About Me

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I simply love back to basics living. It is truly  a self-sufficient life.
I now work from home, marketing online and sharing my story and telling  others how  they to  can escape the stress and beat the inflation rates.

Finally moved to my 231 acres in TN. God is good. Now I just market online and keep the ole homestead working.

Saturday, February 14, 2015


A Big Question Many People Ask Everyday! How Can I Solve My Problem??

The answer is "information"..... And you can find it here. Over the years I've built an extensive library of information and truth be told it has saved me thousands of dollars.

Information is GOLD! In the link below you will find a treasure chest of literally thousands of information products and software that you can get instantly.

Click the link below now look at the left hand side. Do you see it? Great choose your interest and start building your information library.

Monday, November 3, 2014


FINALLY! Got the other pig in the freezer. I'm curing the bacon and the hams now, next step the smoker as soon as they are cured.Hey I'll tell ya what! The bacon and ham are out of this world, turned out super great!

This time I made breakfast sausage, last time I made Italian. I've been really busy with my classified ad site, people seem to love it, I'm always getting nice notes, check it out when you get the chance. It is for all of middle TN. http://cookevilleads.com

Oh good news I put in a larger raspberry and blackberry bed along with added blueberries.
I'll upload some more pics. Next project is to build a chicken plucker after that fence the back fields for cattle. Speaking of back field, check this out I went to the back fields just to check things out and found a herd of goats.

they came from another hollow. Gave the owner a call and they all went back home.

Before I forget here are some pictures of the first pigs bacon and hams in the smoker ready to go. Dang they are so good.

Personally I love homesteading, eating good healthy food, gardening everything that goes along with it. More later. I raised 2 hogs last year and gave most of it away, looks like I'll have 3 next year. I'll be adding my cure recipe soon for the bacon and hams, I'll also put my sausage recipe here for ya.

Well it's time to fill the freezer. I raised two pigs this year, I just put one in the freezer, whenever you have two pigs one always gets bigger than the other, so the big one is now gone.
I got to tell ya their is nothing better for you than home grown pork no hormones and antibiotics. It got cold here in Tn down to 34 so I put it down about 5:00 pm let it hang over night and cut it up the next day. It worked out perfect. Glory to God! After checking all the organs and them all looking good, it was time to start processing.

It could not have been better, I cut pork chops, boneless chops, bnls roast, hocks, bacon. I saved all the fat for processing deer. I boned out all the hams, except one picnic. I'm going to smoke that and use it for a new England boiled dinner. Today Oct 5 I cured all the bacon. This year I made the cure for brownsugar and pepper bacon, it will cure for about 7 or 8 days then in the smoker. The hams are also in another cure and will be their for about 10 days then into the smoker they go. They make great Christmas gifts. Today I made about 6 lbs. of ground pork to mix for meat-balls, then 25lbs went into Italian sausage. It all turned out great. I make all my own seasoning this year and was very happy with the results. I'll do the other one the first of Nov. That with the garden and the chickens it will be a good year with very little shopping, except for paper products, coffee, sugar, flower stuff like that.

I'll upload some more finished product pictures as I get them done. I wanted to have the whole process on video,but was not equipped to do so. In the spring I'll be building a chicken plucker so things will be simple. Hey if you live in the state of TN. visit my classified ad site. http://cookevilleads.com cookeville Peepa Joe's classifieds. Feel free to place ads. Buy-Sell- Swap-Trade. Enjoy!
Please feel free to leave comments.

Here is how I cured my bacon. It was fabulous. I'm very happy with it you just have to do the math for whatever wt. you have.

Home Cured Brown Sugar and Black Pepper Bacon
¼ cup salt
½ cup brown sugar
2 Tablespoons coarse black pepper
½ teaspoon ground bay
1 teaspoon granulated onion
1 teaspoon granulated garlic
½ teaspoon ground thyme
1 teaspoon of pink salt (Cure #1)
3-4 pounds fresh pork belly
Before we get too deep into the recipe I am sure some of you are wondering – what in the stinking heck is pink salt (Cure #1)? First let me tell you what is it NOT. It is NOT Pink Himalayan Salt. That stuff is great but it won’t do anything to make bacon.
Pink salt or Cure #1 as it is called is more than just salt. It also contains 6.25% sodium nitrite. (There is a Cure #2 but they are not interchangeable.) This is NOT table salt and should never ever be used as such. Do NOT I repeat DO NOT eat it raw. It is for curing only and when not in use should not even be left in the confines of your kitchen so that it is not used accidentally to season your French fries.
Besides providing that awesome pinkish color and pure bacon-y taste to the bacon (nitrite free bacon just pretty much tastes like spareribs) sodium nitrite helps inhibit botulism so if you plan on cold smoking (below 100 degrees) do not skip this. If you are oven or hot smoking/baking (above 160 degrees) you can omit it if you hate bacon that much.
Ok. Back to the recipe.
In a plastic container mix the salt, brown sugar, black pepper, bay, garlic, onion and thyme together well. Taste to make sure you like it. You do not HAVE to taste it but if you want to taste it you want to make sure you do it BEFORE you add the pink salt. Remember what I said earlier? It is for curing not for eating. It tastes like BLEACH and can make you sick.
Once you have tasted the seasoning and like it add the pink salt (Cure #1) and mix well. This is your cure. Now apply this curing mix all over your pork belly. Push it into the cracks and crevices of the belly. Get the whole thing good and covered.
Now take the seasoned pork belly, lay it in a deep glass baking dish. Cover and place in the refrigerator and forget about it for 7-10 days. You can under cure bacon but you can not over cure bacon. So make sure you leave it at minimum a week.
Ignore the juices and water that accumulate at the bottom of the pan. It is harmless and expected. The cure will also slowly start to disappear but that just means it is working. After 3-4 days (I know I said ignore for 7-10 days but you know you were thinking about that bacon anyway…) flip the pork belly, re-cover and put back in the fridge..
After a week or so remove it from the refrigerator and give it a good smell. Does it smell rancid or rotten? Don’t think twice just toss it away. Sorry but there is no saving rancid meat. Try again and this time make sure the whole thing is good and covered with the cure mixture.
Smell good? Then under cold water rinse off as much of the cure as possible and pat dry.
Planning on smoking it? Then we need to let it sit overnight and let it form the pellicle.
Basically you take the meat and put it on a rack in a pan “suspending the meat” so airflow can hit it on all sides. This dries the surface of the meat out and forms a sticky layer on the outside that helps with smoke penetration.
No smoker? Cook your bacon in the oven. (No need for the pellicle.) Set the oven to 200° and cook it until 155° internal at its thickest part. There are too many variables to give an exact time such as thickness, but expect a good 1.5 hours per lb.
Hot Smoking: Run about 200°-215° and cook until 155° internal at its thickest part. Expect a good 1.5 hours per lb.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014


I have people ask. How can I have a homestead? My first answer is dream big. Dreams come true. Ok first off I just didn't wake up one day and said hey I want a homestead. Personally it took some thinking and planning. For me it became an obsession, I took every penny I could and began buying the tools I needed some new some from pawn shops. Then the land. Heck I camped on it for 3 years before I finally was able to make the move. Keep in mind you do not need 231 acres. You can do it with 1/2 acre or 1 acre.

You can find land for sale by owner, or you can find land small tracks for a good price and make payments until it is paid for in full. Make no mistake you make sacrifices, you may have to change cars, or live in a smaller place, forfeit vacations whatever it takes to make your dream come true, but rest assured it does. After the land you need water if not already their, septic if not their. You take one step at a time staying focused on your goal or dream. It took me 5 years, but in the end I own it all.

 I found out a little more history about my homestead when I purchased it their was a small cemetery on the property well their still is. I started looking around in their and found head stones as far back as 1819. I also found a small cabin or house that had just fallen in it is across from a spring I have down in the hollow easy going down but a chore getting back up. Anyway the property next to my at the top of the ridge belongs to Mr Brown one day his goats got out and my back field had about 40 of them loose, so I got in the truck and drove down to his farm that is when I found a little more history. Their was a family of 7 living in that small house. I'll upload pictures asap. They had to walk down into the hollow to get water and carry it back up. I also found out they used to farm tobacco. I've found old horse down in the hollow along with another what  used to be a shed right next to the creek. That is where the ole still used to be. After talking to Mr brown he told me he was born in the very house he now lives in. I told him my barns fell in before I had a chance to put new roofs on , he told me they we're used to hang tobacco and do blacksmith work.

Ok now you have the land, water, septic now you need housing for some they buy an RV others cabins, mobile homes, whatever you can do and own it. The key is ownership, freedom, peace of mind. At least it was for me.

So the first thing is to make a decision.

Now let's talk about how you can earn from your homestead. You can raise and sell worms for fishing. Don't laugh it's an extra $12,000 a year. Figure it out you sell a dozen worms for $2.50 that is 4800 containers a year divided by 12 that is 400 a month or 100 a week. How about raising fresh herbs for the restaurants or placing a ad in your local classified ad site and sell extra corn, beans, beets, tomatoes etc. You got the idea!!

Here is what you need to do START PLANNING. Make it happen. You can do it.

Now if you have the land you can plant melons, squash, pumpkins. if you do not stay with the fishing worms, herbs, extra produce, eggs whatever. I've done all that and still do some, but I also have a home business I run in addition to working the homestead.

Like now it's harvest time so I'm putting things up for the winter, in Nov I'll put 2 hogs in the freezer along with chicken and rabbit. I'm in the process of fencing so I can but the good ole beef in their also. It's not rocket science. It all starts with a desire, and a will to make it happen. Trust me when it does you'll love it. Here are some new pictures. Later I'll share how I do things here on the ole homestead.

Hey before I forget visit my new classified ad site. It is for Middle Tn. HERE   

My 2 pigs one is at 200 the other is at 150. Names "Ham" and "Bacon"

The chicken coop. What happens in the coop stays in the coop. This year I have 11 chickens 3 are roosters, need to sell one of them. I raised them from chicks and believe it or not they love to be picked up and loved. Really nice birds. Just started laying. Next spring I'll get 30 of another breed for the freezer. Just ran out of time this year, with building decks and getting set up to process everything the right way.

The other side of the coop. Not sure if you can read the signs. Gosh I love this life. Glory to God.
I'll be back with more. Ok it is now Aug 12th and I want to share some up-dated pictures.

Just finished measured for wood flooring, hope to get it done this winter.
Those little chicks you saw in other pictures are now laying. They still love to be held.

Todays eggs, they start out small at first then get larger.

Yesterdays eggs, oh and some peppers I forgot to move.

And here is Ham and Bacon. It just rained and they are muddy.

These boxes have been replanted, with onions, collard greens. It just rained and some fog set in that I thought looked great. Love it.

My dogs Issy and penny.

Issy taking a nap. She's funny!
Please share comments.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014


Sorry folks I've been super busy, not only with the homestead but I just finished a new classified ad site called "cookeville classifieds" here is the link HERE Stop by love to have a visit from you,feel free to buy-sell-swap or trade. Ok some updated pictures.

Flowers Just starting to bloom. Next year I'm doing some serious landscaping.
Pigs are starting to put on weight. Looking forward to the bacon.

My chickens. Those girls follow me around all day until I stop and pick them up.

Peppers are doing good. I kinda messed up this year. I wanted to kinda auto mate things.Maybe next year.

Nice Fresh Lettuce.


I enjoy flowers and planting, as you can see.

Here I'm in the holler, we planted clover.

Here is an old barn board I used to hang some of my Indian plates. It came out pretty good.

Tomato's are doing nice this year.

Not sure if you can read it, but it hangs on the gate to the hog pen.


Here is Izzy! Not sure where Penny is.

More flowers.


My sister and her husband here visiting.

Well that's it for now please check out my new classified ad site. Peepa Joe's

So far this has been a great year. God is good! Did you know he is the master farmer and gardener? With the rain we've had stuff is growing almost out of control. I have some new pictures below for you. Always plenty to do, the last storm took down some trees that I need to cut up, that way I'll have plenty of wood for next winter. This coming winter I'm good and the fire wood is all seasoned.

My new classified ad site for cookeville and surrounding areas is doing really good. As of today June 30 we've had over 200,000 visits, not bad for a site that was started 31/2 weeks ago, even our Alex ratings are doing great! As I said God is good. If you have not seen it yet may I suggest you check it out, please leave nice comments. Go HERE You may want to bookmark it. OK time for some new pictures.

Great mess of tomatoes, even though my chickens got about 15 of them, they are now in the chicken yard until growing season is over.

Darn it. I hate when this happens, my phone has not got my pictures on Google+ yet. I'll place some more as they load on. Sorry!

A light snow. Picture taken from back deck.We don't get a lot of snow here.

Today I took a ride up on one of the ridges and was shocked when I found some big trees blew over. Last week I remember we had some strong winds so they must have come down then. Check this out.

Ya! all that what looks like dirt is the root-ball. Below is another.

I enjoy the sunsets, taken from back deck.


Another small chicken house I started. Almost done. Chicks on the way.

New sprayer I just got for the 4-wheeler. Makes it easier to keep briars off the fence line.

Now it's on one of my 4-wheelers. I have 2 and they both are workers.
Another view of the garden boxes, also the area ready to plant corn.
A small buck caught on game camera down in the holler.
My old chicken yard.

Here is a doe caught on a game camera down in the holler.

Front of house before deck was put on. Landscaping is in the works.

My dog Issy. I have 2 Issy and penny they are sisters. I'll find one of penny somewhere.

Issy and penny on the 4-wheeler. Time for a ride.

Last years peppers. Peppers did good last year.

Ya know you do not need to have land to grow your own vegetables. Heck you can grow in boxes, planters, even in bags. Try growing your own vegetables, you will love it.  I'm waiting for my piglets to stop weaning and my chicks to get here. In the mean time I need to get wood in for next year and get the boxes ready to plant. Ok more later.

Well today I just picked up 2 piglets. Their names are ham & bacon. Here they are.

I also picked up a few more chicks. they are below, you'll also see some guinea hens in their. I think 5 of them.

Please share comments.


Here are a few shag bark hickory logs. Not sure why the pictures are sideways I can't seem to rotate them. I'll use these for my smoker, along with apple wood.

Ok here is one of my strawberry boxes, notice the white PVC I place a garden cover over it so the birds do not get my berries. I do the same thing with my raspberries, blackberries and blueberries. Sorry the pictures are sideways. Darn.

Here is a new block garden I just finished. Here I'll plant lettuce and radishes maybe spinach. You'll notice the holes this is where I'll plant herbs. When I redo my strawberry box I'll plant berries in every other one including inside.

Here is the PVC I used to make the frame for cover.

 Just finished siding on chicks suite.
Lord I love my homestead life.

A few more pictures just taken.
Just picked spinach, lettuce, strawberries and fresh eggs. 
Just another view.

Hey check out my new page just added, after so many request about my home business I figured it's time to put in on one page. Go Now!