We are into intellectual prepping and gift-giving prepping this week. Or at least that is what I am dubbing it. The weather outside is frightful, so I am not going to be doing any more outdoor chores than are unnecessary. The newest members of the flock are doing well with their free range training.
While the ducks love all the mud puddles, I am beyond tired of them. The ground is now hardened – and all of the ruts are so joyous to walk over when toting water or packing feed bags to the barn…sarcasm intended.
Yesterday early am I went outside dressed in copious amounts of layers and a goofy hat this is incredibly warm, thinking absolutely no one would see me – but of course, that is when the propane delivery guy decide to come fill the tank at our daughter’s cabin. Oh well, I was warm and married and got over what the cute young delivery guy thought about my attire rather quickly.
We had a Christmas party in an adjacent county with my family this past weekend and will have a Christmas party in the county with Bobby’s family this weekend and then play host to our youngest grandson fourth birthday party. Colt is a Christmas morning baby, but his party is obviously a bit early.
All these parties might not sound like prepping opportunities, but they are…can be…should be. I use every opportunity possible to try to infuse more self-reliance into the lives of those we love – even the tots.
We made hanging herb and indoor small crop hanging vertical planters as gifts for some relatives this year. I used the same design to make hanging portable no-tech dollhouses for some little girls in the family. I believe that providing toys made out of natural materials and require imagination and muscles to play with will help children become more independent and less reliant and addiction to technology – and more eager to play outdoors and figure out how to do things on their own.
To make the hanging planters (which came complete with non-GMO heirloom seeds) we used wood that was cute and milled on our own land – saving money is also a solid prepping activity, right? We made some of the vertical growing planters out of old barn wood.
I did spend some time out in the cold harvesting river birch (or paper birch, if you prefer) to increase our stockpile of bark flour. You can’t completely replace the flour in recipes with bark flour, but you can supplement a recipe with it and therefore preserve your conventional flour.
A necessary small part came in for our broken down 4-wheeler. It took way longer than normal, probably because of all the online Christmas shopping, but it is finally back up and running. I prefer the wheeler to the Polaris Ranger for going deep into our woods because it can weave in and out through the dense tree areas far easier – which is really handy when checking the fence line.
Our intellectual prepping is focused mostly on our post-Christmas activities. Things are a lot slower around the survival homestead during the winter, which gives us ample time to do inventory, make more shelf-stable home remedies, learn new things, and hone our winter foraging skills.
Oh, and “build in our heads.” We did this a lot before we found our dream survival land. Sitting at the table near the warm and crackling fire we tend to sip on an adult beverage and ponder, write, and draw what we want to build, repair, dig, etc. come decent weather.
The “to do” list is usually all completed before it turns cold again, but some projects get moved down on the list when equipment issues or fencing needs take priority.
Well, that’s about it for my preps this week – so onto the questions!
- Have you ever harvested bark to make flour or other edible uses? Please share your experiences.
- Do you garden indoors during the winter?
- What are your deep winter post-Christmas prepping plans?
- And……what did you do to prep this week?