because I love people. I want to defend people. And if something bad happened, I would hate to see everything that you’ve built that’s meant to safeguard, protect, and nourish those you love be taken from you in a bad afternoon. 

Amy Fewell Yeah, and that’s one thing we have to stress to people here, especially in our own little community that we have here, is that you can’t trust everybody. Not everyone is your friend, not even now. I mean, we know enough now just through people that we know in the government, military folk when people are probing for questions. Right? When they just want to know what you have and what you have to offer and what you’re doing. And so we learned really early that you can’t trust every person that is just in your community or in your homesteading community specifically just because everyone wants to have chickens and everyone wants to grow food. Just like you said, John, there are people who they’re like not even remotely wanting to secure their homesteads, and they’re going to be the ones who want to come to your property and say, “Hey, I need food from you,” and feel entitled to it. And so it’s just really interesting to see the differences in the homesteading community. And that’s one of the reasons we love having you is because you bring a different perspective and a right perspective because it’s something everyone needs to hear. It’s not just something one group of homesteaders needs to hear. It’s something everyone needs to hear. And so we really appreciate the work that you do and all of the things that that you talk about on your YouTube channel, too. I know it’s not necessarily homesteading related for those of you who are interested, although I have noticed you posted more homesteading stuff, but it’s really good information. And so you mentioned training. I wonder if you’d talk about that a little bit. What you do, how you train— not necessarily how you train others, but what options are there for people who are listening to this podcast if they wanted to take any of your training? 

John Lovell Sure. Well, we do in-person training, and so our Warrior Poet website has all of our classes posted, and it’s everything from entangled gun and blade fighting to rifle stuff to room clearing. And there’s a whole gamut of just different classes. Medical classes. We’re really big on medical. You’re more likely to rescue somebody with a tourniquet and some medical know-how than you are with a gun. And our big idea, the reason I carry a gun every single day of my life is to safeguard life. That’s the whole point. And that means some active killer wants to shoot up a school or a restaurant or some place that I am at, I’m like, “Well, not on my watch.” I’m going to defend and protect innocent life by putting that joker down immediately. I’ve got the skill set and I’ve got the tools to be able to do it. I am a protector. I am a mobile safe space. And so that’s why I carry a gun everywhere. And I carry a medical kit everywhere I go as well in case something went wrong, I’m ready to protect and safeguard. And so we have physical in-person classes. What is probably easiest for folks in the community without getting into a class, is to just be able to sign on to our network. Our network is a streaming service. You can visit it at WatchWPSN.com. That’s WatchWPSN.com. And on there, the Warrior Poets Society Network, we go through all the different classes. We’ve put them up digitally, so you can kind of try it before you visit. And so full pistol one class where we get in the weeds on all the stuff as an introduction to pistol. Even guys who have had guns their whole lives learn massive amounts, I’ve been told over and over by it. And so being able to tune it online… You can get it in the App Store, and Android or iOS or Apple TV, Roku, we’re on all the places. It’s WPSN. And so that’s a good, easy way where you can start kind of poking around and seeing what we’re doing. 

Amy Fewell Yeah. And you guys, if you want to listen to Jon’s full lecture from the past couple of years, we actually have all of those lectures up on our HOA membership. And so you can just go to HomesteadersofAmerica.com and sign up for either the VIP or premier membership. And you can watch all of his lectures from the past that he’s had an our events. If you want to learn more about homestead security, that is the best place to get it. We kind of covered a bunch of different little things in this podcast episode, but you can check out his YouTube channel, his website like he mentioned, and then the HOA membership where you can listen to all of these lectures and all the information that you’d like to collect there. So John, thank you for joining me this week. I wonder if there’s anything else burning inside of you that you’d like to share with our audience. This is always the best time because like, people will share something completely off the wall that is amazing. So what might you have to tell our community before we get off here? 

John Lovell Well, I was going to say no. But then you said, “This is always the…” I don’t want to be the guy that says I got nothing. I don’t know. I just really enjoyed hanging out with you and answering questions. And I really like the homesteading community, I think personally, because I just have gleaned so much. It was completely foreign to us a few years ago when we first started. We’ve covered some major ground by just doing one little thing at a time. I got to go close up my beehives tonight for the winter because it’ll get down in the 20s tonight here in Georgia. And so I haven’t done that yet. And some of you homesteaders will be like, “Why haven’t you done that yet?” I’m like, “Because I suck at homesteading, man. That’s why.” 

Amy Fewell You newbie. 

John Lovell But I’m doing it. I’m doing the things. I’ve been learning and growing. And so I’m just grateful to the homestead community. And for those who really, really have a problem with me ideologically, understand, love me or hate me, I am in your corner. I’m trying to tell you something that I see as clear as the nose on your face. And so I do hope that some folks will just take a few small steps into making their home and themselves a little bit safer. 

Amy Fewell Yeah, awesome, John. Well, thank you guys for joining us for this week’s episode. All the show notes and information that John talked about and that we talked about are below either the podcasts or the YouTube channel, whichever you’re watching on. You can also find the transcript on our website HomesteadersofAmerica.com. And until next time, happy homesteading. 

Amy Fewell Hey, thanks for taking the time to listen to this week’s Homesteaders of America episode. We really enjoyed having you here. We welcome questions and you can find the transcript and all the show notes below or on our Homesteaders of America blog post that we have up for this podcast episode. Don’t forget to join us online with a membership or just to read blog posts and find out more information about our events at HomesteadersofAmerica.com. We also have a YouTube channel and follow us on all of our social media accounts to find out more about homesteading during this time in American history. All right, have a great day and happy homesteading. 


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Preparing and Protecting Your Homestead Podcast with John Lovell of the Warrior Poet Society | Homesteaders of America

Bringing Old-World Rural Skills to the New World


Enjoy this story of a lifelong homesteader’s journey to bring old-world rural skills to the new world.

Farm and rural life have always been something I was completely in love with. Growing up in a very rural setting in beautiful Bavaria, Germany, farm and homestead living was at the core of our everyday life. Except, we did not call it homesteading. It was simply the way we all lived and grew up. I did not know this as a child, but I know it now: this is a life worth living, a journey worth traveling, and a dream worth sharing.

Granted, growing up in a tiny village of under one hundred people with around fifteen multi-generational family dwellings–the majority being working farms–I did not know much else except for farm living. We had two inns with beer gardens, which doubled as working farms, a firehouse, a church, and a carpentry shop. Our family home, also multi-generational, was one of only a few not attached to a working farm. I grew up around dairy and pig farm kids. Everyone grew food and goods themselves, and what we did not grow, we bartered for in goods, work, and time exchanges.

Learning Old World Rural Skills as a Child

Growing up with my grandparents in the same house, we grew the majority of our food. We had a sufficient garden producing annuals like cabbage, potatoes, tomatoes, cucumbers, beets, radishes, carrots, and lots of leafy greens. We had an herbal garden for all our cooking herbs. We had some fruit trees and shrubs. We raised rabbits, goats, ducks, geese, and the occasional pig. There was always livestock around, and I remember, throughout my childhood, always having a harvested duck, goose, or rabbit skinned and hanging by the processing station. All this, on less than half an acre. For firewood, we took part in a local wood share program, where we would go out once a year to cut trees and split enough wood for the winter. It seems like, as kids, we were always pulling weeds, stacking wood, harvesting, cleaning, and preparing food. We were the lucky ones. We learned old skills, like foraging and food preservation by simply being part of it in our everyday lives. 

Garden space

My uncle had his own homestead and was raising goats, ducks, and a huge garden. He also had horses, just for the fun of it. Each year we would spend a few weeks of our summer there to help and have some summer fun. He was the one with multiple large apple trees. Come fall, all of us, including all the cousins, would be at his place harvesting hundreds of pounds of fresh apples. We then turned them into juice, cider, sauce, jam, wine, and baked goods. We never wanted for anything as kids and had no concept of how our parents and grandparents kept us fed. It was simply life and a really good one at that.

With grandparents who lived through World War II and the years that followed, we were taught lessons on growing our own food, food storage, preserving, and foraging. We spent so much time in the forests and on neighboring farms harvesting–and then preserving good, nutritious food. We learned about what is edible and what is not. We learned to tell native plants apart by bark, leaves, flowers, and fruit. This was also extended into school. We had a subject called Heimat & Sachkunde, which roughly translates to “homeland and things” which was part of our science and history curricula. Both boys and girls learned about the wild things around us, our history (the good and the bad), how to tell plants apart, home economics and cooking, as well as basic skills like sewing, knitting, basic woodworking, and more. We learned how to respect nature, and how to work with it. We learned about when wild foods were ready to forage in the local forests, and where the wild berry patches were. 

Wooded area with stumps and a tree stand

Farm Chores and Nature Exploration

Being in the woods was one of my favorite things in the world. As the oldest of three, I had the responsibilities that come with being the firstborn. The woods were my escape. If I was not in our shared bedroom reading or doing schoolwork, I could be found in the woods. The village we grew up in was between two nature reserves, so biking and hiking paths were aplenty. Many times, I would pack a book and a snack then walk to my favorite reading place, a deer blind, about one kilometer from our house. It was overlooking a meadow and pond right outside the forest. It was nothing but fresh air, wildlife, my book, and me. Absolutely glorious! Nothing is more beautiful than sitting, listening to the sounds, and engulfing yourself in the glory of nature.

Though we did not have an operating farm, our family was very much part of the local community. Certain things that we did not raise ourselves we were able to source from our neighbors. I remember walking with my little sister to a neighbor’s farm once a week to pick up a large basket of fresh eggs. This usually meant around three dozen farm-fresh eggs weekly. We would walk to our neighbor’s small family farm and spend time with our elderly neighbor, eating candy and drinking milk or lemonade, while his wife went and collected eggs for us to take home. My grandmother knitted wool socks for them each year in exchange. 

Of course, we did not know any better and did not think about what this errand and chore entailed. We knew it was our chore and we knew we would get a treat out of our egg pick-up run. Now, looking back, it was beautiful being able to spend quality time with the elderly, listening to their stories. As kids, we were at home everywhere, in every house, on every farm, in every barn. No one locked their doors, we were welcome in every home, we were fed in every home, and we were put to work in every home as well. There were never idle hands. Every kid was everyone’s child, it truly took a village, in the truest sense, to raise this wild bunch.

Kids in a field with cows. Mountains in the background | old world rural skills

Dreaming of the New World

Though I grew up in rural Germany, I always had big dreams of moving away into the big wide world, working some big career. My childhood was spent in the pristine forests of the Upper Palatinate in Bavaria. We’re a very proud people, with lots of traditions and festivals year-round, many of them centered around rural and agrarian life, as well as the Roman-Catholic church calendar. Community and living life to its fullest was a huge part of how we were raised and grew up. 

I lost my way when I grew up. Not in a bad way. But in an “I forgot who I was” kind of way. My husband of almost twenty years, who was completely unfamiliar with farming or homesteading, is the one who brought me back to me. 

Up close image of flowers and clover

I walked away from this life in my early twenties. As a military family, our nomadic lifestyle did not allow for roots or settling down for long. Through my original move from Germany to the United States, I had to acclimate to more than I had ever imagined. 

Going from rural life with walking and biking to the majority of places, the adjustment to an urban life requiring a valid license and automobile, was quite the culture shock. It was tough to adapt to canned and frozen food items versus fresh ingredients. I wondered why canned and processed foods are so much cheaper than whole foods. It is harder to stretch a paycheck with fresh ingredients, but we live, we learn, and we adjust. And so, we did. And then we moved again, and again…and again. And then we started a family and moved…again. From Germany to North Carolina, to Florida, to Georgia, to Florida, from urban to rural. Then finally, we bought our dream house on one and a half acres–a dream come true! This was to be our forever home! But it was not meant to be.

Living in the Middle East

Another move, this time overseas to the Middle East, and our lives were turned upside down once more. Funnily enough, we had more access to fresh foods in the Middle East than we ever did in the US. The way we fed our family changed for the better. We had an abundance of family time. We ate more fresh and organic food. We were healthier and happier. Homesteading or growing our own food was not anything that crossed our mind, that is until my husband was hurt and ordered to remain stationary for weeks due to his back injury. 

His prior military service in the 82nd Airborne did not age well, with back and shoulder issues bothering him. After two weeks on the couch and down an online video rabbit hole, he emerged with a homesteading dream. A dream of building a family farm to raise our own food. He wanted a garden, livestock, and lots of land. He was sold. I did not need to be convinced. Our dream was born. From this day forward, we worked on a plan to realize this dream.

Bringing Old World Rural Skills Back to the U.S.

We started looking for rural property and found our fit in the summer of 2018 in the Florida panhandle. The property we wanted was extremely rural, at least thirty minutes from any conveniences, except for a gas station. We were still living and working in the Middle East when we found the property and ended up making an offer, site unseen. We were able to close on it at the end of 2018, however, we were not quite ready to move back to the US just yet. We had a lot of things to wrap up beforehand.

Our dream started in 2017. In March 2020, we finally moved back to Florida and onto our property, which, at this point, was only a house with a quarter acre of cleared land around the premises, with everything else being thick Florida forest and underbrush. 

It was now time to roll up our sleeves and get to work. We had arrived! Now the journey begins to build a legacy and teach our kids how to live in partnership with nature and livestock, build a self-sustainable life, and appreciate the old skills. 

About the Author

Nicole immigrated to the United States in 2004. Raised in rural Germany, she grew up learning the old ways. Now living in rural Florida, her family raises the majority of their food and teaches old skills such as gardening, livestock care, foraging, and herbalism to their kids and community. 

http://www.hiddenoakshomestead.com

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Old World Rural Skills in a New World

How to Reduce Food Waste on the Homestead

Food being thrown in the trash | reduce food waste on the homestead

The goal of homesteading is sustainability and stewardship… Providing for our families without much outside help and respecting the resources that we have available. A huge aspect of a sustainable lifestyle is reducing waste. We try to lessen the amount of time, money, resources, energy, etc. that we spend each day. Cutting back on food waste, as homesteaders or otherwise, should be at the top of that list. Whether you have extra food left on your plate after supper or you have extra produce left in the garden at the end of the season, you can make sure that every bit of it is put to use. We have a few tips and suggestions for steps that you can take to reduce the food waste on your homestead starting today!

8 Ways to Reduce Food Waste

According to Feeding America, over 199 billion pounds of food goes to waste every single year in The United States. While much of this waste comes from grocery stores and restaurants, a good portion also comes from overabundant harvests and excess food waste within households. We can lower this statistic one person at a time by taking the 8 simple steps to reduce food waste within our households and homesteads. 

1. Compost Food Scraps

Composting is a great way to reduce food waste! When you find yourself with extra food on your plate after supper or you have scraps leftover from preparing a meal, toss it all into the compost bin instead of the trash can. You can keep a small compost pail in the refrigerator so you don’t have to go all the way to the outdoor compost bin multiple times a day. When this pail is full, take it out and let the air and the worms do their work! 

Food in compost

After a few months, this food will be turned into compost that will nourish your garden and help you grow more food for your family and community. If you aren’t sure how to start building your compost pile, you can get a free composting guide here.

2. Feeds Extras to Animals

If you have livestock, you can feed most scraps to them as supplemental animal feed. Chickens, pigs, goats, cows, etc. can eat your meal leftovers and extras from the field. Be sure to research so you will be aware of any foods that may be toxic to the species you are feeding. I place my food scraps in a rubber tub for the chickens. Whatever they don’t eat goes into the compost bin. 

3. Make Tea & Broth

Keep carrot tops, celery root ends, onion and leek skins, broccoli stems, potato skins, bones (from chickens, turkeys, cows, etc.), and any other raw food scraps to make vegetable broth or bone broth

If you make elderberry syrup, you can use the spent berries one more time to make tea before they go to the compost bin. 

You can also use bits/skins of ginger, lemon, oranges, and herbs to make healthy & tasty teas giving these food scraps one more use before being turned back into the earth. 

Bone broth with chicken and scraps

4. Utilize Leftovers

Do you have extra food from yesterday’s meal? Repurpose them into today’s lunch! Use roasted vegetables to make a stir fry or stew and add leftover meat to soups & pot pies.

5. Repurpose Foods Past Their Prime

Don’t toss food just because it is a little bit “too far gone”. 

  • Overripe bananas and apples can make delicious quick breads & cakes or be frozen for smoothies.
  • Stale bread can be used to make croutons or bread pudding.
  • Add overripe vegetables into a sauce or stew.

5. Reduce Food Waste by Garden Planning

Be intentional when you plant your garden. Don’t just plant any and everything that looks fun to grow. Instead, think about the foods that your family eats the most. Plant those things. Take into consideration how much you typically eat of each variety so you don’t plant too much or too little. Taking steps to reduce food waste at the production level can make a dramatic improvement in the amount of food wasted each season. 

Start planning your garden now with The Homestead Journal Planner!

6. Meal Planning

One of the most effective ways to minimize food waste is to meal plan before you grocery shop. Think about the week ahead and plan each breakfast, lunch, and dinner. You can even plan out your snacks if you want. It is a good idea to plan your meals around food that you already have at home so “shop” your pantry for ingredients as you go.

Once you have your meal plan, make a shopping list so you can purchase any foods that you don’t already have in your pantry or fridge. Stick to this list and avoid impulse purchases that don’t fit into the meal plan. 

7. Learn to Preserve Food

Extra food can usually be preserved in some way. Freezing, canning, pickling, dehydrating, fermenting, and even freeze-drying can reduce food waste in your household. Research each food preservation method so you can keep your food safe and tasty until you are ready to use it. 

Canned food on shelves |  reduce food waste on the homestead

8. Share Your Abundance

The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. These words taken from Scripture could not be more true. There is an incredible amount of food wasted before it even leaves the field! With extra hands and a little extra work, this food could be in the hands of a hungry family instead of rotting away. Consider donating your extra fruits, vegetables, and herbs to local food banks, churches, or other food distribution agencies.

If you aren’t able to harvest and deliver the food yourself, contact the Society of St. Andrew to see if there is a gleaning coordinator in your area. If so, he/she can get volunteers together to glean the excess fresh produce in your garden or field and get it to a local nonprofit organization that will then get it into the hands of people who need it.

U.S. food waste could be considered an environmental, social, and economic crisis. By implementing these practical tips on a producer & consumer level, you can help to support a more sustainable life for your family and future generations.


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8 Ways to Reduce Food Waste on the Homestead | Homesteaders of America