Tuesday, February 22, 2011

3 things on my list

I got several magazines in the mail this week and have been drooling. My Lehman's catalog and the newest catalog from the Bulk Herb Store, I always learn so much every time I look at their website or read their catalog.
There are three things on my list that we are planning on getting soon, these things will not only save us money but help us prepare for simple living.

1. The Big Berkey water filter......we have a well with hard water and the berkey is going to save me a lot of money, it is so convenient, and most importantly...healthy!  The berkey removes E. coli, pesticides, aluminum and so so much more. That's just what I remember off the top of my head. The berkey is also used by missionaries in foreign countries.  It's ability to filter "raw" water is absolutely amazing! So I'd love to know..."Do you have a berkey, do you love it"?  I have a friend on facebook that has had one for 12 years and LOVES it! Cannot wait to get it!!!

2.  A hand crank flour mill, I know there are hand crank mills out there for up to $2500. That is NOT in my budget, I really can't even afford the ones for $100-$500.  I have seen the Victorio and the Back to Basics mills......I have read some good reviews and some bad ones.  Can I get by with one of these that run around $69?  Please comment if you own one, or tell me about your flour mills, I would love to hear!!! Personally I really want to go with a hand crank to really be prepared for living off the grid!

And then there are these ones as low as $19.99....I can't help but wonder if they really make a fine flour.  Several reviews I have read say they are good for cereals or cracked wheat.

3. The next thing is a wood stove, my dream stove is found over at Lehman's, the baker's oven wood stove, oh my what a dream that would be, but the price tag is $2500.  This wood stove not only heats your home, but has an oven rack in the bottom and is large enough on top for 4 large stock pots!

Isn't she beautiful???

But for now I have a simple wood stove, we just need to purchase the steel pipe and my Dad is going to help us install it, we are so excited!!! It will be such a good feeling to know, that if the power goes out I WILL have heat!

P.S. I'd like to also add that my seeds came in today from Baker Creek, and I will be planting away indoors tomorrow, cannot wait! This is my first year to order from Baker Creek, and I love the fact that I am supporting a local business!

P.S.S. This year we will also be trying out a reel mower. After reading several reviews we settle on this one...the Scotts 20".  With free shipping it was quite a steal!


  1. We've got 2 of the 3 items you've mentioned.

    * We purchased a Big Berkey water filter for our long term storage preps. We don't use it at our rental home in the city, but if we have to bug out to Wildwood and the power is out, we'll need to filter our water from the lake. Beyond pulling it out to test it and make sure that it's not cracked and works, we haven't used it. But we are grateful that we do have it, just in case. =)

    * For Christmas this year we bought ourselves a Country Living grain mill. We found a great deal on one through our local craigslist and have been experimenting with it. While doing my research, we decided to go with the Country Living mill for a number of reasons. The biggest reason though, is if we are in a situation where we NEED it and it was broken or not working, we don't ever want to be wishing we'd bought the most reliable one out there just to save some money.

    Here's a recent post I made about it.


    In a way, both of these purchases act as insurance. If we ever have to use these on a daily basis, we're going to be mighty glad we have them!

    A wood stove is on the wish list once we purchase a house in the country and when we ultimately build out on Wildwood. In the mean time, I don't think our landlord would appreciate a new wood stove in the house. =)

    City Roots, Country Life

  2. Emma,

    I really appreciate your comments!!! Partial to your name as well, :)...my youngest is Emma. :)

    Off to check out your post on the flour mill. We rent as well, a little cottage in the country, but thankfully our landlord has given us permission to install the wood stove as long as it is done correctly. This will be a huge blessing for us.

    Blessings. :)

  3. We actually have two of the large stainless steel British Berkfield's in our attic. We bought our as Y2K prep and only quite using it when we got a fridge with filtered water. We need to get new filters for them so we can have them handy to use. Our water is unreliable and I have to keep drinking water purchased for the days when our water system fails.

    We have the Family Grain Mill that works by hand or attaches to the Bosch Universal. Lately I have started grinding again and am using the VitaMix as it is easier, but it doesn't grind as fine as the Family Grain Mill. Under $200 bucks, I think, from The Urban Homemaker.

    We had a woodstove, but got rid of it as we were all allergic to the burning wood. We use gas and electric heaters (no central unit) and have a kerosene heater for emergencies.

  4. Anita, I took your advice with the family grain mill and won a used one in good condition on ebay for $80!!! Thank you all so much for your suggestions!!!

  5. I was going to say that the cheap grain mills are very hard to crank. I'm not familiar with the Family Grain Mill, but I love The Urban Homemaker. Do let us know how it works!

    I admired that little stove from Lehman's too. DH nixed it as a cookstove though. Fortunately we found a real sweetheart of a bargain on craigslist, included all stove and chimney pipe! I agree, it's such a comfort to know you still have heat no matter what the weather and electricity are doing.

    I want to know how the Scotts reel mower works too! We really need one of those as well.

  6. We would like to get a flour mill as well, it has been on our list for a while. We love our reel mower though.


  7. We've been eying these things, too. First, I'm working on our food storage, but I am definitely watching for these items at an affordable price. I'm really curious about the ease of use of various hand crank grain mills, too.

  8. I've been interested in grain mills too... I've already learned a few great things from the comments. I had no idea the VitaMix would grind grains... I'm going to have to try that in the meantime. Thanks for posting this.

  9. I have a Berkey and it works great with the standard black elements that came with it. If you want flouride removed you need the PF-2s (or PF-4 if you start out with the ceramic elements on the top). I bought the PF-2's and no one likes the taste of the water out of those so I took them off. Shucks. Don't know what went wrong unless I over tightened them.

    I have a wood stove (without oven) and I love it. You can use the top surface to cook soups, bone broths, boil maple sap, cook eggs and bacon in a fry pan. So fun! I did bone broth over night on it. It doesn't boil over, so I can leave it all night without worry.

    I have yet to get a manual grain mill but I have an electric one. Marilyn Moll from Urban Homemaker used to have nice direction on baking whole grain bread. I'm not sure if that is still available but that's how I learned. Right now I'm gluten free so my bread baking skills have languished. I did get an oat flaker though after some of my bulk oats went rancid. Now I flake them fresh for oatmeal cake for breakfast. The flaker is very kid friendly.

  10. I don't know much about the water filtration or the wood stove (we got a cheapo at a garage sale), but we LOVE our Country Living Grain Mill. If you are at all unsatisfied with your ebay purchase, I'd highly recommend it (although it does take some saving up!). As you may have heard, the cheap $19 ones are worth what you pay. They don't actually mill flour, just smaller pieces of wheat. :) I'm really enjoying your blog!

  11. That stove is a beauty! I have one on my wish list too. I bought a very similar mower a few years ago. I hope you will like yours.

  12. My neighbor across the street has the old mower and it is soo easy. I would love to have one so if you get yours let me know if you like it
    btw I love reading your post even though I rarely comment


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