Hello Pack, hope everyone is healthy and busy prepping. Now that spring is finally here it is time to really get cracking on all those projects we have been daydreaming about doing all winter. I cannot hardly wait to get the gardening season fully underway.
In addition to our standard crops this year we are going to be planting food plots for the duck and chicken flocks. Some of the plants will be aquatic, and others will be ground plots.
Every year I like to grow one or two new plants that I have spent time learning about over the winter months, but this year I have an entire list of new crops I want to try to put in.
Some are strictly for their medicinal value, but others are being cultivated to bolster our stockpile of both human and livestock food.
It took me far longer to get the duckweed and fairy moss to grow in the pond than I figured it would because all of the suppliers on Amazon were outside of the United States and shipping from their countries was a no-go becaue of the virus.
I am going to keep the aquatic plants growing through the winter months in the greenhouse or our garage so I can continue to have a free and sustainable source of food for the flocks. I have never dehydrated aquatic crops, but you are supposed to be able to do that, so I am going to give that a try, as well.
This week we planted two new peach trees, a crab apple tree, a few raspberry bushes, and three grape bushes.
I also bought a lilac bush to plant. It felt so wrong spending money on a plant that will not produce either food or medicine, but I decided lilac is an excellent pollinator attractor so putting one of my favorite plants along the fruit grove might just be a prep afterall.
Our ducks are back up to their regular egg producing strength. We are getting two dozen eggs per day from the seven females. I am releasing the ducklings in the indoor brooder this weekend.
Well, at least the Pekin ducklings are going into the poultry coop. The Khaki Campbell ducklings have not grown as quickly, so I may keep them safely tucked away in the brooder with the banty chicks a little while longer.
We are on whelping watch right now. Jovie is about to have her first litter of pups. We have jokingly said that she is eating for 17, but it sure does look like she has a whole lot of puppies in there.
I may keep one female pup, but I am not sure yet. I would love to keep her line going on forever, but she is a mighty jealous sort, and I am not sure that she will like having a human that now has to try to love two dogs evenly.
The money made from selling the blue heeler pups is going to be funneled right back into our survival homestead.
In other news this week, there is a new pig on the farm. Buddy is his name.
He is a teacup pig my daughter drug home as a pet – so he will not become bacon unless we are down to desperate during a long-term disaster. Or, possibly, if he keeps wandering into the garage and then into my beloved’s office if the door is not completely shut.
Buddy follows around our daughter’s pit bull puppy everywhere it goes – until the pit bull that is exactly the same color as the pig, tries to mate with it … then the pig squeals and waddles off.
Buddy seems to love chicken, if he cannot be located outside all you have to do is yell that you have chicken and the pig comes running – seriously, running.
Since we are finally out of winter, I have been taking the grandkiddos into the woods for forest schooling again. I tasked Auddie, who just turned four, with teaching her sister Ariyah (2 ½) trail safety rules, and how to find her way both to where we are hiking and her way back out.
This reinforces Auddie’s comprehension and critical thinking skills, while Ariyah learns to be more independent in the woods.
We spotted the first snake of the year in the woods today. A tribe member’s 11-year-old son happened to be standing on it while waiting for some of the little ones to catch up while hiking up a steep trail behind our house.
It was just a little garter snake, so nothing to worry about, and it was released unharmed. One of the girls cried because she was scared – we have to work on that whole crying thing in general, and the snake phobia.
As long as the snakes are not venomous and stay in their habitat in the woods we get along just fine. When they keep coming into the people living area we have a problem, but that is rare.
This black racer snake kept encroaching upon the people area so I stopped the 4-wheeler one day and we had a chat. That breed can be aggressive, but it is not common.
Still, there are too many little ones up here whose actions could be considered startling or threatening to the race, prompting it to react accordingly even if no harm is really intended.
I have never eaten snake, but some of our tribe members have and really like it – easy to skin, that’s for sure.
This Week’s Questions:
- How are your spring growing projects coming along?
- Do you produce anything on your survival homestead, prepper retreat, or bugin location that makes money you use to further your self-reliance efforts?
- Have you ever grown food plots for your ducks and chickens? What did you grow and how did you preserve it?
- Have you ever eaten snake? Did you like it?
- What did you do to prep this week?