What I Did To Prep This Week: Apr 19th – 25th 2020

Hello, fellow preppers. I hope you have also had a productive week prepping. Here on our survival homestead we got a lot done both inside and out.

Our spring gardening plans are moving along nicely. One cold snap threatened our fruit grove, but we covered all of the trees and bushes, and they appear to have gotten through the night unscathed.

On the rainy days that once again graced us this week (one of which we were flooded in) I took the time indoors to make a large batch of tallow, and had the children help me make all natural lip gloss.

I worked a lot on expanding my apothecary patch space so I could not only grow far more medicinal herbs, roots, and plants, but to put in some conventional crops, as well.

There are far less destructive insects in my apothecary growing area thanks to our free ranging flocks, so with no Japanese beetles to worry about, I wanted to put in more vegetable plants up here, as well.

The largest ground growing plot on our survival homestead is located down bottom near the start of our driveway. For OPSEC reasons, I always worry about the crops planted there will quickly disappear if they are not mature enough for harvest when the SHTF.

A hog pen was once located in the same spot, so the ground is simply too fertile to waste.

Our awesome rural county just got a little more unique this week.

Not only are we one of the very few counties in the entire country with only one traffic light, a county seat that is a village and not a city, and has zero zoning laws, building permits, or Walmarts, but is also the only one of Ohio’s 88 counties without a single case of the pandemic virus.

The man who owns the screenprinting shop that typically supplies all the ball teams and groups with shirts, just today designed a special one to note our county’s newest distinction.

If living through this pandemic has taught me anything, it has vastly reinforced my already strong belief that living in a rural area is the only way to go if you are a prepper or just trying to raise a family.

I am really kind of surprised no one here was stricken with the disease because the whole county is definitely one large bedroom community.

Easily 75 percent of the good folks who live here do not work in the county but in the adjacent ones and as far away as Columbus – all with ongoing if the potentially deadly disease.

In other preps this week, we purchased sugar, flour, cornmeal, and baking soda in bulk, and preserved them in 5-gallon food grade buckets with oxygen absorbers.

We have been doing some online browsing to see prices on other fruit trees we can place in the expansion we have planned in our grove with the CARES stimulus check that will hopefully arrive sometime in the near future.

Our youngest grandchild is nearly 100 percent potty trained, which our daughter definitely considers a prep because now she will no longer need to stockpile disposable diapers or make and wash cloth ones.

Pearl is getting close to kidding again, my bossy 3-legged goat seems to be continually pregnant. If she has any females we will be keeping them, but I am not sure if I want to keep any males and band them this spring.

With the gas company leasing our upper pasture and part of the side pasture, we will be a little on grazing and browsing area until about July.

Had my goats not taken one too many cues from the horses and miniature donkeys, they would happily romp about the woods eating more brush and twigs.

But alas, they think that they are merely small horses and now want to graze on pasture land – the exact opposite of what I would like to occur.

Our last batch of spring chicks will be leaving the brooder in the coming weeks. We lost two of the young chickens we located out in the coop last week.

A bad storm came through and they were either blown or knocked into the duck pool which was overflowing with water after hours of heavy rain, and drowned.

Here in just a few minutes when I am done writing for the day the three youngest grandkiddos and I will be going on a dandelion hunt. I want to beat the horses and goats to the abundance of dandelions growing in the pastures at the moment.

I am going to use the dandelions to make some delicious cold tea and some for wine. But, the bulk of the dandelions will be turned into a natural healing salve.

While the dandelion salve is not difficult to make at all, one must muster patience when starting the process.

After picking a plastic grocery sack full of the so-called weeds, they need to dry either naturally on a screen or in a dehydrator and then be turned into an infused oil all before you can actually start making the salve.

It takes roughly seven days to two weeks of the oil sitting in a cool dark place and being shaken once a day for the infusion process to complete – hence the need for patience.

The dandelions are then strained away through cheesecloth or a fine mesh strainer and the oil is combined with beeswax and shea butter that are combined by melting and stirring, to make the salve.

Because of their natural anti-inflammatory and pain reducing properties, dandelion salve is excellent to use on aching joints, sore muscles, strained tendons, and bruises. This all natural and super cheap to make salve is excellent to use on dry and cracked skin, as well.

This Week’s Questions:

  1. Have you ever rendered tallow and what do you use it for?
  2. Do you make good use of all the dandelions in your yard? How do you use them? If you have never tried it, dandelion wine is deliciously refreshing on a hot summer day.
  3. Are your poultry birds ramping up their laying now that we are into spring? How many chickens or ducks do you keep as part of your survival flock?
  4. If you do not live in a rural area? Why not. I am always baffled to come across a prepper who does not since working from home and making a good living is entirely feasible – I do it from literally the middle of the woods. Only an elderly parent or a child that does not live with me could ever keep me living somewhere other than a place just like my little patch of heaven.

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