2017 Suburban Steader Update – Week 32

2017 Suburban Steader Update – Week 32

Wow – it’s been six weeks since I posted a weekly update here.  There’s been a lot going on here including some weekend trips, considerable garden growth, an improvement in my fitness and a possible new business venture.

Let’s jump in and see what’s been going on here at the Suburban Steader Homestead!

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This Week’s Milestones

Prolific Garden Harvest

I had just hung the cucumber netting on my last weekly update post.  Well, I’m proud to announce that the cucumbers have been going nuts!  I have been harvesting them on an almost daily basis.  We are beyond our capacity to do stuff with cucumbers so I’ve been dubbed “The Cucumber Whisperer” at work since that’s where my excess harvest goes!

Cukes are starting to pop! #suburbanhomesteading #gardening #eatwhatyougrow

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Holy cucumbers Batman! #suburbanhomestead #gardening #harvest #growyourown

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Long Island’s Beauty

I often complain about this God Forsaken Sandbar that I live on.  It is horribly overcrowded, the politics suck and from a geographical point of view, it is strategically horrible.  There’s a finite number of ways to get off this island in case of an emergency and, due to the overcrowding, it will become a total fustercluck if/when that kind of situation happens.

But, every once in awhile, I am reminded of the beauty that this place holds.  We recently had an old college friend visit us so we went out east to the vineyards.  The vineyards are in the middle of farm country and the drive is just gorgeous.  The vineyards themselves are also just plain beautiful.  

Sometimes this place isn’t so bad – but don’t let the Mrs know I said that!

The wine is growing well! #suburbanhomesteading #vineyard #wine

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Good end to a great day! #suburbanhomesteading #weekendfun

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Backpacking Trip Turned Day Hike

I was lucky enough to have the stars align and find a free weekend where one of my best friends, who lives in Maryland, was also free.  We decided to do an overnight backpack trip at the Delaware Water Gap.  For those of you not familiar with the area, the Delaware Water Gap is where New Jersey and Pennsylvania meet at the Delaware River.  This area is a beautiful place with hiking and camping as well as swimming and fishing available.  The Appalachian Trail (you remember my love of the AT) runs through it as well.

We met on a Saturday morning with the intent to hike to a place called Sunfish Pond.  We were going to hang out there for a while and then hike about one mile to a campsite.  We started by climbing to the top of Mt Tammany.  It was a steep hike gaining about 1,200ft in the first 1.5mi of the hike.  But the views were breathtaking!

We continued on the Kittatinny Ridge catching up on family and life all while avoiding large deposits of black bear scat and eating fresh blueberries and raspberries.  We got to Sunfish Pond around 11am – much quicker than we expected.  We hung out for a while – eating lunch, shooting the bull, swimming (technically you’re not supposed to but…) and generally just catching up with each other.

A Decision Point

By 1pm we had two options:

  1. Hike to the campsite about 1mi away and set up camp for the night
  2. Hike out the final 3mi and find something to do.

The campsite was of the boring variety – no water nearby, typically packed on the weekend and no fires were allowed.

My friend and I are both of the active variety.  Setting up camp at 2pm and having nothing to do would drive us both crazy.  We decided to hike out the 3mi and find something to do.  The impending thunderstorms we were expecting that night didn’t do anything to dissuade our decision either.

We ran into a few waterfalls during our hike out.  We even stopped for a second swim and it was wonderful!

We got to the trucks about 3pm and decided to head to a local restaurant for dinner and then head our separate ways.  Sleeping in real beds that night sounded good!  We enjoyed a great steak and lobster dinner with a few cold beverages and then parted ways.  What a great day!

The drive home, however, was not great.

Fitness Goals Continue

I was running last we spoke.  I haven’t run much since.  I found that my body was really hurting and I wasn’t seeing much in the way of improvement.  I did, however, move back to my strong suit – lifting weights.  More specifically, I started a program called StrongLifts.

StrongLifts is a very simple program.  You work out three days a week and perform three exercises each workout.  After warm-up sets, you perform five sets of five reps (5×5) for each exercise.  The workouts are as follows:

  • Workout A – Squats, Bench Press, Bent Over Row
  • Workout B – Squats, Overhead Press, Deadlift

You can also add assistance exercises but you don’t need much.  The smartphone app that you can download helps you increase your weights at a slow, steady rate (usually 5lbs per week per exercise).

I’ve been on this program for about six weeks now and have seen so much improvement.  Not only am I stronger than I was when I started but I feel better, have more energy and look better.

Eating a more primal / paleo diet has helped that last part.  I’m feeling better than I have in years and highly recommend a fitness approach such as this one if you need a change in your fitness.

New Business Venture

I’ve been using the Lanksy Sharpening System for the last few years to sharpen all my knives.  I have been incredibly successful in getting incredible sharp edges on my blades.  I’ve decided to start offering this service for a fee.  Here’s the information:


Blades under 5in – folders or fixed blade

  • Basic Service – $10
    • Matched Angle
    • Stone Sharpened to 1000 grit≤ 
  • Master Service – $15
    • Profiled to your specs
    • Stone Sharpened to 1600 grit
    • Stropped 
  • Add $2 for blades over 5in
  • Minor rolling and chipping included (no extra cost)


  • All knives requiring repair will be reviewed prior to work and customer will be contacted with a final quote. Basic rates are as follows:
    • Significant rolling or chips add $2
    • Broken tip – Quoted on a case by case basis


Please add $5 for each USPS FLAT RATE PRIORITY BOX you use so I can return in the same manner which includes tracking and insurance.  

If you are local (I’m on Long Island, NY), we can arrange options for drop off and pick up.


  • Local: Cash or PayPal (email below)
  • Shipped Knives: PayPal (email below)

Email me – dan AT suburbansteader DOT com for more information or to setup a job.

Next Week’s Goals


My lifting will continue to evolve and my diet will continue to be refined.  Would you be interested in hearing about some of the things I’m eating and the workouts I’m putting in?  If so, leave something in the comments and I’ll be sure to figure out a way to provide you with that information.

Summer’s Wrapping Up

Next week is the last week of camp for the girls.  After that, they will be heading to my folks’ house in MA for a week of “camp” at the lake.  The Mrs and I will be heading up at the end of that week to spend a long weekend up there.  I’ll be able to do some fishing, swimming a, d boating.  I cannot wait!


That’s it folks – Week 32 is in the books!  How was your week?  Let me know in the comments!


Thanks for reading!

Weekly Update - 2017 - Week 32

2017 Suburban Steader Weekly Updates

  1. 2016 Suburban Steader Recap
  2. 2017 Suburban Steader Update – Week 01
  3. 2017 Suburban Steader Update – Week 02
  4. 2017 Suburban Steader Update – Week 03
  5. 2017 Suburban Steader Update – Week 04
  6. 2017 Suburban Steader Update – Week 05
  7. 2017 Suburban Steader Update – Week 06
  8. 2017 Suburban Steader Update – Week 07
  9. 2017 Suburban Steader Update – Week 08
  10. 2017 Suburban Steader Update – Week 09
  11. 2017 Suburban Steader Update – Week 10
  12. 2017 Suburban Steader Update – Week 11
  13. 2017 Suburban Steader Update – Week 12 & 13
  14. 2017 Suburban Steader Update – Week 14
  15. 2017 Suburban Steader Update – Week 15
  16. 2017 Suburban Steader Update – Week 16
  17. 2017 Suburban Steader Update – Week 17
  18. 2017 Suburban Steader Update – Week 18
  19. 2017 Suburban Steader Update – Week 19
  20. 2017 Suburban Steader Update – Week 20
  21. 2017 Suburban Steader Update – Week 21
  22. 2017 Suburban Steader Update – Weeks 22, 23 & 24
  23. 2017 Suburban Steader Update – Week 25
  24. 2017 Suburban Steader Update – Week 26
  25. 2017 Suburban Steader Update – Week 32
  26. 2017 Suburban Steader Update – Week 37
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Founder/Owner at Suburban Steader
I am a middle-age guy with a wife, two young kids and a crazy dog. We live on Long Island, NY and had an interesting experience with Hurricane Sandy. That experience led me towards the self-sufficiency movement and eventually led to the founding of SuburbanSteader.com. I aim to provide suburbanites with the confidence and know-how to become more self-reliant by providing content on topics such as gardening, personal health, financial responsibility, cooking, self-preparedness and self-protection.
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