How to Put Up a Snow Fence

How to Put Up Snow Fence - Install Snow Fence to Keep Your Driveway Clear

When I was a little girl up in northwest Wisconsin, we had a lot of Big Snow winters.  The snow started early and lasted all winter long. (Sound familiar?)  The country roads cut through massive snow banks that my friends and I would build tunnels through.  (We always used the buddy system so someone was on the outside to watch for the plow or dig you out if needed.)  One year I made several snow carvings of different animals, each about 5 feet tall – a duck, a horse, a swan – it seems there were others, but I can’t remember now.  Cars would slow down as they passed mom’s place, trying to figure out what those odd shapes were back off the road. 

One of the other fixtures I remember from years ago was grandma’s snow fence.  Grandma had a fairly long, thin driveway, and without the snow fence, I’m sure it would have been blown shut more often than not.  When my brother bought grandma’s place, he planted a treeline where the snowfence had been, which now protects the driveway like the fence protected it for grandma – probably even better.

One of the first things we did when we moved here was to plant windbreak trees, but they’ll take a while to grow.  Like grandma, we have a long, narrow driveway – except it’s even longer than grandma’s was.  Unlike my brother, Rich, we can’t plant trees parallel to it along the whole length, because part of the land upwind from it belongs to our neighbor. 

After spending many days last winter literally stuck at home because the driveway drifted shut almost as soon as it was plowed (see the driveway in the post, ‘The Long Winter), we decided that this year we were going to put up a snow fence in an attempt to keep the driveway passable.  Since my husband will be home again this winter instead of working out of town (yeah!), he needs to be able to get out reliably to get to work.  Our neighbor used a short section of snow fence for one of his worst drifting spots last winter and it worked well, so he was cool with us running fencing through his field just for the winter.  (He does our plowing, too, so I know he’d appreciate it if the driveway stayed plowed for a while.)  In this post I’ll discuss why and how snow fence is used, so you can decide if you’d like to use it for your home. [Read more…]

Kelly Kettle – Cook and Boil Water with Minimal Fuel

The Kelly Kettle makes it quick and easy to boil water with minimal fuel in about 3 to 5 minutes. Can also be used for cooking and grilling with kit items.

As part of our  September  “National Preparedness Month” awareness promotion, this week we’re featuring a review and giveaway of Kelly Kettle Kits, a great portable option for emergencies and other outdoor cooking.  The Kelly Kettle giveaway will have two winners, one for each kit shown in the graphic above.  One person will win the stove kit on the left, the Stainless Small Trekker Complete Kit.  The second winner will win the stove kit on the right, the Ultimate Stainless Base Camp Kit.

What’s a Kelly Kettle?

The Kelly Kettle makes it quick and easy to boil water with minimal fuel in about 3 to 5 minutes.   With the items in these kits, you can also use the Kelly Kettles for cooking and grilling.  The Kelly Kettle was developed by the Kelly family in Ireland over 100 years ago, so they have some experience building these handy items. [Read more…]

3 Emergency Water Filtration Options to Get the Funky Chunks Out

3 Emergency Water Filtration Options to Get the Funky Chunks Out

Is Your Water Safe, and Do You Have Emergency Water Filtration?

Water mains rupture, supplies get contaminated, flood waters may fill an area with water yet are unsafe to drink.  Do you have emergency water filtration, or know how to improvise it? In this article, we’ll discuss three emergency water filter options that you can rig up from common materials.  We invested in a Big Berkey a while back and use it daily, but sometimes we’re stuck in situations where we need to work with what’s available.

How safe is the water?

The EPA tracks 90 different water pollutants, from acrylamide to xylenes.  In our area (and many other agricultural areas), we have issues with nitrate and bacterial contamination from agricultural runoff.  Well testing in 2013 found 1 in 5 wells in our county tested positive for E coli, Coliform and nitrates.  (Thankfully, not our well.  We do get it tested annually, just in case.)  Agricultural runoff was also linked to the toxic algae bloom that caused a water crisis in Toledo, Ohio.  Flooding can overwhelm storm sewers and septic systems, flushing sewage into streets and homes[Read more…]

All American Sun Oven Giveaway

All American Sun Oven Giveaway with Dehydrating and Accessories package.  The 3 Most important things you can do to prepare, tips for cooking off grid.

September is National Emergency Preparedness Month, sponsored by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), within the Department of Homeland Security (www.ready.gov).  Americans are encouraged to take the necessary steps to prepare for any emergencies in their homes, businesses, schools, churches, neighborhoods and communities.  Even simple steps can help protect loved ones and neighbors when faced with storms, fires, floods, and other natural and man-made disasters.  In this post we’ll talk about some preparedness basics, and I’m teaming up with my blogging friends to give away a Sun Oven solar cooker.

Get Started with Preparedness Now – We Can Help!

[Read more…]

WaterBrick – Easy Water Storage – Giveaway

WaterBrick Stackable Easy to Use Water Storage Giveaway @ Common Sense Homesteading Aug 4th-10th, 2014 - How much water storage you need.  How to Filter Microcystin Toxins.

“TOLEDO, Ohio –- It’s too soon to tell if the water is safe in Toledo, Gov. John Kasich said Sunday.

The toxin microcystin, found in Lake Erie, polluted the water supply early Saturday morning. Residents have been without running water for more than 24 hours.” (source)

Would you be ready if your water suddenly got shut off or was unsafe to drink?  We should all have some water storage on hand, and a way to filter any available water.  The WaterBrick is an easy to use, portable water storage option.

How much water do you need for emergencies?

  • 1/2 Gallon (2 Liters) per day, per person for drinking and cooking
  • 1/2 Gallon (2 Liters) per day per person for hygiene (washing, teeth cleaning, dishes, etc)

Minimum water storage = 1 gallon per person per day = 14 gallons per person for 2 weeks = 56 gallons per a family of four for 2 weeks

Under “normal” conditions, the average person in the US uses over 16 gallons per day, so you could blow through two weeks of water storage in a day if you are careless. [Read more…]