Showing posts with label Canning. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Canning. Show all posts

Monday, October 19, 2015

What if?

What if.....what if the shit hit the fan?  Would you be able to handle it?

This past week I was renewing some old, and subscribing to a couple of new magazine publications.  I know, how unfrugal of me right?  But I look at it as investing in my "homesteading" education.  These are not frivolous fashion magazines mind you.  These are magazines I keep and refer back to as needed.

Anyway, "Mother Earth News" of course was one of them, and also a new one for me, "Backwoods Home Magazine."  While visiting their website to subscribe, I came across an interesting article titled "How America can be saved from stupid people" written by Dave Duffy.  It was an eye-opener to say the least.  If you'd like to read it in its entirety, you can find it here at Back Woods Home.  It refreshed my memory on how important it is to be prepared to take care of yourself and your family when the shit hits the fan, so to speak.  Duffy's "short list" (there does exist a longer one) of top priorities were:
  1. Get out of Debt (obvious)
  2. Set aside an emergency stash of cash (and I would add, keep it safe somewhere at home)
  3. Diversify your assets (again, obvious and see #2)
  4. Keep a large pantry - can your food! (and a good stash of drinking water)
  5. Plant a garden for a regular supply of fresh food
  6. Keep chickens (not always possible, but rabbits are, and they are higher in protein, though you are out of luck with eggs)
  7. Keep dogs and cats (burglar protection and mouse patrol)
  8. Learn how to barter
  9. Volunteer in your community -it will keep you connected and knowledgeable about your area, its resources and residents 
The ultimate point is to learn how to better control your life now, so that you are able to come to your own "rescue" (if the need arises), rather than wait for the government, or someone else to do so for you. And you never know when a power outage from an ice storm/tornado/hurricane/ etc. could set things back a week or two, or God forbid something worse, leaving you and your family in a crisis-mode for an extended period of time.

I feel fortunate that I at least live on a small farm.  The food portion of my survival plan could be met pretty easily for a good period of time.  The water situation would be tricky, but doable.  I have a small stream, but it would have to be purified for drinking.  And I have a well, but it has a pump that is controlled by electricity.  I really need to get a manual pump for back up emergencies.

My main pantry is seriously low on canned garden goodies...
I also need to make an effort to get more canned meat and other items on my pantry shelves, and build a small rocket mass heater to heat the canned food if needed.  Propane only lasts so long you know.  And my kitchen stove is electric.  No help there in a power outage. And a heat source - the coal / pellet burning stove needs to be reconnected to the chimney.  So many things to consider!

I guess my whole point is that I really do need to sit down some afternoon and come up with a plan, and plan B, C, D,,,,, etc. of how to best get myself and my household prepared for an unfortunate situation, should it happen. My hope for you is that you'll also take a moment to stop and consider what you would do and how you would handle something like a two week power outage if you were unable to get to a store, or if the stores had empty shelves?

Better safe than sorry.  ~A 

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Saucing it up

I just realized its been nearly a month since my last post. Time really does go by fast.  The past two days the sky has looked like November, with the kind of dark clouds that threaten snow is on the way.

Its been a  "Ping-Pong" like guessing game for next winter's weather predictions. The weather channels are predicting a strong El Nino, bringing in a warmer winter. On the other side of the table, the Farmer's Almanac is predicting another cold and snowy winter. I'll come up with my own forecast by what the animals are telling me at the end of October.  Lot's of hair growth on the horses and goat is usually a pretty good indication I better have my firewood stacked.

The garden was not at all what I'd hoped for this season, but I did manage to get some tomatoes, popcorn, yellow squash, green beans, lettuces, a great crop of garlic, and some miscellaneous herbs.  The rest of it went to hell.  I've resigned myself to putting in the past and moving on to other things.

So be it. ~A

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Northeast Ohio Weather

When I took the dogs out this morning around 6 a.m. to do their "business," the thermometer rudely announced the temperature at one degree... Just one.  Better than zero, or minus one, I suppose.  Though I'm certain it will be less than zero tomorrow morning at the same time.  Does anyone want to place their bets? 

I hate this time of year on the farm.  I put on too much weight and lack motivation.  Except to eat.  There's always motivation to stand by the warm stove and cook something wonderful. And eat.

Coffee was my next step this morning, something to warm me from the inside.  A heavy coat, pajamas and muck boots that, early in the morning, at those temperatures, does little when the wind is whipping mad. 
A quick hot shower and then on to set up some bread to rise for later this evening...I'll bake it when I get home and warm up the kitchen.

A slice of yesterday's bread, and a jar of ham and vegetable soup for lunch at work today.

The sun is rising and its my time to brave the cold, icy commute into the city.

Stay warm friends, ~A

Monday, August 18, 2014

And the color of the week is Red

I find it hard to believe there is only a month of summer left.  Maybe I'm in denial.  Or its just that I keep recalling the memory of this past winter's "polar vortex/frozen hell," of which I am dead certain I can not withstand a repeat.

But I'll behave myself for now and look on the positive side.  It's mid-August and the tomatoes are in full production!  A lot of canning to be done this week...   ~A


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