Editors’ Prepping Progress

To be prepared for a crisis, every Prepper must establish goals and make long-term and short-term plans. In this column, the SurvivalBlog editors review their week’s prep activities and planned prep activities for the coming week. These range from healthcare and gear purchases to gardening, ranch improvements, bug out bag fine-tuning, and food storage. This is something akin to our Retreat Owner Profiles, but written incrementally and in detail, throughout the year. Note that as an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. We always welcome you to share your own successes and wisdom in the Comments. Let’s keep busy and be ready!

Jim Reports:

Our young bull (now two years old) was throwing his weight around again. Although he is from what is considered a “small” breed, he is still a very powerful critter. Recently, he has been using our utility box trailer as a play toy, pushing it around, for distances up to 20 feet. That 30 year old trailer–which we mainly used for hay and firewood hauling–weighs around 1,200 pounds. The bull isn’t being intentionally destructive–just playful. He will push at it from all directions until it comes free of its wheel chocks. Then he will push it around, in semicircles.

This past week our bull also badly bent one of our garden gates. This is the large channel steel tractor gate (12 feet wide) at one end of our Annex Garden. He had been bending into a “V” shape. Not only did I have to upgrade it to a more stout chain-and-eye bolt closure, but I had to reinforce the bottom of the gate itself with a 10-foot length of scrap 1.5″ Schedule 40 galvanized steel pipe. This piece straightened and stoutened (is that a word?) the gate, nicely. Without that, our Bovine Delinquent would probably have continued to bend that gate, to the point of failure.

Such is life with a bull. You can’t live with them, and you can’t live without them. If we sent him to the chest freezer, it would of course mean: no calves. Yes, we’ve tried using AI for a couple of years, with a less than 50% success rate. And that pitiful rate was with the optional week-in-advance ovulation inducing shot. In contrast, keeping a bull pastured for three months each year with our open cows has had a 100% success rate. Therefore, we are keeping him, but he was just moved in to our extra-stout Bull Pen, for the summer. That pen is constructed of heavy duty tubular steel livestock panels. The corners of the pen are attached to 12″ diameter cedar posts that are sunk 2 feet deep in the ground–so that bulls cannot push the pen out of shape.

This week I also cut two more cords of firewood.  Our teen daughters are becoming more accomplished firewood stackers. This past year they’ve progressed from merely “utilitarian” stackers, to downright decorous stackers. Their firewood stacks are now very pleasing to the eye. And they are sturdy enough to be almost invulner-a-Bull. (Thankfully, our bull doesn’t like to play with firewood.)

Next week, it will be time to slaughter and butcher a whole mess of young roosters. I never look forward to that task. But the end result–either in our chest freezer, or canned up in jars–is always gratifying. We are thankful to God, for His providence!

Avalanche Lily Reports:

Dear Readers,
We’ve had a lot of rain and cool weather this week which put a serious damper on the outside gardening.  We’ve fired up the wood stove, again, for the past three days.

We moved manure into the Main garden sections.  I shoveled some kitchen scraps compost dirt onto a section of the Main Garden. Miss Eloise and I spread straw all around the cabbages, carrots and onions.  I still need to spread straw on the Broccoli. I dug up some rogue red raspberry and golden raspberry sprouts from the Main Garden that will be planted at various places around the property to create a forest garden. I had planted some peppers and eggplant in a bed in the greenhouse. Already, they are growing baby peppers.

We all went for a short bike ride up into the National Forest.

I went for a short canoe float in the flooded meadow.

I did a fair amount of baking and cooking this week.

I allowed the horses and our bull to graze in the orchard–under strict supervision.

Our family all together is watching every night a DVD of a course from The Great Courses, titled Outdoor Fundamentals: Everything You Need To Know To Stay Safe, by Professor Elizabeth K. Andre.  Except for the obligatory nods to racial diversity, sexual orientation, environmentalism, and the Americans with Disabilities Act in the introduction, it has been quite interesting and informative.

This past week was another good one for wildlife. For birds, I saw and identified by sight and voice the spotted Sandpiper, Chipping Sparrow, and an Oregon Junco.  We have heard, officially  for the first time this year, the Hermit Thrush, I love that bird, too. We also saw a MacGillivray’s warbler, but in a sad way:  One of our cats caught him and deposited his corpse in the doorway of the porch. A beautiful bird!  How sad!  🙁

After a lengthy hiatus from Hebrew studies, I got back into it this week.  I’ve listened to some news clips in hebrew and translated them, read  and translated some Hebrew Ynet articles, and an easy Hebrew Magazine/Newspaper subscription that I receive on a monthly basis, and I listened to the Hebrew reading while following along in English, the Book of Hebrews. Fun!

I just seasonally re-packed my bugout bag moved it’s contents to the summer-colored bag.  I added a few more clothes that were not present before or that had been removed: such as my winter puffy jacket, long john set, and woolie long johns.  My down jacket is very light and packs down very compactly and I hate being cold and want it on summer nights. The girls and I need to go through their packs, this coming week.

Of course, I have watched umpteen videos discussing the Grand Solar Minimum, Vaccines and the Mark of the Beast. (You’ve got to listen to Ice Age Farmer’s last two or three videos)  You should  listen to this, from Dr. June Knight vlog: NEWS TODAY w/Dr. June Knight – COVID-19 Testing in your Phone? Tracking? Other Vaccine News. Please apply discernment, and remember: Unlike Jim, I am not a journalist with a degree in journalism. I am only linking to information that I think is very pertinent and important to know.  I have come to the conclusion that this planned vaccine and it’s Bio Certificate will be the Mark of the Beast. Though COVID-19 is very real, it is not as bad as the Mainstream Media says it is. And I believe that the Powers That Be are using it to bring about their draconian, totalitarian, dictatorial One World Order government, religion and economic system onto the whole world.  Without that Bio Certificate, you will not be able to work, go to the doctors, the bank, the grocery store, travel, go to school, or just about anything.  But it is the Mark that separates you from God the Father.  It’s Satan’s Mark. If you take it, then You belong to him. You have made your alliance with him. All in exchange for food.  If you recognize that this is what it truly is, and refuse it, God may provide for you and hide you. Trust in Him.

Please prepare your hearts and plan accordingly.  We only have six months at the least and until February at the most, perhaps, to get ready and to continue preparing for this.  Persecution will be harsh for all who refuse to take it, but to take it will mean the loss of our souls and forever separation from the Father God.  I cannot warn you enough.  We will have to live outside of this economic system.  If you are a true Christian, you will see and understand, this will witness to your spirit.

If this is witnessing to your spirit and you don’t claim Yeshua/Jesus as your own, then you had better examine your heart, and repent because God is calling you to Himself and is warning you to flee His Wrath that is to come on all who reject His word and take Satan’s Mark at the End of this Age of Grace.  He is a merciful and loving God, long suffering, and patient. But there is a cut off day, coming incredibly soon.  Don’t wait.  Read the Bible and repent and call upon His name, which is “Salvation”!

Story Time:

In between the rain showers, Miss Eloise and our Horsey Friend have been working on Spring Breaking our horses S. and Ch.  It’s really awesome to see them get serious and do their work, when the “Big Guns” comes to work them. This Horsey Friend of ours is definitely a “Big Gun”, not in size, but in, authority and experience.  She helps motivate us.

The second time our Horsey friend came this week, the horses didn’t want to come to us. Granted the weather was cloudy, very windy and cool and they were feeling it. (Me, too.) Horses are always extra spunky/spooky/excitable on windy, cool days.

Twice, we approached them, to catch them, and off they ran like crazy beasts.  At that, I, decided to make them run.  As they looped around and came near me, I jumped quick and ran after them.  My quick jump always sets S. off, with CH. running close behind her.  I chased them into the meadow and ran after them in a smaller inside loop.  The two of them know me well.  They know, very well that I am playing with them and they are not afraid of me. They love it when I run after them, on purpose to play! They made about five huge running loops at top speed while I ran half inside loops to keep them going.  Every time they came around near me and slowed down, I chased them again.  It was so much fun.  They are so beautiful to watch tearing up and down the meadow together.  They sort of tired out and Ch. approached Miss Eloise and Horsey Friend for some wet C-O-B. They were also watching the beauties run. They were able to get a rope around Ch’s. neck and then the halter.

But our other horse S. who was already wearing a halter wouldn’t let any one of us grab her.  So I purposely chased her away as Miss Eloise led Ch. over to the outdoor training arena.  S. was getting horse separation anxiety and tried to follow, but still wouldn’t let me take her halter. So I chased her away each time she tried to get near Ch.  She ran back out to the meadow and took a few loops, then stopped by the house and looked back at me.  (I was across the parking lot from her about a hundred yards away). She snorted a couple of times.  I just laughed at her, and shouted, “Are you done, now?  Are you ready to get serious about your real work?”  “Come on” I called her over.  She trotted over to me, let me pet her and hook a fat lead rope to her halter, then she allowed me to lead her over to our horse trailer and tie her up.  Silly horse.

Before anyone tells us we are mis-training the horses… Just remember that we’ve had them for more than six years, we are friends, and we know when they are in a playful mood. I figure, we might as well tire them out before working with them, let them get out that nervous, excited energy before making them work. Every one will be safer if they have already expended that excitable energy first, anyhow.

Earlier this week, I “chased” S. around the meadow, on my bike.  It started out with me riding my mountain bike down the meadow to talk to Jim who was working on something there.  The horses were very close to him, watching him work.  I road my bike toward, S. talking to her. She acted all nervous and started to trot in a working circle while watching me, so I rode slowly after her.  She kept going in a circle and dropped her head to the ground which said to me that she was enjoying the “work”. So I gently rode in a circle after her while she went around about eight times.  Then we stopped and greeted one another.  She needs a job!  Hopefully, this summer they will be ridden more often.

Well, many of you can give a collective sigh of relief.  😉  As of Friday night, we have now locked up the bull in our bull pen until this fall.  He has just been way too much of a Bovine Delinquent these past two weeks, popping off fence clips left, right, and center, wearing my canoe as a hat, getting in the way of horse training, and once even escaping the ranch perimeter fence for a quick foray down the county road.  Yep, too much delinquent behavior.  Though we don’t want to feed him hay all summer, we also don’t want him to breed back our cows too early. Thus, we cannot lock  him up with them, and we’re totally tired of fixing broken pasture fences. His days of youth and freedom are over.  He won’t be the same buddy I had in the past, now….  🙁  Sadness.   It’s either this, or off to Freezer Camp.  We need him for another year of covering our cows.  He is looking rather yummy, lately, all nicely fleshed out…  😉 He is quite the specimen!  Such is farm life.  As one of our Prepper friends once said, which I didn’t like hearing, though I must concede is true: “You love ’em, you kill ’em, an’ you eat ’em.”  🙁

May you all have a very blessed and safe week.

– Avalanche Lily, Rawles

o o o

As always, please share your own successes and hard-earned wisdom in the Comments.




67 Comments

  1. Loved the bull and horse experience stories!! While we don’t keep cattle any more, we still have pigs; 500-600 pd hogs. They are in about an acre enclosure surrounded by hot wire. A while back some of the girls got rambunctious and literally took the 12′ gate off its hinges! My livestock guard dogs when nuts and tried to herd them back to the enclosure but they were determined to explore the other side of the fence. Hogs can be very destructive if left to free range so it was a high tension time until we got them back where they were supposed to be. After it was all over it became funny and we all had a good laugh.

    Weather has been changing frequently. Normally we would be in the mid-80s to low 90s by now; but it is only in the 70s. Plus we have had much more rain than usual as it has been raining several hours a day for 7 days; forecast is for more rain. Fortunately it hasn’t been damaging to the garden and the carrots, potatoes, tomatoes, cukes and all the greens are doing well. The meadow grasses are getting tall but it is to wet to do anything. None of the farmers around us have planted corn or soybeans yet. I am praying for that all our farmers will be able to plant soon.

    I’ve been canning and dehydrating food most of the week. hamburger, beef sirloin, chicken, cabbage, mushrooms and sweet peppers. Continuing to harvest herbs; cutting them back keeps them from bolting to early in the season. There is so much to do this time of year!

    Long lead times seem to be the norm now. Received orders of wheat but still have several buckets and cases of other items on the way. Already ordered fall seeds and I am ordering more fall items and even some items we will need next spring. It seems most companies are trying to catch up, but if there are insufficient raw materials…? If I get the orders in a month or so, I’ll feel more comfortable in facing the next crisis.

    Had to drive to a big city (metro area) for a medical test this week; a 4-5 hour round trip. First time I have been there in over a year; things sure have changed. Traffic was off by about 50% during morning rush hour. After the test I dropped by several grocery stores to pick up what I could. I did find button mushrooms and sweet colored peppers on special and surprisingly there were no limits on those. I also found some 90/10% hamburger for $4.45/pd and chicken for $1.69/pd (limit 2 ea) at one store, but they were out of the can goods I stock for convenience. Went to a larger chain store where 80/20% hamburger was $5.99/pd and chuck roast was $8.00/pd (limit 1 ea); but I did get the can goods at a reasonable price. Noticed that green chili peppers (4oz) were $1.99/can and no fresh chili peppers in stock! I’m pretty sure the last time I bought green chili peppers in a can they were $.89/can. My garden peppers can’t grow fast enough. I came home and pulled out more hot pepper seeds and planted them in the hoop house the next day.

    While I normally do not talk prepping to anyone, I did teach a neighbor down the road how to can a few years back. She also saw my garden and began to plant a few veges/fruits. With the COVID19 situation, unemployment, food scarcity and liberal lock downs, she suddenly awoke to the dire situation all of us are facing. Better late than never.

    May your week be safe and healthy.

    1. From your post: “With the COVID19 situation, unemployment, food scarcity and liberal lock downs, she suddenly awoke to the dire situation all of us are facing. Better late than never.”

      Absolutely the truth! We hope and pray in earnest that there will be a great awakening, and that more people will shore up their preparedness for continued unfolding of the current crisis, and any crisis yet to come. The possibilities are many. Good for you to have helped teach your neighbor how to can — and to have encouraged her by your gardening example too.

  2. The weather is finally cooperating. My son helped me put the drip edge and metal roof on the chicken coop. My daughter helped me stain it. I put two vents in and installed two 300 Lumen LED solar shed light. Only one is working. I finished the second row of nesting boxes. I painted bed liner on the floor of the coop. I am hoping that it helps make the wood last longer and helps make it easier to clean out. I started to cut the ridge vent but ran out of day light.

    I measured and cut all the wood for the petroleum storage shed. I need it built so I can get all the gasoline, lamp oil, kerosene and propane out of the barn so we can start working inside of it.

    Went to a farm auction, picked up a home made iron tripod for over a fire, a set of dehorners and 2 rollers for leather belts.

    I started to go through my tools and put Fluid Film on many to keep the rust off them and in good working order. I am going to whittle down the tools I have. I have inherited many good American made tools and with what I’ve picked up over the years I can get rid of all the cheap stuff and still have 3 sets of good tools. I’m going to give a lady at work some who mentioned needing some basic tools. Workshop is a mess right now. I have to send some stuff to the Auction. I must have 5 shelving units that we brought from our old house that I have no where to put. The joys of downsizing.

    Have been told that as of June 1st I might be able to end working from home but nothing in stone as of yet.

  3. I had an incident with the billy goat. He wanted the feed that was in my bucket, and he was GOING to get it. I hollered at him, and then my pet milk cow trotted over and snorted at him and pushed her way in between him and me. Oh I love that cow! I hugged her and gave her some feed.

  4. “You love ’em, you kill ’em, an’ you eat ’em.” Got a laugh out of that one. So very true. The older I get, the harder it is getting to butcher the beef. Over the years I have had four different breeds of bulls. All of them were trouble. The last Red Angus bull (weighed around 2300 pounds) I had would go in a straight line across the place. I knew this was going on when I heard screeching of wire. My stock dog knew how to handle him. All I had to say was “hit’em”. She would run, jump on his neck and bite him hard. The bull was intimidated by her and would run back to where the dog wanted him to go. I loved that dog and was truly brokenhearted when she passed.

  5. Glad to hear the bull is penned up! Wish your girls could come out here and help stack wood! 😉 No safe way to get here right now alas but maybe another time. Wood-stacking has always been low on my list of jobs I enjoy doing and I’m not all that good at it either. I miss my woodshed; that made it much simpler. I’m just whacking away at it whenever I can.

    The weather is just plain weird. Went from March-like weather with cold and lots of snow to 80’s and sunny with no rain. While I’m glad it’s stopped snowing the high temps and heat have made everything very dry. It’s also quite a shock to the system; even I am having to cover up and usually I just tan and don’t burn. With the cold and snow I was wearing a winter jacket or at least a hoodie all the time until just this week so I didn’t have any sun exposure to get my skin prepared.

    Got my onion seedlings in finally and just planted potatoes. It’s so weird to be planting such small quantities! I’m starting to harden off some of the seedlings on the porch with hopes of planting them soon. The weather is pretty unsettled- in another week it looks to be lots cooler and wet and probably in the high 30’s at night here. I think I’m going to take the chance and just row cover the more vulnerable stuff.

    I’m having deer issues here that I never experienced before. They are trooping through the new strawberry bed and removing plants from the ground. A blueberry seedling was also pulled out and left to die. What they will do to my veggie garden is a scary thought. Right now I don’t have fencing and that’s an expensive project. I also need to give it some thought. I’m going to try to handle it for now by using row covers to cover the more deer-vulnerable stuff as much as possible and where it’s not, such as with peas, sandwich their rows in between row covered stuff or veggies the deer don’t seem to like such as potatoes. Will see how this goes. No idea yet if woodchucks are a problem here too!

    My son is becoming quite the free-pile connoisseur. Where I live pretty much nobody puts out anything “for free” by the road unless its old tires or car seats and plastic baby walkers etc they want to get rid of. I suspect most everything else just gets stored in the barn/garage/shed/basement/attic as “we might need that someday”! My son lives in a more urban area and there are awesome free-piles there and just outside of town. He has found all manner of great stuff this week from old US made tools, a scythe that just needs a new handle, furniture, camp stoves and a lantern etc. Restoring the hand tools will be a nice winter project(Stanley and Millers Falls hand planes, chisels etc).

    1. Hello Ani!
      Have you tried “Deer Be Gone”? We are using this with what appears to be solid success, and have lots of deer roaming about in our area too. Hoping this helps!

      1. @ T of A

        I picked up another one of those products that was carried locally- am trying them on the apple seedlings as evidently those are quite yummy too. I’m ok with spraying this stuff on the perimeter of the garden but not on any edible vegetation! But given its cost I can’t use it that way often.

        1. Hi Ani!
          Will be watching for progress reports… We struggled with snacking deer last year when they nearly wiped out 3 lovely flowering crabapple starter trees. They went for these over hydrangea which seems crazy! It didn’t take much of the Deer Be Gone spray, but it does appear to be working. We’ve also sprayed it on the exteriors of our raised beds, but not on the plants themselves. So far, so good! Hoping you also get the best results!

      1. @ jima

        Probably. I don’t hunt(or eat meat myself) but I’m already putting the word out that I’d sure like to see some good(and sober) hunters here this fall! I think the deer have risen to nuisance levels in a lot of the state; way fewer people seem to be hunting plus lots of development and posted signs has led to this. We could use some wolves. I’m hoping that if the grocery store meat shortages continue that this will lead more people to do some hunting. Although as this means they have to get out of their Lazy-boy recliners, put down the remote and the chips and tromp around in the woods, maybe not…….

    2. Shalom Ani,

      Well then, the next time we’re in New England visiting family, we’ll all pop right on over to your home and stack yer wood with ya for a few hours, okay? 😉 I’m quite sure my relations are located within three hours of you, and by western standards, that’s just a skip and a jump away. 😉

      We actually stack wood in a woodshed, which DOES make it a lot easier by having two walls to brace the wood pile.

      I hope your weather moderates, soon, and that you get normal rainfall this summer.

      May you have a sweet and Blessed week,

      Lily

      1. Lily

        Sounds good! Probably no more than 2 hours I think; for sure less than 3. You can practically drive the entire state in 3! 😉 Well not quite….. Yeah, a woodshed is definitely on my list. It goes so much faster when you’re not dealing with getting those stacked ends right. May need to put one up sooner rather than later!

        I think the weather is screwy in a lot of places. It’s been brutal hot in Israel; over 100 in some places. A friend just sent me a video clip of it pouring rain there; in late May! The heatwave broke and their temps plummeted. I suspect our weather follows theirs so that is what will happen here as well.

        1. My husband figured out how to make a poor man’s wood shed, before we broke down and built a real one. The poor man’s version involved 3 16-foot 2 by 4s, 4 concrete blocks, 4 6-foot 2 by 4s, and several scrap 2 by 4 pieces about a foot long. Concrete blocks were used as the base, topped with 2 of the 16 footers, screwed together with the scrap. The 6 footers make up the vertical ends that are stood up in the holes of the end blocks and screwed to the base 16 footers and more scrap. The last 16 footer gets screwed to the top to keep the ends from bowing out. Once it’s filled, obviously it gets covered with tarps. Anyway, they’re fast and handle irregular pieces way better than trying to cross-stack the ends. Each one holds 2/3 of a cord.

  6. Love hearing the animal stories! I have one Boer doe who almost always waits until I go through the door of their house when I enter with the evening snack. Her horns have an outward swoop that usually connects with my knee or thigh; horn tips really pinpoint the pressure! It is interesting to learn their personal mannerisms. The bucks are going to stay isolated this season so I’ll need to inspect their gates soon. I am finally getting close to being done with replacing the rest of the perimeter fencing with cattle panels. Heavy rain and hail have hampered reseeding a couple of bare spots in the garden, but it’s doing nicely for the cool weather. The painted mountain flint corn that I mentioned a while back is a foot high already! It is easy to grind for flour, a bit milder than yellow corn meal in flavor. Being easy to grind makes it very easy to crack for chicken scratch. I’m still building my seed stock so I’m hoping to plant at least a half acre next year. I’ve been researching fodder beets as well, they show promise in helping to reduce the feed bill. Regards to all.

  7. Love love love the stories! Well, I had a sad and interesting week. My rescue German Shepherd, at the 3 week mark or thereabouts, was triggered over something very simple. He became vicious and tried to dominate me while snarling, snapping, drooling/quivering (not good), growling, and barking. I was fortunately not hurt – only a couple of bruises. Even though I was shaking inside, I remembered to remain calm and confident on the outside and gave him a command that I knew he would respond to as we’d been working on it, and was able to safely crate him. I’ve raised or helped raise/rescue 8-10 (memory fails) German Shepherds in my life, so I’m experienced. Sadly, I returned him to the rescue (per contract). It was emotionally painful to do so, but I’m about 5’2″ – he’s taller than me when on his hind legs. The bite force of a German Shepherd in psi (pounds per square inch) is ~238 and once one turns against it’s handler, that is generally a case for putting the dog down. There’s a reason GSD’s are used as law enforcement K-9’s. Apparently, this wasn’t the first time and maybe it’s about the 3rd or 4th time (records are sketchy), that this dog has turned on someone. If I wasn’t under contract, I would have (sob) had him put down rather than risk injury to another human being. Someone did something horrible to this dog as a puppy or youngster and he hasn’t forgotten it. Before anyone jumps all over me – this is part of being a responsible owner, knowing when a dog has turned dangerous. But, it’s out of my hands now and I documented the situation for the rescue. That was the first part of my week. The second part was filled with baking for our farm store and getting an estimate for a new wood stove/installation. I had given up on the idea until my propane stove died – it’s cracked and falling apart apparently. The timing is perfect since we’ve only recently gotten back down to 35 degrees (the weather!!) and the baseboard heating is enough for now if you wear a wool sweater. Our greenhouse is thriving and brings me great joy. Tough week tho.

    1. Dear SaraSue,

      We were sorry to read about the incident with your German Shepherd. I’m glad he obeyed you and returned to his crate. It’s sad, but wise of you to return him.

      I give my kudos to those who will take the time to adopt a rescue animal and love them.

      I pray that you get the perfect wood stove, and that it comes to you ASAP with no delays!

      Many Blessings to you,

      Lily

    2. SaraSue… Just heartbroken for the news of your rescue pup. I am left thinking about how important it is that we consider every action we take, and how what we do leaves a lasting imprint on the lives of others. All of this means we have a special responsibility. If everyone considered this, and applied it in their lives, we would live in a much different and better world to be sure.

    3. @ SaraSue

      So very sorry to hear of what happened with the GS and so glad that you knew how to handle him and weren’t hurt. But no, that’s a dog that needs to be put down sad to say. The rescue organization is not doing anyone a favor if they aren’t responsible about these matters. I pray they don’t send him off to another home now. There are enough good dogs that need homes that there is absolutely no reason to subject people to this. And yes, it’s really sad as someone must have done something really bad to this dog at one time. I’ve done a lot of petsitting and many were rescue dogs and most had experienced trauma and abuse; none ever turned on me or threatened me which is a good thing. All of my own dogs were large rescue dogs as well(Marema and Great Pyrenees). I’ll watch all sorts of dogs, even Pit Bulls, but won’t work with aggressive dogs. I know the right dog is out there waiting for you to have room in your life for it!

    4. SaraSue, My heart goes out to you after such a week. Even though it was not long term, your dog received safety and loving care from you. We all know he was blessed to have you. Thanking the Lord you were not harmed!!! Blessings on you, Krissy

    5. SaraSue,

      I’m so sorry to hear about your Rescue. My dad is a retired Police Chief. In the early days of his career he was the dog handler. He had a German Shepard named Mongo. I was very young at the time so I don’t remember him but dad has recalled the story many times, when he would come home for dinner Mongo came with him. Dad would call out “ Mongo, sit “ and he would sit & not move until dad was leaving to go back on shift. Sadly my dad tells us that shortly after some punks broke into Mongo’s kennel at the station and beat him to death with a baseball bat. Dad NEVER had a Shepard again, he was heartbroken when Mongo was killed by those thugs! There is truly something evil in someone who would hurt an animal, any animal.
      Again, I’m so sorry.

      Respectfully
      RKRGRL68

      1. Oh how horrible!!!! I have family members who are in law enforcement so we have many people in the circle of friends who are K9 officers and one within the family. I’ve watched some of the training videos and seen the bruises these officers take on in training. The dogs are amazing. They can turn it on and off with a single command. Incredibly loyal animals and many become part of the family of the officers when it’s possible. Sigh… I was sooo excited about this dog and really “fell” for him. So much good to his personality – I could list all the good things he could do, but his switches were all mixed up and I didn’t have the physical strength to straighten them out over a long period of time. One day when a family member came up to the house, he flew straight through one of the window screens – not aggressively, just out of curiosity. But, it did scare the pants off my guests. Sigh. My family was suggesting a small lap dog for me… LOL. There’s just something about the strength and beauty of a Shepherd. It’s okay. It’s time to garden, garden, garden, and I have lots of projects ongoing. God willing the right dog will come to me and I’ll wait for it. Thank you for your kindness.

        1. Hi SaraSue,

          I’ve had many German Shepards. Suggest finding a small female, or the runt female, if you can have the pick of the litter. My last one wieghed only 60 pounds. She was the ideal size, had the best temperment, the perfect dog with zero behavior problems. She would go potty on command at 12 weeks old. She was not overly protective, but knew instictively when to protect. I never felt the need to train her to attack on command. She could be very gentle, and a social butterfly as well. Scary smart, intuitive and obediant. She could be very intimidating, yet never bit anyone.

          She was not the newer breed now used for K-9 work, these have a different personality and appearence. This dog is like the original breed as one sees in photographs from the 1920’s, or like Rin Tin Tin of the 1940’s. German Shepards need to be socialized from an early age. If not, then they can be dangerous to outsiders, epecially the males. You could not have a better companion that can also protect you. Bad guys know to be afraid of German Shepards. After gardening, consider taking a second look.

          Rin Tin Tin:
          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cwt3Tb4SHZ0

  8. The garden here is going so very well. I’m super excited to have a garden again as I missed last year due to moving.
    A tip of the hat to someone suggesting a visual pre-fence before the deer fence. It seems to be working well! No Bambi prints in the garden.
    The trail cams are getting some nice photos of two young black tail bucks. Their horns are just starting to bifurcate. They are so beautiful in velvet.
    As my girlfriend knows I’m very passionate about wildlife and hunting, she asked me if I would ever consider killing one to eat.
    Short answer was yes. (It’s what the crossbow is for, urban protein harvesting). This unsettled her for a bit.

    Miss Lily, as I write this, I’m enjoying a cup of great coffee, watching the sunrise and listening to the birds. It’s a great way to start a day.

  9. So enjoyed the farm stories of JWR and Avalanche Lily! Thank you for sharing with all of us, your readers and fellow preppers. Thank you for making this forum possible for all of us. We continue the journey forward as individuals and as a community.

    With Memorial Day weekend upon us, there is tremendous activity in and around our nearest town. We continue to expand our garden, and to make no-contact compost purchases by the truckload. We’re also buying hay and will soon start loading mulch as we look forward to the time beyond this year’s harvest (and even as we are just beginning the most productive part of our growing season). Keeping an eye to the present while also looking to the future pays dividends when it comes to prepping.

    If we didn’t know there was a pandemic, we would never be able to tell based on the number of cars and people out and about. We pray for the health and safety of everyone, and at the same time we are very, very concerned given the amount of activity. Some wear masks, but not as many as need to be doing so. We almost never see gloves except the gloves we are wearing. Almost no one is wearing eye coverings. We are watching the numbers, and encourage everyone to track not only the fatalities (even understanding how grim this data is), but also the number of people in critical condition. Given the limits of testing data, and even understanding that fatality records have accuracy limits as well, this information does provide some important insights — and these can help us all to make safety assessments. Mike Adams at Natural News had been publishing the data, but we’re no longer seeing it at his site. An alternative resource link follows: https://virusncov.com/ Another interesting resource is Chris Martenson’s Peak Prosperity which often includes interesting data assessments.

    The coming months will tell to what degree SARS-COV-2 is or isn’t seasonal… No matter that outcome, we are quite certain this crisis isn’t “over” by any stretch. We are not fooled by the ways in which the news of our world is sanitized in order to control a larger narrative.

    Of course what we want is quite simply the truth. We believe in truly informed consent. We are not interested in fairy tales, as entertaining as these may be, and even as much as we enjoy a good story, well told. Unfortunately it appears that most people simply cannot handle truth, and so… We live in a world driven significantly by fantastical tales. The SB community often talks about these.

    For anyone who doubts this, try taking yourself out of the current crisis, and reflect upon one of the past. A complete, detailed and honest assessment of everything that caused, surrounded, and followed the crash of 2008, will be enlightening.

    Ayn Rand made the point in this quote: “We can ignore reality, but we cannot ignore the consequences of ignoring reality.”

    Across the weekend, and as we remember the fallen who gave their lives for all of us and our great nation (troubled as it may be in the present), we will continue to shore up our homestead. We’ll do so with joy for the celebration of life, and what it means to value the gift of it so greatly that we commit ourselves to the endeavors of survival. It’s about the right time to plant seed for onion sets, and we are working on a new growing area for beans and peas. We also need time in the greenhouse for maintenance, and to start another round of hydroponics planting. There is much to accomplish!

    We continue to track as well news on other fronts including including the trigger risk of a solar micronova and/or significant CME and the coming Grand Solar Minimum. There is more news at Ben Davidson’s Suspicious Observers site related to the plasma sheet and early signs of interaction between that plasma sheet and Pluto. We hope everyone will consider the serious implications of this in their survival planning and infrastructure development. We continue to think a lot about in-ground or ground-sheltered protective space for human survival and for survival supplies since no one really knows what conditions will be like above ground in the course of such an event.

    Remain steady. Be safe. Stay well everyone!

  10. We had rain most of the week that limited our outside work. I did manage to finish my 4 bin compost station between downpours. I planted a nice rhubarb plant on either end of the compost bins accomplishing three things. 1. When the plants are bigger they will help beautify the bins. 2. Rhubarb are heavy feeders so they will love the constant nourishment from being in such close proximity to nutrients. 3. I will have rhubarb on the new farmstead! :). Then I planted a row of sunflowers on the backside of the bin which you see coming up to the shouse. We also planted another row of raspberries and I got the supports up for the English peas and the edible pod peas. The potatoes are all up, garlic, shallots, radishes, lettuce, strawberries, etc. are looking great. We’re still working on peeling cedar poles for the garden fence. We don’t seem to have much trouble with deer, moose, and elk in the garden when we have pigs for some reason. We have five pigs this year so we have a reprieve from the garden thieves, thankfully the fence will be finished soon.
    I continued to work on my sourdough bread making skills when it was raining and priming sheetrock to be painted.

    1. TeresaSue! Interesting that you don’t have other garden visitors when you have pigs… I have no experience in this arena, so don’t have perspective to share, but I did find this curious. I’ll look forward to the insights of others who know more about this, and to your experience raising pigs.

      1. Perhaps it was a coincidence? I do know that before we brought hogs to the farmstead the deer, ate everything, including the prickly pumpkin vines! This is our second year with pigs here at this place and no deer in the garden. We’re still fencing though because you just can’t take a chance with your food supply.
        When a neighbor and I were discussing it they suggested perhaps it’s because pigs and bears are from the same family, they make some of the same sounds, and nobody in the neighborhood wants to mess with the bear. : )

        1. TeresaSue! I am so glad you mentioned those pumpkin vines… We just started a new pumpkin garden with pie-pumpkin starts. …and we get lots of deer visitors. With your warning about this, we will be on the look-out! Thank you!

  11. It’s snowing here now. The only plants out in the open, peas, should be OK since the snow is soft and fluffy. Am I ever glad to have a greenhouse!

    Not much new here…still working/experimenting in the greenhouse, trying out different recipes (breads, cakes, meat pie) with the cooler weather (using the oven to bake /cook rather than lighting a fire), exercising to build strength and continue to train the dogs (they are doing very well!), and rearranging/organizing. I’m continuing to watch the BBC Farm videos and enjoying them. I actually find them quite calming in these times of stress. I finally need to resupply the TP…it’s been three months already!?

    I’m back to making what we can. Our pot holders have worn out and I made new ones. I also ordered an areogarden so that I can grow salad greens hydroponically year round. It was on sale so I bought it even though I won’t need it till later in fall. (A bird in the hand…) It’s been a couple years since I grew hydroponic veggies. I thought about setting up a whole system, but this will do nicely to start with and the price is right! I am thankful that my children are grown and I can think beyond feeding amd supplying a family at this point. I believe we are going to need to have a community to work with to survive and thrive what is coming.

    Thankful that everyone in the family is working and we continue to extract ourselves from the world’s systems little by little. Although I look at what will happen in the future a bit differently, I can feel the “noose” tighten and I don’t like it – not one bit.

    Blessings as we provision our wagons for the journey ahead.

  12. Our visit to view a small farm to lease and live on in N. Arkansas was productive. 40 acres, nice fields with a lot of water. Owners were clearly good people but the home needed way too much money and work to make it livable. Renting the place did not make much sense financially for us even at a very low monthly rent. So we will keep looking in AR, MO and TN. We’ve prayed about this frequently but nothing yet. Perhaps we are to remain here.

    We continue to stock away meat. Availability locally is dependent on which stores you go to. Rising prices haven’t yet cut demand except for nicer cuts like NY Strip, etc. Prices seem to going up in 2-3 week cycles now. Son #2 is going back to school to finish Ford factory training and wanted steak for his last family meal with us. It wasn’t cheap! We will miss him.

    Locally the jobs situation continues as before with layoffs continuing although in smaller numbers from smaller businesses. We will eventually see a large number of houses go up for sale. Houses that sold as soon as they hit the market in 2018-2019 are now staying up for sale for months. My LinkedIn stream is showing a steady stream of those laid off with pleasant statements about “Me time” and “time to take stock of what’s important” and a few comments pointing to “thought leadership” as a skill set that makes them highly qualified for the next steps in their career. I’ve been around the block a few times running larger organizations and part of teams that managed very large staffing budgets in the sevaral hundreds of millions of dollars. This recession – most likely the beginning of a global depression – is extremely serious and if I were unemployed I’d be scrambling to take whatever I could get with no “me time” necessary. If your job is at risk and you see a chance to jump into something more recession resistant please consider it.

    For this week we are buying, roasting and canning turkey. It’s still very affordable compared to processed meats. I’m also looking for a good recipe for turkey or beef stew that can be canned.

    1. @ Chris

      That’s interesting what you’re finding with homes for sale in that area. It doesn’t seem to be the case here. Evidently we are close enough to and/or considered a “desirable” area for those fleeing NYC, Boston, etc to buy a home or second home in. Evidently they are sometimes buying these homes sight unseen and there are multiple bids for many of the homes. I guess there is still a lot of money in the cities of the Northeast and many of these people have the sorts of jobs that can be done remotely. It doesn’t bode well for affordability here which was already a problem. It sounds like a good thing that you’re looking in an area that isn’t on their list! The right place will come along though. I sure empathize with the frustration.

    2. Chris in Arkansas!
      An insightful message, and we agree with you. The risks ahead are significant. Getting through this is going to be tough… If we do not endure a global depression, it will be a near miss. Having said that, the risks are very high indeed.

  13. Im old , retired and very limited in what i can do but learn a lot from you guys. Please keep passing your knowledge around and dont give up the future depends on us.

    1. Lennis – some of the best lessons I’ve learned in life came from older people who were willing to share their experiences and quiet advice. What you’ve lost in physical capabiliites has been replaced by knowkedge and wisdom. No value can be placed on this.

  14. Looks like it is going to dry out and temperatures will jump up on Monday, and allow me to pull a motor for an overhaul. Until I know more about the vaccine, how and where the actual tracking method is applied, and how it would be used, I can not say it is the Mark of the Beast, but believe it is prudent to assume it could be. Regardless, there is no way myself and friends will be taking this vaccine. Because there was a lock down, the virus may have had enough time to mutate into a less virulent form. We simply cannot know, yet the quarantine must be ended, otherwise the economy will implode further. We are at war with this virus and tyranny, and therefore must risk a possible and more severe second wave of infections that threaten to overwhelm hospitals and increase the CFR. Even as a less potent form, it can still do long term damage that reduces quality of life, and life itself. I have a long term infection that has seriously degraded my ability to function, mentally and physically. I know what a disease can do, long term. It does not kill you, but you can be rendered like the living dead, or significantly impaired. That is what this little understood bio-weapon virus might do to some persons, young and old. The intentional misinformation and hype from the media, and uninformed opinion from other sources that believe the virus can be dismissed as a threat, is not objective or helpful. It does a disservice. The best conclusion that can be drawn is that we simply do not know. We can conclude however, that the economic ramifications will be severe.

    It is not just another flu bug. I remain vigilant, because I’ve learned the hard way, that complacency can be deadly. As it is, we are now facing hyper inflation much sooner, the results of a controversial election, and a destabilized world. And even if the virus is now less virulent, the original, or another strain could be released. We have this summer, and fall perhaps, to get it done, and after that, who knows. I’m using everything I got to expand the garden. With the seed scarcity this year, and likely worse next spring, saving seeds for profit from this years garden is part of the plan. I am already helping neighbors out by giving out, or exchanging seed and good top soil and compost to help them get going. A friend who hates gardening loves tomatoes, so he gets tomato starts, anything to get him going. And I avoid cross breeding when I get the seeds from his patch….

    1. Tunnel Rabbit!
      Your thoughts are so much appreciated, and the sharing of your personal experiences. You remain in the prayers of our family — that God will heal you hear on this earth, and that through your sharing, we will all learn what you have to teach us.

      From your post: “The intentional misinformation and hype from the media, and uninformed opinion from other sources that believe the virus can be dismissed as a threat, is not objective or helpful. It does a disservice. The best conclusion that can be drawn is that we simply do not know.”

      Well said. We agree.

      So… We use a couple of ways to share the nature of our own experiences related to health and health-risk in a couple of ways.

      1) If it happens to you, the risk is 100%.

      2) We are accustomed to living in that tiny tiny space 4 standard deviations from the mean.

      When other stats-people hear #2, they get it and laugh hard — even given the serious implications of the statement. This tiny space exists between the distributive curve and the axis. It’s so small that I often say that a scanning electron microscope is required to see it. …but the fact that it’s tiny, doesn’t mean no one is in there (read: low risk doesn’t mean zero risk). Everyone in my family lives in that space.

      Our world is so sanitized that most people don’t understand what can happen to them, and so their risk assessment is distorted. The implication is that — in addition to those things that befall us which are otherwise unavoidable or truly accidental — there is little attention paid to what is preventable.

      As a prepper, even knowing that there can be gaps in my efforts, I do my best to attend as much that is preventable as is possible. It’s simply a wise way to live.

  15. We had a wet and windy few days in our little spot on the river.The river rose about 2 feet but is subsiding now,no flood issues. Today is blue sky and sunshine. We saw a beautiful male western tanager , mergansers and the 2 transient Canadian geese and their 5 goslings have headed out for other climes. We see a few whitetail does that look a little heavy in the belly so we’ll see fawns soon. We love spring, a time of rebirth for all. Praise the Lord for the beauty of it all.
    Our chores had us doing a lot of weeding, grass mowing and trimming with the stop of the rainfall. Built a new bench seat for the utility room, bread baking , sewing face masks, splitting up some firewood and doing some maintenance at our church kept us busy for the week.
    We do watch Ice Age Farmer and have been following the solar minimum issue and reconsidering some of our gardening plans for the future. We’re trying to find plants with a shorter growing date to maturity. Our area has seen a decline of 12 growing degree days from 2018 versus 2019. We think being aware of the things that really matter will pay dividends in the future.
    Remember the military folks on this Memorial Day weekend.
    Blessings to all.

  16. Good morning, dear “Survival blog” family:

    On this Memorial Day weekend, our hearts turn with gratitude to those who have served in the military to preserve our God-given freedoms. We especially remember and honor those who paid the ultimate sacrifice.

    The weather here in the Willamette Valley (of Oregon) has been unusually wet for this time of year. Consequently, I’ve spent more time getting caught up on projects indoors. I’ve probably also spent more “screen time” than normal.

    Last night, I watched a fascinating documentary on the WWII Naval Training Center that was located at Farragut, Idaho on Lake Pend Oreille. I thought this would be especially interesting to those of you in the American Redoubt region. Here is the link:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i3IRg5VKkEE

    By way of background, I was visiting with my elderly mom several years ago and she mentioned that she (as a teenager) had taken the train from Portland to Spokane to visit her oldest brother (my Uncle Larry) who was in boot camp at Camp Farragut. This really surprised me because I had never heard of a Navy base in Idaho.

    I did some further research and discovered that Farragut was built in 1942 in a matter of just a few months. It operated for approximately 4 years and trained nearly 300,000 Navy recruits, most of whom went on to fight in World War II. In addition to basic training, Farragut offered advanced training schools such as radio operation and a school for medics. It also had one of the largest hospitals in the country. At the height of its operation, Farragut was the 2nd largest military training center in the world. There was also a POW camp (for captured German soldiers) co-located at Farragut. All of this is detailed in the above video.

    Many years ago, I visited Coeur de’Alene and Sunshine, Idaho but have never been north of there. I’d be curious to hear from any of you who have recently visited that area. Do any of the original WWII buildings remain? Also, if any of you had relatives who served at Farragut, I’d be interested to hear any stories you may have heard.

    Blessings to each of you, and best wishes for a wonderful weekend!

    Cliff

    1. CDM It’s been a few years since I was there for a picnic and 4th of July fireworks but I don’t think there are any barracks left. A museum is there I believe. It was also used for submarine training of some sort I believe.

      1. That’s great info, TeresaSue, and I’m pleased that they have maintained a museum there. I’d love to add Farragut (and other vacation destinations in northern Idaho) to my bucket list! Thanks for the update! 🙂

    2. Hello CDM! Such a nice message for Memorial Day… Thank you for this, and for the sharing of your family story. I grew up in the Willamette Valley, and enjoyed early university studies there. It’s a beautiful part of the country.

      1. Thank you so much, Telesilla…, for your kind remarks! Even though I have traveled on five continents (mostly on business), I still love the Willamette Valley where I was born and raised. Except for the left-leaning politics, Oregon is a marvelous place to live. I have many wonderful Christian friends here and am truly blessed! 🙂

  17. The plants under my grow tunnels are doing wonderfully. Those outside are not.

    I’m harvesting as much green grass with our mower/ bagger as I can, and laying it in thick rows on areas I’ll garden later. It kills the grass underneath, puts lots of nitrogen into the soil, and gets the soil life revitalized with worms and microorganisms.

    Our hay crop growing like crazy, but vegetable crops not so good yet. So I’m planting more potatoes since it looks like a poor year for squash. My zucchini and crook neck, and pumpkins are pathetic, out in the open.

    The mosquito-eating goldfish in our water catching tanks are thriving. As I move them from one greenish water tank where they emitted waste for 3 months, I use the green water to fertilize potted fruit trees.

    We are getting cherries so soon I must get the net structure up. Wind frequently hit 30 mph in the summer and blow for several days.

    I planted Dorinny Sweet Corn after soaking seeds 48 hours, covered bed with clear plastic, but no germination after 9 days so far.

    Two new fruit trees from Costco that grew last year have failed. Signs of disease, so pulling them out.

    Never replant the same species tree into the spot a diseased tree of that type fruit came from. In my tree row, I use those new gaps to plant vegetables or something else: rhubarb, beebalm, a berry bush, etc.

    Next year I hope to fund a greenhouse, maybe at least 20 by 50 feet. Besides enabling better growing and production, you get protection from deer and other pests.

    In God we trust.

    1. Hoping you’re able to set up a most excellent greenhouse! Ours is 24 x 48 so very comparable. We built it into the side of the mountain, and it’s working really well. Our temperatures enjoy some moderation via thermal exchange with the greatest benefit during the winter cold. We use multiple techniques for mitigating heat in the summer. If there is anything we can share about our experiences or systems, please call on us via the SB. We are wishing you every success!

  18. Jim,,,lily,,,, I’ve been running cows for years. Your less than positive results with AI is not unheard of but AI is a skill that’s learned ,with experience it’s not uncommon to have a 90%+ rate on first service,,there are some tricks to it ,
    If it’s a must breed inseminate twice ,first day of heat and third day of heat

    Don’t let having a BULL destroy your hopes and dreams by injuring or killing one of you ,there in no such thing as a safe bull
    I have personally found a man that was “worked over” he was less than one inch thick ,after the bull did a dance on him ,,,,not a lot of fun telling his wife he won’t be home for dinner,

  19. Speaking of “decorous stackers”, I spent time in Scandinavia where I learned of stacking wood into round piles. They are so attractive to look at and there are some good reasons for using round piles over square ones. I haven’t yet been able to convince my wonderful husband of this, though! (He thinks I have WAY too many ideas and there are only so many hours in the day.). 😉

    Here’s an article that gives some info and pictures:
    https://baileylineroad.com/how-to-video-on-stacking-firewood/

    We sympathize with all the work you are doing to make things impenetra-bull, indestructi-bull, and unbreaka-bull. We have spent a good bit of time working on fence around here too, for the very same reason. Ugh!!

    Things have been cold and wet here, which is really miserable for gardening. The plants that were already in the ground have somehow withstood multiple hail storms, so I am very grateful for that! The garden (and corresponding fencing) will be extended later this week, so we have THAT to look forward to. I am already wondering where the arnica gel and Epsom salts went to… I’m sure we will need them when we’re done with this project!

    Wishing everyone an wonderful week ahead!

    1. From your post: “He thinks I have WAY too many ideas and there are only so many hours in the day.”

      Read this and really laughed… So funny, and too true.

  20. Good afternoon all!

    Just finished reading everyone’s posts! I so love reading how everyone is doing. I have truly learned so much from you all. Thank you.

    This week was awful, weather wise until yesterday. From last Thursday night when we had a small Tornado until yesterday, we had received over 8” inches of rain in four days breaking the May rainfall record that was broken the year before. The last 3 years, the temperatures in May have been below normal, as well as 3 years in a row with record rainfall in May.
    I’m of the belief that the seasons are shifting.
    My Beans, Okra, Cucumber, & 3 different kinds of tomatoes have all sprouted!! This is in addition to the hydroponic tomato & green peppers I am growing . Planting Garlic & Shallots today!! We LOVE Shallots.

    The best news of the week is I went to Rural King to visit the baby chicks & I got a copy of Storeys guide to raising chickens so I am studying that and I also spoke with the neighbor behind us and asked if they would mind if I got a few chicks. They said SURE!! I’m so excited that they don’t mind!
    I’m studying my guide first and then I will get started on housing for my future little chicks (I’m trying to figure out which kind to order) based on that I want them for eggs (and I love animals). I don’t want to just jump into this without being informed.
    Will let you all know how this progresses.

    Orioles and a Blue Bunting are still hanging around. The Blue Bunting is so beautiful. I have hung a couple of hummingbird feeders close to the house and hopefully they will start feeding on these so I can see them better.

    Hope everyone is safe and healthy and have a Rockin great day!!

    1. Really excited for you that you’ll have baby chicks soon! We’ll be watching for news of progress, and so many among us (our dedicated editors and many loyal readers and posters) have chickens too. You have a fabulous cheering section built into the group.

      A few personal experiences to share in case these are helpful as you begin the adventure… Our egg cartons are filled with various shades of brown eggs, green and blue eggs, and white eggs. It’s an Easter basket every day, and the yolks are a deep orange color.

      We love our Buff Orpingtons (our best brooders), Rhode Island Reds, Auracanas, White Leghorns, Barred Rocks, Barnevelders, and our True Blue Whitings.

      We also loved our Black Australorps, but one developed cross-bill — and it was heartbreaking.

      The Silver Wyandottes (and perhaps Wyandottes more broadly) tend to be a bit noisy, but they are also beautiful birds.

      In so far as bird safety is concerned, we have noticed that the chickens who are starkly colored (all white or all black) seem to be most visible, and so most vulnerable, to various predators.

    2. Awesome to hear you’re going to do chicks! Probably good to get/build a “pretty coop” that your neighbors will find attractive. Second the motion for Buff Orpingtons, Rhode Island Reds and Barred Rocks.

      Yes, the weather is pretty screwed up. The first half of May here was cold, wet and snowy. Now we’re having, for us, really high temps up into the 80’s. Next week is supposed to hit 90’s! Dry as can be and really need rain now. I suspect the temps will plummet by 30 degrees or more off their current highs and the nights will go back into the high 30’s when it does. So long as we avoid a frost we’re ok I guess. You can keep those tornadoes! 😉

    3. Excellent thoughts also from Ani. A follow up on the coop!

      We have found that using 1/2″ wire cloth/fabric (looks like a grid pattern) is very effective for keeping predators on the outside of the hen house. Avoid the typical chicken wire.

      You may also want to reinforce the base because “everyone loves chicken” and many hunters will dig to gain access.

      If you’ll be free-ranging our birds (we absolutely do this), be sure to secure them as soon as they return to the hen house about dusk. If you’re too early, there will be at least one wandering about and uncooperative. If you’re too late, predators may gain access to your birds. Examples… Foxes, raccoons, opossums, skunks (although the skunks generally eat the food and not the birds in our experience), coyotes, bears, bobcats, neighborhood dogs and cats. Chickens do not see well at night, and this makes them especially vulnerable.

      The most important take-home is that you have a sturdy hen house. Think fortress. It can definitely be attractive, but we do not recommend the pre-built hen houses available at the big box stores. These are expensive and will not keep anything out. the designs are lovely, and you can certainly learn from those, but a raccoon can defeat one of these easily in well under an hour. Additionally… The wood is not sufficiently good quality to survive even the usual wear and tear of weather for more than a couple years.

      With a few preventive measures in place, you should have happy hens and enjoy a great experience! We have found that our chickens are very easy to care for and they are wonderful farm companions. They are a great deal of fun, and are effective in their bug patrols.

      Just for fun, you might consider a chicken garden. We have a couple of blueberry bushes accessible to our hens, and there are few things as entertaining as watching the hens jump for the berries every spring. They enjoy blueberries as much as we do!

    4. I agree with the others – Buff Orpingtons are my all-time favorite, followed by Rhode Island Reds and Black Australorps. I have had several varieties over the years and found that these breeds are cold-hardy, docile, and excellent layers. I did, however, just add some Easter Eggers for those blue and green shells!

  21. We’ve received a good bit of rain this week, which has been very helpful to the garden, vineyards, and berry patches. I spent the a good bit of today pruning the vineyard and continuing my never ending battle against thorn bushes. It’s amazing how fast those things grow.
    We’ve gotten most of the first round of blackberries, and this year looks promising. I expect the remaining patches to ripen in a couple of weeks. We’ve also began harvesting peas from our earlier planting. The tomatoes and squash are also fruiting, so I hope to start pulling in some fresh tomatoes and squash soon.

    Chickens are doing well, and the chicks are growing. We have a very good brood hen, and this is her second batch, with the first turning out well, so we hav good hopes for this one as well, though we still haven’t sexed them.

    We took a small delivery of ammo this week, and it appears that the shortage in some areas is at least temporarily past. Whether that remains the case is yet to be seen of course.

    Have a blessed week, folks, and stay alert. We’re living in interesting times.

    1. It’s more than the Catholic Church. The Catholic church will be joined by Islam and Rabbinic Judaism in a one world religious and economic system. The Internet of Things will control all, with cell phones being used first and as people ditch the cell phones they will insist on putting a chip/electronic tattoo in one’s hand or forehead. They are using Covid 19 to start their lock down and to gain absolute control and it will only get worse. Just watch and you’ll soon see. Don’t take the vaccine or any bio marker.

  22. Lilly, Excellent post mam. Have you ever considered permaculture gardening?

    https://www.thespruce.com/how-to-start-a-permaculture-garden-4050110

    Also, as for the “Mark of the Beast” which I believe is closing in on us, here is an interesting video I thought you’d find interesting:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0HQ0ISf41VY

    Thank you very much for your posts. You too Jim, our grass is just now greening up, and my sugar snap peas are sprouting out …

    May God richly bless all of you. I have a two year supply of food being shipped up, bought it off one of the SB advertisers …

    Lt. Mike

    1. JWS,
      I concur with the one world religion. I believe eventually that true believers in Christ will be small in number as time moves forward, because of persecution.
      Looking at all the groups under the umbrella of the United Nations, it is the perfect foundation for a one world government that will be in the future.The times are very interesting indeed.
      Blessings

  23. When I arrived for my dental appointment after answering all the covid questions they pointed a thermal detector at my forehead! When they said I was okay to go in I joked and asked them what was the readout, 66.6? You gotta admit, this is getting weird.

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