SHTF Animal Feed

How are we going to maintain our animals in a SHTF situation? Good question from Leigh over at 5 Acres & A Dream. She and her husband continually work to improve their land and self-sufficiency goals, so this in an interesting question. This article has quite a few links to previous articles that discuss some of our efforts at providing for our animals. A lot of what we do now is based on how things have developed since we moved to this homestead. Here is Leigh’s question.

“Here’s a preparedness question. I would really like to know how you are feeding and managing your goats. Feed self-sufficiency has been one of my goals for as long as we’ve had goats, but I keep being thwarted and frustrated at so many turns. We grow some of our own feed and hay, but not enough and I’m constantly feeling time pressured to achieve this goal. I have to say I’ve learned a lot from research and experimentation; and made huge changes in my feeding philosophy, but I’m not there yet. I’d love a blog post on how you’re managing this.”

We currently buy grain from the feed store for our goats and chickens. Along with that, they all have access to forage. Right now we keep the chickens penned up until about noon or early afternoon, then let them out to range. If we no longer have access to grain for them, we will let them out each morning to ‘fend for themselves’. We also supplement with garden scraps, comfrey and amaranth leaves when available.

Our current Nubian goat herd consists of three does, eight wethers and two bucks. The males and females are separated into different pastures. Our ten acres is cross fenced into four pastures which is way more than enough for the number of animals we have. We rotate them between pastures during different times of the year for grazing preferences and to help control intestinal parasites. One of the main things we use for parasite control are copper boluses. We have acquired a large supply that will more than last our lifetimes in a SHTF situation, and hopefully will be adequate to help maintain the health of the animals. We also grow a number of plants that help deter worms. I don’t pick and feed them daily like I used to, but they are out there if we need them. After we started using the copper boluses, the goats have been very healthy most of the time.


We have always had a plan for standing hay. It’s warm enough in our location that there is usually something green growing most of the year for the goats to graze, and if not, there is still a lot of forage of the standing dried variety. If we are unable to buy the small amount of hay we use each year for bedding during the birthing season, that is another issue. We currently do not have a solution for that, it’s something we would have to work out. We have plans, but not finalized plans because it is something we have never done.


We realize our milk and kid production would decrease substantially since the does would not be receiving a milking ration of grain. The same would be true for the chickens and their egg production. To hopefully offset some of that, we have some things growing that could be used to supplement the grazing. We have a small patch of Jerusalem artichokes and comfrey.


One crop that grows very well here is cowpeas. We would increase our planting and dry some of these in the greenhouse for winter supplement. There are parts of the country that grow them extensively for animal feed for their protein content. We also have Austrian winter pea seed that has remained viable for about a decade, that loves the cold weather. It doesn’t make a ‘pea’ per se, but the foliage is edible for man and beast and is very nutritious.

The scraps from the garden and winter greenhouse are always saved and taken to the animals, usually the chickens. We were talking about how to save the corn stalks for silage the other day. We haven’t tried it yet, but that might also be doable.

Another crop we are trying for the first time this year is amaranth. So far so good. It is growing very well, we will just have to wait and see how it produces. The plant can be dried and chopped for the goats. It’s highly nutritious and I got the idea from Leigh after reading about it years ago on her blog.

I haven’t concentrated on SHTF animal feed in quite a while, but it’s a good reminder to do so. When we moved to this homestead 11 years ago there were many things to do to increase our self-sufficiency and prepare for the collapse. Now that many of them are in place I am much more peaceful about our preparedness level. The current challenge is our aging bodies and what we can still physically accomplish. We continually reevaluate what we need to downsize or alter to continue to accomplish our goals.

We have watched others try to grow non-mechanized grains and hay. This is something that has always been too labor intensive for our life styles. And now that we are older, this could never be a consideration for us. We have downsized our herd of goats to a more manageable level as we realize our limitations and how they will continue to affect our abilities in the future whether there is a collapse or not. We have to be realistic. Adding in the belief that the SHTF sooner rather than later, we add our aging bodies and waning physical abilities to the equation and adjust accordingly.

Thank you for the question, Leigh. It is a good review for us and helps to refocus on how we might be able to continue providing for our animals, which in turn will provide for us. Milk, meat, and eggs will go a long way toward sustaining us.

Let’s hear from everyone. What other recommendations or experiences do folks have to share? Again, we are all in this together.

Until next time – Fern

Prove Me Wrong

Hello Everybody, Frank here.

I’ve been itching to get something off my chest lately. No, it’s not body lice or fleas, it’s a different kind of itch. It’s the type that just doesn’t sit well with you or anybody else. What I’m about to say some people will find distasteful. Saying it leaves a bad taste in my mouth. This is not a story about making cheese or what’s your favorite grinder. It is grinding in nature, it grinds on your spirit and soul. It grinds down to the very core of mankind.

If you need to, stop reading now. This is not going to be a feel good type talk, because boys and girls, I don’t have a solution for where we are heading. For you regular readers, you might find some of the language out of character. My mother-in-law asked me a time or two, “Why can’t they make war movies without all of that bad language?” Because war and Mary Poppins just don’t fit together in the same movie.

The following is just my opinion, take it for what it’s worth. We are in serious, serious trouble. And I mean all of humanity is in serious trouble.

I’m a coward, you’re a coward. Prove me wrong. You want the truth? Here it is, but you’re not going to like it. Go into a Wal-Mart and look at all the fat asses waddling around. You think we’re going to fight? You’re out of your mind. Maybe over the last jelly filled donut, but that’s about it ladies and gentlemen. We’re not going to fight, we are fat, lazy and stupid. We can’t get anyone to join the military because we are cowards. If we will let TSA grope our little girls and not fight back, when will we draw the line and fight? We’re not. We’re cowards.

IQ levels are decreasing. Too many people are ignorant and stupid, but the fact is they are out breeding us. That’s not going to change. Go to any maternity ward, look around, how many people speak English? We are losing this battle on every front. Public schools, next time you go to pick up a child, look at the population that looks like you. Ask your child how many students have a hard time speaking English.They can pick any bathroom they choose. Is that guy in a suit really a guy?

In polar bear country they always recommend to keep one last round in your gun. I’ve lived in polar bear country, I’ve seen polar bears walk by. When polar bears come to town, kids don’t go out to recess that day. You and I are the invaders, the unwanted guests in our own country. Keep one last round in your gun. You may need it.

Abortion is murdering babies. Can you believe this? Okay, so one day I wake up and I decide that I just don’t want my baby anymore. I’ll just take it down to the local doctor’s office and let him kill it. How long is the warranty on that baby? One day, two days, six months. Oh, I changed my mind. Will you kill this thing for me? It is just too inconvenient right now. 

If we as a society have stooped to a level that it’s okay to murder a child that we don’t want, then there is no hope for us. But that’s where we are. Our politicians that we elected, along with their Hollywood friends, celebrate this as an achievement. Yes, we are cowards. Sick, perverted, deranged cowards watching those cheerleaders bounce up and down stuffing our faces with Cheetos.

Moving on here. We all know the world is changing, it can’t continue the way it is. So what are we going to do then? If something can’t continue, it won’t.

What are you going to eat when everything falls apart? What are you going to feed the kids that you decided to keep? For those of you that actually believe in keeping your kids alive. Do you have replacement handles for that shovel? The guy that used to come around and tin the pots for everyone, he’s not around anymore. Do you have any seeds? What are you going to feed those chickens and goats?

Look at some of the figures. We are now an oil exporting nation. How is that possible? Anything that doesn’t make sense is a lie. We are still importing millions of barrels of oil, so how can we be an exporting nation?

There is talk about shutting down the border. When? What about those African people coming across the border? They’re not coming from Central America. Those people that are coming from the Congo didn’t come on a rubber boat, they flew in on a jet! God only knows what kinds of diseases they are bringing with them. And those are the ones we catch. What about all the ones we don’t catch? Where’s the wall???

Go to a major city, not even a major city, just a big town. Pull up a seat in a mall and get a pop at a food court. Sit and watch the people go by for a little while and listen to their language. I don’t mean their profanity, I mean the language you don’t understand. Then go down to Sam’s and Costco. Look around, open your eyes. And if you believe the government numbers about anything, then – here it comes again – you are a special kind of stupid. Wake up!

The packages in the grocery are getting smaller. The toilet paper rolls are getting smaller. Snickers bars are getting smaller. Not trying to be insensitive here, but I would appreciate it if they would leave the size of a pat of toilet paper alone. Just charge more. But I guess some government study said our toilet paper pats are too big and need to be smaller to accommodate the average American. Due to the invasion, the average Americans are smaller in size, so we need smaller pats of toilet paper.

I am truly sorry there is slavery anywhere in the world, but slavery is color blind. Read your history. Speaking of reading history, you are aware that the Civil War was not fought over slavery. And you are aware that the Vietnam War did not start in the Gulf of Tonkin. And you are aware that the Twin Towers falling did not happen because of being hit by jets. And you are aware that John Kennedy was not killed by a single bullet. That means that you are aware that our government will kill any of us any time they want to. In my life time our good buddies, the Chinese government, killed millions of their own people, millions and millions and millions, it made Hitler look like an amateur. They kill their citizens, our government kills our citizens. Anything the government tells you is probably a lie. They control the way you think, how you are taught, what you eat, and if you disagree with them, they will kill you.

Got seeds, water, shelter, food, protection? Probably not. Because you believe what the government tells you. Here it comes again. THAT MAKES YOU A SPECIAL KIND OF STUPID.

I know, I’ll just take my family and run out in the woods and survive. I saw a guy on Dancing With the Stars do it. Pull your head out of your ass. That’s TV, that’s entertainment. Well, I’m just going to drag my travel trailer out to my relatives and live happily ever after. What are you going to eat, Bubba? I know you’ve got a case of chili, good for you. Got a shovel? Got two shovels? Got canning jars? Got a canner? Got beans to put in those jars? Got the soil ready? Or are you still chasing that rainbow? Seriously. What is your family going to eat while they’re chasing that citified rainbow sprinkled with pixie dust?

What about your neighbors? Your current ones and your future ones? Do you know them? Are they strung out on opiates like a huge part of our population? Not just opiates, that’s just one small category. Look at all the other mind altering drugs that way too many people take everyday.

Got that garden turned yet? I doubt it. Got your mind screwed on right to deal with the things that are coming? Are you prepared to defend yourself while you’re sitting on your ass watching Dancing With the Stars or some other unrealistic ‘reality’ show? I know it’s more fun to watch cheer leaders bouncing up and down while eating frozen burritos, Cheetos and drinking Pepsi cola. Don’t forget your Xanax, of course. If that’s the way you live, you are dead. And so is your family after those neighbors that you don’t know get finished with your wife and kids. How do those cheerleaders look on TV now? How does that burrito taste now? Pulled your head out yet? Got that garden turned over yet? Ready to work your ass off from dawn till dusk and then some just to survive?

Do you know what a sanctuary city is? Well, you’re not welcome there. I live in a sanctuary city, population of two and no one is welcome here. I am not the government, what I say is true. Don’t come to my sanctuary city unless you are invited. You better call before you come. These sanctuary city things are unbelievable. How can this be? There are big cities now that don’t investigate or enforce what are considered to be petty crimes. Like my home town, where I was born and raised, Dallas, Texas. People are moving in there faster than they can move out. Multiple sources tell me crime is escalating rapidly. This is happening in every major city. Look at the homelessness nationwide. Go tell those people that the economy is doing better. All skewed government lies.

The stuff you were taught in school, no matter how old you are, is not true. What the government says is not true. Walk into a new wave style church, God forgive me, but what is being taught is not true. There are not solutions to the plethora of problems mentioned above. We can’t go back to something that didn’t work the first time. We can’t deport millions of people from other countries. We can’t do it. If you think we can, then you are a special kind of stupid.

So what do we do, realistically? Well, let’s see. We need to go back to God. We need to go back to the Constitution. Do you really think that’s going to work? That is what got us to where we are today. In my humble opinion, there is going to be a major reset in this country and the rest of the world, also. Things cannot continue the way they are. How is that reset going to look? That’s like trying to predict what a car crash is going to look like before it happens. You know it’s not going to be pretty. Some will choose to continue to sit and watch the cheerleaders bounce up and down. Some, but very few, will grab a shovel and a package of seeds.

What most of us don’t understand is that everything that we have has been built on a forward progressing model. None of us have ever seen an negative reverse model on a large scale. Everything we have been taught is a lie. It’s not true, it’s not realistic and it is not sustainable. Remember the story about the tower of Babel? Some things just can’t continue upward. It’s impossible. Pixie dust will not solve our problems. 

There are many things not mentioned here. What happens when the population exceeds it’s limit? Read the story about the coyote and the rabbit. One goes up in population, then the other goes down. We have too many people on the planet. There is going to be a reset. I don’t expect our government to tell us that the sky is falling and we’re all going to die. I don’t expect our government to tell us the truth. I would hope that most people were capable of intelligent thought, but hope is a poor strategy. Whatever term you want to use for what is coming, whether SHTF, TEOTWAWKI, brace for impact, it doesn’t make any difference. The coyotes and the rabbits fluctuate, and so will we as humans. Are we going to survive this thing? Most of us, myself included, will not.

I would recommend you get a good shovel and a package of seeds. Make sure it’s a good shovel because you’re going to be digging a lot of six foot deep holes.

We’ll talk more later – Frank

Intolerance

Hello Everybody, Frank here.

This is the weekly installment of a previous article. It deals with a terrorist act that occurred in France a few years back, not the current events going on with the Yellow Vests.

Why the title Intolerance? Some of us believe it’s time to quit turning the other cheek and quit accepting that boot in the face. So, intolerance will be a new theme around ‘Frank & Fern’. If you agree or disagree, please let us know, because I am tired of turning the other cheek.

So, we’ll see where this goes. It’s time to take a stand. Hope you enjoy the article.

We’ll talk more later, Frank Feral

Originally published November 14, 2015

One More Wake Up Call

In the wake of the latest acts of terrorism, our prayers are with the people of France, and people the world over. One of the frequent comments we’ve read since last night is, where is this going to happen next? When will it happen here? Unfortunately, we live in a day and time where the expectation of a terror attack, an economic collapse, or a government take over of the country is common around the globe. No wonder there are so many people that continue to deny the possibility of these things happening, they are unbelievable. How can our world have come to this place and time? How could we have let this happen?

Giving in or appeasing has never been equated with safety or respect of power. Once civilization reached the point of meeting the demands of people because if they didn’t it was racist or a hate crime, all was lost. If someone shows up at your door demanding entrance and accommodations, can you deny them? Maybe on an individual level, but apparently it is no longer allowed on a national level. Why is that? Who decided to change the rules? Bleeding heart liberals, that’s who. People that never worked a day in their lives. People that think it’s okay to take something you have just because they want it. That is a generalization and may include some folks that don’t actually deserve to belong in that group, but if they don’t, they know who they are, and can exclude themselves.

We watched a video by Ann Barnhardt not long ago and the the statement that stuck with me the most is that she is no longer a nice person. Nice is weak, nice gives in to the demand of others whether they are valid demands or not. Nice gets people killed. Frank and I are no longer nice people either. Sometimes we offend people with the things we say and write. That’s okay. Sometimes things need to be said that others don’t want to hear.

Recently Frank had a conversation with an intelligent, professional woman. She has a gun, but won’t shoot it because she is afraid of it. Her husband now travels a lot and she is home alone with their three young daughters, all beautiful girls, and so is this woman. When Frank asked her what she would do if men broke in and had their way with her oldest 10 year old daughter, what would she do, she almost looked sick at her stomach. What would you do? Watch? Scream? What good would that do? There are things in this world that are not nice and getting less nice by the minute. Unfortunately, there is nothing we can do about it but watch it unfold, and unfold it will whether we like it or not.

If you are someone that is preparing for an uncertain future, because you have no doubt it is coming, I’m sure the events in Paris have caused your heart to skip a beat or two. It has also caused you to review your preparations, and begin another list of things you would like to have, or need to have, before that time arrives. I can only hope that Christmas trees will find many, many useful instead of frivolous, items underneath them this year. Things like buckets of wheat and a grinder, extra socks that the kids will grow into, garden seeds and tools, anything that is needed for a serious survival lifestyle.

 
As Frank and I read the news about Paris last night, we began to discuss what we needed to get, before we can’t any more. That is something we have given much thought today. We are making serious plans to accomplish or acquire some needed things. Soon. Very soon.

One thing we need to keep in mind is the curfew or martial law that occurred in France as these coordinated attacks unfolded. It’s something to seriously think about. What would martial law do to your life? Your routine? Access to family or friends? There are areas of the country that are having difficulty dealing with law enforcement because of heavy handed, militaristic tactics. There are other areas that work hand in hand with their law enforcement officers, because they are all on the same page, protecting and serving their communities. Do you know which kind of community you live in?

There will come a day, that appears to be getting closer by the second, that we will no longer leave our home. Will it make any difference? I don’t know. Will there be folks that come to the gate begging or demanding? I don’t know for sure, but we expect them. Will we be able to defend what is ours and survive the coming catastrophe? I don’t know that either. What I do know is that we are no longer nice people. If someone comes demanding, it won’t end well, one way or the other. If someone comes to harm and take, that won’t end well either. Will we come out on the ‘winning’ side of any of these encounters? There will come a day when winning means living another day and losing means death.

What I do know is that resentment is building. There are people that resent the fact that some people worked hard all their lives for what they have. There are people that demand to have what everyone else has that haven’t worked a day in their lives. There are people that resent folks that can’t work through no fault of their own. There is a growing group of people that resent working hard all of their lives to pay for those that refuse to work. There is a national movement to divide the races that is causing groups of people to be a target just because of how they look or talk. This too is building resentment among different peoples. What good can possibly come of this? Will people band together and refuse to take part in the coming wars against those that aren’t the same or don’t have as much? We can only pray so. But it won’t be the case in many locations, that has already been proven over and over and over. What about where you live? Know what surrounds you.

So, will all of our preparations make a difference in the coming collapse of society, or not? There is no way to know that until it happens. We only know that if we are to die, by whatever means, that we want to do it ‘with our boots on’ working side by side to survive, doing everything we possibly can. Neither one of us want to have to look the other in the eye and say, “Well, things will be okay. The government will take care of us.” Or the neighbors, or the notorious ‘they’ will take care of us. There is no way on earth that we want to be dependent upon someone else to provide when we are perfectly capable of doing it ourselves. Dependence is weakness and when the SHTF, weakness is death.

The atrocities in France are one more wake up call for all of us. We don’t believe anyone can actually be ready for what is coming. We can only try to be ready, and try with all our might. If there are those among us that choose not to try, then they have sealed their fate. If a person will not lift a finger, or spend a dollar to provide for themselves, their children and their families, then I pity them and we’ll pray for them, but there is no way we will jeopardize our lives and safety for them. We will not be nice appeasers giving in to the demands of those that would not be satisfied with a crust of bread for a starving child, but insist their needs and wants be met just because we did prepare and have food on our table with a warm roof over our heads.

Folks, there are some very, very difficult decisions coming to all of us. If you have not given deep, serious thought to what you will do in the coming days, you need to. Mental preparation is one of the most important parts of being prepared. Discuss what you will do when someone comes demanding to be fed, housed, clothed and entertained. Come to a decision that everyone can abide by, and do it now before the scenario unfolds. Remember, united we stand, divided we fall.

I can only wish I never had to write these words. Wishing doesn’t change the condition of the world or the need to be prepared for what is coming. Evil walks the land and it has many faces. It laughs in the face of death, terror and horror. Plan, then execute your plans with unwavering determination.

Until next time – Fern

 

One More Wake Up Call

In the wake of the latest acts of terrorism, our prayers are with the people of France, and people the world over. One of the frequent comments we’ve read since last night is, where is this going to happen next? When will it happen here? Unfortunately, we live in a day and time where the expectation of a terror attack, an economic collapse, or a government take over of the country is common around the globe. No wonder there are so many people that continue to deny the possibility of these things happening, they are unbelievable. How can our world have come to this place and time? How could we have let this happen?

Giving in or appeasing has never been equated with safety or respect of power. Once civilization reached the point of meeting the demands of people because if they didn’t it was racist or a hate crime, all was lost. If someone shows up at your door demanding entrance and accommodations, can you deny them? Maybe on an individual level, but apparently it is no longer allowed on a national level. Why is that? Who decided to change the rules? Bleeding heart liberals, that’s who. People that never worked a day in their lives. People that think it’s okay to take something you have just because they want it. That is a generalization and may include some folks that don’t actually deserve to belong in that group, but if they don’t, they know who they are, and can exclude themselves.

We watched a video by Ann Barnhardt not long ago and the the statement that stuck with me the most is that she is no longer a nice person. Nice is weak, nice gives in to the demand of others whether they are valid demands or not. Nice gets people killed. Frank and I are no longer nice people either. Sometimes we offend people with the things we say and write. That’s okay. Sometimes things need to be said that others don’t want to hear.

Recently Frank had a conversation with an intelligent, professional woman. She has a gun, but won’t shoot it because she is afraid of it. Her husband now travels a lot and she is home alone with their three young daughters, all beautiful girls, and so is this woman. When Frank asked her what she would do if men broke in and had their way with her oldest 10 year old daughter, what would she do, she almost looked sick at her stomach. What would you do? Watch? Scream? What good would that do? There are things in this world that are not nice and getting less nice by the minute. Unfortunately, there is nothing we can do about it but watch it unfold, and unfold it will whether we like it or not.

If you are someone that is preparing for an uncertain future, because you have no doubt it is coming, I’m sure the events in Paris have caused your heart to skip a beat or two. It has also caused you to review your preparations, and begin another list of things you would like to have, or need to have, before that time arrives. I can only hope that Christmas trees will find many, many useful instead of frivolous, items underneath them this year. Things like buckets of wheat and a grinder, extra socks that the kids will grow into, garden seeds and tools, anything that is needed for a serious survival lifestyle.

 
As Frank and I read the news about Paris last night, we began to discuss what we needed to get, before we can’t any more. That is something we have given much thought today. We are making serious plans to accomplish or acquire some needed things. Soon. Very soon.

One thing we need to keep in mind is the curfew or martial law that occurred in France as these coordinated attacks unfolded. It’s something to seriously think about. What would martial law do to your life? Your routine? Access to family or friends? There are areas of the country that are having difficulty dealing with law enforcement because of heavy handed, militaristic tactics. There are other areas that work hand in hand with their law enforcement officers, because they are all on the same page, protecting and serving their communities. Do you know which kind of community you live in?

There will come a day, that appears to be getting closer by the second, that we will no longer leave our home. Will it make any difference? I don’t know. Will there be folks that come to the gate begging or demanding? I don’t know for sure, but we expect them. Will we be able to defend what is ours and survive the coming catastrophe? I don’t know that either. What I do know is that we are no longer nice people. If someone comes demanding, it won’t end well, one way or the other. If someone comes to harm and take, that won’t end well either. Will we come out on the ‘winning’ side of any of these encounters? There will come a day when winning means living another day and losing means death.

What I do know is that resentment is building. There are people that resent the fact that some people worked hard all their lives for what they have. There are people that demand to have what everyone else has that haven’t worked a day in their lives. There are people that resent folks that can’t work through no fault of their own. There is a growing group of people that resent working hard all of their lives to pay for those that refuse to work. There is a national movement to divide the races that is causing groups of people to be a target just because of how they look or talk. This too is building resentment among different peoples. What good can possibly come of this? Will people band together and refuse to take part in the coming wars against those that aren’t the same or don’t have as much? We can only pray so. But it won’t be the case in many locations, that has already been proven over and over and over. What about where you live? Know what surrounds you.

So, will all of our preparations make a difference in the coming collapse of society, or not? There is no way to know that until it happens. We only know that if we are to die, by whatever means, that we want to do it ‘with our boots on’ working side by side to survive, doing everything we possibly can. Neither one of us want to have to look the other in the eye and say, “Well, things will be okay. The government will take care of us.” Or the neighbors, or the notorious ‘they’ will take care of us. There is no way on earth that we want to be dependent upon someone else to provide when we are perfectly capable of doing it ourselves. Dependence is weakness and when the SHTF, weakness is death.

The atrocities in France are one more wake up call for all of us. We don’t believe anyone can actually be ready for what is coming. We can only try to be ready, and try with all our might. If there are those among us that choose not to try, then they have sealed their fate. If a person will not lift a finger, or spend a dollar to provide for themselves, their children and their families, then I pity them and we’ll pray for them, but there is no way we will jeopardize our lives and safety for them. We will not be nice appeasers giving in to the demands of those that would not be satisfied with a crust of bread for a starving child, but insist their needs and wants be met just because we did prepare and have food on our table with a warm roof over our heads.

Folks, there are some very, very difficult decisions coming to all of us. If you have not given deep, serious thought to what you will do in the coming days, you need to. Mental preparation is one of the most important parts of being prepared. Discuss what you will do when someone comes demanding to be fed, housed, clothed and entertained. Come to a decision that everyone can abide by, and do it now before the scenario unfolds. Remember, united we stand, divided we fall.

I can only wish I never had to write these words. Wishing doesn’t change the condition of the world or the need to be prepared for what is coming. Evil walks the land and it has many faces. It laughs in the face of death, terror and horror. Plan, then execute your plans with unwavering determination.

Until next time – Fern

Goat Stock Garden Soup

Recently, when we butchered one of our wethers, we made some soup stock with the bones, and since this was a first, we wanted to try it before we made any more. I wanted to see if I could make the soup with ingredients that came from here, just like the wether we made the stock from, so off to the garden on a treasure hunt I went, and here is what I came back with.

Starting from left to right there are purple hull peas or cowpeas, green beans, carrots, tomatoes and some roast from the wether that turned out pretty tough. I was hoping the soup would make it a little better, it didn’t. You can see that the soup stock doesn’t have much meat, but a decent amount of fat for flavor and nutrition.

I also found enough okra in the garden to saute as a side dish. We now cook it with a little olive oil, salt and pepper in a skillet and it tastes great.

This is not a lot of food, but if it was what we had to depend on for our sustenance it would provide for our needs. That is something I look at more and more. In the past I would experiment with all kinds of seeds in the garden, sometimes to see what would grow here, but usually just for fun. I have now grown much more serious about what we grow and I have written about the nutritional content of some of the vegetables. My purpose was to try and determine if what we are growing would be adequate nutrition. I haven’t had the time to sit down and analyze our common vegetable combinations, but it would be interesting to know. I think it will all boil down to what grows well here, the physical demands of the crop itself, the physical demands of growing the crop and how we can preserve it to last until the next crop starts producing, not to mention the ease and success of saving seeds for future crops. There are many variables that will impact the possibilities of adequate, or inadequate nutrition after the SHTF, many of which will be unpredictable. Even if things don’t work out, at least we have to try.

Until next time – Fern

A Group of Your Own

Is it a natural occurrence for people to come together as times get harder? In some instances, I would say yes, and in others, no. For example, there are more and more violent attacks happening around our country. Some only involve one victim and others many victims, but the same event touches people in different ways. In some people it fosters a festering hatred for anyone associated with the perceived offending group. In other people it brings out an increase in empathy and altruism. These are two diametrically opposed opinions and perspectives about a single event.

For instance, take the murder of police officers across the country. For some reason, there are people that have decided, and some even loudly advocate, the murder of law enforcement personnel. Not because these particular officers have done anything to offend the killer personally, but just because they chose to protect and serve the community for a career and as a means to pay the bills and raise a family. That’s a good, logical reason to commit murder, wouldn’t you say? I know that is dripping with sarcasm, but really, some people seem to truly believe there is nothing wrong with this activity, they even preach it from their pulpits.

As offensive as this situation is, it has brought some people together. In some instances, I would even guess it has brought people together that never had anything to do with each other before. These murders have become their common bond and motivator. They have joined together to take care of each other in some form or fashion.

The murders that took place in Oregon a few days ago targeting Christians have resulted in comments by a number of people. One I read said that Christians need to have concealed carry permits so they can protect themselves. The campus that the shooting occurred on was a gun free zone. If someone there had been able to carry a concealed weapon, legally, you have to wonder if there would have been as many casualties and injuries. 

But there is another group these shootings have brought together. They are those that would take away guns from everyone. Except the criminals, of course, they would have them anyway. 

The people in these two groups will never see eye to eye. One group claims guns kill people, even though they are inanimate objects and can do nothing of their own volition. The other group claims that the right to keep and bear arms is part of the basic foundation of our Constitution and no other law can infringe upon that right. Along with the right to keep and bear arms comes the right to protect yourself against those that threaten your liberty or life. 

Group. Faction. Division. Clique. Sort. Classify. Club. League. Cabal. Caucus. Union. All adjectives that can describe a number of people that join together for a particular purpose. 

The time is drawing near that everyone will have to choose what group they will belong to or attempt to join. So why not choose ahead of time and develop relationships with folks in your area? Folks that have the same goals of survival and self-reliance that you do. For a long time Frank and I didn’t talk to anyone locally about what we were doing and how we were trying to prepare for the coming collapse of society. We tried to gently warn people to have some extra food, grow a garden and store some water. Most people just gave us that funny stare like a third eye had just popped out of our foreheads or something. Others saw no reason to do all that work when you can go to the store any time you want for anything at all. Then we started the blog and started sharing with you. At first we were very careful about what we shared and what we said. Don’t get me wrong, you don’t know everything we’re doing or thinking. We’re still careful. But the time has come that we have started sharing with some of the local folks, like the people from the radio class.

Frank told you in the last article that you too can start a survival radio communications net, and he’s right. That is one way you can join with other people to increase the chance of survival for everyone in the group. It is a way to begin a core group of people that are now beginning to look out for each others safety and well being. Now think of ways you can expand that thought. That is what we are doing.

We have friends who garden and preserve their harvest. This is another way to join together for the benefit of everyone. You don’t have to garden together, but let’s face it, there is a lot to be said for encouragement. If your friend down the road is fighting the same squash bugs you are and has found a better solution, that’s very good information to have. It could mean the difference between a productive garden with food on the shelf, or a failed crop with no food on the shelf. In a collapse scenario, that could mean the difference between life and death. Dramatic? I really don’t think so.

So how are you going to communicate with that friend down the road in a collapse situation? By radio, of course. See how everything ties together?

 
Medical skills will be a highly valued commodity in a collapsed society. Do you have any skills? If not do you have supplies that can be bartered for those services? Do you have medical supplies that can become part of the service needed? 

What I’m trying to do is give examples of ways we can develop a means to help and support each other when the time comes that what we have is all we have. That includes people and their skills, whether it is gardening,

radio communications, running a sawmill or tending livestock. Even though Frank and I are natural loners and would like nothing better than to be alone on our homestead, in a collapse situation, that just won’t work. We can’t do all the work necessary, guard our place and each other, and get enough sleep to survive. No matter how much we want it to be so, it just isn’t feasible. That means we need other people, and for us to fulfill that need, we need to reach out to others and develop the relationships necessary to not only receive, but provide support to others.

Is this a scary proposition for us? Yes. At times do we feel vulnerable to what may come of sharing some of what we are doing and how we are preparing. When, not if, the SHTF will there be

people showing up at the gate we have to turn away, even by force if necessary? We can only pray that it would not be so. I was talking to a long distance friend today and we discussed this very thing. What she told me really struck a chord. She said that we have been called to live this life in this manner. Not only that, we have been called to share with others to try to help them prepare as well, and if that leads us into danger then God will take care of it. 

Folks, it’s time to join together in neighborhoods or communities to support each other during the coming calamities. Trying to make connections and build relationships after the SHTF will be very trying and stressful. If you have built a foundation ahead of time, you will have something to fall back on, others to turn to if there is a need. Don’t wait until all hell has broken loose to show up at your neighbors gate and say we need to work together now. It will then be too late and you will be seen as a taker. Takers are apt to be turned away with whatever force is necessary. Don’t be a taker, be prepared to be a benefit and support, not a burden. Frank and I have been saying this more and more, and I’ll say it again. The time is now.

Until next time – Fern
 

That’s Why They’re Called Chores

A long time ago, let’s see about 25 years ago, we were at a doctor’s office. Frank was talking to him about the things we were doing or needed to do around the homestead we lived at then. The doctor looked at him and said, “That’s why they’re called chores.” Chores are daily routine tasks. If we were all sitting together in a room tossing out ideas that come to mind we could make a big, long list of chores that lots of folks do every day, week or month. I was thinking about the idea of chores this morning as I, yes you guessed it, was completing some of the chores.

  • Make coffee and fix breakfast
  • Feed the cats, chickens, pigs, dog, goats
  • Milk the does
  • Strain and cool the milk

  • Clean up the chore related stuff, like buckets and such
  • Grind wheat and make a batch of sourdough bread; left to rise
  • Wash the dishes
  • Frank stripped the bed and started a load of laundry before he left this morning, so I put them in the dryer. Later the bed will need to be made and the clothes folded and put away.
  • Now for a different kind of chore, a project chore. Remove the barrels from the greenhouse, rinse out and hose off each one, let it drip dry, then towel dry. Sweep the floor and plywood pieces before replacing the barrels on a square of plywood and replacing the table top board. Repeat until all were finished.
  • Some of these chores are repeated throughout the day, like fixing meals
  • Evening animal chores include everything listed above, except add watering all the animals to it. This time Frank goes with me.
  • Wash the eggs, put the milk away

  • Strain and feed kefir
  • Bake bread and eat a sample. The eating isn’t much of a chore.
  • Get the coffee pot ready for tomorrow
  • Some days include gardening, mowing and all kinds of other things

Now take your daily routine and throw in the need to do everything yourself, with or without the help from others, for all of your daily needs. You knew I would be talking about this, didn’t you? It’s what we’re all trying

to prepare for. Our daily routines, once the collapse occurs, will be filled with chores from sunup to sundown. Chores that will be required if we expect to survive. Chores that will make us wistfully wish we had a few of the conveniences that we now enjoy, things that would make our lives much easier. Like turning on the faucet and having safe drinking water at our fingertips, or hot water at the turn of a knob. We live in the lap of luxury and yet many days we will hear complaints about doing chores. I think that’s what prompted the good doctor’s comment. “That’s why they’re called chores.”

Okay, so let’s use a little imagination and see if we can describe even a small portion of the chores or events that may happen in one day post TEOTWAWKI. Ready?

Wake up and get out of bed. Are you sleeping in a bed? Or were you on guard duty all night and find relief at the rising of the sun so you can go to bed?

How about a hot cup of coffee? Do you have any coffee left? Do you have a cup to drink it out of? Did you store enough to last a while, even with rationing? Okay, do you have the type of coffee pot that can withstand the heat of a fire or the top of a wood stove or rocket stove or whatever device and fuel you have that will produce heat? Did you bring in wood last night for the fire or do you need to gather it this morning? Okay, we have coffee and heat, now we need water. Did you haul and filter the water last night so it will be ready this morning? Does it need to be boiled before it can be made

into coffee? Where is your water coming from? Is it a public source? Do you need protection to go there and get it? How much can you haul at once? How are you going to haul it? Or are you able to reroute a water source through your existing plumbing and continue to use your kitchen faucet? That would be a luxury in a collapse situation.

By the way, when you got up this morning, assuming you weren’t on guard duty, where did you go to the bathroom? Have you been able to take care of a safe, sanitary toileting location? This isn’t something people talk about much, but let’s face it, everyone of us needs some hygienic way to take care of toileting. Yes, we still haven’t decided on the location of our outhouse, but we will soon.

Okay, toileting taken care of, water, coffee and heat. Now I’m hungry. What’s for breakfast? Are you going to cook? That brings a whole new set of thoughts and questions. Where did you get your food? Did you grow or raise it? Does it need any preparation? Are

you going to have a piece of bread and butter and call it good? Where did you get the bread? Did you make it or barter for it? Where did you get the wheat or flour, leavening, oil or fat and salt? Do you have an abundance of those things on hand? How did you bake the bread? Do you have a functioning oven, wood stove, cast iron dutch oven or something else to bake in? Do you have the fuel it requires? Do you have the pans you need? Now for the butter. Where did it come from? Are you milking an animal that is giving you enough cream to make butter? How are you keeping the milk, cream and butter cool enough to prevent spoilage? 

You want some eggs with that bread? Do you have chickens living under the right circumstances to provide you with enough eggs for breakfast? Again, how are you going to cook them? Serve them? Do you have plates and forks? Salt and pepper? A table to eat off of?

Now it’s time to clean up from breakfast. Do you have any soap or cleanser? A dishcloth and towel? A sink, basin or dishpan? Now we’re back to water again. Did you heat up enough water to wash dishes while you were making coffee and cooking the eggs? What are you going to do when you run out of soap or cleanser?

Okay. Now I’m tired and we have only talked about getting out of bed, making coffee, fixing breakfast and cleaning up the dishes. That is only the very beginning of the day. Now is when the real work begins, work that will entail the basics of daily living,

obtaining water, fuel, food and remaining safe. Everyday, day in and day out, chore after chore after chore. Like Frank said recently, there will be no commercials, no time outs, no vacations or mindless distraction staring at a big or a tiny screen. I really don’t think some people will be able to handle the drastic change of life as we know it and the expectation of having to work hard everyday just to stay alive. I feel sorry for the people that can’t, won’t or don’t give it any thought at all. There will be many people that are unable to cope with such changes. They just won’t and that is very sad.

Please spend some time reviewing the list of chores you will be required to do when the SHTF, and everyday after that. There will be many things we haven’t thought of, even though we feel like we have been preparing for this all of our lives. I know there will and have tried to prepare myself for that. Even if there are things we haven’t acquired or prepared for, we need to be prepared mentally for that shortfall and not let it devastate us or stop us in our tracks. We will do the best we can with what we have, that is all we can do. And it will be enough. 

Until next time – Fern