If you think engraving out a sustainable homestead on only a few acres while raising your own groceries is impossible, you would be awfully incorrect. Rick Austin, also known as the Survivalist Gardener, has done just that in the Appalachian Mountains of North Carolina.
Rick Austin Share His Wisdom
Rick Austin and his wife, best known as Survivor Jane, are not just surviving off their land, they’re prospering. Several years ago, the couple became keenly well informed the many potential tragedies looming. They realized just how unsafe they would be if SHTF while they were still city dwellers.
Rick and Jane left their highly successful careers in the city and moved to a beautiful a and sustainable a patch of land in North Carolina. There, they began utilizing their horticulture expertise to fully embrace the preparedness lifestyle.
Since then, the Survivalist GardenerA Rick Austin has become a nationally renowned off grid living, homesteading, and preparedness expert.
Rick Austin: A Prolific Survivalist
Austinas first volume , A Secret Garden of Survival-How to Grow a Camouflaged Food Forest , is now the# 1 Best Selling book in Garden Design. His newest book, Secret Livestock of Survival a How to Raise the Very Best Choice for Retreat and Homestead Livestock , is destined to become a top-selling homesteading and prepping resource manual as well.
All of the Rick Austin books belong in your survival library. Each one offers an easy-to-read and highly detailed explanation on the focused topic. Both newbies and seasoned preppers will close the covering knowing they’ve learned important lessons they can put into practice to help their family survive a disaster and live a more natural and sustained life on a daily basis.
The newest book from Rick Austin offers a complete livestock guidebook that preppers on a budget or living on only a small homestead can easily put into practice. That being said, survivalists living on a sizable plot of land will also greatly benefit from Austinas terms of wisdom and detailed steps.
Secret Livestock book excerpt:
aWhen most people think of creating homestead livestock, they invariably think that they must have chickens and a cow. But truth be told, when it is necessary to creating livestock, there are a lot of reasons to avoid creating chickens wholly, and almost every reason not to own a cow. The Secret Livestock of Survival, will show you how to grow your own sources of food( in this case a protein) with a much better return on your investment of period, money, feed, housing and real estate, than with traditional homestead reasoning. And these livestock animals are discrete, so most people wonat even know you are raising them.a
What got you interested in prepping?
I have always been a Boy Scout and been always prepared. I grew up in New Hampshire, so I grew up with that New England Puritan work ethic where you are expected to take care of yourself. Growing up in New Hampshire, you learned to cook and heat with wood, because you could lose power for a week at a time in the winter due to snowfall and ice blizzards. At the same period, we would store our refrigerated food outside in the snow when we lost energy for days at a time.
As an adult, I moved to Florida a the hurricane and lightning capital of the world. There you always had to be prepared for a blizzard, losing power a even losing your home. Nobody was going to save you a you had to save yourself.
What tips would you give to newbie preppers?
Stop being a consumer and start being a producer. Do something, grow something, raise something! Try something. Try DOING. Donat only stock heap and buy food storage like so many preppers do. The time to learn to produce your own food is not when it is a matter of life or death for your family.
Even if you donat have a homestead or property yet, you can start raising rabbits in an apartment or your garage. Should the SHTF, they can easily bug out with you.
Make the leaping. The longer you wait, and the more you are stuck on the industrial food grid, the less fund you will have afterward. Grocery food packaging is getting smaller, prices are getting higher, and the food is getting more poisonous with more and more toxic chemicals.
You need to stop being a slave to the system. If they control your food, then they control you. Being independent of the food grid will define you free.
How did your loved ones react to your desire to work in the survival field and become Rick Austin: Survival Gardener?
I have always been a asurvivalista before it was fashionable to be one a before they coined the term. My spouse appreciated that I knew how to take care of the family in any catastrophe. When the housing market and stock exchange took a dive 10 years ago, crime became rampant. Orlando became the 6th most dangerous city in the country. We both retired early and left our corporate tasks to live off grid. We learned a lot the hard way. Unlike people 100 years ago, we didnat grow up with living off grid.
Today, we teach other people how to live a sustainable lifestyle like we do through volumes, social media, podcasts, radio, television, and public speaking appearances. Today, we operate the largest annual outdoor preparedness and homesteading event in the country, Prepper Camp.
Why did you become passionate about sharing your knowledge?
We look at it as our ministry to give back and to teach others. We get joy out of helping others become self-sufficient. It also helps the country and helps these people grow as individuals.
And of course, selfishly- the more people we teach to feed themselves now, the less unprepared people I will have to kill later after The End Of The World As We Know It a TEOTWAWKI.
What factors should a family consider when choosing where to live factor and set their preparedness scheme into action?
I canat get over how many people ask me how they can grow my camouflaged food woodland in a place like Arizona. I have to ask, aWho can frankly consider themselves a apreppera and choose to live in a place without rainfall? a
Water is# 1 most valuable resource. Without water, humans succumb in three days. Without water, you canat grow harvests. People who live in the desert import their water. If that get shut off, you and your family are dead.
When we chose our last retreat a our final homestead destination, we could have moved anywhere in the world. Yet we chose the Appalachian Mountain region of the United States for lots of reasons.
In terms of specific attributes for choosing a homestead, south facing property for our solar home and growing a garden was important. South facing provides the most sunshine for energy, heat and growing food. We live on a mountain top for the view and security. High ground is always the best. It was important to find a location where there was adequate rainfall, climate, and a long distance from big population centers, to be out of the path of civil unrest.
What was also very important was the basic quality of the people who already lived in the area. The people here are basically good people. And they are for the most component self-sufficient.
I recommend that other people be strategic in their reasoning a this is your life. Donat be constrained by where you grew up or where your family/ in-laws chose to live. Do “whats right” for you and your family as a survivalist.
What was a great big prepping fail and what did you learn from it?
The garden growth has been incredible, more than I could have ever anticipated. The only thing I might do, if I had to do it over, would be to give more room to my perennial plants. You donat realize that they will grow up and out to the point where they can shade out other plants.
Building on a mountain top has had its challenges. We sit on a slab of granite, which is fine for the home. But trying to put in a root cellar underground was difficult to do. We violated three backhoes trying to excavate a hole 15 -feet-deep and 12 -feet-square to put our small underground little food storage area in.
What was the motivation for the Secret Livestock of Survival book?
After my Secret Garden of Survival volume about my sustainable perennial food wood and my Secret Greenhouse of Survival volume about my insulated sustainable attached greenhouse, protein production was the third leg of my food stool. Having sustainable sources of protein builds the whole sustainable/ symbiotic homesteading food production come full circle. Not only do my sustainable livestock options provide my family with protein a meat, eggs, milk, cheese, etc. a but my animals also give back to the garden and greenhouse from which they eat by providing the plants in my garden and greenhouse with natural fertilizer a turd!
What breed of goat do you and Survivor Jane have, and why?
We have Nigerian Dwarf Diary goats a not meat goats. They produce 1.5 gallons of milk per day from three small daughters. They take little space, ingest little food, and render a lot of milk. And like my garden, greenhouse and my other livestock, they are discrete. They can hide in plain sight. Creating meat is best left for rabbits. I also raise meat from ducks and chickens, to some degree.
Basically, when you feed a small animal it is one dinner and done, as opposed to big game or big livestock. With those, there is much more work to process and preserve the meat. Once you process a large animal, you have to store it. So, without refrigeration and a freezer, it could all go to trash. The last thing you want to eat is botulism in a grid down situation.
If you could go back and add one more bit of information to the book, what would it be?
In Secret Garden of Survival , A I would indicate pictures as to what it looks like today. After six or seven years of growth, the trees are huge. They now produce huge amounts of food. Last year, we got over 1,000 peaches off of one tree a and I have several peach trees. But, I do present current day growth on my YouTube channel. That route, people can see the change and the volume of harvest on a very small piece of land.
What has changed since your last volumes?
Secret Livestock of Survival A was released four years after my Secret Garden of Survival volume. I had a lot more to share, and lots of tips and tricks that I would not have known without a lot of mistakes. In fact, it was hard to keep the livestock book short, because I had so much to tell.
My livestock book is my best book yet. I have included not only which animals are best to have on a sustainable homestead, but also how to care for them. I give people the most important information about each animal in the book. Therefore, I have kept people from having to buy about eight other books on each specific type of livestock. Plus, I set all my animal recommendations in order of ROI- Return on Investment, getting the most return for the least amount of input. So, if you merely had to choose to raise one or two types of animals to start with, you could do so without having to use resources you are not able to have including time and money. That’s why I started my book with raising rabbits.
Have you heard of Rick Austin and his books? Let us know in the comments below ! Ready to take some of the advice from Rick Austin? Learn how to start with Planting for Preppers 101 !