Hello Pack. I hope you all are enjoying this new year and new decade so far. Preps have been a bit slow this week, at least outdoors, due to weather. But, that has given us more time to get some inventory lists finished up, to do some canning, and to continue working on our annual Preps To Do Chapter Book for 2020.
I am pleased to say that keeping one of Pearl’s most recent kids was a wise choice. He is shaping up to be an awesome little goat that should make an excellent breeder as his poppa starts to slow down in that regard.
His personality is endearing to be sure, but he is very “farm smart” and spunky, and an excellent browser already. It is quite hilarious to watch a goat that currently stands about 12 inches tall – max, back down a horse.
My mother got me an Instant Pot for Christmas, and we are really enjoying it. A few months back Bobby surprised me with an Instant Air Fryer oven and dang if that is not handy.
I was blissfully unaware that the Instant Pot was basically a fancy pressure cooker with a ton of digital options before opening the box. I am always less than thrilled when Bobby does pressure canning, and refer to it as “playing with a bomb in the house”.
But, attempting to set my pressure cooker phobia aside, the Instant Pot is awesome. We made ham and bean soup in the pot in only an hour – with beans that had not even been soaked overnight.
I do not like ham and bean soup – or any soup for that matter, but Bobby is a huge fan and said it tastes just like when he makes it “right” on the stove for hours.
When we started the process with the Instant Pot he called it cheating but after tasting it, I seriously doubt that he will make it any other way until the SHTF and he uses cast iron Dutch oven over an open flame.
The fancy appliance might not seem like a prep, but I still think it qualifies. Anything that allows us to preserve food more often and more quickly can earn a spot in my pantry anytime.
Bobby’s DIY manual kick wheel pottery wheel is working out great. He is going to make a new set of dishes for me, I am pretty excited about that since grandkids have managed to chip most of mine.
In other preps this week my “new to the garden” list continues to grow. If I bought everything our granddaughter Auddie has marked in all the catalogs I keep getting in the mail, there would not be one inch of free space left on our survival homestead. Our little country princess sure does love to garden and forage.
I believe I am most excited to grow Jerusalem artichokes and sorghum and feverfew. Our fruit grove is going to undergo an expansion, which is also exciting.
The few elderberry trees we bought last spring are growing well, and we are going to triple the amount we are currently growing since the berries have so many medicinal uses.
We have been taking elderberry gummies for months now, and so far all of this sickness that has been going around has left our house alone.
My Ruby has enjoyed all the extra time out on the trail and snacks from the kids thanks to the unseasonably warm weather we briefly enjoyed.
Spring cannot come quickly enough to suit me!
This Weeks Questions
- Do you grow or use elderberries? What are you favorite healing remedies?
- Soon it will be tree tapping time. In addition to maple, do any of you tap other trees for syrup? I like tapping birch for the butterscotch flavor sap it produces.
- Have you started to plot out your growing operation for this year? What new things are you most excited about adding?