What I Did To Prep These Past Two Weeks: May 16th – May 30th, 2021

Hey Pack! Hope you had a safe and productive weekend and I hope you’re ready for Memorial Day!

Spring has sprung. With our first 90-degree day behind us, we are firmly ensconced in summer. Let the gardening, lawn mowing, and foraging begin!

patch of ramps

On the road again

I travel a bit for work. In normal times I spend 3-5 days per month on the road. Not much by most standards, but it is a part of the rhythm of our household. As you can probably guess, for the last 18 months things have been a little different.

In fact, since the shutdown I’ve taken only 4 trips. 4 very odd trips (empty airports that should be full), very suffocating trips (I’m not used to wearing a mask for 16 hours–bless those of you that are), and very maddening trips (full planes during one of the peaks… and you call that social distancing… really?).

Those flood gates are now open and I’ll be away more than I’ll be home for the next few months, as we work to catch up. That will make our prepping a little more challenging.

For the last year and a half, we’ve become used to a cadence to our prepping. Canning, dehydrating, and curing food. Building out and maintaining our off-grid place. We’ve come a long way in the last year. It’s been pretty nice, actually.

My time is now split. It’s hard to trim tomato plants and can chicken when you’re 1,500 miles from home. I also have to account for the travel preparations I make.

I take a considerable amount of time before each trip planning and doing my research. Some of that is for work, but it’s mostly playing the personal security game.

What is the environment I’m going into? What are my plans if things go south? It all keeps me safe on the road, but it also nibbles away from home life.

That being said, I have a great support network at home. My family really pulls together when I’m away. Luckily, I’m still able to help with homework, thanks to video chats, but the prepping activities must go on and my girls are the best. I’m truly a blessed man.

Of Feast and Famine

Spring is my second favorite foraging season. I’ll be the first to admit that I need to work on my plants. I have mushrooms down, but I wouldn’t survive for long if I had to rely on roots and leaves. That’s why I love spring. Fiddleheads and Ramps are two plants I know how to identify and where to get them in numbers.

Ramps are an interesting combination of garlic and onions. Sauté up a few leaves in bacon grease, and they are great toppers to a burger. Washed and sliced ,they add a significant bite to macaroni, potato, or pasta salad. While they are in season, we also sauté and wilt, then blend with butter for a spread that is out of this world.

My absolute favorite preparation is to grill half the batch until toasted and dry the remainder. Put the two together and grind into a powder. Sprinkled on pork or even scrambled eggs. To quote Alan Bergo “Ramp powder can make an old shoe taste good.”

The ramps are in full swing and we have several patches at camp that are calling to me.

What hasn’t gone well this year is fiddleheads. These immature fern sprouts are in season for about a week. My first trip into camp was a little early. I got enough for a meal, but they weren’t quite ready.

6 days later, all my patches were in full fern mode. So our one meal was it. No fiddlehead tempura or canned fiddleheads for us this year. Sigh. I’ll do better next year!

In the meantime, I’ll have to compensate with learning a few new foraged edibles. Lord knows I have the right books on the subject.

This Week’s Questions:

  1. How is your support network when you are away from home?
  2. Any upcoming travel plans?
  3. Do you have any special procedures for when you travel?
  4. What’s your favorite wild edible?

Thanks for joining me on this prepper’s journey. I hope to see you in the comment section!

25 thoughts on “What I Did To Prep These Past Two Weeks: May 16th – May 30th, 2021”

  1. Got my twice weekly shopping done. Adding some extra canned goods every week now. An extra four or five cans of various items, whatever blows my kilt up at the time.

    The economy is really starting to take a serious dump. Get your preps up to snuff and get some silver and gold if you can afford it, the more the better. Silver is used to provide you with barter ability. It helps to keep your standard of living up. Basically, silver provides the means to buy normal everyday things like food, fuel, etc. Gold is used to store your wealth. You use it to buy hard assets like land, a house, etc. Do not go into debt to buy precious metals. The people holding your debt will not forget about it.

    One financial guru calls gold and silver “analog money.” It can’t be tracked like crypto or the future “FedCoin” digital currency. Once digital currency becomes the coin of the realm, the government can track everything you do with FedCoin, if they want to. They can cut you off from buying certain things, or even cut you off completely. Moreover, it is theoretical that your spending information can be sold to private companies, like health insurance companies, who might want to see what unhealthy foods you buy so they can jack up your premiums. Of course, precious metal purchases can be restricted to regain control over that financial aspect of your life. So, now is the time to get PM.

    This Week’s Questions:

    1. How is your support network when you are away from home?

    I rarely travel. I don’t like driving long distances and airports annoy me. Actually, I am the support network for #1 daughter when she travels for the Air Force Reserve. Sure, she has her hubby too, but I am still the primary babysitter for their daughter and in charge of spoiling her rotten. In reality she is very well behaved and easy to care for. I’ve cared for her since she was seven weeks old and she’s 4-1/2 years old now, so we know each other quite well.

    2. Any upcoming travel plans?

    No. I’d like to travel up to the Detroit area for a reunion with my Desert Storm unit in June. But that isn’t going to happen.

    3. Do you have any special procedures for when you travel?

    It depends on how I’m travelling. I really don’t like going places where I can’t be armed. If I went to Michigan, I could carry concealed as Florida’s CWP is recognized.

    4. What’s your favorite wild edible?

    Do not have a favorite wild edible.

    Reply
    • Something I should have added to my main post. I just read a book written in 2020 about the US economy and where things are going. The author is big on gold stacking. He isn’t anti-silver, he just thinks gold is better.

      EB Tucker, “Why Gold? Why Now?” It’s $9.99 on Kindle. I recommend everyone read this book. Tucker writes about the exact things I’ve been thinking for some time (years in some cases). He’s been in the financial biz all of his working adult life.

      Reply
    • How is your support network when you are away from home?
      It’s difficult for me to find reliable help to care for the homestead without always depending on family. I feel bad having them do it too much.

      Any upcoming travel plans?
      Yes. We’re going fishing and camping in a week.

      Do you have any special procedures for when you travel?
      Bring everything we think we’ll need and lots of stuff we hope we don’t have to use. We don’t advertise that we’re gone, and we have a camera at home to monitor what’s going on.

      What’s your favorite wild edible?
      Asparagus

      This Week:
      *Animals:
      -Got two little mousers. #1 granddaughter loves them.

      *Garden:
      -Planted bi-color corn, white corn, green beans, lima beans, eggplant, acorn squash, yellow squash, zucchini, cucumbers, sweet banana peppers, sweet green bell peppers, lots of flowers,

      *Preserving:
      -Made eight batches of strawberry freezer jam.
      -Froze three gallons of strawberries.

      *Prepping purchases/added to the stockpile: garden seeds,

      *Miscellaneous:
      -Finished the landscaping at the front of the house. Not a necessity, but I love having things neat, tidy, and looking nice.
      -Our lawn mower broke, and the repairs are going to be expensive. Now we have to decide whether to repair or replace.
      -Had the oil changed in DH’s truck.
      -I’ve had foot pain for about four or five years, and I finally went to the doctor. I should have gone sooner. I’m wearing a boot cast for about six weeks to let things “calm down and hopefully heal.” Then I’m going to have an MRI to see exactly what’s going on. I’m annoyed at having to wear it, but also amazed at how much better I feel with it.

      It’s going to get bad very soon. Be prepared. Stay safe. He’s in charge.

      Reply
      • If it’s an engine problem, you need to find ethanol free gasoline, when we were having a problem with our mower, it died the mechanic, told us ethanol free gas, is the best the smaller engines can’t burn the ethanol and it gums it up and it will spit and sputter, and have a harder time running.

        Reply
        • mom of 3:

          My ATV mechanic told me his most profitable customers don’t use ethanol-free gas, and don’t drain the fuel system at the end of the season. About 1/3 of the time he has to take the carburetor apart (and the labor rate is $75-120/hour). We drain ours (had to add a petcock to do that on the ATV’s) and run our generator dry when we come in from camping, just in case we don’t go out again that year. Do the same for all your small engines – chain saws, lawn mowers, etc.

          Reply
  2. Good morning, everyone the weather, has been up and down we’re getting a few nice day’s up in the 70’s, I was busy last week painting my fencing pieces, and getting new cover for our futon and a new seat pads for the Futon chair, man that was $100.00 but it makes it sure look better cheaper then buying patio couches, and chairs for $500.00 plus…

    My garden is in full swing so far everything is growing well , I’ve been dehydrating my herbs, that’s been a long time coming.. Hubby, got another year older, he’s only 56 but is enjoying his ” senior discount” it seems so young to be able to get those discounts, I remember when it was 65…

    We found a third shelving for $23.00 at Habitat for Humanity, so now I was able to rearrange so the shelves were not so heavy.

    Question 1 Hubby, stays close he’s not more then 50 miles from home and we have a lot of back ways to get home.

    Question 2 If we travel, it will be close again not more then 100 miles, away I don’t feel easy about it.

    Question 3. no specific cleaning just doing what we have been doing all along. The only thing I included is keeping some baby wipes, with alcohol in them to use when we’re out in about.

    Question 4. Is red leaf clover, it’s in season now so I have to pick it at my parents farm.

    Reply
  3. Gardening is in full swing. I canned the final round of green beans and will let any remaining pods dry for seed saving. I received me order of 100# of wheat berries, and also got in my seed order for cover crops—-DH asked why I had ordered 20# of seeds! He will thank me later…
    Other preps purchased were replacement parts for my canners, and sewing supplies. Next week, I should be able to remove the silage tart and till up my next garden plot. I have been making it a point to have one or two evening meals per week made from just my home grown stuff. Good practice and tasty, too.

    Reply
  4. Puppy hurt his ankle again. He is too much of a showoff when playing.

    Gardening
    Getting tomatoes on the plants, yay.
    Everything is growing great except the zucchini. I’m replanting it.
    Picked some jalapenos and they are hot. Yummy

    Vehicle
    Bought a new battery for the truck, the salesman laughed when he saw how old the old one was, 9 years out of a 4 year battery.

    Fuel
    Topped off the Jeep and a Jerry can.

    Purchases
    Bought a new gas grill, saved the old one may get parts later.
    Bought a magic mesh screen for the backdoor, puppy loves it for going in and out when it’s cool out.

    Old Tractor
    Dropped the rotted cutting deck and bagger unit off and now it’s just a tow vehicle.

    Log splitter
    Cleared an area next to a wood pile for the splitter.

    Rear porch
    Pressure washed porch
    Bought another porch chair.

    Front yard
    Power thatched, mowed and core aerated and super seeded.

    Thor’s questions
    1. What have you noticed of shrink-flation?

    2. What do you think will happen when unemployment checks run-out and no more stimulus checks combined with no immigration taking the jobs others wouldn’t take?

    3. Do you think the Corona was a planned event?

    4. Have you noticed the companies and banks that got bailouts calling for vaccinations?

    5. Have you heard of a possible CME coming our way?

    Reply
    • Thor’s questions
      1. What have you noticed of shrink-flation? When we have inflation, we also have shrink-flation. It lessons the precedes inflation.

      2. What do you think will happen when unemployment checks run-out and no more stimulus checks combined with no immigration taking the jobs others wouldn’t take? “Party Time”!!!!

      3. Do you think the Corona was a planned event? No, not the way it happened.

      4. Have you noticed the companies and banks that got bailouts calling for vaccinations? Yep.

      5. Have you heard of a possible CME coming our way? Nothing that is directed at us.

      Reply
  5. Thor’s questions

    1. What have you noticed of shrink-flation?

    I have noticed some products are affected by shrinkflation. I can’t recall which ones off the top of my bald head, but they are out there.

    2. What do you think will happen when unemployment checks run out and no more stimulus checks combined with no immigration taking the jobs others wouldn’t take?

    I don’t think this will be a consideration. I think the government is going to institute a formal Universal Basic Income followed soon after by digital currency (Fed Coin).

    3. Do you think the Corona was a planned event?

    Meaning Kung Flu? Yes, I do think so. Whether the US government was involved initially, I’m not certain. But the ChiComs definitely thunk it up.

    4. Have you noticed the companies and banks that got bailouts calling for vaccinations?

    I’m not surprised. That was probably one of the prerequisites.

    5. Have you heard of a possible CME coming our way?

    Yes, I have heard something of the sort, but that it was a weak one and should have minimal effect.

    Reply
  6. How is your support network when you are away from home? Never leave home.

    Any upcoming travel plans? Never leave home.

    Do you have any special procedures for when you travel? What do you think?

    What’s your favorite wild edible. I used to love picking dewberries along our driveways and fence rows. With the disappearance of bees there re no longer any berries to pick.

    For some reason I did not feel energetic all winter. Now that is in the 90’s I am attempting to do some outside improvements and a little gardening. About an hour in the heat puts me down for the rest of the day. Current project is putting a canopy over my west facing rear deck. Hot, hot, hot. A cool front is passing through and with it staying light long after the sun has dropped below the trees I should get that finished today. In the Navy we had tropical working hours, start work at first light, stop during the heat of the day and then finish after it cools off in the late afternoon. Now to just actually do that.

    So far my stock investments are down 1% and my wife’s 401k is up 2%. I will have to up my game.

    Reply
  7. This Week’s Questions:

    1. How is your support network when you are away from home? Family only.

    2. Any upcoming travel plans? Moving this summer so no real travel plans. Plus DW has a broken leg she can not bend it, so she’s going no where.

    3. Do you have any special procedures for when you travel? N/A

    4. What’s your favorite wild edible? Wild strawberries, blackberries, and huckleberry.

    May 16 – May 23: Learning about being a “senior care provider” with the DW laid up. Getting things ready for the move, plus meals, plus house cleaning. For a fat, old lazy guy this is going to be an experience; I’m actually enjoying myself!

    Moving more bagged dry food into buckets. Better storage, easier to move.

    New house inspection scheduled for the 26th! Moving forward. Got the paperwork done with the mortgage company (saved $2900 because I’ve done a loan with them before!). Property Disclosure Statement done with the realter.

    Got my truck back this week. It went in for new hoses, fluids, and belts. There was a lot of rust on the underside, so there were many more parts need to be replaced. One of the nuts broke on a brake caliper, which led to both sides being done, which lead discovering the brake pads had rusted away from the plates – new pads. New brake lines too. Anyway the $800 maintenance 1-day work estimate has led to almost a complete rebuild of the underside, 8 days in the shop and about $5,000. But it is way cheaper than a new truck. And I’m sure it will all work reliably. Next is the new headlights and the Ranch-Hand front bumper. But that’s why we put money up, for things like this. Last summer it was the Subaru’s transmission.

    PS.: The owner of the shop to me his transmission fluid is going up 24% starting with his next load, and to expect further increases. Get ready!

    We’ve gotten snow for 3 days this week. Nothing that stayed. Probably about 6” overall, but with daytime temps above freezing, roads and sidewalks are clear by noon. But our snow brings water to a lot of others west of here.

    DW’s progress: Day 2 – slept in own bed, upstairs. Day 4 – Able to wash in tub, w/chair. Day 5 – Appt with surgeon; Day 7 – surgery; Day 8 – HOME!

    Supply Run: 5-gal buckets; canning lids (reg); knuckle bandages; ammo; music CD’s;

    Received: DVD Set (Rat Patrol); G43X mags; G19 FDE mags; chock tube pouches; mag pouch; bedside portable toilet; over-the-bed desk; AC power supply for radio; 20 ga. snap caps; AC power supply for radio;
    ——————————————————————————————————————-
    May 24 – May 29: Busy week with not much to report.

    DW is still laid up but working from home. People must think we are going to starve, we have had 3 groups of people bring food. I keep the shelves, refer, and freezer full; plus, it is time for the “market share” fresh produce season to start – more stuff! Now they are over-full. I told the DW that we are only shopping for perishables; it’s either eat it or move it. But we are thankful that we have made enough of an impression on people that they are worried about us.

    I was supposed to start my Volunteer counseling with Project Recovery on Thursday, but the team was working on a 3-hour project that was ending up taking all day. Next week is the DW’s follow-up with the surgeon, do I guess I’ll start my training the week after that.

    Reply
  8. We received the rice and onions I ordered from the LDS Online Store. I need to order more rice. You can now only order two cases at a time.

    We drove to Cedar Key this afternoon to celebrate godson’s birthday. We took the boys out to lunch. You know you are southern when you eat shrimp po’boys and shrimp and grits. Godson had a performance tonight. A good time was had by all.

    I am exhausted. I think I will go to bed before midnight for the first time in forever.

    Reply
  9. News!!!!!!!

    I found a free app for my iPhone that successfully blocks the annoying ads on this site—Foxfire Focus. I am so sick of ads covering the content. Problem solved.

    Reply
    • I hated to do it awhile back, but I had to totally block the ads here, too. They covered almost all the content. I could barely read anything.

      Reply
  10. 1. How is your support network when you are away from home? None, as we rarely go anywhere.

    2. Any upcoming travel plans? Yes, just me, in September. This involves flying from Philly, connecting in Charlotte, then onward. Won’t go if the violence goes nuts.

    3. Do you have any special procedures for when you travel? If via car, gas up when we arrive. If my car, I keep backpack, blankies, and water in trunk. If my flight happens this year, at least a small backpack will stay with me.

    4. What’s your favorite wild edible? Wild blueberries. Too bad the DP chopped out the best plants a few years ago. I could have strangled him for that.

    Stuff:
    Received staff and mags.
    Bought some canning jars. No lids around here. Need to ramp up on buying everything.
    2-1/2 days of rain & cold. Too bad the rain started just b4 I was headed outside to plant the pickle cukes. Now it’ll be 3 days b4 I can tread on big garden w/o sinking.
    Got the spinach out of little garden, along with thinning out the lettuce and chijimasai (ooo, even the DP likes that Japanese green). I simply pulled the few scallions and carrots. I’ll have to replant those along with 8 or 9 okra. Planted a packet of filet beans. I’ll have to put row cover over those thanks to the birds.
    Once the soil dries out a bit in the big garden, I’ll have to sow green beans and edamame. Probably need to do a light till first.

    Reply

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