Caligae – Boots of the Roman Army

It has taken me quite a while but I'm finally posting a bit about my caligae, the standard soldier's shoe of the Roman Army.  Of course, the design changed somewhat over several centuries and as the army moved into different environments but the basic plan remained the same.  I have finally field tested these enough … Continue reading Caligae – Boots of the Roman Army

Monday Morning Music

A little cowboy movie music isn't a bad thing.  Hollywood has produced some good music with the vast resources it has at its disposal.  Here is a link to My Rifle, My Pony, and Me / June Apple from the film Rio Bravo (the hot links will take you to lyrics). https://youtu.be/v2ssbgThljU If you know … Continue reading Monday Morning Music

Classical Time – for the Banjo-ista

I should say it's Classic Banjo Time. The modern banjo has ancient roots and shares much with it's African antecedents.  Its connection to the lute family along with the whole array of drum-headed cousins crossed many lost cultural boundaries in ancient times.  This makes it the perfect candidate for bridging musical genres and styles, from … Continue reading Classical Time – for the Banjo-ista

It’s Time for a Change, for the Better…

Hello all fellow travelers, campers, and makers who love the wilderness!  It's time for a serious re-tooling of this blog and focusing on the important things in life.  In the coming days and weeks many posts and pages will change, some will vanish forever (they are rubbish), or (hopefully) be improved upon.  Your constructive feedback … Continue reading It’s Time for a Change, for the Better…

Long Term Classes

Well said.

futurenecessities

There are so many options out there these days. Whether you are looking for rewilding, Wilderness survival, Homesteading, How to survive the apocalypse, experimental archaeology, or whatever. You can choose a 4 hour class, a 1 day workshop, a long weekend, a week, or you can do a year, or a season. I have taken lots of several hour to 1 day classes. I have gotten quite a bit out of each of them. However, Every single class that I have taken that was hours long, I had to go back and relearn the skill later. The classes that I have gotten the most out of are the ones that were months long. Think college. If you take 1 class you can say you went to college, but to get the benefit of the education you have to go for 4 or 6 or 8 years. This is so, because…

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Wooden Plates our Forefathers Used

A great old article about the evolution of the eating plate. Something I find myself surprisingly interested in.

Lost Art Press

plates

GOLD and silver; earthenware, pewter and china, have, in different times and under different circumstances been used for plates. Our own forefathers relied on wood. From the earliest times to days well within living memory the wooden platter, the bowl, the drinking vessel, the spoon and even the knife and fork lay on the rude trestle table for daily meals.

Many countrymen recall the wooden implements of childhood mem­ory, and the writer himself remembers the flattened wood porridge plate and the coarse surfaced bowl of the wooden spoon.

Until early Tudor times the wooden platter was almost universal. Then, and for long before (indeed, too, for long afterwards) the common table was found in every home, the humblest stable boy “sup­ping with his titled lord.” His only dish might be a square wooden platter such as (A) in the illus­tration, whilst for anything approach­ing an implement such as a knife…

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You mean, like a career?

A very nice insight from James, son of James.

The Daily Skep

Raise your hand if you’ve ever been there. I know I have. That moment when you think, “wow, I know I trained for a completely different career but wouldn’t it be great to just be out in the shop building furniture all day, every day.”

The truth is, as much as we hate to admit it, that’s never going to be economically viable for most of us. Vic Tesolin offers some great thoughts on the subject in the End Grain column of the current issue of Popular Woodworking, and what he wrote hasbeen on my mind all week. The short version is that he supposes there is a lot of fulfillment to be had in woodworking as a hobby that becomes elusive when it’s a job.

For me, even though the line between woodworking as hobby and source of income has been increasingly blurred over the last few months…

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How to Build an Earthen Oven — Savoring the Past

https://www.youtube.com/embed/i0foHjPVbP4?version=3&rel=1&fs=1&autohide=2&showsearch=0&showinfo=1&iv_load_policy=1&wmode=transparent The existence of ovens like this is easily documented for the 18th century. In fact, just about every ancient culture had a very similar oven. There’s one particular wood cut illustration from medieval times depicting an earthen oven built on a wagon. There are references in 18th century literature and also archaeological evidence that … Continue reading How to Build an Earthen Oven — Savoring the Past

Before Grocery Stores…

It wasn’t long ago that we had to find food for ourselves.

How to Provide

Victory Garden Victory Garden

“The first supermarket appeared on the American landscape in 1946.  Until then, where was all the food?… It was in homes, gardens, local fields, and forests.  It was in the pantry, the cellar, the backyard.” – Joel Salatin

Like many Americans, you have come to homesteading to be able to provide for your family, friends and community in the way that you see fit.  The last time so many Americans felt the way you feel now was during World War II.  During the Second World War, many of us had a victory garden and raised poultry because foods were either being rationed or were not available.  The systems which are now the backbone of the United States’ economy seem to be growing quite weary and failing in some respects.  So much instability creates a great unease.  Homesteading, on the other hand, creates security for you, your family, friends…

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Traveler’s Life

Re-posting some favorite Traveller images.

Preindustrial Craftsmanship

Getting back to our theme of traveler’s, caravans, and other wanderers of the world… a few images from Pascal Dagnan-Bouveret a French Naturalist Painter of the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

"Dans la forêt-Musée des beaux-arts de Nancy." “Dans la forêt-Musée des beaux-arts de Nancy.”

I believe I would enjoy siting around this campfire.

chevaux-a-l-abreuvoir---pascal-dagnan-bouveret “Chevaux à l’abreuvoir.”

Once a common scene, now virtually lost in an era of loud, fume-belching machinery.

"Gypsy Scene." “Gypsy Scene.”

A peaceful morning cooking breakfast in the morning dew.  The caravan is obscured by the smoke of the campfire.

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Music, like an onion, may grow best in layers

La Bamba en todos los ritmos. Músicos de todo el mundo se unen para tocar "La Bamba", canción que llena de alegría los corazones y que es símbolo de nuestra cultura. Hoy más que nunca, ¡qué orgullo ser mexicano! https://youtu.be/d6VXcVQrgFE In case you need to sing along, here are the Richie Valens lyrics from the … Continue reading Music, like an onion, may grow best in layers

Homemade Ricotta

How to Provide

Ricotta is the easiest cheese to make — hands-down.  You can use all lemon juice or all vinegar.  If you use all lemon juice, it will have a lovely fruity flavor and will yield very soft curds.  If you use all vinegar, you will have a tangy flavor and will yield firmer curds.  I like combining the two.

2 quarts Whole Milk

2 tbsp Lemon Juice

1 tbsp Vinegar

1 tsp Sea Salt

In a 4 quart saucepan, mix all of the ingredients together.  Put over a low heat and watch it, stirring occasionally.  Bring to a boil, stirring frequently to ensure it doesn’t boil over for another minute.  Pull the saucepan off the heat.  The milk will be curdled.  Place a flour sack towel over a fine mesh strainer and place over a bowl.  Pour the milk mixture into the strainer.  Let the cheese drain for an hour or…

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