Wednesday, January 30, 2008

More on Materials and Supplies

I made it through the Polar Express of last night. The temperature dropped from 59 degrees to 12 as of this morning. Really kickin' butt out there. That steady relentless 30 mph wind is really something. No mercy. And some of the gusts just literally blew things over. Even the cat den was on it's side. Serves 'em right. They complain all the time. Especially about their food. The Handmaiden is so fussy about getting them their food and water and all they do is complain. If I need bait for my trout lines after SHTF I think I know a couple of donors.

Tomorrow is the last day of January and I think it ought to be a national holiday. I know, I know, February is just as cold, but it's shorter and I like that part of it. This is leap year so we get the extra day in February. I can take it, I think. Then it's only three weeks until Spring. Ahh...Spring. One of my favorites. Summer is generally too hot in Indiana. Hot and humid. Grows great corn and soybeans but is hard as hell on humans. Fall is about my favorite time of the year. The harvest comes in and we get goodies for the pantry and all that, plus it is time to get ready for deer season. Guys will be practicing with their bows and their shotguns and the smell of a successful hunt will be in the air.

Getting back to what you will need to survive, I got to thinking about seed this morning. Heirloom garden seed is right for what is important. Store it in sealed containers if you are keeping it for more than a couple seasons. Keep it cool and dry and you should be okay. Be sure to store enough. Crop failures do happen. There is a word making the rounds of the survival blogs called redundancy. It is normally used in relation to guns. But it can apply to seed for your garden. Things don't always turn out the way we intend and that means you need more seed for another go at getting your food. Buying yourself a good book on organic gardening is a good survival tactic. Study the sections on plant diseases very closely. It can help you identify what is attacking you and what you can do about it. Do whatever it takes to cure your problem. You gotta eat.

I was thinking about different types of forage for your fields. The original prarie grasses were good. They reseeded themselves quite nicely. You can learn about these grasses with a web search. Type in Original Prarie Grass. That should get you started. You can also buy some clover and alfalfa seed while the getting is still good. I never could figure out how to save clover seed but I'm sure it can be done. The more potent your forage the more weight your cattle will gain in a shorter anount of time. Cattle you select to fatten will also gain quicker with corn or other grains, if you have the seed to plant the stuff. Grow your grain seed in your garden where it will get more attention and protection. After you have enough saved, go plant for your cattle, keeping enough for another crop for your garden. Always give yourself room for error. You have to think about this stuff while you still have time..

When the SHTF you will not have time to study and cogitate. Your ass will be busy trying to stay alive. Cattle do not magically gain weight. Canning jars do not suddenly fill themselves. It all takes work and planning. You can do a lot of that work and planning right now, while there are no bombs going off nearby. For instance, you can get several years supply of canning lids and seals right now, while there is no shortage. This would shine quite a bright light on you path. And you could be studying how to preserve your food without canning lids and seals. Even better. Canning lids and seals are relatively new in the scale of human survival years. I'd say maybe a hundred years old?

That's all for right now, but I have plans for a lot more. And it just might be good stuff!

Stay prepared and stay alive.


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