Hey Pack. It has been a very busy week here on our survival homestead. It has only rained briefly a few times in the evening. I am hopeful that we are not going from months of intense rain to a long dry period like we did last year. Time will tell, I guess.
I did some more harvesting of wild carrots – Queen Anne’s Lace this week. Some of it I will preserve, and the rest is going to be used to make jelly.
Most of our preps this week centered around gardening and tractor repair yet again. My Bobby might just about be ready to curse and kick his beloved vintage Massey Ferguson tractor. He might do it in private and deny it, but I do believe he is just about to that point.
The tractor was part of the $17,000 worth of used equipment we worked into the purchase deal when signing on the bottom line for our fixer upper survival homestead.
The older man who had the place said what was wrong with it at the time – super nice guy. But, some things he had fixed temporarily may have caused others to not work well, along with normal repair and replacements that have been needed. It seems like the tractor has been down at least once a week for months.
Bobby has two other tractors, but none that have the hydraulics and can handle the tow weight for some of his implements like this one can. Driving up our private farm road (all uphill, mind you) backwards on the little Kubota so the too large and heavy tilling blade doesn’t keep the front wheels off the ground is not a reasonable alternative.
No matter what all the guys in our tribe think, I have warned my Bobby many times, that if I have to use his radio to page dispatch for a squad over unsupervised male antics, I am going to make up one humdinger of a hilariously embarrassing story to accompany the call.
Now, don’t think me mean fellow preppers, holding my that over my Bobby’s head, along with him knowing I will actually do it, has kept him safe for years.
We are battling Japanese beetles, but not half as badly as last year, thanks to the use of beneficial insects and pre-treating the growing areas with my homemade bad bug killer. Yep, it can kill good bugs too, but sacrificing them for the good of our survival food supply is a trade off I am willing to make.
Combine 2 parts flour to 1 part table salt, and stir in about 1 cup of diatomaceous dirt in a bucket. Spread it around the base of plants and on them during a cool part of the day during the growing season. The bugs eat this, then swell up, burst, and DIE.
Before the growing season I sprinkle it onto the growing beds, containers, and onto the ground in the traditional growing plot – as well as around the perimeter or the area to kill any bugs that emerge out of the ground or into the area before I plant.
We lucked into some great deals of extra vegetables to plant. Due to the heavy rain and flooding, so many folks could not put in a garden this year in our area, or had to vastly decrease the dimension of their growing plot. I have no doubt the wonderful mom and pop places we buy anything from that we don’t grow from seed, were hard hit in the wallet this year.
Everything we bought was at least 50% off. We were even given two flats of tomato plants just so they could be rid of them and close up shop for the season. They didn’t look great, tall and spindly and a bit dry, but now they are established in some good dirt, and nearly thriving.
Our one big prep purchase this week (well in quite a while, was an awesome gun safe Bobby had been wanting. You can never have too many weapons or storage for them, at least in my humble opinion.
Having the grandkiddos help in the garden has been a pure joy for me and a wonderfully dirty hands on learning experience for them. Auddie is fairly addicted to it. I so did not schedule more gardening into my day yesterday after going at it hard for several days in a row, but the little thing just had to plant and weed something. Colt did not want to miss a chance to see what was living in the dirt we moved around.
Auddie took her baby sister, Ariyah (1 ½) by the hand and gave her a tour of the apothecary patch and container garden. Little miss thing is not allowed in there while we work it, because she tends to pluck growing veggies or rip plant right out of the ground if we turn our eyes off of her for a brief few seconds.
Auddie walked Ariyah around and told her what all of the plants were, and showed her where she and Colt kept their little metal shovels before pinching off a little bit of lettuce she was growing all by herself for a fresh from the garden treat. Self-reliance training the grandkiddos continues to be the highlight of my week.
This Week’s Questions
- Do you use beneficial insects in your garden – if so which ones and how?
- Did you do any self-reliance training with kids or entice others to prep this week – if so how?
- How are your gardens growing?
- What did you do to prep this week?