Self-Reliance: How do you?


  • I’m going to go out on a limb and assume many of you are like-minded to myself in that you not only find enjoyment in meat processing as a hobby but also the connection to a sense of self-reliance that the skills we’ve developed and equipment we have obtained brings to us and our families. It’s a good feeling to know that you are working toward a life that is less reliant on other people, services and the status quo of modern day living.

    Some may call it prepping, I wouldn’t consider myself a prepper….but I’m not living in an ignorant bliss of unawareness either. You may call it self-reliance or homesteading. Whatever you call it and wherever you land on the spectrum, I wanted to share with you what I’ve been working toward for my family and friend circle and am looking for others to share their ideas and methods if there is interest.

    In the last year, my family has moved from a town of 200, previously had lived in a town of 7K-ish to a 12 acre piece of land of our own. It’s mixed vegetation of grassland and wood lot about 50/50. There is a spring fed pond and our place is at the dead-end of a dirt road. We got lucky, really lucky. A PA owned the place with plans that fell through but that’s another story in itself.

    House was a mess and a lot of work to get it to where it is today, with more to go. Anyway I like the idea of working toward self-reliance. We keep a well stocked pantry, we harvest game, we buy family beef and have plenty for each year. I have a well and septic system and most appliances are electric with a few propane exceptions. Working toward adding a fireplace and wood burning stove. Solar is on my mind as well. Maybe not full capability but a supplemental system that could run a select few circuits would be nice if a fully sized system was too expensive. This spring I got a few ducks that we collect eggs from daily, the pond has some panfish and carp in it so far that I’ve caught. There is an abundance of wildlife and foraging resources (several mushroom species, sandhill plumb, prickly pair fruit. We broke ground for a garden but I think it is too shaded. It has not done very well. Planning on changes there.

    I’d like to add a small orchard with some
    Apple trees, a grape vine or two, black berries, blueberries and the wife wants a peach tree even though winters are hard on peaches here.

    I have an un insulated shop next to the house as well and have been hitting up auctions to fill it will items that help me to be more self-reliant. An old welder, drill press, chop saw and some carpentry tools are where I’ve started. We have an ATV that we inherited. In the shop I am planning to partition off a corner and insulate it and finish it out. It will be my home processing plant/hobby kitchen. I hope to start that this fall when I finish an ongoing bathroom remodel that I’m working on for my wife.

    I love to travel as well and want to work toward a lifestyle that allows for more travel experiences with my growing family. My wife and I are very much in the working class, I hope we are able to inspire others who are wanting to build a similar path.

    I’d like this thread to serve as a resource to share what we’ve implemented/experienced and learned along the way for those who may be working toward or who may have achieved a higher level of self reliance.

  • Team Blue Power User Traeger Primo Grills PK Grills Canning Sous Vide Community Moderator

    @matt-westerhaus I like to make note of what everyone has stocked away when they post on social media about what supplies, guns, ammo, tools, etc they have, so I’ll know where I can go acquire those supplies in the end times.

  • Regular Contributors

    Tex_77 said in Self-Reliance: How do you?:

    @matt-westerhaus I like to make note of what everyone has stocked away when they post on social media about what supplies, guns, ammo, tools, etc they have, so I’ll know where I can go acquire those supplies in the end times.

    Sometimes its better to keep the discussions general unless you are in a private meeting with trusted friends. Not to sew any seeds of distrust about the Meatgistics community, but anyone can view this site and remain completely anonymous.

    Having said that, I share a lot of the same sentiments about self reliance. I kind of temper that sentiment with age and knowing the physical limitations that comes with it.

  • Team Blue Admin Walton's Employee Power User

    matt Westerhaus Huge flex post! You have exactly what I want! I am sure you worked hard for and sacrificed, that is how you get what you want but I am very JEALOUS! Prickly pair fruit is a [censored] to eat though, I got one stuck in between my fingers once and it hurt for a few weeks but it is like a somewhat sweet cucumber with a really nice fresh taste. How are duck eggs? I have NOT heard good things about them in the past.

    Now, 100% I think there are a lot of people on here who pride themselves on self-reliance. That old-school sense of doing for yourself isn’t being promoted much currently so I think people like a place where they can come and share it and talk about it. If you guys want I’d be more than happy to create a category and group for …what? Self-Reliance? Homesteading? I don’t know what to call it… Also, I am pretty sure we can make it so you’d have to be part of that group to view it?

    Travelling is great and all, it opens your perspective to how lucky we are to be Americans but if you asked me if I could give up a few of our more extravagant vacations to have the money to put down on 15 acres and a pond? Yeah, I’d probably make that trade.

    If there is interest in that I would agree. But like processhead and Tex_77 said, we have 16k registered users and normally we have over 1,000 people visit the site in a day. I have no idea why anyone with bad intentions would be on meatgistics but you really never know!


  • Jonathon If there is a group of us who’d like to share details on what we’ve got going and how we’ve accomplished it in this topic, a version that was hidden from the gen-public would make me more comfortable. I am an open book on anything anyone would like to know about how to afford things and work toward this type of life style. I hope nothing about my post came of as a 💪, I’m not trying to brag on anything. I do want to inspire and educate anyone along the same path as me though and learn from those in front of me on the same path.

    Your right in that there is a ton of work and sacrifice put in, I also can’t leave out opportunity, luck and good timing. Obtaining personal goals often starts with having financials in order. I follow a lot of what Dave Ramsey has to say and sound financial advice/planning has allowed us to manage our dat-to-day and long term goals. The duck eggs are good. They need to be cooked through, found that out the hard way. They are better for baking than a chicken egg, higher moisture content. They are more nutritious and about 1.5x the size of a chicken. They are, in my opinion, funner to watch than a chicken. They definitely carry some personality.

    Our travels are usually regional although we’ve taken a trip upto Oregon/northern California to visit some family.

    We like adventure travel and do it on the cheap. We are positioned in a great spot, living here in Kansas, we’ve got awesome places to visit all within about the same 8ish hour drive. Ouachita NF in SW Arkansas, Mark Twain and Ozark NF, the black hills of SD, of course the Rockies of southern Colorado. A lot of “prepping” purchases carry over into functional comforts when we travel. The water filtration devices, backpacks, lightweight cooking materials….the lifestyles intertwine with the exception of animals and tending to them when away. That can get tricky but is doable with the right setup and planning.


  • Tex_77 I have no guns, 💯 vulnerable. Also I don’t have video camera systems, or two big dogs. 🤣

  • Team Blue Power User Traeger Primo Grills PK Grills Canning Sous Vide Community Moderator

    @matt-westerhaus Duely noted.

  • Big Green Egg Team Blue Regular Contributors Cast Iron Power User

    I often wish I could just move somewhere in the sticks and be more self reliant. Not totally off grid but just away from everything. One can dream! Right now I am still a slave to the man.


  • The sticks are nice. There are benefits to the city that we enjoy when we visit them. The FOOD is what I like most about the city, well the food is actually second to the beer. I love the microbrew movement sweeping the midwest.

  • Regular Contributors

    @matt-westerhaus said in Self-Reliance: How do you?:

    The sticks are nice. There are benefits to the city that we enjoy when we visit them. The FOOD is what I like most about the city, well the food is actually second to the beer. I love the microbrew movement sweeping the midwest.

    I have solved the micro brew dilemma the same way I solved the sausage dilemma. lol
    Self-reliance!


  • processhead said in Self-Reliance: How do you?:

    @matt-westerhaus said in Self-Reliance: How do you?:

    The sticks are nice. There are benefits to the city that we enjoy when we visit them. The FOOD is what I like most about the city, well the food is actually second to the beer. I love the microbrew movement sweeping the midwest.

    I have solved the micro brew dilemma the same way I solved the sausage dilemma. lol
    Self-reliance!

    It is my next endeavor. I have a friend who has been homebrewing for several years and has the equipment. He offered to have me come out for a brewday this fall!

  • Team Orange Power User Canning Masterbuilt

    I never think of my self as a prepper, it was the way I was raised. We always had a garden and my uncle raised cattle, hogs and chickens. We helped process the chickens which I hated because it was always a Saturday in the fall or late summer. Plucking chickens was not what I wanted to be doing. Always canned items from the garden for use in the fall and winter, I realized later it was probably to save money but I always told my friends the vegetables were better than what their parents were buying from the store.


  • bocephus I can attest that a garden raised vegetable in many cases tastes better than any bought at a store or used in most restaurants. My boss has a really sweet setup with cattle and chickens. His wife’s family butchered chicken every year and he has since taken in the tradition. I’ve been helping him out once every spring on a Saturday morning. It takes a good amount of people and is a bit of work but the reward is about a dozen whole birds for me at the end of the day at cost. He sells the rest for a pretty good markup. A farm raised and hand processed bird is something that no grocery store is able to match.

  • Team Orange Power User Canning Masterbuilt

    I have a friend back home who raises his own cattle and hogs and has a huge garden. He always sends a couple of gallons of dill pickles back with me when I visit and always asks when I am going to move back to help with the butchering in the animals.

  • Regular Contributors

    I envy you guys who have connections with small scale livestock producers.
    It would be great to be able to get a half a hog to cutup and process.

  • Regular Contributors

    @matt-westerhaus said in Self-Reliance: How do you?:

    processhead said in Self-Reliance: How do you?:

    @matt-westerhaus said in Self-Reliance: How do you?:

    The sticks are nice. There are benefits to the city that we enjoy when we visit them. The FOOD is what I like most about the city, well the food is actually second to the beer. I love the microbrew movement sweeping the midwest.

    I have solved the micro brew dilemma the same way I solved the sausage dilemma. lol
    Self-reliance!

    It is my next endeavor. I have a friend who has been homebrewing for several years and has the equipment. He offered to have me come out for a brewday this fall!

    Having someone that can mentor you through the process is a great way to flatten the learning curve on learning to brew. You would be wise to take up your buddy’s invitation.


  • processhead How far are you from the Kansas border? Kansas has a great resource for local meat and farm goods. Check out ShopKanasasFarms. They are on FB if you are too but their website shows a map of all the producers in their database that have something to offer up for sale. It is an awesome database. I haven’t used it for meat but do keep an eye on it for other farm commodities.

  • Regular Contributors

    @matt-westerhaus said in Self-Reliance: How do you?:

    processhead How far are you from the Kansas border? Kansas has a great resource for local meat and farm goods. Check out ShopKanasasFarms. They are on FB if you are too but their website shows a map of all the producers in their database that have something to offer up for sale. It is an awesome database. I haven’t used it for meat but do keep an eye on it for other farm commodities.

    Thanks for the link. I am a couple of hours from the KS. border.
    To be honest, with all the livestock producers around here, large and small, I suspect I could find local sources pretty easily if I got off my a$$ and just looked.

  • Canning Dry Cured Sausage Primo Grills Team Blue Sous Vide Power User Cast Iron

    @matt-westerhaus I very much understand and am heading there myself. Connections with other like minded people make things a bit easier

    About 90 % finished an old farmhouse. Barn and warehouse complete.

    In the process of installing all my commercial equipment. Now can make my own lump coal for reliable smoking and cooking. I now have fruit trees that are producing, so I can always make my pear and pecan pies.

    On the bucket list is a well pump that can be used manually if needed. Need a few bee hives. Then converting a portion of the barn to chickens. Would love to have a few ducks, but that’s the chef in me.

    I understand where the group is about privacy. I probably don’t worry about it enough. I have several large knifes, meat saw, manual and electric equipment. If anyone makes the poor choice of trying to collect things from my property, well, I’ll just turn them into sausage…

    processhead Jonathon Tex_77 Seriously, living in a very small town may have me too trusting. What kind of vulnerabilities do we have with posting on a site such as Meatgistics?

  • Regular Contributors

    I’ll just turn them into sausage…**

    Chef , you have nothing to worry about. lol

    Seriously though, A determined dirt bag who read our posts and decided we owned something significant enough… and they really wanted it… could conceivably look up name and address information if a user here includes their full name. The rest is all public record.

    In the grand scheme of things, the actual risk may not be great, but IMO it still is good to think about this stuff.

Suggested Topics

  • 19
  • 40
  • 7
  • 3
  • 967

Community Statistics

12
Online

16.5k
Users

3.7k
Topics

48.5k
Posts

About Meatgistics

Meatgistics is brought to you by Walton's (waltonsinc.com). Meatgistics is a community site, knowledgebase, forum, blog, learning center, and a sharing site. You can find help and ask questions about anything related to meat processing, smoking and grilling meats, plus a whole lot more. Join Austin & Jon from Walton's and sign up for our Meatgistics community today.
Change Text Size