Tag: gardening

livinglifeinruraliowa

Prepper Update: Where I Am Now and What I Am Thinking (January 2022)

Being a prepper in this day and age is very different from when I first started. The circumstances, the reasons, and the needs have changed in big and small ways. Things that I only thought were small chances of happening are now happening. Things that I thought would happen have not and will not.

First of all, my family size has definitely changed. My son is the only kid at home at the present time. He graduates high school in a year and a half and then he will be off to college or whatever he decides to do. I still have a daughter in college and she will be married in a year and a half. My two oldest are out of the house and on their own with significant others and, in one case, with children. They are all natural-born preppers in their own ways and definitely have skills that people their age just don’t seem to have. 

During the pandemic, we had people moving back here to the farm to stay and work until their circumstances changed. We went from a house of two to seven at times. It was interesting and I didn’t have a problem with it. That surprised me because I am not always comfortable with a lot of people around for long periods of time. I have always had to create a space and time just for me to feel comfortable in my own mind. However, it was good to know that I could roll with the changes and we adapted to prepping for a changing number of people in the house. 

All those revolving changes, along with the changes on national and global levels, left me with a lot to think about. I’m sure many of you felt the need to move somewhere a little less crowded and some of you changed your prepping game based on what has been happening. Many of you had to reassess and re-evaluate what you were doing and how you were going to proceed from the mess that we did not create. 

This has put me in an interesting prepper position. How do I proceed from here? Like I said, my son and I are the only ones home right now. What should I do? It’s quite a change to move from prepping for four growing humans that depend on you to looking at an empty nest. All the work will eventually fall onto my shoulders and I have to decide what I am willing to tackle. 

I am continuing on the self-sufficiency path of prepping in my own way. I do truly believe that providing as much of your own food as possible is the way to go. The world’s supply is uncertain and now global leaders feel that food and supplies are bargaining tools to keep other countries complacent. Growing and preserving your food takes that control out of their hand and puts it in yours. 

Beyond that, we have discovered that there is a price for instant gratification. Eventually, we can’t keep up with the demand especially when you have a pandemic, labor shortages, and supply issues affecting the problems. We have become used to going to the store and getting whatever we desire in whatever flavor that we like. However, that party is coming to an end and the sooner you find a way to deal with it and overcome it, the better off you will be.

We also need to clean up our diets. We eat a lot of processed foods. We eat foods that come from Chile in the winter. We eat food that is transported all over the world before it gets to the supermarket. Some of this is not inherently bad, but we need to understand that those foods might not be available all the time. I watched a lady throw a fit because the supermarket didn’t have strawberries in December. They couldn’t even get them into stock. We become used to the “here, now, and when I want it supply chain.” That needs to be dealt with. 

With that said, I realized my prepping needs to be accelerated in some areas and expanded in others. Food and supplies have become my overwhelming thoughts. How do I deal with both? I already grow a garden, but how do I make it produce more and learn to roll with the weather punches? That needs to be addressed better. Supplies are another issue. You can stockpile to your heart’s content, but eventually, you may run out of things. I think you need to be looking at reusable goods and recycling your things to be used in different ways. 

We have done more over the last two years for prepping than I realized, but we need to do more. We need to grow more and produce more. We need to be growing our chickens as well as having chickens for eggs. We are replacing our flock this spring again since they will be four years old. It’s become apparent that these ladies are pretty much done and we are down to seven. We also need to participate in the whole cycle instead of just buying laying hens when we need more. We need to keep a rooster on hand and start our own chicken production. 

We need to look at ways to become a little more off-grid especially with our water supply. Right now, we have a well that doesn’t have a hand pump so we depend on electricity. One of the simplest ways I know to address this is to get multiple rain catchment systems up on the building to collect water. Number two would be to put in a lot of extra water storage. Number three would be to put a hand pump on the well. 

All these things and more need to be addressed, but the bigger picture needs to be addressed first. Some of you know that I live on my acreage rent-free in exchange for taking care of the place. This has gone on for almost twenty-five years. I need to decide in the next two years what I will be doing: moving or buying the place. Right now, I am leaning towards purchasing the place. However, that means I need to save and make more money to put away as much as possible. If I don’t buy this place, I am not comfortable making the changes I want to make. I want to either pay cash for the acreage or, at minimum, put down a large downpayment. (So if you see more affiliate links from me, you know why!)

In addition to all that, I feel that my ways of preparing are changing. I find myself being more aware of other people and wanting to avoid situations where things could wrong in a hurry. I find myself looking for ways to be more physically secure at home and wanting to take steps to improve our home security. Having a gun is always good, but removing the element of surprise is better. I want to know when someone is coming in the driveway or here while I’m gone. I’m exploring my options for that. I am using the driveway alarm again now that I don’t have a dog who lets me know the minute someone is here. I still have a dog, but she doesn’t feel inclined to bark when someone pulls in anymore. 

There is still a lot on my mind, but I will save that for a future post. Until then, let me know what you are doing to make your prepping better and what you are changing for the future. 

Thanks for reading,
Erica

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The post How to Plant and Grow Bergamot (Bee Balm) appeared first on The Homesteading Hippy.

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