Prep Genrl Weekly Prep Thread: April 19 ~ 25, 2020

ReneeT

Veteran Member
Good afternoon folks! Sorry for the late start; I'm off work on vacation and plumb lost track of the day of the week again.

Got in a good 2+ mile walk this morning with the neighbor lady, puttered around the farm for a while; then caught a nice nap. It's a pretty day outside - not as warm as it's supposed to get later in the week, but nice enough to have the side porch door open to let the fresh air in. Ground is still too wet to till, darn it; but I'm hopeful that it will be dry enough in a day or two - which will hopefully give me time to plant the cool weather crops, strawberries and raspberries before we get another rain. I've got plenty to keep me busy before the ground is ready - need to pick up fallen branches in the yard so Hubby can mow, prune back my Mama's rosebush, cut the deadwood out of the elderberry patch, weed the flower beds again and get some more mulch down in them, clean up around the yard, pot up some bee balm, move a couple or three peony plants - heck, I think I've done wore myself out just thinking about what needs done!

Tomorrow, I need to run in to town to pick up a couple hundred feet of 2' or 3' chicken wire to make into row covers for the new strawberry patch - gotta keep the bunnies and deer from eating them until the plants can spread out and repopulate on their own. While I'm in town, I'll hit Aldi, and the local Feed 'n Seed - need more white clover seed to overseed the yard with, to crowd out the rotten Creeping Charlie and to provide bee fodder. Hubby is going to give the little garden by the porch another tilling, then we'll move the old holey water tank in place and get started filling it with soil - I need to call the sale barn on Wednesday and see if I can get a load of composted cow manure. I'll use the tank to grow sweet 'taters in this year. Did you all know that sweet potato leaves can be cooked and eaten like spinach? Little different taste, but greens are greens when you are hungry for them. They are a little high in Vitamin K, so if you are on a blood thinner or prone to clots, you would probably want to avoid them.

Well, guess I'd better get up and get something done; Hubby is willing to go out and help move stuff around, so I'd better take advantage of it...

Take care all; stay safe out there!
 

hiwall

Veteran Member
Put the remaining solar panels on the roof today. Wired everything up - panels, joiner box, solar controller, battery bank, and the inverter. Everything working and the batteries are charging as I type this. Tomorrow I will hook up the inverter to the two house circuits that have the freezer and the refrigerator on them. Then that's it. By tomorrow night our freezer and fridge should both be completely off grid.
 

Digger

Senior Member
We have had 2 hail storms and a night or two that we got to freezing. The plum trees have lost most of their little plums, but the peaches still have more than enough. I covered my green beans that had just came up. They were fine. My potatoes got a little frost damage even though I covered them too. But the potatoes will be fine. The few strawberries I have had no damage. I covered them too.

I have had a problem with a pair of pigeons in my hay barn. They were making a mess on things. I tried putting a plastic owl in the barn to scare them off. That didn't work. One bird just disappeared. I think a hawk may have gotten that one. But the other one persisted. I borrowed my daughters BB gun we gave her when she was about 11. I took care of the remaining bird who now had a fledgling about ready to leave the nest. If you plan to use pigeons as a food source, it would take lots of them. I kept the breasts. The two amounted to less meat than what you can get from one quail. I plan to do a little stir fry. :jstr:

I thought our stores might be recovering, but no. If anything, there was less than the last time we went and they had gotten a truck that morning.

My bees will be ready for pickup Saturday morning. I will be glad to have some again. Raising bees has really gotten trickier for even the very experienced bee keepers.
 

SammiP

Contributing Member
We acquired some grape prunings which are showing signs of leafing out after a week in water and rooting compound, so the ones with leaves are going into potting soil today. It was incentive enough for my garden to get tilled this weekend along with a couple rows of proposed fencing, and I've been told that materials for this proposition are following my husband home today! Yay! Soaking peas to plant this afternoon, and checking potatoes to plant in a week or two. Sewing projects on breaks from the potting, dishwasher running, cats sleeping. Somehow it feels like a nice cosy puttering day here. :)
 

prudentwatcher

Veteran Member
I added four cans of coffee to the pantry. They were on sale at Walgreens and I get the extra 20% off. I don't drink the stuff, but had a long talk with SO about things and we made a list of what we thought we still needed to add to the stash and how much. Coffee made the list so I started adding :) Aldi's was limiting meat, so could only get a little (1 hamburger at 2.5 lbs and 1 roundsteak). Did buy smoked sausage and bacon, those weren't limited. They had flour again, so I bought another bag of flour and a bag of sugar (which I have been getting each time I go). SO went to Publix and stocked up on muffin mixes and specialty cake mixes (angel food, pound cake), while waiting on a take out order from a restaurant next door to it. The Publix I have been going to doesn't have any of those goodies, just regular cake mixes which I have plenty of.
 

nomifyle

Veteran Member
Speaking of coffee, a couple of months or so ago, I looked in my pantry and to my surprise and dismay I only had half of what I usually keep. So I restocked. Since then I've found the two I was missing in my unorganized stash. So now I have about a year and a half of coffee. Gotta have my coffee. I suppose when I'm down to six months I may have to ration what I drink in a day. I need to look into growing chicory.

Judy
 

tech

Senior Member
You can also roast sunflower seeds to stretch coffee...makes it on the bitter side, but better than nothing...remember to remove the shells first ;)
 

nomifyle

Veteran Member
You can also roast sunflower seeds to stretch coffee...makes it on the bitter side, but better than nothing...remember to remove the shells first ;)
I can do bitter, I like a bold cup of coffee straight up black.

Judy
 

mecoastie

Veteran Member
Got my Fedco order and word that my Johnny seed order shipped. We got our rabbits on Saturday and are getting them squared away Picked up a 10x10 portable shed at HF today for them as temporary shelter. They were out of the 6.5 hp engines I like. Want to pick another one up as a spare. Seeding part of the orchard to clover and planting more comfrey as food for the rabbits. Have to fence it from the chickens or they will eat it all. Need to order alfalfa seed and some annual rye grass as cover crops.
 

SouthernBreeze

Veteran Member
Been helping CaryC split and stack firewood today. The last of the 3 piles he had from several oak trees. We now have, under roof, 4 1/2 cords. Need 2 more cords, and we'll be set for awhile. A friend is giving him as many more trees as he wants in order to clear his pasture land for more cows. He's just waiting for the shelter in place order to lift, and things get back to a semblance of order. As much rain as we're still getting, it's going to be quite awhile, before getting into the pasture, anyway.

I've been ordering more food items online for the pantry, and other items that we've been putting off for awhile. Going ahead and getting them now. Might not be available in the future.
 

ReneeT

Veteran Member
Gave the front garden it's first tilling of the season; gonna grab a sammich for lunch, then go back out and go over it again. It'll probably take a few more times going over it since it didn't get planted last year (a complete tear of ACL, shredded meniscus, tib plateau fracture last April = no gardening last year) but Hubby did at least keep it mowed off - so no tall weeds; but it did suffer a little compaction from the mowing.

This front garden area is going to be planted in raspberries, 100 strawberry plants, a few cold weather crops (beets, spinach...) and have a double or triple row of zinnias at the front.

I'm going to try to go over the the back garden a couple of times tomorrow - won't plant much in it until after the 7th of May Full Moon as it will be used for warm weather crops and more zinnias, but I might be able to get my pole bean fences up - depends on if we get rain 6 days out of the next 7 as is forecast. Granny always said that the full moon pulls frost, and May 7 is a wee bit early for me to be comfy planting tomatoes, so I likely won't plant them until the 24th or 25th of May instead. Well, unless I decide to put plastic over the 'mater cages... wonder if I still have a box of those Rural King drum liners out in the shed....

Well, reckon I'd better get back at it before my back talks me out of it - that old Troy Bilt Horse takes some wrangling sometimes :lol:
 

nomifyle

Veteran Member
Got my Fedco order and word that my Johnny seed order shipped. We got our rabbits on Saturday and are getting them squared away Picked up a 10x10 portable shed at HF today for them as temporary shelter. They were out of the 6.5 hp engines I like. Want to pick another one up as a spare. Seeding part of the orchard to clover and planting more comfrey as food for the rabbits. Have to fence it from the chickens or they will eat it all. Need to order alfalfa seed and some annual rye grass as cover crops.
getting seed for alfalfa and rye grass is a good idea. We have about a 3 acre area this is fenced where we use to have the pigs. Sometimes the three billy goats are there, but only one right now because he is in the punish corner. He keeps attacking the other two billys that found their way to us last summer. DH wants to sell at least one of the billys but I just can't bring myself to let them go. They are both skiddish probably because they'd been lose for an undetermined amount of time.

Boy do I get off topic, the three acres has some spots that the pigs/hogs kept bare and planting some seed there would be a good idea, that is unless Buddy the billy goat eats it all up.

Judy
 

Marseydoats

Contributing Member
Scored 6 good canning jars out of the recycle bin, and there were at least a dozen of the quilted jelly jars in there too. They frown on you taking things out of the bin, but if you "grab and go" they won't say anything. I really wanted the wide mouth pints I got, so I just left the others.
And I finally got some more distilled water. It worries me when my stash gets below a certain level.
 

nomifyle

Veteran Member
DH is trying to revive an old well where my great grandparents use to live. Nothing left there but the colvert around the well, so its hard to miss. He found an old canning jar in perfect condition. The house burned down. I'm blessed to have the two home places where my great grandparents lived. Nothing really left of anything except fencing and DH preserved that as much as he could, mostly the ceder posts.

Judy
 

20Gauge

Has No Life - Lives on TB
We are harvesting peppers from last years garden. Plants are 5-6-7 years old now and are doing well. We have gotten 695 peppers since January.

The plan for this year is to layer our plants. Older ones are trimmed so that they provide a canopy. 2-3 year old plants are being trimmed for intermediate canopy. New plants are the low canopy.

Got the idea from one of those whole environment books. Thought we might try it out.
 

nomifyle

Veteran Member
We are harvesting peppers from last years garden. Plants are 5-6-7 years old now and are doing well. We have gotten 695 peppers since January.

The plan for this year is to layer our plants. Older ones are trimmed so that they provide a canopy. 2-3 year old plants are being trimmed for intermediate canopy. New plants are the low canopy.

Got the idea from one of those whole environment books. Thought we might try it out.
What do you do with all of those peppers?

Judy
 

20Gauge

Has No Life - Lives on TB
What do you do with all of those peppers?

Judy
Salsa, spaghetti and chili.

Last year we produced 7500+ peppers and found that they were smaller than the "pretty" store peppers but had better taste and were meatier. So with some help and guidance from people here on the board, we began canning Salsa first and then later Spaghetti. Unfortunately our consumption of just Salsa is 12 qts per month if it is available. Wife likes it on everything.....and we couldn't can enough.

So we have increased our carrying capacity for the garden. We have doubled the planter sq footage and worked to improve the methods we use. Canopy growth methods, etc. Goal this year is 10,000+ with a long term target of 15,000.

Chili will be the next one as the wife got pissed off at the prices at the store for her no beans chili. I expect I will be canning some chili in the next week or three.

The picture is this week's haul
 

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prudentwatcher

Veteran Member
Winn Dixie has their t-bones on sale for $3.99/lb in the family pack. SInce they are selling ground chuck at $3.49 a lb, this is obviously a fabulous deal. We only have one WD in town and it's on the other side of town from me (about 15-20 min), but I went and got 2 packages (6 steaks). I will bag them up separately tonight and freeze them. That is six meals for us and pretty much will finish me stuffing my upright freezer.

They also had some toilet paper, but the prices were insane and I refused to buy. I have plenty stashed. I did but a couple of rolls of paper towels and a chicken, as SO asked for roasted chicken for dinner and I only had boneless breasts.
 

ReneeT

Veteran Member
Rain, rain, and more rain in the forecast - looks like I won't have much choice about planting late this year. I'll be heeling in the raspberry and strawberry plants in totes until I can get them in the ground. I work a three day weekend (Sat/Sun/Mon) while Hubby has Sunday and Monday off work, so am going to try to con him into cutting some old metal hangers into stakes; and then cutting the chicken wire into 25' lengths and bending it in half for me either Sunday afternoon or Monday - that'll at least give me a head start on getting the strawberries in to the ground once it finally dries up.

I'm also going to need to pick up a few more electric fence posts to stake down/hold up the wire - which means I'll have to remember to take the town route rather than the country one on my way home from work one of those days since someone has taken my stash of them to hold his IDPA practice targets.... Might as well plan to put that on the list for Tuesday morning - that will give me something to do in the hour after work I need to lollygag around in town waiting for Aldi to open - they open a half hour earlier on Tuesday and Thursday for 'old folks' shopping time, Bless 'em!

I picked up the plants I ordered from the small local grower yesterday; she'll be giving me a holler as soon as she gets more plants ready for sale. She sells at the local Farmer's Market and tells me that they will be holding it again this year, so I am really looking forward to that!

Well, Hubby's pacing back and forth behind me - guess I'd better give him a chance at the computer before he heads in for an extra shift at work. Y'all take care out there, stay safe!
 

WanderLore

Contributing Member
Got the cold stuff planted and the garden areas will be good this year. I had a volunteer elderberry root itself by the big gardens so put a tire around it last year. It's doing good.
My rose garden is getting little buds.
Peas are doing very well, I planted a row by the chicken pen and will trail them up that.
Unfortunately I twisted funny and my back went out. Second trip today to my chiropractor. He says I pinched my lumbar and have sciatica down both legs. It's pretty painful and I am using a cane. This is driving me nuts as I am active and planned to go on a hike with oldest son in the woods. I'm doing good right now just to get to the bathroom.
Grocery run was ok. Low on meat. Got what I could.
The oldest dog here is Jack Russell. Going on 15. Has bronchitis. I have meds to treat him. He is doing better so far.
So until this back thing heals up, I'm stuck on the couch. But it's not warm enough to plant anything else.
Got a few extra seeds from ebay and it's been almost a month. Geesh.
Happy fun times to all of us here!
 

hiwall

Veteran Member
My apple trees are starting to leaf out. I hope it does not get cold enough to freeze the new leaves off.

My new solar system is working perfect. There is plenty of extra power available on the system but for now I am not adding any more circuits though next winter on sunny days I will likely use one or two electric heaters to bleed off the free power during the day.
Supposed to be warm here for the next week but I fear cold weather will return (it almost always does). We do have our seeds ready and wife is planning to start many things in the house sometime in May.
 

SouthernBreeze

Veteran Member
Rain, Rain, and more Rain! Will it ever stop?! I did manage to sit outside on the porch for a little while yesterday. I keep checking our raised beds, but the soil is still soupy! I need to get my squash and tomatoes planted.
 

Digger

Senior Member
Hubby and I went to Harps and 10 Box. Harps was pretty well stocked. They even had a little toilet paper, limit 1, and flour. We were mainly after bacon and some other pork products. We found what we needed. I also bought toilet paper, ground turkey, and tortillas for a friend. She had gone to Kroger the day before and Kroger was out of those. Harps said they had got in an extra truck and was also getting another extra on Sunday.

At 10 Box we got more bacon. There was a limit of 1on the 25 pound bag of pintos. We want more, but you cannot see the beans, and I do not want dark older beans. I have a few pounds so I am holding out for smaller bags. We cook dried beans at least once a week. We keep a variety on hand. Hubby did find a guy stocking 1gallon jugs of professional Dawn in the automotive section. No limit, so we bought 2. Hubby uses it in his shop to clean grease when he needs to. Dawn was one thing I was wishing I had bought more earlier.

I got my 2 nuks of bees this morning. I sat them on top of the hive and opened the door so they can explore. One hive was not happy at all. But it is cool and cloudy. That makes them pissy. I am sure the ride home didn't improve their attitude any either. It should clear off and warm up some and I will go install them in their wooden box.

I planted some tomatoes and peppers in the garden Thursday. Of course, we had a little hail on Friday. I think that is the 5th bit of hail this Spring. I still have to plant melons, cucumbers, and squash. I planted corn, but it has not come up. It turned cold and wet, so it may have rotted in the ground. I will have to try again. It has been a challenging year so far.

I really wish we knew what to expect in the next year or so. I hear the sky is falling, all the way to it is a big hoax. My dad always said there would be another Great Depression some day. He lived the first one, but has been gone 30 years now. I sure wish I could ask him some questions. He was a wise man.

A family member who works for a large meat company texted me and said to stock up on protein. They had just had a corporate conference call and relative was a bit freaked out about the boss 2 levels above saying for them to stock up. Relative is a bit of a liberal. They were in the "this is just a bad flu!" , camp until schools closed. But they do understand the supply line issues and that it won't shake out in a month or so.
 

prudentwatcher

Veteran Member
Did another trip to Aldi's. Got more bacon, chicken tenderloins (3 lbs), and 2 packages of boneless pork ribs to freeze. They also had toilet paper! Got another bag of flour and another of sugar and this time they had boxes of pound cake mix and angel food cake mix, so got more of those too. Couple of frozen pizzas that we like, along with some fresh fruits and veggies. There really is no more room in the freezer now, and I am breathing a little more freely now as I feel I have done the best I can do. Other preps are stacked on the floor as I have also run out of storage room for them.
 

SouthernBreeze

Veteran Member
April, May and June are our driest months here.
About 2 weeks ago, our local weatherman said that we have already had over 13 inches of rain above what's normal for this time of year. We've had to dodge tornadoes every month since last fall, too. We really need a break in our weather pattern.
 

nomifyle

Veteran Member
I ordered DH a pair of boots the other day and they came yesterday, he loves them. So I found another pair and just ordered them. One is none and two is one.

I placed a pick up order at walmart to pick up this afternoon, we'll see if I get what I ordered. One thing is a big bone in ham.

I can look out the window of my office and see our goats when they walk by, the babies that are a few days old are out bouncing around, so cute.

Last night my prepping got a fail. The power went out and DH was sound asleep, so no way to get the generator going. I couldn't find my big battery lantern and two others didn't work. I did find one that worked and I've got flash lights. Awhile back I'd ordered a light that you hang around the neck and that worked really well. I looked and looked for my small battery operated fan to no avail. When the power went out I was in DH's lift chair and had to crawl out of it. The back up battery pack to charge my phone wasn't fully charged but it did work. All the lights that DH put above the doorways didn't work. Fortunately the power was only out for about an hour. When the lights came back on I immediately found the fan. And the head lamp that I found had a dim light. I've got a lot of battery charging and replacing to do. Apparently there was a lot of hail in the storm we had last night.

Judy
 
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