What I Did to Prep This Week

What I Did To Prep This Week: Apr 26th – May 1st 2020

man in the woods

Hello Pack, I hope everyone is well – and Thor1 has been heard from. It does not take long for the absence of any follower of this column to be felt, that is for sure. Folks looking out for one another, in my mind, is what prepping really is all about.

One of my prepping mentors, Survivor Jane, likes to say, “We are all in this together.” And she is right. The more folks who are prepared, the less panic, marauding, death, and pestilence there will be when the SHTF.

We have gotten a lot done on our survival homestead this week thanks to consistent nice weather – with only scattered rain. Oh, be sure I am still living on a bit of a mud farm, but there is more solid ground than mushy.

Planting a few dozen free trees from our county soil and water conservation department took up an entire day. Because of the pandemic, many trees that had been ordered were not picked up and were handed out first come, first serve.

We take advantage of the sale every year to replenish the trees we lose to weather or cut down for firewood.

Although we have hundreds of trees, possibly thousands, our survival homestead is being built and maintained for use by future generations as a part of our family self-reliance plan.

children holding goats

Pearl had two kids, a male and a female, so that was the major excitement for the week. Both are healthy and doing well. We will sell the male kid once he is weaned, and keep the female.

I really do not need another related female, but she is really sweet, the grandkids love her, and she already seems smart enough to do more than her fair share of brush clearing.

Auddie named her Rosy. I am going to breed her with a tribe member’s Billy goat once she is old enough to further strengthen and diversify our herd line. If she is like her mother, Rosy will also be an excellent milker.

ducks of various breeds

Without close inspection it is really difficult to tell our Jumbo Pekin ducklings from the rest of the flock now. The Khaki Campbell ducklings are a smaller breed, so it will take weeks more for them to look like they are nearing maturity.

The ducklings melded into the flock perfectly, as have our newest batch of chicks.

Every day they patrol through and around the shelter house and playhouse area that serves as the only real traditional backyard space we have here on our homestead.

They also meander around my apothecary patch and ground growing plots feeding themselves on insects that we do not want in the garden, or biting us when enjoying an outdoor meal.

We lose “good bugs” that are beneficial to the garden as well, but that is the cost we have to pay not to be eaten alive by mosquitoes, and to allow the flocks to earn their keep while eating a natural diet.

In other preps this week, I planted more Jerusalem artichokes, lettuce, onions, carrots, and cabbage. The local Amish greenhouse is finally as full as it normally would have been a month ago, so we can get the rest of the garden plants we need.

We grow a lot from seed, but are putting in even more growing plots this year to increase our food security.

The 2020 pandemic has more people growing their own food and herbs, which is a good thing, but it is causing the farmer’s market in our county and two adjacent ones to sell out of plants far more quickly than normal.

Online mega garden vendors like Burpee and Guerney order processing delays and many out of stock items, as well.

homemade dandelion infusion
some of my homemade dandelion infusion

We also made copious amounts of all natural soap, replenished my stockpile of dandelion infusion, made elderberry syrup, built another closet and a buffet table out of barnwood, and did some work on our farm road after all of the abundance of rain caused some craterous ruts.

cinnamon and nutmeg soap

I have written many times about the need to save your own seeds instead of relying on a greenhouse to buy live plants from when the spring gardening time rolls around, because one day that is not going to be a possibility. This may just be that year.

Barnwood Buffet Table
Barnwood Buffet Table

We have made excellent use of all the wood and hand hewn timbers from the 1800s era barn that sadly had to be torn down because it was no longer stable. It is at the lower front of the property by the hayfield and the road – which it was going to fall into.

All of the walls in our house were exposed poured concrete from the chair rail down when we moved in. They are all covered in barnwood as shown in this photo.

We have made cabinets, planters, outdoor furniture, drop leaf sewing table, storage bench style seats, shelves, closets, pantries, and a 12 foot by 4 foot dining room table and a matching island is the next project to make.

Not only did we save thousands of dollars turning a spartan hunting lodge into a beautiful rusting homesteading house, we were able to give a second life to the great barn wood that was cut and milled right here on the property. I am so glad we were able to preserve it.

Meat prices went really high due to the pandemic as well. We bought two whole hogs ready to butcher, and processed them in our butcher shop to bolster our meat supply. We may be doing the same thing with a cow later this month.

I hope the 2020 pandemic has all of you who do not live in rural areas really start to rethink where you are living and how it affects your level of preparedness.

Food security and being huddled in a densely populated area with dang little space to move about are two very important reasons to start planning a relocation to a more sustainable locale.

Our county did not have a single case of the new disease until a few days before the whole state was planning on opening back up. The local screen printer even had shirts made up to note we are the only county in the total of 88 that was disease free.

Two sisters who work in a nursing home in Columbus brought the illness here, but there have been no more known cases.

Honestly, I really think it went through southern Ohio earlier this year like it did in West Virginia, and we all just thought we got a weird flu and had a higher flu season than normal and then got over it.

Hospitalizations were up a bit with what was thought to be flu or pneumonia related illness, but as far as I can tell, everyone recovered.

This Week’s Questions

  1. What has the shutdown of meat plants and run on gardening centers caused you to plan to do to become more food secure?
  2. What were the biggest pandemic downsides where you live?
  3. Other than a need to only a block or two from a hospital, why would you choose to live in an urban or suburban area instead of a rural one, as a prepper?
  4. What did you do to prep this week?
Tara Dodrill

About Tara Dodrill

Tara Dodrill is a homesteading and survival journalist and author. She lives on a small ranch with her family in Appalachia. She has been both a host and frequent guest on preparedness radio shows. In addition to the publication of her first book, 'Power Grid Down: How to Prepare, Survive, and Thrive after the Lights go Out', Dodrill also travels to offer prepping tips and hands-on training and survival camps and expos.
View all posts by Tara Dodrill →

123 thoughts on “What I Did To Prep This Week: Apr 26th – May 1st 2020

  1. What has the shutdown of meat plants and run on gardening centers caused you to plan to do to become more food secure?
    I ordered beef and pork a little earlier than usual, and I’m planting a larger garden with more variety.

    What were the biggest pandemic downsides where you live?
    I miss going to church and spending time with my family.

    Other than a need to only a block or two from a hospital, why would you choose to live in an urban or suburban area instead of a rural one, as a prepper?
    I wouldn’t. I’ve always lived in the country, and I want to continue to do so.

    What did you do to prep this week?

    This week:
    -Friend’s little girl had her three hens and four chicks killed by predators this week. I gave her a rooster and a hen. (Also gifted them some eggs, lettuce, and several tomato plants.)
    -Planning a new chicken tractor. Will use lumber from #2DS’s old porch and DD’s leftover chicken wire from a craft project. (She only used 18 inches off of an entire roll.)

    -Planted potatoes, green beans, corn, eggplant, more onions, blackberries (Gifted two that were 8 ft. tall and one that’s 4 feet tall.),
    -Helped DIL plant her garden.
    -Harvesting more lettuces and spinach from the greenhouse than we can eat. I’m sharing with others.

    *Prepping purchases/added a little to the stockpile: Kleenex, bar soap, TP, paper towels, powdered sugar, brown sugar, olive oil, canned Mt. Dew (DH’s favorite), vinegar, liquid hand soap, vitamin D, elderberry supplement,

    -Canceled our camping trip to Grand Canyon. Not sure what things will look like in a couple of weeks. So, we’re staying home.
    -Got some plumbing supplies to fix a drain issue with the new camper. (Would rather do it ourselves than haul camper to the dealer.)

    -Bees-Put wonky comb that was built (last year) in empty space in the super into empty frames. Held in place with rubber bands. I should have done it before now, but didn’t have the time. Crossing my fingers that it was successful. Also did two splits. Once again, fingers crossed.

    Be prepared. Stay safe. He’s in charge.

    1. Very kind of you to give the little girl a new starter flock. Hope you, and everyone, can get back to church and socializing soon. Life really hasn’t changed on our here, socially speaking we still have had gatherings, but miss seeing my mother – she is staying in and having limited contact with others due to her age.

  2. taras questions

    1 not affecting me in any way

    2 has not affected me in any significant way

    3 i tried living in a slum town once but it didn’t work out and i was not there long

    burned 3 huge slash piles, built an 11×15 addition on my neigbors goat barn, cut more firewood, maybe 3 full cords, stacked 2 full cords, bought 5 cases of used mason jars for $30, bought a used 2 bottom plow for $225 (similar ones go for up to $1000 at local farm auctions, but there are none happening this year), got 50lbs of dry oatmeal, 50lbs of bread flour, 5 gallons cider vinegar and other supplies replenished from use over winter. plowed up a half acre garden, picked up any rocks that came up (used sledge to break the big ones down so i could move them, i can carry 150lbs easy but these were too heavy). bought 200lbs each of catfood and dogfood (enough to fill another barrel of each). shot 2 more sap suckers off my apple trees (22 with iron sights picking them off at 120 feet). sold a broken old wagon filled with scrap metal. local menonite store is getting in surplus bacon, frozen cases of 20lbs bits and pieces are $6 a case so i placed an order for 2 cases (40lbs of bacon for $12), bits and pieces are not sliced bacon but i can it to store it and it comes out crumbled anyway.

    also got a facebutt account, put up my farm videos and my book. the books my autobiography and is really messed up, and the videos show my farm from 2011 through 2019, a video for each year about 5 to 14 minutes long each showing what happened in each year. might keep this one up a while. https://www.facebook.com/sean.peterson.7528610

    doing some finishing touches on that goat barn, they have to move the goats out first and are taking a long time so i am using internet while i wait

    1. and so much fo a facebook page, i had a bad day hinking back to the stalking and harrassment my relatives did in the past and why i became an off grid hermit hiding away from people to avoid them, the more i thought about trying to reconnect with people the more angry i got remembering ways they found me before and then thinking of how to be part of societ and cover myself from being found by them, but all it was was a long excersize in frustration and i became more and more paranoid as to the risks of my relatives finding me so i deleted the facebook account then destroyed the phone, better to be safe in my isolated fortified hermitage than to risk being found by those monsters

    1. Hi all and @Buckeye_Mom Welcome

      This Week’s Questions

      1. What has the shutdown of meat plants and run on gardening centers caused you to plan to do to become more food secure?

      Even before the shutdown, we increased our meat purchases – both fresh for the freezer and canned for the shelf. In the garden, I’m focusing more on foods we actually eat than foods we have traded for restaurant food in the past. While the restaurant we supplied jalapenos to in the past is still open and I’m still going to grow them, we need more stuff for home eating anyway and should still have plenty of peppers to trade. In the area of seeds, I have ordered more, but need to organize what I have better and I’ll be saving more seeds at harvest time.

      2. What were the biggest pandemic downsides where you live?

      For others, not being able to buy toilet paper, paper towels and cleaning supplies. I had enough paper towels and toilet paper on hand. I source my cleaning supplies somewhat differently and have recipes for making my own.

      3. Other than a need to be only a block or two from a hospital, why would you choose to live in an urban or suburban area instead of a rural one, as a prepper?

      Why? Convenience for both of our jobs and (previously) access to better schools for our daughters. If there were some guarantee that we could continue to work from home as we are now, we would be making arrangements to move already.

      4. What did you do to prep this week?

      Garden: Started planting the garden last weekend. Of course, we are hitting a dry spell now – seems to be that way every year – so we are watering it. Bought plants to fill in some holes where the seedlings we grew ourselves aren’t doing well. Bought straw yesterday to put down between the rows for mulch and will be doing more planting today (Sunday). Youngest DD is coming over to get plants for her apartment. She will be sent home with a tomato plant and some herbs for her patio/balcony. I also picked up a lettuce mix for her.

      Monday – we finished planting everything but the corn yesterday and started mulching. Green beans planted previously seem to be germinating well. Hopefully the rest of the seeds do well too.

      Groceries: Continue to buy extras and encourage our daughters to do the same. We know at least two will be shopping with us if needed, although they are stocking up as their finances and space allow.

      Speaking of daughters: #1 daughter moved to Albuquerque, NM last week. #3 daughter (youngest) moved into her own apartment. Sorta worried about both but they are smart and can figure stuff out.

      We are both still working from home although the DH is on furlough this week, as he was a month ago. Fortunately, unemployment combined with the stimulus check we were really surprised to see is making up the difference. Also, the DH has made significant progress on jobs/projects around the house (although he is taking a nap as I finish typing this).

      Georgia is re-opening in stages which was quite helpful since we had many errands to run this past Saturday. We have done dine-in twice but always sitting outside with no one else around. The more rural the area, the less likely one is to see people wearing masks. It’s good most of the time since people in rural areas seem to have some common sense about staying away from other people. On the other hand, some of the more touristy places in North Georgia got really crowded Saturday and probably didn’t help our curve much. I don’t wear a mask most of the time and I don’t ever wear gloves in public. #3 daughter pointed out the stupidity of some people wearing gloves in a public place then promptly getting into their car without removing the gloves – kinda defeats the purpose. The one place I will not go without wearing a mask is the grocery store – that’s the one place that scares me the most.

      Thor’s Questions

      1. Do you think the depression will hit in 5 months? (Hint bailouts for airlines end Sept. 30th and they have cut travel down from 1100 flights at one city down the minimum of 5 flights a week)

      A lot depends on how you define a depression. A lot also depends on other factors within specific areas of the country and within specific industries. Some businesses do better when there is an economic down-turn and some are unaffected. Historically, chocolate sales are high during bad times. We are definitely in a recession brought on by the shut down.

      2. Are you ready for home invasions and high crime?

      They have already happened in our area, but I actually haven’t heard of one recently. One person we knew personally and came out lucky to be alive. Another was within two miles of where I live. We are as ready as we can be since both of us sleep with firearms on either the headboard or nightstand.

      I did think it interesting that Zulu 3-6 noted that murder is up in his area. Around here, murder is down but violent crimes are up, along with domestic violence. Overall crime is down in many areas around here too, but I don’t expect it to last long.

      3. How are you preserving your meat as prices will only go up?

      We are adding more to the freezer and to canned meats as finances and availability allow.

      4. Are you growing more beans for protein?

      I haven’t had much success with legumes although green beans aren’t a problem. I probably need to rotate some of our dry beans and add more legumes to the canned storage. I have plenty of rice, even though the DH doesn’t eat it much – texture issues.

      5. Would you eat lab grown meat?

      Not knowingly. I have eaten some veggie protein substitutes that I found likable, but not since I gave up gluten. Strange what they put wheat in sometimes.

      1. GA Red,

        If you ever want to learn more about some profitable and legitimate work from home options, I would be happy to offer as much guidance as possible. Depending upon your career types, you might already be a natural fit for opportunities you did not even know existed. Happy to help get you out of the city, shoot me an email anytime – [email protected] The same offer goes for anyone who is interested in figuring out how to make the move and not end up broke in the process – homeschooling help included!

  3. This Week’s Questions

    1. What has the shutdown of meat plants and run on gardening centers caused you to plan to do to become more food secure? We have a meat market that gets it meat local, so I really don’t see where we’ll have a problem, except maybe price wise. Our garden centers are running at normal.

    2. What were the biggest pandemic downsides where you live? Most of the people we normally socialize with are older and we are all pretty much keeping to ourselves.

    3. Other than a need to only a block or two from a hospital, why would you choose to live in an urban or suburban area instead of a rural one, as a prepper? We would choose to be more rural, for privacy and space reasons mostly.

    4. What did you do to prep this week? Well (MS Office will let me at my documents this morning)…

    Maybe later…

    1. So far the computer is about half broken. Internet works, Adobe Acrobat works some. MS Office can’t find itself and open or find and open any of it’s documents. Some of my safety and protection software works, some doesn’t. It’s just weird.

      I have calls in to my “computer experts”. Hopefully by Monday or Tuesday my computer will be back up and working (or replaced).

      1. JP, this site seems to lock my tablet up and I have to shut it down and reboot if I try to send anything.
        My main computer is a different story as it has a really good protection system.

        1. I used uBlock to stop the pop-ups and that helped with this site a bunch.

          I can now access my documents, through One Drive. I just can’t save them back to the computer. wierd.

          My computer expert from church is coming over tomorrow to look at it. We’ll see what’s up.

        2. JP and Thor ,
          Try linux. is free. Has good service. Try putting it on a thumb drive and booting from it. It will cost you nothing to try….If you want to save anything it will have to be installed on hard drive.. DH has been running a Linux of some form for about 4 years… The Makulu, program under spice section /cinnamon. has a program called wine?(sp) it enables to run any programs that normally run on windows.

        3. i have problems with a lot of sites due to script incompatability and my custom security. this one does fine, facebook crashes or just doesn’t work most of the time so i stick to the buggy but semi functional mobile version. my problem is that i run linux for internet on a 13 year obsolite laptop(or more recently a flip phone with a 2 inch screen, i read the comments this morning but couldn’t post until i walked next door with laptop). my security includes a prompt for all cookies first party and automatically blocking all 3rd party, i screen the first party ones and block most of them. even with windows i never got viruses because i was pranoid nd manually checked all cookies and had custom tweeking on the os, butnewer os like win8 don’t allow custom tweeking and 10 tells the user everything, so i can’t and won’t run them. and older win systems are incomptable with many websites now so i run linux. my guess is your locking up with a script issue. or a lck of processing power (i can read this site on my flip phone but it freezes if i try to type anything)

      2. After 6 years my wife’s HP laptop she used while attending nursing school was getting slow. My wife hates to wait for things to load. I got her a new HP laptop (model15-dy1036nr) from Amazon for $600. Wow, that thing is fast. 8 GB memory, 256 GB solid state drive, full HD screen. I thought my desktop with a quad core AMD processor and 16 GB of memory was fast but the 10th generation quad core Intel i5 in the laptop blows mine away. The HD screen is sharp and bright.
        Before those she used an HP laptop I bought used for her. It still works. I highly recommend HPs.

      3. Computer update:

        My “computer guy” from church came over. I seem to be having a problem with my hard drive reading correctly, so it is doing things over multiple times, loosing track of where things are and taking a long time getting them done.

        So we go to Crucial.com and run their Crucial Systems Scanner program. I looks at my system and tells me if they have what I need. They did. Ordered a new solid state hard drive for $114. My buddy will come over when it comes in and install it for me (along with a new battery). I had software with it where you plug the new drive in, it clones the old drive, then you simply do the physical install. If this works like it is advertised, I’ll buy another drive, clone things, and put it up in secure storage.

        We should know in a week to ten days.

        In the mean time we restored the system to where it was 4 Windows updates ago and things are working!

          1. Moe:

            Absolutly. I’m excited, because if this works, I will have a new source for backing up my hard drive.

  4. Good Morning/Almost Afternoon,

    We have had a lazy morning and are just now stirring around. All members of my family remain free of the virus.

    I noticed that nitrle gloves have become more available online at a less gougy price so I’ve restocked them plus back stock. Same for N95 mask and surgical mask. I’ve ordered some of them but no idea when they will come in. Most of the boxes of gloves are already here and stashed away.

    Meat prices have not been much of a concern for us. We buy what we need and pay what we have to.

    Georgia is opening back up rapidly. I think it is too soon so we will continue to shelter in place except for necessary trips out (the Governor told us over 65 and medically fragile people to continue to stay inside but I really don’t care what he says since I’m staying in and masking/gloving up until I consider it safe). Some restaurants are opening back up but you can’t sit at a table where people aren’t going to be walking back and forth by you, so we will still do some drive through but no sitting down to eat.

    I plan to get the 23 Ford T Bucket hotrod out of the garage later today, clean it up and go for a ride somewhere. We won’t be near people and with no top and not much windshield on it and running 45 to 80 there is little chance of a covid landing and hanging on.

    We are still planning on taking a paid for ocean cruise in September. Hoping for the best. If we don’t get to go they will credit us for the same kind of thing next year.

    Keep praying, stay safe, keep prepping.


  5. I did my grocery shopping this week. The store was well stocked on water and paper towels. And about 50-60% on TP. I bought a pack of TP. I am loading up a little more on meat to freeze.

    I bought some 5.56mm ammo. I figured Uncle Sam wanted me to do something useful with that stimulus money. I’m sure the Dumbocrats wouldn’t consider 840 rounds of ammo as “useful” to the economy, but that’s just too damned bad for them. I don’t trust their judgement anyway. It’s American made, American sold, and now American owned.

    I also bought some 9mm ammo for the Ex at her request and 10-oz worth of 1/10-oz silver rounds for her too. Good 9mm ammo is really tough to find.

    Had some rain here in Orlando this week. Not hurricane levels, but a decent amount. We needed it.
    Granddaughter is doing very well. She behaves exceedingly well for a child her age (3-1/2). I went to visit her and #1 daughter. We went for a walk to the grassy park so granddaughter could run herself ragged. She did. Granddaughter also picked a mess of dandelions and I suggested she could eat them in a salad and make some wine. She looked at me like I had horns in my head.

    #1 sent me some photos of granddaughter “painting.” Mostly all over herself. 😊 She doesn’t paint the walls or furniture, so she is trustworthy with the paint (water-based anyway). I think she paints herself intentionally to make her mom give her an extra shower and a bath. She loves taking baths.

    #1 daughter has drill this weekend for the first time in a while. Not that many people are authorized to come in this month, so she hopes to get all of her work caught up with minimal interruptions.

    My Ex isn’t driving me quite as crazy about 5G as she was but is about the Kung flu vaccine rumors floating around. She is all worked up over both issues and can’t understand why I am so calm about them. I pointed out that I have been trained and experienced in not getting wound up about things as a cop, paramedic, and military NCO. Serious things have to be calmly examined and a reasonable response developed. No panic, it just makes things worse.

    #1 told me that her father-in-law tested positive for Kung flu antibodies. As many viruses out there have very similar antibodies, the doctor can’t be 100% certain he had Kung flu at some point. He did have a butt-kicking case of flu at the end of last year and he travels a lot, including internationally, as part of his job. So, who knows?

    This Week’s Questions

    1. What has the shutdown of meat plants and run on gardening centers caused you to plan to do to become more food secure?

    Mostly the meat plant issues have prompted me to store and freeze more meat. I don’t have a large freezer, so storing extra is still limited. The gardening center runs have no effect on me as I don’t garden.

    2. What were the biggest pandemic downsides where you live?

    Personally, not being able to see my granddaughter as much as I’d like. Compared to how it affected other people medically, that is not really such a big deal since I can Face Time with her almost any time I wish (did this morning, in fact).

    3. Other than a need to only a block or two from a hospital, why would you choose to live in an urban or suburban area instead of a rural one, as a prepper?

    While I am completely capable of getting by in a rural area, I’m just a big city boy at heart. I like the convenience of grocery and department stores being close by, as well as medical facilities. I know how to get by in a city, how to watch for dangers, and what to do about them.

    4. What did you do to prep this week?

    See above.

    1. did you hear about a new sandwich at subway its called the pelosi and its got 4 kinds of ham lots of bacon some sausage its basically nothing but a huge pile of pork that nobody has the stomach for.

    2. Z36, congrats on the ammo… I bought some frangible . law enforcement 223 for inside the home at $25 dollars a box of 20 . 300WM is only $35 a box of 20..

      For 9MM I like gold dot, HST or hydra-shocks

      1. Thor1,

        Thanks. I was happy to get the 5.56mm but annoyed about the 9mm. Life happens I guess.

        I’m not fond of frangible ammo. It can be really fussy about getting through intermediate targets, such as clothing, especially winter clothing, and windows and such that you WANT to shoot through to hit the bad guy.

        My preferred 9mm is Hornady Critical Duty.

        My old department used 9mm Hydra-shoks for a short time until we had a shooting with them. The ballistic performance was very poor. The bad guy was wearing light summer clothing and the officers hit him seven times in the torso. Didn’t kill him. One round had gone through and was poking out of his back. I saw it on the scene and it was recovered laying on the ambulance stretcher by the firefighters at the ER. Zero expansion and the other rounds, recovered in surgery, had no expansion either. We switched to Silver Tips soon afterward.

        That shooting involved four of the five officers working the street that night (not counting me as the supervisor, and I got on-scene just as the last shots were fired). I had to send one of the officers involved in the ambulance with the bad guy (which a police supervisor normally would avoid doing). When the ER docs were first looking the bad guy over, they asked the officer if we knew who had shot the guy. Rich, ever the comedian, said, “Yeah, we got a pretty good idea.”

        Turned out, after crime lab tests, four of seven rounds in the bad guy came from Rich’s pistol and he only fired four rounds.

        1. Zulu,

          I stocked up on 9 mm a few years ago–purchased two cases back when it was readily availalbe. We are set for a while.

          1. Bam Bam,

            I have a goodly supply of 9mm ball for practice, but the Ex wanted more carry ammo for her pistol. I got her 75-rounds of Critical Defense. She has a couple of hundred rounds of ball, plus about 200 rounds of Silver Tip loaded in mags for her 9mm carbine.

        2. I generally carry CorBon 115 grain +p in the 9mm pistol. Good stuff, excellent terminal performance on par with the legendary .357 magnum 125 gr. JHP. I go by the data from the 90’s so it may be dated.
          Anyone else try those Inceptor rounds? I bought them for the .38 special.

    3. Zulu, I have tried canning ground beef, we will eat it prepared that way but prefer to dehydrate it…we use it in casserole’s , and pasta dishes..one pot recipes mostly. we like the texture better once re-hydrated..It stores in much less space and is shelf stable.
      The process is..:cook crumbled in dry skillet til done. put in strainer lined with cheesecloth and rinse with hot water. press out water and all oils possible. break in as little crumbles as possible.,put in dehydrator til hard.remove and put in any kind of jar that seals tightly.. (Pickle jars work well.)pack , filling all voids.. fold a paper towel 4 times put inside the top and turn bottom up for at least one week.at end of week remove the paper towel and replace it with an oxygen absorber. clean rim and inner lid. and allow it to seal. a quart pickle jar will hold 6-8 lbs of hamburger meat.. when go to use.. take half the amount desired , cover with very warm water, allow to sit for 45 min-75 min depending on use needed. ..if going to put in a soup can add early in cooking process earlier. it will still take the time to rehydrate.

  6. Hello all,

    1: It’s prompting me to buy more canned meat. Freezers are on back order until summer at Izzy’s (local guy). I’d try the Orange box store but their website says the same thing and I’ve known and been a customer of Izzy for decades.

    2: Biggest pandemic downsides? I’m still in Mass! Our limpd____ RINO Governor, as the alleged virus is on the downslope, just decided we have to wear masks in public. His Bolshevik AG probably told him to. Since rule by fiat isn’t in the Constitution and I have a serious problem with arbitrary and capricious authority, I’ll be defying it. Loudly. My oath of enlistment, sworn 35 years ago yesterday, hasn’t expired.

    3: I didn’t choose this area so much as I was born into it. My answer to question 2 may be that I pull the trigger sooner rather than later on the move.

    4: This week, picked up the obligatory extra groceries. Canned meat, PB, Tuna, SPAM. Also a couple of boxes of boil in a bag rice, three cases of ramen, more toilet paper and a few paper towels. Mrs Overwatch scored a couple of 100 count cases of microfiber hand towels online. Yours truly got his giant sized black two pocket, short sleeve BDU shirts. Still waiting on my 5.11 pants though.

    Mental health note: Mrs. Overwatch must get sick of cooking. We order takeout once or twice a week from the usual places. Yesterday, she thought of a local independent restaurant that specializes in Portuguese and seafood. OMG! Wicked good! We used to go there often but because it’s a few miles from our usual haunts, we simply hadn’t considered it. We called and the owner said full menu, come inside for pickup and pay after thirty minutes. She got a baked stuffed lobster, I got shrimp Mozambique, my oldest son got a veal dish, my little guy got fries from BK. Everything was perfect. Everyone was happy. Comfort food.

  7. Hi all! i’m new to this site but not new to prepping/homeateading. My family hails from Lawrence County, Ohio. I look forward to learning and laughing with fellow like minded folks 🙂

    1. Buckeye_Mom,

      Welcome aboard. We’ve got a couple of real comedians in this outfit if you’re looking for a laugh. 🙂 We’ve also got some really smart preppers too.

    2. Welcome ! This is a great family and you will grow quite fond of everyone as well as learning alot from them. Enjoy!

    3. Welcome aboard!
      Grab a stool and sit for a while and bring us up to date on what you are doing to get through the crazy time.

    4. Hi & welcome, Buckeye_Mom. You’ll like it here what with all the fine folks. P.S. – I’m in southern NJ for 50 years, formerly NW Ohio.

    5. Welcome @Buckeye_Mom ! Always great to welcome new folks, but also wonderful to have a fellow Buckeye join in! I am in Licking County!

      1. Welcome Buckeye Mom. Love having another fellow Ohioan. I am south of Grammy Prepper – I wake up every morning in awe that I get to live here in southeastern Ohio.

  8. Just got in from Sam’s in Douglasville. Had to stand in a line to wait to get in. As people left they let the same number in. The store wasn’t overly crowded and we wore mask and gloves but noticed that less than half the people we met in the store weren’t wearing either. I think that is just plain dumb. People were tending not to give others clear space but even with my mask you can read my eyes and they gave me distance.

    I got 1 15 roll pack of toilet paper and the last pack of 10 rolls of paper towel. They were limiting meat (beef, pork or chicken) to one pack per person. We got a 5 pound pack of 90 percent ground beef for 15 bucks. I got some candy and a ready to cook pizza and some other junk and candy for my office (I eat a lot of candy during the day).

    Got home and ex called me to come fix her her toilet. Grabbed some cable wraps and fixed the flusher where the chain had come loose. The she said her door bell was broke so I took that down and changed the batteries.

    Called good old friend we call Pappasan, he’s a Korean war veteran and turned 87 today. We couldn’t go by and I didn’t get him a card or present but we had a good chat and I think that was a good enough birthday present for the time being. I’ll make it up to him when all this stuff is over.

    That’s it for me. Pizza will be on shortly and we’ll find something to watch on TV. I did get the hotrod cranked up and let it run for a while. First time cranked since right after Christmas. I really want to get out for a ride so if it is nice tomorrow we may be hitting the streets.

    Keep safe, keep praying, keep prepping.
    People think this thing is over with. I think they are delusional


  9. What has the shutdown of meat plants and run on gardening centers caused you to plan to do to become more food secure? That didn’t happen here much but the future is more uncertian. I will keep getting extra canned meats when I do venture out. I stocked up on seeds as soon as the first hints of trouble came from China.

    What were the biggest pandemic downsides where you live? None, great place to ride it out.

    Other than a need to only a block or two from a hospital, why would you choose to live in an urban or suburban area instead of a rural one, as a prepper? Can’t think of any reason.

    What did you do to prep this week? My mind and body tend to shut down once the days start getting longer then the nights. I am once again sleeping days so I plan to start wiring a sub panel in my garage at night. I have a #12 wire ran through the air to it to run the lights but I want heavy enough wire to feed my home with my 7500 watt generator. The #6/4 wire is already ran to my power pole, all I have to do is hang the sub panel and wire it.

    We got the concrete carport pad poured. The contractor went overboard (I think) with it. He hauled in a load of dirt to build up the site and then shoveled half of it out. We wanted a sidewalk from my front door out to it and he made that 40 inches wide. My wife loves it and being she is the one working and paying for it fine with me. The metal shelter will take a month to be delivered, people are not working so they are improving their homes. No matter what day I go to the home improvement store it is busy, just like Harbor Freight and the grocery store. People gardening, fixing, and eating.

  10. I went to my chiropractor this week. We chatted for half an hour about the coronavirus. (He is like-minded.) He suggested I check out the NIH website. The thinking now is that COVID-19 has been in the U.S. longer than previously thought. They found whole communities that had antibodies for the virus. They think the virus hit in the late summer/early fall and it spread undetected. They are now conducting a massive study to determine who many Americans have antibodies. I registered as a potential volunteer. They send a kit to your house and you draw your own blood. I think I had the virus right before Christmas–I was treated for pneumonia. A few days prior my dh had a minor heart attack. I think I caught the virus in the hospital when I was visiting him. I think he had it as well–the virus can mimic a heat attack. When they did the procedure the doctor found only one very minor blockage and he was puzzled–a blockage that minor should not cause that level of chest pain.

    Tara’s Questions:

    [1] What has the shutdown of meat plants and run on gardening centers caused you to plan to do to become more food secure?

    I think the concerns here are overblown. The problem is that folks aren’t eating out at restaurants. So they are cooking more at home. It takes time to switch from large restaurant packaging to smaller residential packaging. The meat packing plants that have closed did so only temporarily. There are plenty of animals. So many, in fact, that ranchers are euthanizing them. Trump ordered meat processing plants to reopen. If necessary, I think governors will call in the National Guard to process meat. (And they would be justified in doing so. Massive food shortages would lead to social unrest.)

    I also think the temporary shortages we will experience due to temporary closures will be felt mainly in the large cities. We have two locally owned grocery stores that buy from local farmers. One is a traditional grocery store that does finishing butchering onsite. The other has two meat processing plants, one for pork and another for beef. They buy local as well.

    Still, I ordered five cases of tuna fish and two cases of vienna sausage. I will continue to stock up on canned meat, as well as other shelf stable foods. The freezers are full to the brim. We have the regular inside refrigerator/freezer, a garage refrigerator/freezer and a garage freezer. I replace what we use weekly.

    [2] What were the biggest pandemic downsides where you live?

    Our lives really haven’t changed that much. The only difference is that we can’t go out to eat on Fridays. Instead, we order takeout. My dh loves smoked chicken. Actually, the biggest downside is the cancellation of Spring football and the possible cancellation of the regular season. I think Florida has a shot at a national title this year. (We have a fifth year starting quarterback, talent at the skill positions and an improved offensive line. Georgia has a new offensive coordinator and a transfer QB.)

    [3] Other than a need to only a block or two from a hospital, why would you choose to live in an urban or suburban area instead of a rural one, as a prepper?

    My work doesn’t give me the time to maintain a large homestead. I live in the suburbs. Since my dh’s heart attack, I’ve had to hire guys to come out and do the heavy work, like cleaning out the gutters and the fish pond. That’s fine. My adopted son needed the work. He and his roommate are coming out Monday to detail the car.

    [4] What did you do to prep this week?

    We got our stimulus check. This is the first time in my life I have ever been given a handout by the government. I paid off the new refrigerator and paid another month ahead on the mortgage. Now we don’t have a payment until October. (Given my job, I make most of my money in the Fall and Spring, and very little in the summer. So I pay ahead on the mortgage.)

    We had the repair guy come out last week. He fixed the ice maker in the new refrigerator. He replaced a lot of parts. It’s working now.

    We had a different plumber come out to do an estimate to replace the water heater. He will email the estimate Monday. We really liked him. We have two more plumbers scheduled to come out to do estimates next week. We will probably cancel them and go with the first guy. The estimate was very reasonable. You can just tell when someone knows what he’s doing and has integrity.

    1. Bam Bam, I hope your husband is continuing to recover well. Have you thought of moving to a rural small town to increase your safety in every possible prepper category, without taking on the work of a homestead? We would surely welcome you in the small towns in our little county – as I am sure any small town near your suburbs would be glad to have you. We have no zoning, no permit office, no Walmart, only one traffic light in the entire county, is it absolutely awesome!

  11. I spent the past 5 weeks trying to hold my head up sometimes. I’m finally able to walk in a straight line and I haven’t had a drink stronger than orange juice. Inic is pretty sure it isn’t the Wuhan Virus. But is been a doozy. Sinuses and were infected. I’m on the second round of antibiotic. Today felt up to sorting seeds for hydroptonics and for dirt. 🙂
    Had to go to nearest little town to pick up prescriptions for both of us. While there I put on mynitril gloves and a mask…Dr orders… And picked up milk, cookies, and a cherry pie for my husband and drink mixes so I can still keep hydrated. Thankfully our neighbor drove. He also walked Wal-Mart just far enough away to keep an eye on me while he bought a few things. Good to have such a good friend and newly converted prepper. I was able to help 3 families prep for this time by starting back in December. In turn the neighbor drove us into the city to get things. Glad for such friends. I’m older than all of them. Talking was one thing. When I took the step to show them they picked up the ball and carried it well. Now they are collecting books on wild Foods and Medicines, survival first aid and other subjects. One is cutting extra fire wood and patching a roof. Two are growing good sized gardens. I’m very late with the garden but I’ll do what I can. We still have lots of food put up for the two of us.
    I hate big cities. Washington DC was my hometown. We next moved to a nice town when I was three. It had a lot of country about it. I watched the local dairy milk cows in the afternoon. I watch college students hunting rattlesnakes. They were selling then to the college to be milked of their venom. Then came Seattle in 1953-5. I loved getting around the city with my 10 cent buds token. But I liked another rural college in College Place, Washington even better. I was in third grade by then. Back to the first little college townin california. I still enjoyed it but it was growing. Then came Glendale California. It was just city. I had friends but I hated being in town. Dad was hired at a rural hospital in Napa county. It was surrounded by an unincorporated community that was mostly employees family. Just up the road was an old small cattle ranch. The owners said i could explore to my hearts content. That summer I left after breakfast and was home by dark. I told Mom we’d moved to heaven. I cut our Christmas tree out there and drug it home. I climbed a steep rock face. Explored the little stream that flowed down from a spring up higher on the mountain. I determined to never live in a city again. I have but it was a temporary situation. Since 1977 I’ve owned 3 acres in a small unincorporated village in high mountain desert country in New Mexico. It’s not an easy place to garden but I do it and love every minute of it. I can and sun dry produce. I have chickens, ducks, and rabbits. If we have a ham or turkey for relatives Visiting I can every bit that’s left. I even boil the bones. That becomes soup and broth. The ham is chunks in pint jars while the bone goes in a big pot of beans. Part frozen and part canned for future meals. The skin on the ham may be frozen for another pot of beans or it may be cut up in squares and fried till puffed. Husband likes that for a snack. I’ve planted fruit trees but few survive here. Still we keep enough to eat till a garden starts producing salad things early in our growing season. I buy milk and things for baking. Herbs and everything else I grow. In December I bought powdered milk to last for many weeks. Extra TP now and then. Freezdried meats, eggs, and fruits were added before we hit the stay at home orders without any last minute panic. Neighbor has picked up milk , bread, cereals, and a couple of packages of ground beef.when he’s gone shopping for his family.
    Loving the country life.

    1. Clergylady,

      I went to high school and college in Northern Virginia, right outside D.C. I do miss grocery stores being open 24/7. But I don’t miss the traffic. Now I live in a small city with a major university. I will never go back to the big city.

  12. HI ALL ,,,,,,,how about a virus up date ,,,,has been seven weeks for us now ,,,almost back to normal ,DW is her usual self ,I’m still feeling the effects ,get tired quick,sleep more ,breathing a bit more work , we were lucky or were we? Did the way we live and what we did /do normal make a difference? I think so ,,vitamin D3 10,000iu elderberry C ,E ,coconut oil,,,, not a lot of junk food. , If it comes in a box is really safe to eat?no gluten, no GMO peanutbutter,
    The virus came our way by way of a neighbor rancher his DD worked at the Kirkland care center he and wife spread it around the village and at church , in fairness to them this was before we knew what we were facing my guess is there are a lot of folks exposed ,,, or have got it , no one I know of has been hospitalized ,most in my circle are older ,50+ lots 70-80,
    STAY out of crowds,WEAR a mask ,don’t go ,,,and go ,,and go ,eat simple,,,eat fresh,,,get fresh air,,,
    One outher thing for years we have used IVERMECTIN to prevent some colds and flu ,i learned about doing that as a volunteer in a clinic in Ethiopia ,do your own research

    Some thing different,,,,,middle of the night one of the out door barn cats brought three ,three week old kittens,in bed next to us ,well at least she didn’t have them there
    Had a nice blossom set on the cherries till a heavy rain,grass is carrying the cows,LGD s are getting a workout at night with coyotes
    With all this virus and shut down going on take time to reflect on what’s good in your life ,,,,hey you could have my problems HA HA.
    Buckeye mom are you sure you want to expose your thinking to what we do here ???HA HA

    Tea and blueberries

    1. my cats never brought kittens that small onto the bed, a few times they had kittens under the bed. then one year the kittens (a few weeks old) took over the bed and there wasn’t enough room for me anymore (2 litters so there were 12 kittens, 2 cats and a dog all taking up the bed).

  13. Hubby, is still working and we received checks, that we deposited he wrote checks, and did online bill paying, and he paid us so so far so good and another house payment will be paid. I did do some shopping, and found some great deals, on several item’s, but it just seems like no matter how hard you try it never seems enough. Our farmer friend, gave us 2 dozen eggs, they are so good but we have to finish up the store bought eggs, before we dig in and eat too many, maybe I’ll make pickled eggs, again with the store eggs 🙂

    Question 1 I have a source for both, so I’m not super worried about meat, or getting vegetable starts. Even though we live in a Blue State, we have A lot of aging hippies, and young want to be hippies, that love to garden and raise chicken’s, pigs., moo cows, so people, here will have item’s in fact I went to the store to buy tomato starts, just because they are grown locally in our area, I love our hippies, no judgment on my part:).

    Question 2 We’ve been lucky we have had 29 deaths, in our county and 125 still sick, the down side, we need to get people back to work.

    Question 3 I was raised on a farm, hubby was a Big City Boy, coming from San Jose, he dated a girl from the country, but they were the stereotypical red necks, and when he met me I wanted to sprawl out, I think visions of another red neck girl, wasn’t up his alley even though we weren’t, dad was a teacher, and a gentleman farmer. Now you can’t find any type of land it’s out of our reach now, though our second property, has more but to farm, it’s not going to happen it’s still not enough, maybe chickens, but that’s it. Well have a great weekend, it feels like blursday to me 🙂

    1. If you like rabbit they can be added with chickens to give eggs, some meat birds and meat rabbits.. starter packages are often 2 Doe and an unrelated Buck..They do not take up much space.. You will need cages/area for the doe to have her young and than a place to move them out as they are weaned.chickens can free range in summer and get 3/4 of their feed. Most start laying at 5-6 months. meat rabbits are ready to harvest about 15 weeks..With enough space to move cages built on the ground level, called chicken or rabbit tractors… can lower feed bills on both if you can not allow free range.

      1. Anonomo,

        My friend and prepping mentor Rick Austin has free ranged rabbits. He might have a video on his Survivalist Gardener YouTube channel about it, but I am not sure. Definitely an intriguing idea.

      1. Those clean unwashed eggs can be preserved for a very long time in lime water.. can use hydrated lime or pickling lime one ounce to one quart of water. It takes about 8 quarts of water for a 5 gallon bucket,and about 200 eggs will fit in a bucket..I put in layers, and make up water for a couple of layers leaving part of it in another bucket and just covering as i add eggs.. I am using up a bucket now from last July.-August..

    2. Maybe vertical gardening and a small pond for ducks (meat and eggs) on your second property? City people keep buying vacation, retirement, and hunting land in our Hocking Hills and really driving up the price on land. We got our 56 acres for a bargain basement price because the house was a hunting lodge – concrete floor and walls that were exposed and the barns and fencing all needed a lot of repair. Loved every minute of fixing it up together. We only have had four cases in our county, two were sisters who worked at a nursing home an hour away in the city who are not having symptoms, the other is a recent city transplant, and still unclear on who the fourth person is, but no hospitalizations or deaths. Some people wear masks or gloves when out here, but only those who are elderly or have medical conditions.

  14. (1) Meat situation – i have a decent amount of chicken breast and ground beef canned. Our upright freezer is packed full. We just “harvested” our second gator in less than a month from our back pond that is thick with tilapia. Add the eggs we get and the goat’s milk, well….I’m not going to fret about our protein situation.
    (2) Biggest pandemic downside: we are a tight-knit family that loves to get together on a weekly basis. With 6 grown kids and 7 grands, we easily exceed the 10-person gathering limit. I miss those chaotic gatherings!
    (3) I have no desire to live anywhere near a large city. I’m at peace with God, so whenever He calls me home, I’m ready to go. You can keep those hospitals! LOL
    (4) Prepping this week: YAY! The elderberries are ripening, so I got to pick my first bag full and dehydrated them. I’ll pick twice a week going forward until they’re gone. Since I had stocked up on bulk quantities of soap-making oils, I put a little post on my page about having the itch to make soap….the orders came rolling in so I poured up 85 bars today and will need to pour up maybe 25 more tomorrow. The proceeds will more than pay for everything I recently ordered, leaving me with enough ingredients to make soap for our family for a long, long time. The bananas just keep on ripening….maybe I need to get a monkey. There’s about 50 on the counter, and another 30 on the porch! Picked up my new goat last Sunday and I’ve been spending a little extra time with her to get her settled in. Finally got my Great Pyrenees groomed for the summer….it was tough getting an appointment with the “virus”. Goodness, I’m so over that mess. Placed another essential oil order and continue to learn how to use them. Gardening consists of walking through each area, checking on plants, looking for bugs, figuring out what needs watering….received in my seed order today. Southeast Seed Exchange started taking orders again, so I bought 6 or 7 packets to add to the stash, just in case. That’s it for me this week.

    1. Goatlover,

      I am curious. Do you need some kind of permit to kill a gator on your own property. My adopted Mom has a 1/2 acre pond with a nuisance gator. I offered to shoot it but she was unsure about the legal issues. (She lives on 40 acres with family. LOL I asked, “Who is going to turn you in?”)

      1. Bam Bam,

        To kill a gator, even on your own property, you need a permit. However, if you aren’t really interested in the meat or hide, and the gator is over four-feet long you can call the FWC nuisance gator hotline 866-392-4286. FWC will check out the situation and if they agree the gator is a nuisance, they’ll call a licensed trapper who will do the deed, either kill it or trap it live. However, the gator becomes the property of the trapper. No cost to the landowner. Florida does not relocate gators. They will eventually end up dead normally so the trapper can sell the meat and hide since the state doesn’t pay them much.

        That said. If the gator is in a pond out in the sticks a couple of .22 LR shots in the head usually does the trick and you can skin and harvest the meat. Just don’t tell anyone what you’ve been up to as it is technically poaching unless you have a semi-annual hunting permit.

        1. Thanks, Zulu. My friend lives out of town on acreage the family has owned for generations. She is surrounded by ken.

        2. Up here we have animals that are “protected” or require a license to hunt. However, “getting accosted” by one in the wild (or your rural back yard) it is legal to kill it. If it is a “game animal” or protected, I would call Fish & Game to come get the carcass. I would think having a 4+ foot gator in your back yard would quality, but we look at things like that a little different up here.

          1. JP,

            You can defend yourself against a gator attack and kill the critter without a permit in Florida. Calling FWC afterward is a good idea under self-defense conditions. I don’t know if they’ll let you keep the carcass like they will for deer roadkill.

            The problem is, if a gator attacks you, there is a good chance it will at least injure you. Considering how many gators there are here in Florida (something like 1.3 million), gator attacks on humans are fairly rare.

          2. Zulu 3-6:
            It’s like when I was in AZ. You could not hunt rattlesnake, but you could defend yourself from one. Since a 2″ 38 Special with #9 shot shells had an effective range of about 15′ on snake, any that got within that we “obviously” attacking.

            So… Gator in the back yard, 45 MPH movement, that should make his “attack distance” something like 20-30′. Dead gator.

          3. Zulu,

            My friend has small dogs and the gator is over 6 feet. So that’s the concern. I will tell her to call Florida Game and Wildlife. That’s a good idea.

          4. Bam Bam,

            6ft long and small pet animals, I think that will easily fit the FWC nuisance gator criteria. Your friend will need to sign an authorization form to allow the trapper to enter the land, but otherwise, no cost out of pocket.

          5. I find the different rules and regulations on hunting/killing wild animals interesting. In Georgia, no permit required to hunt on your own property. It’s different for “endangered” species though.

      2. In our state – which does not have alligators, there are designated nuisance predators that you can shoot anytime they threaten livestock, crops, property, or humans. To me, your adopted mom sounds like she has a “shoot, shovel, and shut the heck up” situation on her hands 🙂

    2. FYI
      This is the correct time to watch for and get bees while they are swarming.
      I had an extra hive set up, the hive out by the garden started to swarm while I was working in back garden. I have read that older bees move out to leave the hive to the younger ones, so as not to over crowd. Anyway, that swarm raised up in the air and flew out of site, flying over cherry tree and around the house. I was sad, but kept on working Saturday morning. Thought I would never see them again. The hive was still busy, because half stayed. Worked all day, evening came and I had a cup of coffee and went to sit out front. There in the extra hive, which was empty, was a good population of bees going in and out and settling down for the nite. My swarm did not fly away, just changed their address. So today, I set up another hive, in hopes of whatever the Lord may send.
      Watch for bees, I have been keeping bees for 30 years and it is fun, easy and delicious too. One more prep to consider.

    3. Absolutely nothing beats spending time with family, hope you get to do so again very soon. Our daughter and her family live on our survival homestead, but Bobby’s son and his family live an hour away and we have not visited due to the pandemic. Have to content myself with photos of our oldest grandson for now, but hopefully for not much longer!

  15. Good afternoon Pack! Another week flew by, Texas has decided to begin to open back up so our little town has began to hustle and bustle the last two days.. I also realized that as a nation we reached the same death count as we had from the Flu in the 2017/18 season. Except now with the kung flu We also reached 30 MILLION unemployed. Hysteria and political agendas are dangerous things.
    We have been busy around the home place , with extra time on our hands we have taken on several projects that needed done. DH has rebuilt our pump house this week and painted it to match the house. More outdoor cleaning and fixing up and my garden is Growing great and beginning to bloom.
    Made the weekly grocery pick up, fresh food and dairy and as always adding to the pantry . Decided I would buy a second freezer and found out I wouldn’t be doing that anytime soon.They are a rare Item these days. So I settled for cleaning out and rearranging so I can squeeze a little more meat in. Still spending three hours of every week day on virtual school for my nine year old GD. Praying everyday for end of the school year. Haha
    Our business had been down about 25 percent as clients closed or cut back but we saw part of that come back May 1, We have really been blessed in so many ways through all this.
    Did finally hear that we will get a stimulus check, have never gotten money from the government before ,it is going to be great. Think I will
    Use it to buy up large amounts of toilet paper. 😂
    Prayers for the pack and prayers for a quick end to these crazy times.

    1. Would far prefer Governor Abbott’s approach to DeWine’s. He actually tried to force us all to wear masks in stores when we went out. Was not a rule during this glorified flu and now he wants to order it. It took less than 24 hours of “I will not comply” protests to force him to change his mind. Hope business continues to pick up!

  16. Ok. puppy told me to finally get on the other computer. Smart boy….Training him to be my Fur missile. He has been a great boy, running from one side of the yard to the other, jumping over obstacles and hitting targets.
    So, he got a big steak bone with about 2″ of meat on it last night and bacon and eggs for breakfast today.

    Washed most of the vehicles
    #2 son did his new to him Toyota and I gave him a driving lesson today in anti-terrorist driving techniques.
    Filled #2 sons’s tank

    Trained Puppy
    Went to range and sighted another AR in.

    Heavy workouts

    Put cherry tomatoes outside last night to get used to the temperature.
    Everything is starting to grow.

    Freeze dryer
    Freeze dried 2 lbs of hamburger, 8 minute steaks, 8 pork chops and 6 chicken breasts (pulled)

    Dehydrated 2 lbs of jerky.

    Canned food
    Bought 4 cans of chicken, 2 cans of tuna and 2 cans of salmon.

    Score…. bought 2 6 packs of T/P… Thanks Mr Whipple….
    Bought 8 pack of P/T

    Thor’s Questions
    1) Do you think the depression will hit in 5 months? (Hint bailouts for airlines end Sept. 30th and they have cut travel down from 1100 flights at one city down to the minimum of 5 flights a week)
    2) Are you ready for home invasions and high crime?
    3) How are you preserving your meat as prices will only go up?
    4) Are you growing more beans for protein?
    5) Would you eat lab grown meat?

    1. Thor’s Questions
      1) Do you think the depression will hit in 5 months? (Hint bailouts for airlines end Sept. 30th and they have cut travel down from 1100 flights at one city down to the minimum of 5 flights a week) I am prepared for a depression to hit last week, because I don’t control anything to either help or hurt it.

      2) Are you ready for home invasions and high crime? As much as I can be.

      3) How are you preserving your meat as prices will only go up? We are again doing what we can to move through this situation.

      4) Are you growing more beans for protein? Yes. Grow and store.

      5) Would you eat lab grown meat? Not knowingly.

    2. Tara’s questions:

      1.What has the shutdown of meat plants and run on gardening centers caused you to plan to do to become more food secure? Purchase and freeze dry more meat and increase garden size and grow more beans

      2.What were the biggest pandemic downsides where you live?
      T/P shortages and wearing N95 masks.

      3.Other than a need to only a block or two from a hospital, why would you choose to live in an urban or suburban area instead of a rural one, as a prepper? Numbers…can be an advantage or disadvantage sometimes. Answered a question with a question.

      Thanks for missing me Tara and all.

      1. You are right about numbers Thor. A few months or so ago I wrote an article for HomesteadSurvivalSite.com the publisher wanted to know how many acres of land it takes to become self-sufficient. My take on the topic and answer were not what he had initially envisioned, but being a cool guy, (link if you are interested in reading it – https://homesteadsurvivalsite.com/how-much-land-to-be-self-sufficient/) he got it and let me roll with it – your comment about numbers above made me think of it. If you can’t stand over something and defend it, it does not really belong to you. In our rural area our numbers are few, but the right kind of people make up the numbers – everyone owns guns, knows how to use them, and will stand with their neighbor without being asked. If a SHTF event happens I fully envision folks to be assembled along the county line, armed and holding no vacancy signs for any member of a marauding horde who wants to enter. Figure it will look something like David’s book that will hopefully one day be turned into a movie as envisioned. If you have not read Lights Out, I highly recommend it. https://youtu.be/cWnbrwjnbZA

    3. 1: I’m optimistic about President Trump restarting the economy AGAIN. If not, then yes, the Depression will be on.
      2: Ready? Yes! Mrs. Overwatch can make headshots with her 9mm (wonder where she learned that), Rottweiler is getting big and she’s VERY PROTECTIVE of Mrs. Overwatch and our sons (she tolerates my presence). Yours truly is usually home and I’m always armed and in condition yellow. (We ain’t calling the cops either. I’m Italian and we are trained in childhood to get rid of things that need to be got rid of.) I let my employees do ALL of the lesser amount of work that we have, which is why I’m home . It wouldn’t be ethical for me to take away their opportunities to earn when I get a piece of everything they do anyway.
      3: Buying more canned meat and planning a hawg hunting trip to Tennessee with Lodge buddies there. I can fish too. I usually do okay, especially on bluefish.
      4: You don’t want me eating more beans. I really don’t grow anything but I used to be good at it.
      5: Lab grown meat? Sounds vile. Fuhgeddaboutit! Never happen.

    4. thors questions

      i think we are already in a depression, the only thing keeping things going is the government throwing money around to prop it up. the great depression could hve probably been staved off had the government thrown crazy amounts of money around like that but its a temporary and unsustainable fix that will only work if things turn around real fast.

      2 not worried, my place is fairly fortified, probably the most difficult plce to break into in the county, all my neighbors are much easier targets and everyone also knows i don’t work and don’t hve lots of money, i am home all the time and heavily armed (carry a sword around with me, short machette type) anything i do have tends to be stuff nobody else really wants anyway. the sign on the gate telling people “tresspassers will be raped” tends to keep people away, nobody wants to chance if i am serious or not.

      3 i canned a lot but i don’t eat a lot, i got chickens so the meat i eat most is eggs, i also shoot anything that is a pest like coon, skunk, woodchuck, etc, i eat them. i got a lead on some more meat real cheap to can up but it will take years to use that up.

      no more than usual, i do a lot of staple crops so nothing fancy in my gardens, i perfer stuff easy to grow in large volume and save seed, so the basic corn beans and squash are at elast half my planted area, then cabbage turnips, beets carrots, etc.

      5 nope, i may eat lab caught meat if my lab runs down another rabbit and i get it from him before he eats it.

      1. Your sign is the greatest thing I’ve read all day, Nemo! I’m laughing every time it pops into my head and I bet it would be 100% effective.

        I swear we could put you square in the middle of the 19th century and you wouldn’t miss a beat. You’ll be fine if the SHTF.

    5. Thor’s Questions

      1) Do you think the depression will hit in 5 months? (Hint bailouts for airlines end Sept. 30th and they have cut travel down from 1100 flights at one city down to the minimum of 5 flights a week)

      Depending on how things go with the Kung flu, a depression could start much sooner than five months. I’d say we’re in a solid recession right now.

      2) Are you ready for home invasions and high crime?

      As of right now crimes like home invasions are lower, but that can be attributed to more people being home all or most of the day. Murders are up a little, but that can be attributed to people being home all or most of the day. Folks just get fed up being around people they don’t like anyway.

      Otherwise, yes I am prepared as one can be for these events.

      3) How are you preserving your meat as prices will only go up?

      No, no preserved meats other than freezing some. Mostly I have canned meats.

      4) Are you growing more beans for protein?

      No, not growing any. I do have a goodly supply of canned beans (black and red, plus green).

      5) Would you eat lab grown meat?

      Not if I had a choice.

  17. This weeks preps:

    Budget for the month of April came out really good. Savings and cash on hand increased. Debt decreased. Several major durable prep items purchased. Actually, got to increase our stashed food supplies too.

    The porch is painted, the brackets for the handing baskets (5) are up. New, longer chains on the ceiling fans are installed. Plants being transferred from growing pots to porch.

    Got my loaded magazines set up; 15 mag cans. Sand color for 75 gr Hornady Super Performance, dark green for 62 gr LAP; black for 5.56 55 gr and .223 training ammo. Also, a 14 mag can each for AR10 and M1A mags.

    Got in my order of Spartan Armor (AR500) and carriers for the DW and myself. Additionally, they make soft armor for handgun defense, AR550 (standard rifle) and AR650 for rifle (HV/AP 5.56, AR, and .308). These plates are heavy enough.

    Supply Run: powdered milk; navy beans: frozen chicken: butter; Music CD’s;

    Received: Spartan Armor (AR500 w/carriers), book; Banks USMC boots; Shop Vac 2.5-gal bags & foam filters; LaChoy vegetables; AF #10 FD blueberries; CAT tourniquets w/OD cases; AF #10 PB powder;

  18. Hi all!
    Life in light of the virus hasn’t changed all that much DH is getting unemployment, finally, as his former employer dropped their appeal when we called out the unsafe work conditions. I continue to work overtime at our local grocery chain. I experience the same ‘shortages’ as everyone else, because of our ‘just im time’ delivery system. It is even affecting the products that our department is able to offer (I work in the deli). Our store is finally seeing better stocked shelves (altho a customer complained to me that we didn’t have his preferred brand of TP, laughingly, but boohoo….I had to buy a brand I do not prefer, but it is what it is, you take what you can get…) I have definitely noticed the increase in meat prices, and our store continues to have less ‘cuts’ available too. I need to re-inventory and rearrange my freezers so we can get to our meat store and get a ‘package’. I expect it’ll cost more than usual, but this is the time of year we’d be making a purchase anyhow.
    I had purchased all the seeds I ‘thought’ I needed early on, but have picked up more seeds locally, and our local nursery is back open, so I will be getting starts from them as well. Keep in mind, /i was planning to scale back the garden this year, mostly doing containers. Welp, the in-ground garden plot is covered to kill weeds, and in a couple of weeks it will get worked and planted.
    We are blessed to live in a small town (growing by leaps and bounds) surrounded by larger farms, so we still have that ‘rural’ feel to the area. We are still ‘close’ (too close) to the city and would like to get ‘further out’. But we have a lot of ‘like minded’ neighbors, so we are good with where we are at the moment.
    Staying at home hasn’t been a big deal for us, we are homebodies anyhow. What has been difficult was not being able to see the grands. We were supposed to get the GS when this all first went down, and we opted not to just to be safe. Now that the ‘lockdown’ is being ‘lifted’, we are planning to go see them all. (They live in the same county as Tara, the one that was ‘winning’ our state, LOL!)
    I have a TON of wild violets in my front yard, so I am going to try making violet jelly, and try my hand at water bath canning!
    The economy is going to take a while to get figured out. We are just planning to keep on prepping.With ‘opening up’, DH should be able to get back to work, and at least for the time being, my job is fairly secure.
    Phew, I think I answered both Tara’s and Thor’s questions…
    Hugs and prayers to all!

    1. GrammyP, I didn’t know you had family in my neck of the woods. I may very well know them or at least recognize the family name. If you ever come down to visit them, please shoot me and email – would love to have you out to our homestead for a visit!

  19. Thor’s Questions
    1) Do you think the depression will hit in 5 months? (Hint bailouts for airlines end Sept. 30th and they have cut travel down from 1100 flights at one city down to the minimum of 5 flights a week)

    Are you just being technical? A depression is two quarters of recession. The recession is already here.

    2) Are you ready for home invasions and high crime?

    Yes, We have a GSD to give us a five second warning. Then it’s all on us. Locked and loaded.

    3) How are you preserving your meat as prices will only go up?

    We have meat in the freezers. I have been purchasing extra canned meat. I will hold off home canning meat as long as I can. We really don’t like home canned meat.

    4) Are you growing more beans for protein?

    We are not growing beans. I have been purchasing store-bought beans since January. We can live for a year off just beans and rice.

    5) Would you eat lab grown meat?

    If that’s all we could get–yup.

  20. Hello Pack , and Welcome to Buckeye Mom,..
    It has been a good week. My shoulder has partially healed- can once again leave the heating pad. I have been attempting to get nutritional needs in daily/ iron.. is my low. Our family is using antivirals daily of some kind. we are rotating them.. we also have used some tonic water intermittently.
    Garden: Potatoes are up – about a foot tall.covered and protected.from chickens. Plants purchased are hardening off and spending all their time outside. I am giving my plants some sheltr thru part of the day.. UV index is really high when the sun is out…even with temps in mid70-80 range. Last year my few plants did not do well because of sun exposure., once sun protection was done they gave some production…. Make sure to plan for plant protection THIS year. This years growing season is just beginning and the UV index is going up by the week.
    Friend in South west has had to cover entire garden to protect tomatoes from cooking on the vine. Even Okra is stressed.
    Animals and meat: We began the rabbit harvest this week- Canned a few jars for shelf stability.,found pork Butt on sale and canned.
    got a wild hair and began a search for some specific chickens.. shipping in mid summer was available.. Not a good time-with humidity of 80% and temps of 90-99. Called my local farm stores and One store had some chicks, – not what i wanted.
    we went to check them out .. lady catching my selections-said “we have some chickens just came in…in back, do you want to see them..?\ and pick out some from those”.. Oh yeah!I am now owned by 21 more chickens..12 are cornish cross, 6 production Blues and 3 Americana.
    Food preservation: I have dehydrated more vegetables of several kinds.Jars secure them well with oxygen absorbers.
    Taras Q#1 I have been purchasing seed of our desired since last summer.and with the warnings being given of grocery store changes,, Meat has been on my agenda for a while., we do have our few rabbits This month marks one full year. we have learned a lot about their tolerances and needs and are fairly confident we can feed them thru hay produced on our land..should it become necessary. with supplementation…we keep on hand. I have continued to add as able…so my plans were unchanged, from daily shortages and events.
    Q#2The downside of this planned demic is that stores who are supposed to be essential..termed so by the state are doing side walk sales only… glad that i had stocked well from those stores and i had other options. our worship services were on line…better than nothing but miss the fellowship of personal contact. Q#3 Does not apply to me.am rural.Some reasons COULD be other family members convienience or as stated medical needs. Some people are blessed to have big places in the country.. Others have small. and some live in the city… It is life! Everyone makes their OWN choices. Q#4Preps above.
    Thors Q1, we will know in 5 months.
    Q2 as much as possible
    Q3 dehydration of ground beef, jerky, canning- hot and cold pack.
    Q4 too early to plant until now.. have more planned, but as veggies, mostly string beans. will do trial of a couple legume storage beans…to increase seed supply. Meat choices are being re examined and consider:given to adding more fish, ( which we eat rarely)and adding other wild meats as available., including beaver, snake, groundhog, We are also exploring other non-standard sources for other meats we can/do not raise. .. Wasting Disease is nearby-we have excluded venison from our possible choices.
    Q#5 I will not knowingly eat artificial meat. Much of it is made from soy and other legumes, which i tolerate poorly.. and who knows what else they put in there. Nor will I eat a protein powder which has an unidentified protein source..
    Hang in there Y’all this is going to get real when the helicopter money is gone and many jobs do not come back.
    Some are saying this will b here for a while… FolKs , Virus have been around for many years – they do not just “go away”, Our bodies become able to fend them off with common sense methods like Old homesteader has been doing. Someone is releasing a lot of information and it conflicts with what was given before.
    This a bad kung flu.. many things about lasting effects are being said…there is SOOOOO much Conflicting Information- I trust nothing that is SAID about it ,til i see the data in the rearview mirror. I desire to be able to look back at it. I know we do not want this “bug”.. none of the things like blood clots, kidney and liver failure, heart failure.sterility..that are listed -as possible side effects sound appealing to me. .
    God placed antivirals in the plant world. plants that attack virals in the plant world also attack the first incidence in the human body..
    There are other things each of us can do to fight virus daily. If you have not a clue , DO some research! put in a” start page search” or “duck duck go page” . ..”herbals that are antiviral.”.. “natural’s that are antiviral” “nature’s antivirals”.. “foods that are antiviral”.. do all of the searches. you will find things that sound familiar and some not so much. If you have not used it don’t knock it til you know if it works for you or not. My family has 5 in stock continually and we use 3 in rotation daily.
    Use common sense wash hands ,wear gloves if going to a contaminated location, wipe down containers and packages. with disinfectant.
    Find a place where you feel comfortable handling illness, protecting your family, feeding and providing for your family. Even if they laugh now when it gets down to the nitty gritty and others have a lack yet they don’t it will click … we are not “tinfoil hatters”, We are critical thinkers and planners. Some have awakened during his event.Do not go back to sleep. The coming winter and spring will come and our families will still need supplies and want to eat. I am thinking 15-18 months out.Yes we will need more seed.. so save what you can from the plants you grow. select the best plats that have the best tolerance to YOUR conditions…and save those seed.
    Prayers for the Nation, our POTUS and those that assist him..for the Pack and prepping families.
    Take care of yourselves and those you love. Keep on Keeping on.!

  21. Well, it has been a productive week for me!! I canned 12 pints of potatoes, 4 pints of baby carrots, and 8 pints of hamburger meat. We went to one of our local (45 minute drive south) grocery stores, and scored a 25 pound bag of flour! There was a limit of ONE five pound bag, which I use up in less than a week, so I got my limit of one PLUS the 25 pound bag! Now, I need a bucket to store it in. So I placed an order for 6 buckets WITH Gamma seal lids. They won’t be here for a bit, but still, felt it was a good deal for only $100, with free shipping! I also placed an order with Pleasant Hill Grain for one pail of Hard White White and one pail of Soft White Wheat, which will not be available until mid June, but since it is already packaged for long term storage, I am willing to wait. It is just for long term storage anyway. I also packaged up 9 — 1/2 gallon jars of rice. Took me awhile to acquire that much rice, but I now feel better about our “stores”. We moved our 2-week old chicks out to the coop brooder, and I am cleaning that room, plus airing out the house. Yesterday it was about 88 degrees or so, and today looks like it will be about the same. I didn’t get really warm until late afternoon, but tolerated it without turning on the a/c. Hoping to wait until mid May before turning it on!
    I have noticed a shortage of the hot tea I drink (Constant Comment) at the grocery stores. IF they have it, they only have the 20 rwa bag boxes. That will only last 10 days! So, when I find it, I buy two boxes. Back in February, I found 40 tea bag boxes at Wal-Mart online, so I got 4 then. But since then, they do not have any. I went to the Bigelow website, and they had a deal on 6 boxes of the 20 ct box, so I ordered 2 sets. But it is getting frustrating not being able to buy stuff like we used to!! We found a 6-roll package of paper towels, they only had 2. so I only bought one. We are thinking we might go to Wal-Mart and buy a bunch of cheap hand towels, and just do without paper towels. Might learn to live without toilet paper as well!

    Tara’s questions:
    1. What has the shutdown of meat plants and run on gardening centers caused you to plan to do to become more food secure?
    We are buying hamburger every time we go to the store, or at least trying to. Last grocery run, we bought chicken. Raising baby chicks to butcher. We have 16, 5 older by 4 weeks, and 11 younger, so it will be awhile before we can butcher them. Are considering buying some more, just males, to raise and butcher. We also need to go buy more salmon and catfish. Can’t seem to find any decent fish around here, so we go buy it in Ft. Smith, Arkansas at a meat market. Yes, we try to stock up, about 20 lbs each when we go. Its time to go!!
    2. What were the biggest pandemic downsides where you live?
    My DIL freaking out and not wanting us to see our son.
    3. Other than a need to only a block or two from a hospital, why would you choose to live in an urban or suburban area instead of a rural one, as a prepper? Have NO need to be anywhere close to hospital or doctor. Love it out here in the country an hour away from everything!!!
    4. What did you do to prep this week? See above.

    Thor’s Questions
    1) Do you think the depression will hit in 5 months? Think it is already here!
    2) Are you ready for home invasions and high crime? As ready as I can be. Have been trying to get hubby on board with fortifying the doors and windows, but so far he aint interested, doesn’t want to spend the money nor do the work. I already have the plastic film to reinforce SOME windows, but its been sitting here for 2 years. Not sure if I should go ahead and buy more and watch it gather dust, so if he does get motivated, he can do them all at once, or wait. Just don’t know. Maybe I could hire someone to do it. We are locked and loaded for any trouble though!!
    3) How are you preserving your meat as prices will only go up? I am trying to can as much as I can!!
    4) Are you growing more beans for protein? Still waiting on hubby to finish tilling the garden, bjut yes, planning on planting quite a few bean plants!!
    5) Would you eat lab grown meat? Never knowingly!!! I am a beef girl, born and bred!!! NEVER eat anything fake.

    I have read that they think this flu could have started in late summer? My husband hardly ever gets sick, but last October, he had a bout of bronchitis that lasted the whole month of October!! I wonder if he had the Kung flu? Like I said, he hardly ever gets sick! And I was able to avoid it, which is also unusual!! Prayers to the pack! Stay safe and well!!

    1. We had our first confirmed case of this flu last week in our county. I was quite proud to be among the 14 or so counties that had NO cases, but alas, it was too good to last. Oh well…. the saga continues.

      1. OFG:

        We have not had a new case since 1 Apr, 11 total, no deaths. We are still practicing social distancing and most businesses are requiring customers to be masked. We (DW and I) are going to see how things go this week before we really venture out. Hopefully after the initial issues, things will calm down.

    2. Okie Farm Girl,

      Did you can your potatoes with the peel on or off? Did you raw pack? How do they taste? How long do they last canned? Do they turn out mushy?

      1. Almost There
        Yes I would also like to know of canning potatoes…..the correct and tried and true way.
        I have received a few prior comments of the subject of canning potatoes…and wow!
        What work it seemed for mediocre results
        I plan on doubling/tripling our potato planting this year and want them well preserved, as I don’t have an excellent storage location..

        Potatoes are a staple, imo.

      2. AA: I left the peel on, so they WOULDN’T fall apart and turn into mush. The official Ball Canning book said to blanche them for 10 minutes, but I watched a You Tube video of a guy canning potatoes, and he also felt that blanching them for 10 minutes was a waste of time. They are halfway cooked by then!! I did scrub them real well before cutting them up into fairly uniform 1/2 inch cubes, and the book said to process the pint jars for 35 minutes, so that’s what I did. Have not tried them yet. Maybe we can try a jar this evening! Will let you know how they came out!

        I did raw pack them, but put boiling water over them to fill the jar. According to USDA guidelines, or whoever it is in charge of food, home canned goods are only good for a year. I, however, do not believe that, and we have some home canned ready-to-eat meals from 2012 that we are still eating, and have not been poisoned. But I understand not everyone is comfortable with that. As long as the seal is intact, I am comfortable eating it.

          1. Okie Farm Girl
            On canning potatoes.
            Leaving the skins on
            Correct me if I’m wrong, but as with tomatoes.,.
            The skins are where the bacteria and nasties are. Shouldn’t all skins and blemishes be removed prior to canning??
            Just asking, I have never canned potatoes

          2. OK, opened a jar to try. Decided to make potato pancakes for lunch, as we had burgers last night and mashed potatoes did not sound like it would go well with burgers!!

            The potatoes are NOT mushy, they were still firm, took effort to mash them up. But then again, I am not strong. As for taste, they tasted like regular potatoes to me. So, I think leaving the skins on them helps keep them together so they do NOT turn into mush. And also think they came out tasty!! Hope that helps you both!!

          3. Joe2c: You would need to ask someone who is a little more knowlegeable about things like that. I am not a certified nutritionist, nor a scientist. I have no degree. Just a country girl who likes real meat and potatoes.

            The Ball Canning book does say you should wash them, peel them, then wash them again. It also says you should BLANCH them for 2 to 10 minutes, depending on size. I am comfortable just giving them a thorough washing before canning them, but the “officials” do not give their blessing. Do what you are comfortable with.

            The “officials: also say not to can your zucchini or crookneck squash. I do it anyway.

          4. OkieFarmGirl
            Thank you!
            I do appreciate your input!
            Yes, we are not the ‘officials’…..so who knows.
            I have about used up last year’s taters.
            The other half bought a pampered chef contraption….air dryer, dehydrator rotisserie.
            So I’ve made french fries and dehydrated some venison jerky, right from the get go.
            I also made some scalloped potatoes with bacon and onions.
            Ohh my, almost like my ma’s.
            (Tho, I’m not going to give up my day job to become a chef)
            I do appreciate your info.
            I also love my taters.
            (I know AA….not a good thing for a diabetic)

        1. Thanks, Joe, for your kind words. I HAVE found commercially canned potatoes, but only at the Kroger store in Paris, Texas. Haven’t found them closer to where I live, so can only buy them when we go to Paris to shop, which is only once every couple of months or so. But you might check your local grocery store.

          1. As a Master Food Preserver these are the reasons for the various recommendations for NOT canning potatoes with the skin on has to with the bacterial load that the skin can harbor. The first wash is to remove the bulk of the bacteria, then you peel removing more bacteria and the second wash removes most of the rest. The blanching helps to stop the enzymes and help with the color.

          2. Suzy q:

            Do you know if the problems with the peal being on also applies when dehydrating potatoes?

        2. Okie farm Girl
          Could you please tell me which video site you were watching for canning your potatoes. I have never tried this, but am really interested in this process.

  22. Hello Tribe,,,, Buckeye mom, welcome, glad you are here, I am in Fairfield County.. Glad for a day to rest. Busy week, new heifer calf born, her name is Iris, born to Fern (Jerseys). Planted 80% of two gardens. Doubled down on beans, bush, climbing and limas. Would plant more, but ran out of room, unless I turn a third garden. Yes, plant like you lived 100 years ago, and you are your grocery store.
    Protein is ok here, rabbits, chickens, goats and cows; advise folks to get serious about protein sources. Apple, crabapple, cherry trees, strawberries and blueberries all in bloom here. Horseradish about to bloom. I need more garden space for more potatoes and beans. Only planted 3 rows of potatoes and 4 rows of beans. Think maybe that should be doubled. Life on a farm, is non stop, as soon as you stomp out one crisis, there is another. Horses tore off barn door again, need to deal with that. I use cheap bendable hinges, only screwed in half way, so if there is a fire they can get out, well, they think it is funny to kick it hard and see if they can break out. NOT FUNNY. Put two rows of tomatoes out, so far, another couple of dozen needing in the ground plus ginger pots need planting.
    Do you remember when the disciples panicked during the storm, and thought they would perish, while Jesus slept? Well the storm that is hitting us at the moment is corona virus. Followed close by economic instability. I think we need to speak to the storm we are in. So many opinions, no one agrees, gets depressing, doesn’t it? So my question is, ” Who is sleeping in your boat? By faith, can you feel assured the storm will pass? If not, pray, ask God to send you help. HE WILL.

    1. Sage,
      I’m probably commenting way too much for a newbie, but
      I just wanna say, that’s the Sage I’ve known and have missed. Your, at times, comical, made at light, spunk and your at times, Biblical references.
      Blessings to you.

    2. Sage,

      Your barn door story tickled me. Sounds like a safety plan I would have if we shut the barn door at night! I do worry about a fire when I have a goat and her wee ones kept in a nursing stall at night – like I have now and will likely be using the quarantine stall for a doe about to become a nanny really soon. Pearl only has three good legs but if I am late for feed and turn out in the morning when she is in the nursing stall she dang near takes the stall door off, lol.

  23. I just got back from shopping. I had to go to Pep Boys to pick up a new battery for the truck. The old one was stuff under warranty so the replacement battery was free. I had to stop by Home Depot to pick up a new shower head. We will have the plumber install that when he does the water heater. Then I went to Publix to pick up a few things. They were very low on meat–all kinds. The had only two packages of ribeyes and no NY strip. I did pick up another ham and a London broil. There were only half dozen hams. If I had more room in the freezer, I would have picked up another one. Hamburger was $6.99 lb. I am glad I stocked up on ground beef at Walmart last week. I do suspect that all the media coverage about potential meat shortages has exasperated the problem. People are getting their stimulus checks and stocking up on meat. That’s a good think, I suppose. But it is driving up meat prices.

  24. Tara’s questions:
    We have ordered a quarter beef. And will pick up tomorrow. I have added more square footage to our garden.
    I have been unemployed since the last week in March. My other half has been making store runs, since she works medical and is out and about, and me an old age diabetic. We have made one of the horse trailers, now at the house, as her changing/decontamination room.. I haven’t been much of anywhere, except for the farm, gas station and the local grain elevator for livestock feed.
    The convenience of a hospital, a grocery store, entertainment for living in a city? No thanks. An overburdened country life for me…..always!!

    New chicks. New bunnies. Rototilling the garden, although a couple, three weeks out until planting season.
    The young horse back to the trainer…..I can’t risk a hospital visit with him
    Garden shed cleaned and moved. Greenhouse starts up and spouting.
    Moral mushroom hunting, with no success.
    And a first time shotgun reload…with positive results! 👍
    ….and an endless, boring list up

    1. Overburdened country life for me – that sounds like a great slogan for a T-shirt or title to a country music song – love it! When watching Tucker Carlson last night I laughed about how differently urban folks and country folks measure distance. First of all, out here we never give direction telling how many miles something is away, but how long it takes to get there. Secondly, Carlson was talking about something that goof DeBlasio had done and noted that he “drove 10 miles” to get to somewhere that was not essential – once again noting what a huge hypocrite he is. Anyway, it was the 10 whole miles part that made me giggle. That’s just a trip into town for us, not a major excursion that takes planning or a map, lol.

  25. Joe2c, Good to see you here… That is not a boring list…It shows you have been busy since you have not had work for employer… we have bunnies that just opened eyes.. and a litter ready to move out of apartment with Callie/Mom. I also have baby chicks.. brooder is haywire. so bought some as on post above… Love me some mushrooms.. as far as i know we do not have morels here.. I have to purchase mine and i just finished dehydrating 4 lbs. assorted from gro./sale.and several bags of vegetables.. rabbit is in secure housing /jars will not get cold or hot. later

  26. AA
    Tis feeling like home already! We have lost a couple three bunnies out of this kit. Their eyes are not open yet and have just received hair a couple days ago. I had one sleep with me a couple mornings ago. It was out of its nest and got cold, when the other half discovered it. It held on for a couple, three hours, then past. Heartbreaking for an old man

    Yes, tis me….and Sadie.
    I missed you, too. Huggs
    You’re still doing good, I hope.

  27. Hi Everyone,

    This week has been really nice although I didn’t get what I had planned to do done… Isn’t that how it usually goes?

    Spent the last 2 days working in the garden. Had it re-tilled Saturday morning, planted the tomatoes, measured off space for a raised bed. Then the yard guy came and he set up the concrete blocks, he was selling for cheap, around the measured area and I leveled off the dirt , got sun burn. Today, I planted corn, snow peas, carrots, limas, Ky Wonder beans, golden waxed beans, 2 pepper plants, 3 pickling cuke plants, 3 watermelon plants, beets, speckled beans. Still have some lettuce and gonna try my hand at planting potatoes since I have a bunch that are ready to plant. Saving some for the fall. It rained a good storm this afternoon. Heard there was a tornado down in the city.

    Today, I got my tires rotated this morning, then went to TSC to find some more silver queen corn. Found only 1 pack. It was kinda crowded, and didn’t need anything else, so bought my corn and left. Everyone was keeping a distance.

    Then, I went to Lowe’s and the crowd was out there too. Not many wearing a mask, and wanted to go in the gardening section, but the line was way too long. I wanted a couple more packs of silver queen and found only one there. Checked for Clorox wipes, and none to be found. Bought my seeds and left.

    Went to Kroger’s to get some Milo’s sweet tea with lemonade, and found strawberries, pineapple, red potatoes, bags of greens for lunch, rotisserie chicken and totally forgot the tea. ARGH!

    Tuesday, went with an old riding buddy to look at shotguns. First store was small, and didn’t have a Mossberg or Remington, so we went to Academy sports. Nothing there either. Will have to go to some other places.

    Thursday, went to a possible BOL, that a couple is building and where they want a few more people to live there. Quite a few red flags, plus it was only 6.5 acres which is not enough land for what they want to do and for the number of people they want to join. So, still looking.

    Worked in food room some, but still needs work.

    Packaged up the chuck roasts and got them in the freezer since my pressure canning plans got sideways.

    Tara’s questions:

    What has the shutdown of meat plants and run on gardening centers caused you to plan to do to become more food secure? Been buying meat and seeds prior and continue to stock up here and there.

    What were the biggest pandemic downsides where you live? Sad to see so many places closed. Thank goodness things are opening back up again. Noticed Goodwill is open again and Waffle House opened back up Monday, along with O’Çharley’s and probably others as they have to do 50% table spacing, but at least they are back open.

    Other than a need to only a block or two from a hospital, why would you choose to live in an urban or suburban area instead of a rural one, as a prepper? N/A

    Prayers for the pack, for The President and for America to get back to work safely.

    Have a great week everyone.

  28. I read an email this morning, that I hadn’t even taken into consideration.

    Wearing a face mask while carrying concealed.

    In our state, it is “suggested” that you wear a mask in public areas.
    Our CCW law states, a concealed carrier shall not intentionally conceal his/her face….
    ….while committing a crime.
    I’m sure most anyone with a permit would not engage in a crime, but….
    there are those that like to interpret the law(s) to their own liking and to make ‘examples’ of. Especially non2nd supporters. My thoughts may be over the top, but anything is possible, nowadays.
    So, just be careful and be cautious out there.
    Carry On

      1. GA Red
        Good for Georgia!
        See, our governor isn’t that smart.
        In fact she stated that some of the Capitol protesters were carrying automatic rifles.
        It is funny that no arrests were made for carrying said weapons.
        Gotta love the idiocies of higher officials.

  29. Hello everyone and welcome to the newbies. I am behind because it was quite a week and just now enough time to post.
    I decided to push the envelope on planting. The long term forecast showed no night temperatures below 40. A bit risky because we had a freeze last year on May 22. Average date is May 10. My tomato starts were four different kinds- a Roma variety, Cherokee Purple Heirloom, Heirloom Marriage Genuine Hybrid and Lime Green salad. The last were free seeds sent by the company. The Heirloom Marriage are seeds no longer sold. I bought the seed packets back when they were discontinued in December 2018. Started 7 and transplanted all seven. I did lose one of the Roma’s in transplant.

    Transplanted peanuts, broccoli, cabbage and cauliflower. Planted new carrots and am harvesting from seeds scattered last fall. Harvesting green onions and greens on a daily basis. My lettuces are gorgeous about half from saved seed. Started cucumbers and planted seed outside. Herbs transplanted included dill and basil. Planted beet seed and onion sets. Trying to start Rosemary from seed. My expectations are low for that herb is hard to grow from seed. Planting some annual flowers and have my perennials. Staying away from the in town hardware store which carries plants. Lots of crowds and no one taking the virus seriously since we are a rural town.

    Dishwasher quit. So actually had to go to the one place in the county selling appliances. Wore masks and gloves. The guy thought I was weird, but he isn’t paying much attention to what is going on. Until Friday, we had only one case. But the whole area is exploding. The nearest meat packer is two counties over-about 75 miles. They did not have much access to testing. Three weeks ago they only had 16 positives. Now almost 600. They jumped 100 cases in 24 hours. Needless to say production is affected.

    Lots of people here- shop there. And it shows. Friday we had second confirmed case with an additional 5 family members sick. Don’t know if they will be tested. Noted as probable positives on County website. Yesterday (Monday) an additional non-related case was confirmed. Niece is due at end of month and so I will not go out again regardless so that I can help her family.

    DIL’s brother has cattle to process-backed up to July at small local meat cutters. Packing plants are a mess. Will purchase directly from him/ local butcher shop. Rain fall is way behind. Starting to impact wheat crops. Might push prices up. Still six weeks or more away from harvest.
    I know I have not answered any questions directly, but need to get back to work. I am hoping for the best but preparing for the worst.

    Stay safe everyone. And thanks to either Nell or Okie Farm Gal for the offer to ship yeast- I am good for now.

  30. Tara,,,, I love the pix of your grandkids with baby goats, I keep going back and enjoying it.. You should figure out how to frame that and sell them. I would buy one. Her dress and their little cowboy/girl boots are precious. Reminds me of childhood. Had a Dale Evan’s and her horse Buttermilk bedspread when I was little. I loved it. Hope they cling to a country life as they grow. It is the best life ever; even with the challenges we are facing now.

    1. Hi, Tara
      Maybe we can contact Toby Keith or Blake Shelton for that song idea.
      You work your end, I’ll work mine, for contacts.
      We’ll split the profits.

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