Hello Pack. Damned if winter did not rear its cold, miserable, and ugly head one more time. The three inches of snow that fell totally messed up some exciting prepping plans I had this week.
Several of my tribe members worked to create a gun safety and .22 rifle shooting class and archery class for 59 area self-reliant homeschooled children.
Unfortunately, the tribe member’s gun range, as awesome as it is, is outdoors. The indoor portion of the building has a plethora of space for the extension activities we had planned, but getting to the range and then out to the nice covered shooting area was a bit much with all of the snow and cold.
So, we nixed the highly educational and fun training, and scheduled a make up date.
Our other preps this week were mostly routine maintenance related. Fences needed mending in several spots since deer had run through them, our private farm road also needed grading, and we planted some more seeds for the garden.
My cherry tomatoes are coming up nicely, as is my calendula, echinacea, marshmallow, and mullein.
Soon, the trees were ordered from the county’s soil and water agency will arrive. I am really excited about getting the new fruit trees in the ground.
We also ordered a wildlife food plot mix that I am going to plant to help make our meat and egg bird flocks more sustainable. My goal is to completely do away with store-bought chicken feed by next fall.
We got a pretty good deal on the food plot mix – 25 pounds for a $55 bag. The mix contains sorghum, millet, soybeans, and a plethora of other nutrient rich plants that our plant can garner most of their dietary needs from. The bugs they eat when free ranging should finish off their protein needs.
I am going to plant the food plot mixture in a series so I always have some ready to mature and preserve. This, in addition to what I will grow in our greenhouse, should have us commercial feed free by my self-imposed deadline.
Being reliant upon bags of feed is simply not a sustainable plan for survival livestock. The Jerusalem artichoke plants, among others, will also help supplement the nutritional needs of not just the poultry birds, but of the other barnyard inhabitants, as well.
The same county department is also doing some soil testing for us before we reseed a few of the hay fields. The tests only cost $15 for a good number of samples, and comes complete with some tips for the best types of seed to use, etc.
It is doubtful that I can get Bobby on board with the idea, but I have become intrigued with the prospect of buying miniature Jersey cows. While we have 56 acres, we still need to be to make sure we have enough grazing space and hayfields to feed the animals if left solely to our own devices to do so.
The mini Jerseys should provide all the milk we need without requiring as much space or feed as a standard size dairy cow.
This Week’s Questions
- Do you grow any of your own feed for your survival livestock?
- Do you (or would you like to) use a greenhouse to start seeds or extend your growing season? If so, why or why not?
- If you were suddenly quarantined due to an epidemic or pandemic like the Coronavirus, how would your preps hold up?
- What did you do to prep this week?