Homesteading: The Ultimate Survival Prep

There was something amazing that we noticed with the recent collapse and impending Greek exit from the European Union. An article ran in the New York Times about Greek rural residents fairing far better than their countrymen in the cities. Why? They are Homesteaders!

Greece doesn’t have a large manufacturing base like other countries in Europe, such as France and Germany. They rely heavily on tourism and food exports. The rest of Europe has been supporting the little country and its western lifestyle with its free healthcare and pension systems, when in reality the country just doesn’t produce very much. It was a system that was bound to fail. And now that it has, it begs the question: How long before it fails elsewhere?

greekriotsWhat about in the United States? In many ways, we are not unlike Greece. The U.S. has lost much of its manufacturing base in the last few decades. Companies have moved overseas and exports have dropped as a whole. But yet, our lavish American lifestyle has exploded. Spending by our government, with free services such as healthcare and social programs, has increased almost beyond measure. Our U.S. national debt is almost incalculable at this point.

A Debt That Can’t Be Paid, Won’t Be
-Michael Hudson

So what has happened to Greece with their enormous debt burden will also happen here. We are already seeing signs of it coming. Actually we have been seeing the signs for years.

So What Can Be Done

The amazing thing that we noticed in the New York Times article this month was the fact that the Greek rural homesteaders were fairing far better than those in the cities. City dwellers were already starting to riot because the stores were out of food. What food does exist can’t be purchased because there is no money. The banks are closing and the ATMs are running dry. Many people outside the cities were having to spend 20 Euros just to get a taxi to take them to the bank to find they could only pull out 60 Euros from the ATM. Yet the article mentioned that some of the pensioners in the rural parts of Greece were doing fine and even giving food away to others. They had their goats, sheep, chickens, and gardens. The people in the city don’t have those luxuries and indeed in times like this, they are luxuries!

So what are the lessons learned? Most of us can see the writing on the wall for the United States and our out of control spending by the federal and state governments. How much better off will your family be if you decided now, today, to move to the country and purchase some chickens, a few livestock and build a garden? The worst feeling a parent can have is to look at their child and see them hungry and not be able to do anything about it.

Here in the Ozarks, we live around plenty of people under the official poverty line. They scrape together the money they can to get the things that they enjoy in life. But none of them are starving. They have dairy cows, meat cattle, milk and meat goats, and sheep. I think I have yet to meet a resident out in these back country roads that doesn’t have a flock of chickens or at least a small garden.

chickens-foodWhen I first moved out here, everyone told me not to grow squash. Why? Because each summer there is so much grown locally that people give it away by the bucketful and it’s true! Just last week, a lady brought to a local ministry that we visit in town two giant boxes full of cucumbers and yellow summer squash free for the taking.

Folks, I’m here to tell you right now that homesteading is the ultimate survival prep. While the rest of the world in the cities are starving and dying of disease and violence, the folks in the rural areas will have food. They may not be living like kings, but they will have food. They will have fresh milk for their children. They will have meat and eggs. They will have fresh veggies and fruit in the summer and fall. They will have potatoes and other root vegetables in the winter.

Most of you can see it coming. It’s going to be bad. Greece may just be the start of it all. A debt that can’t be paid, won’t be. The countries that have been piling up their debt and printing fiat currencies to pay for the lavish western way of living are going to fall apart. There is no way they are going to be able to save their paradigm of consumerism.

Your best bet to survive what is coming is to build yourself a homestead and begin learning the lessons lost generations ago by people who had the pioneering spirit that made America great!

That is what An American Homestead is all about!

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About Zachary Bauer

Zachary lives with his wife, two sons and his wife's parents on An American Homestead deep in the mountains of the American Ozarks. They all moved there together in July of 2013 where they began to build the homestead. They are off-grid with the exception of a phone line.

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  1. I once watched an anime called “the grave of the fireflies”. It was about two children during the Great War in Japan. Eventually both of them died of starvation. It gave me a lot to think of. When I rewatched it after my own daughter was about two, I cried a lot. Im sure its the worst thing to see your child hungry. We here in Estonia are afraid a lot because of all that is going on. If it escalates, then we might be in a very wrong place. My goats and chickens may save me but perhaps I would bet on my legs first.

  2. I disagree that you won’t be living like kings. In my opinion, you will be. By your own hard work and good community connections, you will have food on the table. That will be far more and far better than what the people in the cities and suburbs will have. All they’ll have is a big house or expensive apartment with an empty fridge, a useless credit card because the stores will only accept cash (that is if they even have food on the shelves), and a car. You can’t eat a BMW. You can’t drink that expensive watch or all those shoes. There will be pictures of folks in other Western countries crying in front of the banks, the grocery stores, the food bank, their houses, the gas station, you name it. I’ve come to realize that “below the poverty line” is relative. Money is a good thing to have, if you’re a good steward, but if you aren’t, all you have is stuff. You guys in the country will be just fine. We’re looking forward to joining you. God bless.

  3. Sure we may live in the country and have critters and a garden to sustain us but it is all relative if someone else decides they want what is yours and take it by force!

    • Everyone out here is armed to the teeth. Someone coming out here wanting to take things by force would be lucky to survive.

  4. It was the state in which our economy is in that first motivated both my husband and I to work toward becoming homesteaders. As a mother to 3 children, they are my greatest concern. The fact that homesteading allows for a lot more family time and spiritual growth is also a huge plus! Loved the article Jamie! God bless!

  5. Good article. I just saw one about how Americans are moving out of most big cities.

    Also, just a small editorial comment. You mean “fare” when you say most people are faring better in the cities in Greece.

  6. Thank you very informative ..

  7. Homesteading in any way/shape/form is beneficial to both prepping for food storage but also on the budget in general. Also it’s a great way to connect with the community so that if/when a disaster does strike, you can create a helpful network. But it’s not a completely fail-safe plan: you need to have bug-out gear, dry food storage, emergency kits, etc. What if there’s nuclear fall-out? Then all your gardening and above-ground equipment is kaput. Cover all your bases by checking all the products at so you can be self-sustainable before AND after a disaster strikes.

  8. I believe our Creator put us here to grow families and gardens. To grow to be like Him. He is LOVE.
    Having to work by the sweat of our brow among thorns was punishment for disobeying His one command, “Don’t eat from the tree in the middle of Eden”.
    No election, no amount of prepping will save us. Repentance on a national scale would.
    Remember Jonah, he didn’t want to go to Nineveh. Those people were his peoples enemies.
    Did you ever wonder why God put the forbidden tree in the middle of the garden and not out on the edge somewhere?
    I think He knew we were easily tempted. The more forbidden something is…
    Back to Nineveh, those people became the Assyrian, then German people. He loves all people. He calls them the “rod of my wrath”. Turns out, by going, those people completely repented at hearing the message, having even their animals fast! God spared them. But they spared Jonah’s people too, didn’t attack after that.
    Do you think our American people will repent as greatly as those in Nineveh? I don’t think so. That’s why we prep. What about Germany today? We don’t hear that news. I love the German people. I lived and worked there 6 years.
    God just may use the “rod of His wrath” again, on America, Britain, Australia, all of our English speaking allies.
    Bible says when Christians are terrorized, flee to another town and that we won’t run out of towns to flee to.
    I’d have a vehicle prepped too, if I could afford it.
    I’m not afraid. I read the book. I know the ending. We win. A new city is coming, a new world. It won’t come like most hope or think. It will really change this world/age. A better world is coming.
    He is eager, not for the lack of wisdom and trials besetting us, but for His new world with true love and kindness. He is real. He is coming.
    Meanwhile, I’m looking forward to the next photos and stories about two families preparing and canning deer.
    May God bless us all.

  9. As of a few days ago, the House and the Senate (controlled by Republicans) had 120 votes to pass a bill that will make semi-automatic weapons illegal. Wonderful, right? But they have defined semi-automatic weapons as EVERYTHING that will fire one after another, including a pistol and rifle. The only guns left that would be legal would be MUSKETS, no joke. They won’t “take our arms” away, but they are redefining what those arms will be. And since there is a registry, they will then legally come house to house, ranch to ranch and take them.

    What to do? Pick up your phones, write your emails and letters to your senators and representatives and tell them you will not stand for this! Why are we at this point of homesteading to protect our families? Because we, as Amercians do not pick up our phones, take a stand, have marches, etc. like in Revolutionary times. Those folks talked together about what to do and did something, not just sit around and complain and watch reality shows, which our government wants, so that no one takes a stand.

    Thanks your for not having us have to belong to a social media in order to post, as I do not belong to any!

  10. One of my dear friends (an older woman who recently went home to the Lord) told us the story of her family. It was right before the Great Depression and her father was a banker in Philadelphia. They lived a city life and were well-off. Her father began to see what was was coming and immediately bought land in Western PA, animals, etc moved his family from Philly to the country and began farming. He was a city banker, but he learned how to make the change because he knew it was the only way he would be able to feed his family and take care of them. It was tough on the family, especially her mother, (except for my friend –she loved leaving the city for the country!) because they were city folks through and through. Everyone (except her mother) eventually settled in to country life on the farm. She said her father’s friends lost everything, some committed suicide, etc, but that her family had a wonderful life in the country and were never hungry. He was a wise man. I have thought of her story many times!

  11. Zach,

    Love the videos! We share many of the same beliefs and ideas. We are 90% off GRID and I do agree, we will not have shortage of food(L-rd willing). If you look at the great depression, statistics show that if you were not a rural family – 62% had relatives with some sort of local food supplies, animals, gardens, etc.. But with big government and big food corporations, sadly that number is today a mere 2%.


  12. i agree that being in the rural acres would be best. But city dwellers can have gardens & i think along with learning survival skills it would be wise to learn what so called weeds in your area are edible. I like to garden but mother nature is alot better at providing food as she seem to predict the weather better then us humans. Just out of curiosity one day i went outside in my city lawn & look up the identity of the weeds growing in my lawn. Then i checked to see if they were edible. I found several were actually invasive herbs bought here from european settlers. I don’t use chemical fertilizers or weed killers nor do my neighbors. I haven’t ate any of these plants but if food became scarce i good survive. I feed the birds & squirrels so if meat was needed i know where to go. Just wanted to say there,s always something you can do if you don,t quit trying.

  13. My husband and I will be coming into some money soon and we plan on buying a homestead for all the reasons above. I see things slowly getting worse every year and now with the speed of climate change and a new president ( I wont say anything about him. Lol) , I am more worried about my sons future than ever. We live in st. Louis city and the crime is ridiculous. So hopefully we will be coming you guys way soon. Not quite as far south. Maybe Franklin county mo. I just found your YouTube videos and this website and I absolutely love it! I feel a kinship with you guys living so close. Keep up the good work and thank you for teaching us new things about homesteading. I am learning so much already. I can’t wait to watch more videos!

  14. My husband and I have recently felt an increased urge to homestead, mostly for this reason. For a lot of reasons, but mostly this. I do not want to see my kids starve or have to defend their food from others in a panic (but I would, peace-loving and sharing as I am).

  15. Good morning, I am wanting to gift my 3 boys and husband with the skill of preparing lamb. I listened to a YouTube video in which you talked about a guy traveling to your place and you were teaching him how to do this. We live in between Gravette and Bentonville out on 50 acres and we have cattle. We’ve discussed getting sheep, but have not to date; however, my crew loves grilled lamb. Where can I find information about this opportunity of learning to prep lamb with your guidance?

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