Fyi this is -NOT- my picture... I'm have camera issues again... We went out this morning and gathered some cattail shoots to try. I have never eaten them before and neither has Silver. So we went over to the pond across the street, me wearing shorts. To gather some from our neighbor as the ones we have planted do not have enough of a hold in the pond to be worth harvesting from. I am glad it is a not cold morning as the water was definitely cold and let me say unless you have a dry spot, you will be in the water to try and get your shoots. They are almost at the stage of not being small enough to eat. Granted there are tons of “baby” cattails growing there, no bigger than wild onions. From the instructions I received on it the section I want is the white part closest to the “tuber” without cutting up the tuber. I harvested about 8 of them of different sizes. They have a pleasant aroma when they are cut semi-sweet. After cleaning off the outer section that was a little tough and washing them thoroughly we tried them raw. They taste very good raw, slightly sweet. I have discovered that lightly frying them in olive oil ruins their flavor. Silver's estimation of them they would be best serves sliced up on a salad raw or maybe in a stew. If anyone has an “cooking” recommendations for cattail shoots please pass them along. I love the flavor and want to find other uses for them. BE Well, Be Safe, and Blessed Be...
Well I'm sitting here waiting for my chicken bones to de-pressure so I figured I'd write something today. Not as much as yesterday mind you... btw in case you were wondering it came out to about 4 pages on my word prossesor when I converted it over. Looks back a few words. I love those spelling mistakes that the "suggestions" have no correction for even when you know you spelled it wrong; but cannot spell it right.
I have watered all of my plants that I put in yesterday and they do seem to be doing rather well except for 1 of the red cabbages. That poor thing is drooping. I think I know why too, it got only about 1/2 of the roots available when I had to cut them apart. So it probably does not have enough roots to make it.
We discovered this morning that the 2 hoses we are using can reach everything but... The pecan tree and the current. No biggie, we need at least one new hose as one of the 2 like I said has a leaky connector.
I have discovered this morning that we have 1 small frog living near our pond. I hope there is more but 1 is a start. My blue berry is looking very promising so far and I hope it produces well this year. It has buds everywhere, it looks as healthy as the Elderberries do.
Once I get my soup going I get to go out and do some clearing near all of my plantings from yesterday. Just to ensure no over crowding and plenty of sun for my new plants. I did notice the Kale seems to have sprouted finally, just when I was ready to give up on them. I also may have one carrot sprout, we'll see as it grows.
Time to go work on the soup,
Be Well, Be Safe, and Blessed Be...
Yes, I have some minor news for all who are keeping up with what is going on here. Yesterday evening me and Silver went out to peek at the pond and discovered that it is about an 1/8 of the way full. So we seem, so far to have a good possibility of having a full pond. I am certainly hoping it'll be full enough by the time the local farm store has their fish ordering days. As they will send for catfish, I do not know if they do tilipia or not though.
I will be once the pond is full enough and it's warm enough. Be going across the street to get some cat tails and one bucket of pond water. Why the pond water? Well I have in one of my homesteading books that the best way to make sure you have the right microbial life in your home made pond is to go to a living one and get a bucketful of it's water and dump it into your own. There by adding the "pond life" that is surviving in one pond to your own. Also this way you know the microbial life is acclimatized to your area as well.
I already have permission from the people who own the property across the way to go over and gather some cat tails. They had, had a hard time finding a place that sold them when they put them in, so they were very willing to let me go and get some once we had a pond set up. Now that said I know of one nursery that has cat tails at it also Lowes has them in the middle of summer in their "water garden" area. So I do have them available if necessary, but I'd prefer to get some that have grown "wild"
That's it for now, have a good Saturday!
BE Well, Be Safe, and Blessed Be...
Well today was FUN, we picked up the track hoe,;(again I am amazed that there is such a thing) and after seeing the full sized back hoe up close I defiantly think the track hoe is the better option for us. I was very happy when we picked it up that the hitch held, which I was worried about it. As we left the young man who got us hooked up (literally)
However as you can see when we got very close to home the tire..
...didn't last. Well I called the person about it, and he came out quickly with a replacement. Within 20 minutes and considering where we were sitting that was fast. He even made a joke, as he used the track hoe to lift the trailer. “It comes with it's own jack”, cute joke especially while we were pissed off at the loss of the time.
So we drove it home, the dirt road was so much -fun-; we had no traction and we had to go at about 15 miles an hour to go up the first hill. We had to “get off to the side” twice on the way to the house on the dirt road as no one would yield for us.
So the first order of business when we got home was, COFFEE! For Silver anyway, (btw pics will now be tossed in at random)I set up a new pot of coffee and put cookies in the oven for a warm treat. While he “figured out” how to start it. While he has used heavy equipment before this was a different model than he was use too using. Of course our dogs were not happy with this new loud scary looking device and only stopped barking once Silver stopped using it at about 4pm.
After he figured out how it worked he started on digging the pond out for our fishies to go in. I am also going to grow the edible water lilies and cat tails for food production. We are also considering either ducks or geese to keep in the pond, mainly to keep the algae down. If we get pairs then we can butcher the extras.
So we have a short area for the little fishies and the cat tails to grow in. Then a deeper area for catfish and full grown other fish. We are considering Tilapia. I think the deep part is at least 6 foot deep maybe deeper, hard to tell until the extra dirt is “ground down” and we can tell the “actual” ground line. After we finished it off and worked on a few other projects we discovered something that may be very good news. We may have a spring under where we dug for the pond. I will know more tomorrow after it has sat overnight.
When we finished working the pond Silver went out and dug a septic for the dome out past our tree line. The only problem we had there is he was hitting something too hard for the track hoe to cut through after about 3 foot down. So he had to opt for a wider septic than a deep one, which we would have preferred. Once he finished that he dug the trench for it all the way into the area we have cleared for the house.
The next item we did was “unpleasant”, but necessary. We needed to dig out some more on our current septic. No I did not take pictures of it, I didn't want to take pictures of it shudders it's disgusting.
After that Silver went and turned the garbage pile of things we cannot burn or are already burned and is just the garbage ash. The thing that surprised me was that it seems some of the things “out there” are decomposing. Now before anyone rips my head off. Please recall the post where I commented on the fact that while I really want to be “green” I know in some things it not possible. Garbage, is one of those “things” I burn my trash, then I dispose of the ash and the “unburnables” in a pile that will not if it ever composes down be used for food crops. However, I will be happy to grow flowers over them.
That is all we have managed to do today, tomorrow we dig the trenches for the well and the electric. Then Silver will have to find things to do with it.... I am sure he will figure something out, one thing he wants to do is remove that engine block that was here when we moved in.
I am baking some sourdough brownies right now, and tomorrow morning is a bread/laundry day. Have a happy weekend everyone!
Be Well, Be Safe, and Blessed Be...
I know there are many preppers out there who are getting ready for "something" to happen. While I think that listening/reading/watching them can be helpful, I don't know if something bad is coming at us or not. However, I do think having a good supply of self safe food(s) available for 'just in case'.
Where I am living we get told at the beginning of 'storm season' (tornado season), we are told to have a emergency kit just in case we have one hit near us and there is no power what will you do for food and water? So instead of just waiting for one instance of one season to hit you. Where I live in Missouri we could have a blizzard, if we do; and I live in a very rural area. When would I receive help? When would the roads be clear enough to get food from a store? If the power went out after it thankfully I have a wood stove for heat. However my cook stove is electric.
Look back at first Katrina, and then Sandy. Both of them had issues with people getting food, Katrina was, pardon this; a clusterf###! Then with Sandy parts of the cities were without access to food for a week. What would you do in this situation? The biggest problem for a city is that 90% of your home is electric. I know in the Chicago area most people have gas stoves and heat, unless you have matches what will you use to light your stove?
I would like to see people keeping some extra foods that are shelf stable that can be eaten without cooking, while I know this is very limited in scope for the people who are picky eaters. But, let me ask you this. What would you prefer? Not having any food or having something you can eat though you do not like it?
When I go shopping I tend to buy an item or two that I am not planning on using right then. It gets put in the pantry for later use, whenever I find tuna on sale or peanut butter I buy lots of it. I don't like peanut butter, but if I had to I'd eat it.
Now with that said, I have a comment on something that has popped up all over the place.
#1 Buying MRE's for your emergency stash
#2 Buying tons of dried foods for your emergency stash
#3 forgetting to account for water
Lets start with #1... How many of you out there who think MRE's are a good idea have eaten them before? I know I have only tried one type, Silver has tried many as he was in the military. I was lucky the one I tried which I think was a chicken parma was good... not the best I'd ever had though. I have been told by a few people (Silver included) that the tuna one is horrible, Silver thought it looked like and smelled like cat food. Also each MRE is suppose to be 3,000 calories which for most people is the total calories you need. The cost can go anywhere form $5-$12 a piece, which if you bought canned goods the MRE's would be more in cost. You also need to check the dates on the MRE's as sometimes the ones you can buy are out of date... or they were rejected by the military.
#2 What good will dried anything do you if it needs to be re-hydrated with hot/warm water? Or even cooked, if you have no way to heat or cook something? I know dried fruits can be eaten as is, how long before you get ill from just eating fruits in an emergency situation? Dried foods can be wonderful, but they need water to be edible aside from dried fruit... and sometimes the dried fruit needs water. If you try to eat the dried foods dry, you will probably eat more than you should as they won't be very satisfying unless eaten in large quantities. That said I do think they have their use, if you have the water available and the ability to cook the items that need cooking.
#3 I think this one is the most important, people don't tend to think of water when they store food for emergencies. Now, I am the first person to say to not buy bottled water, however. In the case of storing water for long term buy bottled water, you need about 3 gallons a person per day. Which is a lot of water, and if the power is off there will be no water coming out of your taps, eventually in the cities the tanks where water is stored will run out.
Now some other things you should have for an emergency. Extra blankets, if you have no heat you will need them to keep warm. Also flashlights, WITH extra batteries; you'll need them at night and in dark corridors. A fire extinguisher, a working one; also not a "kitchen sized" one as they don't put out anything the average one lasts maybe 20-30 seconds. What happens if you do manage to get your stove going and it catches on fire? You'd need that extinguisher for that possibility. I'd also suggest having something to entertain your kids if you have any, I know that when I was a kids power outages didn't bug me as I read like a book worm. I know most kids are not like I was though.
You should also have a GOOD first aid kit, and I don't mean one of those under $20 ones at Wal-Mart. They are not really helpful. Ask your doctor what they'd recommend in one for emergencies. Also maybe take a class on first aid, you never know when it might help.
Now please note... this is not a comprehensive list... nor is there any such things as a "magical list" that will work for everyone. I am no expert on this stuff, but I know what makes sense to me; and what I have observed. Make the decision for yourself.
Be Well, Be Safe, and Blessed Be...
I have read some interesting stuff about what has been going on with this drought that has been bothering the central US, ourselves included. I know that some of my plants are not doing as well as they did last year and that it has been hotter. I have stumbled on this article about poultry farmers and their plight in this heat wave/drought:
Expect your Thanksgiving and Christmas turkeys to go up in price. However, that is not the only thing to go up in price from what I have seen.
One of my favorite bloggers on Blogger Phelan, lives in KS and has been looking into what has been going on around her. The people who grow the hay that she buys has nothing in their fields, and she is seriously thinking of getting rid of a good amount of her cattle because of it. She's got rabbits dieing as well as chickens dieing too.
Now like Phelan I have not heard a great deal about this drought/heat wave on the mainstream media, that does bother me. What will people think when they go to the store and find that prices have gone up? Especially when there is no explanation by the media that is suppose to let them know what is going on in the world.
Folks keep an eye on this situation and remember that if the plants can't grow the prices will go up! Also please remember if you are in one of the areas with the intense heat please stay out of the sun at the hottest point of the day and keep hydrated and watch your salt content as you -WILL- lose salt when you sweat.
BE Well, Be Safe and Blessed Be...