Almost a year ago, I had a dream that stuck with me enough to do some research. I had this dream that my family bought some property, sold most of our belongings, and lived out of an RV while we built our house from scratch. In planning our home, we planned a space for my oldest son, who has high-functioning autism, to work with horses for therapy. When I woke up, I immediately searched for property in the city where my dream was located: Eagar AZ. I may have heard of the name once or twice before, but I knew nothing else of the place. After searching homes and properties, nothing felt "right", and I began to think that I had had just a feel-good dream that had no meaning.
Fast forward a few months - an overwhelming feeling had been sticking with me that our family needed to get back to the basics - basic food, cooking, activities, etc. But I wasn't sure how, with our busy schedules full of school, work, after school activities, etc., to make a working plan. So I kind of gave up on that, because I just didn't know where to start. It was too overwhelming.
And then I got a phone call. I was asked to help with this website. A website that can help me and my family get back to the basics. And when I heard about the plan to build homes from scratch, in a development that planned to have equine therapy, and that the development happened to be in Eagar AZ, I about fell off my chair. I immediately believed in this venture, and knew it was inspired. The Lord knew what was coming. He has been preparing me for it. And it all started with a little, feel-good dream.
My wife of 45 years, Coleen, and I have 7 children and 30 grandchildren. She is an English teacher and I have spent the bulk of my career as a general contractor/developer. I have bought, developed and sold multiple properties. My passion has been preparedness and self-reliance ever since we had an experience 40 years ago, where I was unable to keep my little children warm or even give them a drink because everything was frozen.
On my path to self-reliance I have designed, built and operated over 15,000 sq. ft. of greenhouses. These and other experiences have led me to my current consulting business, where I help individuals and families achieve self-reliance. I started the Academy of Self-Reliance, a non-profit corporation, to enable me and others to help more families than just one at a time. I invite everyone that is considering self-reliance, whether sheltering in place or looking for a new place of safety with like-minded neighbors to get involved with the Academy, learning as much as you can. Then, if you consider taking things farther down the path, apply to participate in the Operation Self-Reliance Co-operative Enterprise found on osrgreen.com. It is time to prepare every needful thing, until all is safely gathered in.
Mike & Margie Stroud
Personal preparation and self-reliance
I started storing wheat in 1966 when I first married, and about the time our first child was born, we had our first home storage put away. I returned from a mission in Bavaria Germany in 1966, and caught the vision of the preparedness program of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Interestingly enough, I just discarded the last of that wheat stored in 1966, and started feeding it to my chickens.
I remember well when President Kimball gave his great talk about cleaning things up around our homes, and using every available space to plant things that could sustain us in an emergency. I have taken that counsel to heart, and have turned the one acre we live on into a place of safety, and independence. We are prepared to be completely out of the world, and to sustain 40+ people for 2 to 3 years. As I write this, we are harvesting the best garden I have ever had in over 40 years of gardening. We purchased a freeze dryer, and are putting away everything we have grown. We have emptied out all of our bottled stores, have replaced that food with freeze dried food, and have discarded all of our canned goods that have been in long-term storage.
Margie and I sleep well, knowing that we have followed the counsel of the Lord in preparing every needful thing. The video below demonstrates what can be done to become self-reliant, and independent.