Cottage Craft Works, LLC

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Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Sunrise Maple Syrup Evaporators direct from the Amish Sunrise Metal Shop

Sunrise has developed into a full line supplier of high quality wood fired maple syrup evaporators and stainless maple syrup products.

In the Northern Indiana Amish country Sunrise Metal Shop a family operated Amish shop has been developing and manufacturing some of the best stainless steel maple syrup evaporators available.
Since 1972 when their first maple syrup evaporator was manufactured for the local maple syrup production, Sunrise has developed into a full line supplier of high quality wood fired maple syrup evaporators and stainless maple syrup products.
Many in the maple Syrup industry have seen or know of Sunrise evaporators, or actually own them, but because they are mainly marketed to other Amish communities, the general public has not had the Internet or commercial exposure of other manufacturers in the maple syrup industry.
The Sunrise Maple Syrup Evaporators are now available online at Cottage Craft Works .com

We visited one of the Sunrise demonstrations in February of 2012 as the Amish gathered into a barn bringing in their fresh maple sap for cooking down into the wonderful maple syrup.
From the road it looked like any other Amish gathering but as we entered we found a giant Sunrise cooker being stoked with firewood and manned by several Amish in an assembly line process.
What makes Sunrise evaporators so intriguing is they are all made in an Amish shop by skilled Amish workers. Just about everything made in the shop uses heaver gauge steel and stainless. Stainless Joints and seams are welded with a tig welder. Sunrise uses 20 ga Stainless while others use 22 ga.
These evaporators are being built with long life spans in mind, as the Amish build things that they will use hard and last for a very long time.
Fire boxes are larger and built using heaver grates and thicker sidewalls than other factory built units. Fire boxes also come lined with fire brick for a longer firebox life span.
We expected to find a dark shop, with antiquated equipment. To our surprise we found a modern factory with the most modern equipment that was built just in 2009.
While the evaporators featured on the Cottage Craft Works website are geared more to the hobby farm and small commercial producer, larger commercial sized evaporators like the one we saw in operation are also available.
Hobby sized evaporators range in size from a 2 X 3- 35 tap 10 Gallon per Hour model, to a 2 X 6- 250 tap 35 Gallons per hour. Prices range from $1495 to $3600. Fairly competitive to others on the market.
Probably the best buy for the large hobby/small commercial producer is the Sunrise 2 X 6 Spitfire model. It is designed to handle up to 250 taps. It’s a wood fired cooker with a 2 x 2 flat finishing pan and a 4 x 4 flue pan.
Overall cooking surface is 9088 sq inches. The 2 x 6 Spitfire will process approximately 35 gal of syrup per hour.
The flue pans built by Sunrise are also of exceptional quality. The 2 X 6 Spitfire flue pan is built with 8” deep flues. This provides additional cooking surface, which means the Sunrise Evaporators are very efficient. The 2 X 6 Spitfire has an overall cooking surface of 9088 sq inches.
Building this type of flue pan using heavy gauge Stainless Steel is probably one of the key attributes of the Sunrise Evaporators. It’s very expensive and labor intensive to build a flue pan this way, but again the Amish don’t build things to just sell they build things to use and last.
Gas fired hobby finishers are also available in both a two and three burner models. Sunrise also makes Stainless filtering tanks, finishing pans, scoops and skimmers.
Sunrise makes their own unique heavy stainless sap bag holder. They are easy to use and keeps the top closed for less rainwater and debris to enter during the sap collection process.
Working closely with the Amish cottage based industries, for the past 30 years Cottage Craft Works has developed an online general store filled with hard to find Amish products.

No Boil Maple Syrup Finishing Cooker

One of the most difficult processes in making quality maple syrup comes down to the finishing process. Maintaining maple syrup just below the boiling point throughout the finishing process is part skill and part the right equipment.
Maintaining even heat without hot spots in large cooking pans is the most difficult. Most cookers using single pans will concentrate the heat right over the top of the burners leaving a high potential for that area to succeed the boiling point while the rest of the batch doesn't.
Even the most experienced maple syrup processors fear the dreaded sugar sand. Sugar sand occurs when the maple syrup is allowed to boil during the finishing process. Sugar sand is like honey that has sat on the pantry shelf too long and turned to sugar.
The creative Amish at Sunrise has developed a no boil maple syrup finishing cooker in two models to fit on top of a two or three burner LP Gas stove.
The cooker uses a double wall water jacket stainless cooking pan that can be filled with water. Much like a double stove top boiler used to make candy or melt wax for canning the water may reach boiling the point but the contents inside will never boil.
These cookers can be used on a camp style LP gas cooker or Sunrise makes a complete portable stainless steel cooking stand that is easy to knock down and assemble.
These professional LP cookers can also be used for other outdoor cooking and the double wall pan can be used for other cooking applications.
These cookers will also process small batches of maple syrup for the small hobby and individual family. The process just takes longer than firing over a wood fired cooker and then using a finish cooker to finalize the process.
No boil finishing pans are also available through Cottage Craft Works .com
Cottage Craft works is a unique back to basics store featuring many Amish made products from across the many Amish communities. Many of these products are difficult to find.

Buggy Blanket | Carriage Blanket | Amish buggy blanket

Keep warm this winter with an authentic Amish buggy blanket from Cottage Craft Works

If you're going out in an open romantic buggy, sleigh ride or just to your favorite outdoor sporting event you need an authentic Amish Buggy Blanket to keep you warm and snug.
These blankets are perfect for RVs and campers, as well as all types of cold weather events. Keep one in the car in case you become stranded.
The Amish are well known for their horse and buggy transportation. Have you ever wonder how they can stand taking those long buggy trips to town on some of the coldest days and nights? The authentic Amish buggy blanket has a wind barrier built inside to help keep the cold wind chill out. The outer layers are soft plush fabric to maintain the body heat.
These plush blankets measure 58” X 78” and are available at Cottage Craft Works .COM. for $69.95. The buggy blanket ships directly from an Amish shop in Northern Indiana.
Cottage Craft Works at is a unique on line old time general store featuring all types of old time goodies from the past. Old fashioned products still American made with the pride and quality that built America are still available for our fast pace and crazy world we live in.
So take a step back in time and tour the many pages this nostalgic website offers. Not only can you order the buggy blanket you can even custom order your own full size buggy to go with it.

Monday, September 28, 2015

Water Hydrant Frost/Freeze Proof Stainless HD Faucet | Corrosion Resistant

Why go through another long cold winter dealing with a cantankerous hydrant when you are so dependent on getting out fresh outside running water?

If your farm, ranch or business depends on having plenty of outside running water when the temperature drops and stays below zero, you might want to take a look at this one of a kind outdoor Stainless Steel water hydrant, especially if you live close to salt water.
Made from Stainless Steel the top will not rust or corrode, inside push rod is made of Stainless and even the outside pipe can be upgraded from standard galvanized to stainless with a stainless foot valve.
Unlike the traditional frost proof hydrants sold in hardware and farm stores this outdoor hydrant has a unique rocker arm design. The handle is smooth operating, providing additional leverage to make it so much easier to use.
Even the lady ranchers, farm wives and small children will appreciate having no problems turning the water on and off when doing the outside winter chores.
The hydrant is also perfect to use in remote summer cottages and outdoor pavilions for when the season ends to quickly winterize the property.
An excellent hydrant for commercial, municipalities, camp grounds, service stations and etc. Also perfect for coastal areas near saltwater such, as beach cottages, parks, aquariums, fish and seafood processing plants, fishing piers, and fishing boats.
The bottom brass foot valve is equipped with 1” piped thread to provide excellent water pressure. The top unscrews allowing the rod and valve seat to be removed for repair.
USA Amish manufactured the 401 Freezless Hydrant was designed by a plumber and has been tested for years through the coldest Ohio winters on farms and dairy farms.
The 401 Freezless Hydrant is only available online at the sustainable living store,Cottage Craft Works .com
It is available in both 2’ and 3’ bury models. The 3’ bury ships UPS Dimensional Weight.
These water hydrants are about three times the cost of a regular frostproof hydrant, but considering the chances of failure when you need it the most or having to bust up a concrete slab and dig out the cheaper one, the extra investment is well worth saving the expense and headaches down the road.
Cottage Craft Works overs a full range of sustainable self-sufficient back-to-basics products for the farm, home and ranch.

Making Empanadas | Hand Crank Restaurant Commercial Grade Empanada Maker

This heavy commercial grade empanada and pie maker is priced within reach for the family who enjoys making these wonderful empanada meat pies.

Similar hand crank pie machines of this quality are priced over $2000. It’s called The Little Pie Maker and it’s priced under $600.

It’s made commercial grade using heavy cast metals with polished aluminum pie dies. What’s rather unique about this machine is that it was actually developed and is manufactured in the Amish self sufficient communities.
The Amish just build things to last a lifetime and on into the next generations.
While the Amish do enjoy foods from many different cultures the pie maker was actually made to make fried fruit pies for large Amish events.
It's also makes perfect empanadas; it will, cut, and seal just about any other pocket dough like empanadas. The Pie Maker works just as well on calzones, and other similar pie pockets.
The ideal thickness of the dough should be rolled to right a 1/8” thick. The ideal size of the dough is a 6” round to make a perfect 3” x 5” pie.
The Pie Maker will crank out up to 200 empanadas per hour. For a restaurant or commercial kitchen this pie maker will be better enhanced with a commercial dough or pasta roller to keep up the pace in a busy restaurant kitchen cranking empanadas.
For a family, The Little Pie Maker makes a good reason to pull together an extended family to make a large batch of pies for each family to take home and restock the freezer.
Empanadas are a stuffed pastry that is believed to have originated in Spain. They are a main menu item in Latin and South American companies extending into other countries with different variations of the meats, cheeses, vegetables, and fruits used to stuff the dough pocket.
From a culture that thrives on seafood to cultures using meats and cheeses the name empanadas is used in many different languages and menus.
There is even a possibility that the empanada also influenced the development of other meat filled pies such as the calzone or the Cornish pasties. Because of the same shape of the dough pocket The Little Pie Maker will also make these as well.
Whether you use The Little Pie Maker to make empanadas, calzones, pasties, or fruit pies this little machine can crank out a perfect sealed pie pocket ready for the oven or deep fryer.
The Little Pie Maker is only available online at Cottage Craft Works .com

Click Here to See the Video 

Cottage Craft Works is a unique back-to-basics general store featuring all kinds of old time products that are still being made and used in the Amish communities. 

Sustainable Living | Self Reliant | Self-Sufficient | Products for the homesteader

Some of the best made products for sustainable self reliant and self sufficient living are still being made in the USA cottage based Amish shops and factories.
These are the old fashioned vintage products that most of American used before electricity was made widely available. The Amish still living off grid have continued to make and use these products to live a sustainable lifestyle.
This cottage industry is made up of home based crafts people and artisans who still work in small work shops or other parts of their homes. Many trades and crafts have been handed down from many generations. These are the back bone of the American dream, making a quality hand made items and selling them from these home based shops. These talented people are hard to find many are in small towns or live deep in the back roads. 
Not to be confused with someone working out of a garage at home, the Amish cottage based industries feature large well equipped workshops and factories that are ran by off grid power sources.  They just so happen to be located close to their homes and families because the Amish still travel using horse and buggy or by bicycle.
The Amish have a long standing respected reputation for making high quality products that are still made to last as they were in the early 1900s.
Amish communities survive mostly on the cottage based industry concept. is a site dedicated to the cottage based industry featuring these hard to find sustainable living products for others seeking to return and live a more simply life without dependency on the grid power.
You will find everything for the kitchen, home, garden, and ranch all gathered for you in one place at Cottage Craft Works.

Cottage Craft Works also has a large selection of hunting gear, hunting calls and replacement gun stocks for the older model rifles and shotguns.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Sustainable Living Homestead Products | Self-sufficient Homesteading

Featuring brand new old fashioned vintage products used in the sustainable living Amish communities for the sustainable home, farm, garden, ranch and hunter.

Cottage Craft Works offers an emporium of old fashioned non-electric human powered products that were being used in almost every household at the turn of the century.
The online general store is like thumbing through an early 1900 Sears and Roebuck catalog. You will be amazed at the old time products that are still being made like butane clothes irons, oil lamps, treadle sewing machines, push garden cultivators, to hand crank kitchen appliances. You will find almost every item you will need for the homestead or for an off-grid self-sufficient lifestyle.  You will even find such things USA hand turned old fashioned blue stripe pottery bowls and crocks made using no lead or cadmium.

A large selection of hunting gear including hunting calls, USA made hunting apparel and even replacement gun stocks have been gathered here all in one place.

The folks at Cottage Craft Works have spent over 30 years exploring the various Amish communities going deep into the back roads mostly frequented by horse and buggies. They have found these old time products still being manufactured and used in the Amish communities. In many cases they are the only place online that you will be able to find some of the products they feature like a hand crank conversion Kitchen Aid Mixer, or a hand crank mini pie maker.

Many of the Amish products fall right into place for the sustainable homestead since the Amish follow such a simple back to basics sustainable lifestyle themselves.  Because the Amish have such large families you will find canning and kitchen wares made to process and produce small to large batches of food quickly. An all stainless steel water bath canner will process up to 15 quart mason jars at one time. Outdoor wood fired canners are capable for canning up to 30 quarts at one time.

In earlier times it was very common for families and neighbors to come together and share in the harvest.  The Amish still use this resource in canning and butchering.  The modern homesteader can do the same sharing in the cost of some of these Amish made products.

Cottage Craft Works provides an important economic impact to over 100 Amish owned shops across the Midwest. While 90% of the products come from small Amish shops and factories, other small American cottage based products are also featured hence, the company name Cottage Craft Works.

These are small American businesses where the owner(s) still touch the products they sale.

Not only are the majority of the products USA Amish made, they are made for a lifetime of use. The Amish just make things to last and have never tried to figure out how to make things that will break so that you have to come back and buy another one in a few years.  They also don’t make frequent model changes so that you can still get parts long down the road.  Cottage Craft Works also has parts available for the old Even Heat clothes irons, Heller Aller water well pumps, Coleman lanterns and White Mountain ice cream freezers just to name a few.

For the backyard homestead you will want to check out the popular heavy duty roller egg chicken nesting boxes.  These Amish made nesting boxes provide a protected compartment for the eggs to roll into as soon as the chicken lays them  resulting in fewer damaged eggs and much less labor in cleaning them.  If you have an egg eater in the flock these nesting boxes will likely take care of that.

One of the issues a new homesteader faces is copycat duplicate products being cheaply made overseas. The common hand crank egg beater is a great example.  You can purchase an imported egg beater for under $20 take it home and after the first time of use wonder how anyone could have survived using one of these. The gears don’t mesh well making them hard to crank.  In contrast the Amish made Country Egg Beater is a reproduction from the old fashioned Dazey Egg Beaters. They crank smoothly and are easy to use and clean. They will cost close to four times of one of the imported ones but they will provide a lifetime of daily use instead of cluttering up the kitchen drawers with unused items.

Hand push garden cultivators are another great example. You can purchase an imported copy of the high wheel garden cultivator.  While they might work fine for a small back yard garden, the serious homesteader depending on harvesting fresh food for the family table will soon find out that they are made light weight and take a lot of effort to push down to cultivate the garden.  The imported steel cutters are not as sharp and they use cheaper metals making them harder to keep a good cutting edge.  In contrast the Hoss Wheel Hoe garden cultivators are reproductions of the famous Planet Junior Cultivators widely used at the turn of the Century. They are USA made and also built to last a lifetime of use for the large homestead garden.

Many ladies are purchasing the reproduction treadle sewing machine cabinets along with the newer Janome 712T treadle sewing machine.  For many they learned to sew from their mothers or grandmother on these old fashioned treadle sewing machines and feel they can better control the speed of the sewing machine.  Many still have the old Singer Class 15 sewing machine passed down to them but the cabinet was long destroyed. Those will just purchase a new Amish treadle cabinet from Cottage Craft Works to put the machine back into service.

Cottage Craft Works in one of the remaining places where you can still purchase old fashioned USA made pottery water coolers and water bottle dispensing crocks. A petty important item as we face the uncertainties in the quality of domestic water supplies.

Many people are turning back into time to become more sustainable and self-sufficient.  The desire is being driven by many different factors. While many are turning backyard lawns into vegetable gardens and chicken coops fearing the safety of the Nations food change, others are preparing for a time where the vulnerable electric grid may be taken out by a man made or storm disaster. Others just want to get out of the economic rat race and return the family to a more wholesome simpler time as they grew up in. Some just want to save energy and reduce their carbon footprint.

Then there’s the unsettling world economy and threats of terrorism bringing uncertainties of being able to continue the modern lifestyle that so many have become so dependent on. If a minor short term electrical outage is any indication of just how dependent we have become on computers and the grid; perhaps preparing to be less dependable on the gird does makes a great deal of sense.

One thing is for sure our environment along with the grid is becoming more unstable with wide spread devastating storms hitting our country leaving people without power for weeks into months.

Whatever you define sustainable self-sufficient living as Cottage Craft Works unique gathering of products will fill most any sustainable living need. 

Unlike stockpiling items with a shelf life these are products that can be used every day and keep on using them for years to come regardless what may be in the future. Many of these products even work better and quicker than their cheapened down electrical counterparts.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Self Sufficient Kitchen | Food | Tomato strainer stand for the Victorio and other strainers

We love our Victorio tomato strainer, we’ve had it now for over 25 years, but after our first big batch of tomatoes, we got really tired of shuffling the pots around every few minutes.
The problem is the strainer just does not sit up high enough to slide a tall pot under the discard end or the juice tray.
Solution my husband built a custom designed stand made of sturdy oak that extends the strainer up enough to slide a large pan on the discard end and then has a lower shelf for a large stock pot to go under the juice tray.
Now we can process a large batch of juice from start to finish without ever having to change pots.
The oak strainer stand mounts on a saw horse or metal bench stand where it can be bolted down to the top.
We have this one mounted on a metal stand. It has a wide enough base so it will not tip over when the side pot becomes full.
This is just at the right height to comfortably process the juice without lifting up to a table or counter height; this was another problem we had on our first batch.
My husband made the stand out of oak and finished in clear exterior grade marine varnish for years of service.
The one in the picture has been in use for over 25 years and has processed many gallons of tomato and grape juices.
We just started with the pots that we were using and took our measurements from those. 
This idea was brought to you by Cottage Craft Works. a self-sufficient sustainable living back-to-basics general store.

Sparrow & Starling Humane Bird Trap

If you're tired of cleaning bird droppings from your expensive RV, Boat, Equipment, or ridding your porch of sparrows we have the answer for you. Our Deluxe Sparrow & Starling Trap works to eradicate your property of these nasty pests. Starlings are also a natural predator to a Purple Martin Colony. 
This trap has been made and used in the Amish communities for decades. Simply place a small amount of cracked corn or cheap bird seed on the bait platform. When your pest sees a potential feast, they will enter and quickly ride the counterbalanced elevator down to the holding chamber before they realize what happened to their greedy quest. The trap is made of heavy gauge mesh, measures 16" x 17" x 7". We have used this trap for years to rid these pests from our property, it works amazingly well.
These traps can be purchased at Cottage Craft Works .com

Cottage Craft Works offers a full line of home and garden back to basic products, be sure to check out our old fashioned general store at

Budget Friendly Small Hobby Maple Syrup Wood Fired Cookers/Evaporators

These simple basic maple syrup evaporators will fill a long needed void for the small backyard maple syrup hobbyist. While you will find plenty factory built maple syrup evaporators for the larger maple syrup processors, the small hobbyist or single family who can’t justify shelling out a couple thousand dollars or more has been basically stuck with making their own evaporators or using makeshift pans and kettles over fire pits.  

Some of these homemade setups can be very dangerous to use, are not very efficient and cook the syrup unevenly with hot spots.

Many companies have hobby sized evaporators but are priced out of the market for the really small operator. One company does make a small wood fired evaporator unit geared toward the small backyard hobbyist. It is rated to do 4 GPH but it’s still priced well over a thousand dollars. In comparison you can purchase an Amish built basic unit with a three channel stainless pan from Cottage Craft Works that will do 5 GPH for well under a thousand dollars. 

Cottage Craft Works also carries a budget friendly 12 GPH basic unit with a 26” x 46” four channel divided pan. Larger Amish built hobby units are also available for up to 35 GPH. 

The small basic evaporator’s uses a heavy gauge welded steel fire box and then it is topped with a 20 gauge 6 “deep divided stainless steel cooking pan. It is all factory made to fit and function together in a nice compact unit capable of being moved and stored in a shed for the off season.

They won’t have all the bells and whistles of the larger units but they are made solid to last for years.  They come unpainted without, the stove pipe, fire brick, or insulation. But you know a good solid fire box with a large factory made divided pan to sit squarely on top is a far cry from trying to cook maple syrup in open kettles over an open fire pit.

Customers can use some cement board along the sides to make things a bit more comfortable, stack some used brick in to make the Arch, purchase some fire brick (about 10), a valve and plug for the pan and you’re ready to make maple syrup.

Custom options include adding a lid and an open 8” tall pan on the smaller hobby unit allowing the cooker to double duty as an outdoor canner that will hold mason canning jars, or heat water for other self sufficient living needs.

Cottage Craft Works is a full line back-to-basics general store featuring all kinds of products for self-sufficient sustainable lifestyles. 

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

USA Rugged Hunting Coats & Vest Made like Wick Outdoors, designed for Specific Hunts.

Heavy duty USA Made briar resistant hunting coats and vest for wild game, upland bird and hound dog hunting. These coats are made just like the old fashioned popular Wick hunting gear.

Extra fine old fashioned hunting coats and vest that you might expect to see on the cover of an early 1900s hunting magazine are still being produced in the USA by Dan’s hunting gear.  

Hunting has changed over the years and Dan’s has now incorporated D-Ring snap on pouches for all the latest electronic devices including GPS and dog handling transmitters.

Coats and vest built for the wild game and upland bird come with front loading game bags and ample pockets for other gear. All coats have optional snap on hoods and game bags.

Other coats can be worn as casual wear during the week and then transform into hunting coats using these snap on gear and game pouches. Most are available in orange or brown if you need to add orange to you hunting coat.

Coats are also available in camo and ladies pink influence. Choose from a wide selection of fabrics from the heavy duty 420 Denier Nylon, the same legendary nylon fabric used in the Wick Outdoor Works clothing, to soft cotton duck fabric. You will find a coat, vest, chap, or bib that will take you through the thickest thorniest patches to the wide open habitats for anything you’re hunting for.

Dan’s doesn’t skimp on the fasteners either.  One of the frustrations of purchasing an n imported coat is the cheaper made items use cheap fasteners and zippers. Dan’s clothing uses reinforced double stitching, rivets at stress points and a heavy duty #10 YKK Zipper.  Heavy duty snaps and D-Rings provide years of trouble free service.

Coats are still made to the old USA sizing standards as well. So much of our clothing options has been influenced by the smaller sized imported standards that it is difficult to know what is considered a large or medium size.

Dan’s hunting gear is made in the heart of the Ohio Amish community. Much of the clothing is made in area Amish shops. The Amish have long been known to make high quality products made to last.
You can find all of these wonderful USA made products at Cottage Craft Works .com

Cottage Craft Works is a unique online store featuring a full line of hard to find old fashioned American made products for the home, farm, ranch and garden. Hunting and outdoor gear is a specialty with everything from Amish made hunting calls, to hunting gear, gun accessories and replacement gun stocks.

Friday, August 14, 2015

Find Old Fashioned Vintage Products | New Reproduction Vintage Off Grid Products

Cottage Craft Works, is a unique online store specializing in USA made old fashioned products still manufactured and used within the Amish self sustaining communities. The Amish still use these old time human powered products that were being used at the turn of the century. 

Whether you’re looking to collect old fashioned products or you’re preparing for the potential of living off the grid you will find Cottage Craft Works online store is like taking an amazing trip back in time.

During the time leading up to Y-2K people fearing the potential for off grid survival were flocking to Amish communities in search of old fashioned vintage products just in case they did loose grid power.

During the Y-2K period online availability of these products was still in its infancy.  Resources like Cottage Craft Works was still pretty much all mail order with very limited selections.  Today shoppers don’t have to travel to an Amish community or wait for a catalog to have all these old time products available at their finger tips.

The founders at Cottage Craft Works have spent over 30 years combing the back roads of the Amish communities finding these of fashioned products and bringing them to the general market place.

Simply making a weekend visit to an Amish community store will likely never net the products that are listed online at Cottage Craft Works since they work with over 100 Amish cottage based shops all across the country. 

Off Grid Survival; a common sense approach

Off grid survival is still very much a concern today with the grid being so dependent on computers. This leaves us all very vulnerable to a simple computer glitch or leaving us wide open for intentional attacks by terrorist or hackers.  The potential for wide spread power outages for weeks and months due to unpredictable devastating storms or solar flare-ups is also fueling this concern.

There’s a smarter approach to prepare for off grid emergencies.  A lot of people let fear overrun common sense during the Y-2K scare purchasing so many items with a shelf life then later ending up throwing most it out over the years following Y-2K.

Many people are finding these old style products and gadgets much simpler and more dependable than the modern day electrical counterparts.  Instead of making an expensive purchase to just sit on a shelf, they are actually using these products day in and day out.   

The Amish also make things the old fashion way meaning they are made more durable and easier to use than the more modern day imported copies.

Yes, Amish products do tend to be much more expensive than the imported copies, but with good reason, they are also double and triple the quality.  Not having plastic parts and electric motors the Amish products will likely last a lifetime and well into the next generations.

Living more healthy, becoming more self-sufficient, and less dependent

Living a self-sustainable life style like the Amish means dependency at another level; having the quality tools and products to adequately produce, preserve and provide for a family.

With the ongoing concern of the safety of the food chain and GMO ingredients people are also going back to making and preserving food from scratch. Something the Amish practice daily in their self sustaining lifestyles using the same old time products used for generations.

People are turning back yard spaces and roof tops into vegetable gardens to avoid the toxins and GMO practices that have infiltrated the food chain.

Back yard chicken coops are also regaining the popularity once common during the turn of the century.  

Like most imported copies of old time products garden tools and livestock products have also been cheapened down.  A good garden tool keeps a sharp edge decreasing fatigue.  A heavy duty rollaway chicken nest box saves eggs from being stepped on or pecked and destroyed.

Cottage Craft Works also has the old fashioned farm and garden products to make living more self-sufficient much easier and more enjoyable.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Off Grid Survival | Living Off Grid

Finding old fashioned products for self-sufficient off grid survival is easier than many may think.  You can find all kinds of vintage old fashioned products all online at the self-sufficient lifestyle general store.

Cottage Craft Works specializes in finding USA old fashioned non-electric products still being manufactured and used with the Amish self sustaining communities. 

The Amish still use the same simple human powered gadgets and appliances that were being used at the turn of the century before electricity was commonly available. 

The Amish build things to last for a lifetime and many are finding that the Amish products are actually easier to use and maintain than the newer complex electric appliances.

This is an important factor when considering the investment into something that might sit on the shelf for years just in case there’s a major grid outage.

The hand crank Little Dutch Maid mixer is a good example. Considering the initial investment for something to have as a backup is a bit hard to comprehend. Compared to the equivalent electric mixer many have found that the Little Dutch Maid Mixer is actually more user friendly and end up using it daily in place of their cumbersome electric mixer.

Life expectancy also needs to be considered.  Let’s face it an electric mixer these days comes with planned obsolesces built in. With motor brushes, plastic housings, and manufactures making it more difficult to find replacement parts down the road a person might be looking at needing to replace it within 8- 10 years depending on usage.

The Little Dutch Maid mixer base uses no plastic parts and is built like a tank for heavy long term use.  It was designed by an Amish gentleman for large batch cooking and cranking out bread dough on a daily basis.

Many non-Amish ladies are rediscovering the old fashioned treadle sewing machine.  Yes Janome makes the 712-T treadle brand new for the Amish communities.  Many non-Amish claim they find it easier to control than their electric sewing machines.

Many other Amish products are less expensive like the Country Egg Beater.  It’s a reproduction of the popular egg beaters once used in every kitchen before the larger mixers were invented.  It is still triple the price of a cheap imported copy but a side by side comparison will soon reveal why.  The Country Egg Beater cranks smoothly while the imported model is hard to turn.

This brings up another important consideration.  There’s a huge quality time gap from what was once made compared to the cheap imported copies of those products of today.  

As products have been copied over the years the quality just hasn’t been maintained the same. Imported copies use cheaper metals that just will not hold a cutting edge. Even though the product may look the same as the one that granddad used, people using a cheaply made import copies quickly become fatigued and just give up.

In contrast the Amish products are made to be used by the people who still depend on them to grow food and process it for the family table.

So if you’re looking for basic durable products for the potential need to live or survive off grid consider these old time favorites shipped directly from the Amish featured at

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