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Re: What did you do to prepare today?

Posted: Wed Apr 17, 2019 4:45 pm
by Kink
Got the chainsaw running despite the faulty ignition coil, so can finally get started on outdoors work today. Definitely need a new bar since my current one is all bent from the multiple times trees fell on them. Giving it a break from cutting firewood for a while do to this, got a good bit so I'm fine with it for now. Seriously need a lawn mower next month, weed whacking 3/4ths acre is fun and all but damn would I rather not! :mrgreen:

Hope everyone is doing well. Stay preppin, stay alert but most importantly, stay positive!

Re: What did you do to prepare today?

Posted: Wed May 01, 2019 8:18 pm
by dirtmurphy
Dig this y'all! I went to The Mother Earth News Fair this weekend where I met Jane Austin. You should check out what she and her husband have done on their homestead https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y5OPgDPg80c
They also run Prepper Camp, a weekend conference in the fall. I think I'll be going this year. http://www.preppercamp.com/

Re: What did you do to prepare today?

Posted: Fri May 03, 2019 11:58 pm
by dirtmurphy
Katadyne, nice! I've been looking at those too. Great job on the med supplies as well!

Re: What did you do to prepare today?

Posted: Wed May 08, 2019 6:28 pm
by Kink
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I've been keeping busy, got the chainsaw running thanks to a mechanic friend and finally got the grasses cut. Every day I wake up at 5, get some coffee and set two fires, one of hardwood in the cast iron fire pit and the other fire pit made of bricks I save for the soft wood. Have been collecting the charcoal from both and am saving it up until i can eventually sell some or find another use for it to make some money. Have at least 15lbs of ash now and it's seriously working at keeping the slugs at bay against the Hostas. Excited to see how it does as we progress into summer.

Other than that, I've been trying to fix my hedgers by turning them into corded since the batteries are old non lithium and it's just easier that way.

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My seeds have begun sprouting :D :D, planted Carrots, Tomatoes, Cucumbers, Lettuce, Peppers and a bunch of peppermint seeds. Got my hands on a peppermint plant and I just transplanted her into a 1 gallon and put her outside in the shade to harden her her off.

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Been doing some landscaping work for my neighbor, and so I can build up my resume for a landscaping job. He wanted 6 shrubs planted on his back hill so they would eventually fill it out and he'd have less work. I think it turned out great.
Each hole is 2.5ft deep, and 20-25" wide. I filled the hole up with a mix potting/top soil, loosened the roots up and sprinkled some Xtreme Gardening Mycorrhizae for beneficial fungi. I then fertilized all of them with 7 gallons of water, that I mixed with a light solution of seaweed for transplant shock, to make them resistant against drought/flood, prevention of disease/fungis, etc. Also a splash of GH RapidStart to encourage explosive root growth and a splash of GN Armor Si which is a dose of Silica and potassium, which should boost the stalk size and thus growth potential. After a month or two I'll start feeding them GH MaxiBloom one of my favorite base ferts. This link is $8 for a 2.2LB bag, 5 tablespoons of this stuff is good for 15 gallons. Lasts me forever, and I don't need anything else but supplements like calcium/magnesium.

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Glad you're all prepping and staying in good hopes/spirits. Keep at it, positive vibes and energy coming from me to all of you reading this, have a wonderful day, evening, or night :mrgreen:

Re: What did you do to prepare today?

Posted: Fri May 10, 2019 4:49 pm
by Farside
Bear in mind that plants like hostas that attract lots of slugs and snails tend to be fire retardant plants. If wildfires are a landscape design consideration then these plants can be handy in strategic locations.

Re: What did you do to prepare today?

Posted: Mon May 13, 2019 12:44 am
by anomalous howard
Moved from East Coast, I95 corridor to West of the Mississippi. The plains of Southeast Colorado. New Madrid disruption isn't a factor on this side.
Very low population density with a high concentration of self-sufficiency. Farms and cattle ranches for 100s of miles in every direction. Good water resourcing options (some with fishing). My own GSM forecast is for improvement in this area's seasonal rainfall patterns and somewhat shortened growing season. Maybe hail as problematic but otherwise good for growing with enough length to the season.
Added 80 sq. ft. of veg. garden space to existing 180 outdoors (shovels, digging pitchfork, metal rake -- straight down into a nice patch of lawn :-)Radishes are up. Tomato and pepper starts are in. Strawberry patch already here when I moved in doing great.
Planted 3 types winter squash seeds, bush cucumber seeds, Carson yellow bush beans, beets, sunflower.
Ordered 10 different heirloom varieties from Annie's yesterday...from potatoes (containers set up today) and sweet potatoes to melons, squashes, tomatoes, beets, etc. (ran out of beet seeds today).

Indoors I ordered, received and assembled 3 steel frame shelving units. Have installed 14 of 20 Hidden Harvest lights for spinach, tomatoes, bush cucumbers, bush beans, romaine, curly lettuce, peppers....and my 6 legal medicinal plants. (Another 60 sq. ft.)
I have an indoor, semi-dwarf lemon tree arriving probably tomorrow.

Got my first Yeti 1400 (2 more to go) and Boulder 200 with MPPT charge controller (one more to go). When this backup energy suite is filled out, a generator is next.

30 lbs. Chinese black (forbidden) rice in a food grade long-term storage bucket.
Oatmeal and other grains to follow.
One case (18 lbs) canned butter from New Zealand.
First year of long-term storable food from Numanna.
Dehydrator. (excellent for jerky).
Pressure canner.

Researching wood/coal stove/heating options that are amenable to the house's style and structure.

Still doing a fair amount of unpacking, organizing, cleaning, red tape, general settling in and whatnot.
Trying to fit in a bit more whatnot as time goes.

Re: What did you do to prepare today?

Posted: Wed May 15, 2019 12:47 pm
by Farside
anomalous howard wrote:
Mon May 13, 2019 12:44 am
...Researching wood/coal stove/heating options that are amenable to the house's style and structure...
What are the style / structure constraints?

Reason I ask is that it appears you're building a resilient lifestyle, and if that's the case then you can't get much of a better system than the one below. Worth considering:
Wood is still the cheapest, and cleanest form of heating. The challenge is ensuring it actually burns clean, and the woodlot is managed properly.

The best part of a woody plant for using as fuel is not heartwood, but stick wood because it contains the highest amount of resins and other energy dense molecules, the challenge is that it is also the most problematic when it comes to clean combustion and creosote buildup.

The solution is a wood burning chamber of some sort that burns so hot that it incinerates all the creosote and hydrocarbon gasses. It means you can use stick wood as fuel, it means that the heating efficiency is very high, and it also means that emissions are extremely clean.

Additional benefits of using stick wood is that it is less physically demanding to collect, process, and store. Furthermore, you no longer need to chop a tree down but rather grow trees for their branches, which you can harvest over and over again. If you're smart, you can even select a species that not only grows back readily after you cut its branches off, but also produces some sort of food during the regeneration period (a heartwood fuel system has a regeneration cycle of decades, while a stick wood one has a cycle of around 5 years). Hazelnuts are a good example. Now your woodlot turns into a perennial cropping system that produces food and fuel which will operate for hundreds of years. Plant the fuel trees in hedge rows and you can use the alleyways to graze animals, or use them as wind breaks for protecting more delicate fruit trees.

To achieve a resilient lifestyle, you need as many elements in your design performing multiple functions as you can. In this case, your source of heating fuel also provides food and shelter. Some (like alder) fix Nitrogen in the soil so although they don't directly produce food, they feed other plants that do.

Re: What did you do to prepare today?

Posted: Wed May 15, 2019 1:11 pm
by Farside
BTW, in case people aren't aware, no matter what type of wood burning system you have it is very important that the wood is seasoned properly. Yeah you can stack wood in a pile and burn it, but you get twice as much heat out of that same wood if you stack it inside a shelter so it is bone dry when you go to burn it. Simply covering the pile with a tarp isn't good enough either (although it's better than nothing). It has to be in a shelter where there is air circulation.

Re: What did you do to prepare today?

Posted: Fri May 24, 2019 11:54 pm
by Farside
I checked out a site where I plan to raise 75 broilers, and organized with the land owner where the chicken tractor will be, where the brooder will be, and what their share of the bounty will be in return for their efforts.

since the land owner really doesn't want to buy his produce from the grocery store anymore, I gave them a bunch of seedlings, some seed, some worms, and a bottle of homemade wine :-)

I have found that through generous giving and sharing my own bounty, other people give generously and share with me. I'm slowly building a community of people who freely share their excess with each other and everyone benefits at nobody's expense.

Re: What did you do to prepare today?

Posted: Sat May 25, 2019 9:40 pm
by Farside
Last week I picked up 4 evans cherry saplings from a local lady and gave here some dried oyster mushrooms as a thank you. I put them in pots, and today I gave them to someone else in exchange for 2 black elderberry bushes.

Now I am starting to get a decent selection of species, and will be thinking of ways to position them in the garden so that they benefit from each other.

I'm thinking of planting the elderberries between the blackcurrants and the birch trees that border the garden. I'm also going to have a hunt for some more established asparagus that I can plant around the blackcurrants and jostaberries. I have some strawberry plants ready for transplant which will make a good ground cover too.

I'm going to break up my garlic chives and use them as a border barrier against the grass, and do the same with my rhubarb when it gets big enough to divide.

We have a lot of horseradish growing wild around town, so I think I''ll go hunting some because they make good grass barriers also.