Spring Fever!

I know I’m not the only one excited that spring has finally arrived and we’re working to make the most of it. The ability to grow at least some of your own food, in my humble opinion, is a big part of being prepared. To be more self sufficient (and healthier) growing fruits and vegetables is as basic as you get; what’s more basic to survival than food?

One problem we’ve run into this year was ‘where to put all these seedlings?’ They were literally everywhere! So I did break down and finally complete a project I’ve been talking about for a couple of years – window shelves. A couple of 1×12’s from Home Depot as well as shelf brackets, drywall screws, anchors some stain and problem solved – at least for now.

 Shelves

Shelves 2

We did finally get some fruit trees planted, 2 apple and 4 peach of different varieties. Transplanted 3 blueberry bushes into buckets, more strawberries into containers, and began transplanting some of these seedlings! Whew! Hoping the garden spots will be dry enough to begin planting today.

Peach

What are you working on?

Oh, and as a side note, with a few supplies left over from the shelving project I was able to complete this little job, because it isn’t ALL about food.

AR

Have a great day and happy spring!

Hope for the best, prepare for the worst.

Happy prepping!

Advertisements

Earth Day? Sure Why Not

Spring is here and boy do we have the fever. Despite the garden spots being far too wet to work as storm after storm has moved through the area over the last few days, I couldn’t resist the urge to plant a few seeds in the raised beds. Watermelon, cantaloupe, and pickling cucumbers to name just a few; the rest will have to wait till it dries out a bit.

peppers

Seedlings are ready to move to their new homes soon, while we picked up a couple of new varieties of strawberries for the hanging baskets.

berries

The goal for the week is to get at least 2 of the garden spots planted, and (finally) plant some fruit trees. Forget Al Gore and rest, and make everyday a real Earth Day.

Hope for the best, prepare for the worst.

Happy prepping!

Gear Review: Renogy 200 Watt Complete Solar Kit

It seems prepping and Solar Power often go hand in hand, so despite my long held opposition to alternative energy, I began to do some research (I will post some links at the bottom of the article.) There are a large number of players in arena, but thanks to some extensive reviews and recommendations over at the TinHatRanch.com we decided to take our chances with a Renogy kit. Aside from the positive reviews, Renogy had (at least on Amazon) the only ‘complete kit’ that was actually a complete kit. Yes, several claimed to be complete, yet require at minimum a battery to actually function. The Renogy kit cam with 2 100 watt monocrystalline panels, 30 watt PWM charge controller, 500 watt inverter, 12v 100ah sealed GEL battery and all the cables and hardware needed to hook it all up. Being skeptical I ordered a few extra cables ‘just in case,’ but wound up not needing them. Here is a link to the unit as we purchased it: Renogy 200 Watts 12 Volt Complete Solar Panel kit Monocrystalline with Charge Controller +Mounts+ 100AH Gel Battery+ 500W Pure Sine Inverter

20170308_150719_resized

The panels seem well constructed and as I stated are of the monocrystalline variety vs. the polycrystalline as they are promoted as being more efficient particularly in low light. I guess I just have to take their word for it on this one.

charge controler

The charge control is a very basic 30 amp unit with only light indicators for battery type, battery status, and charging status. A upgraded version would be preferable, but the unit does it’s job as intended.

20170309_055346_resized

The inverter is a basic 500 watt unit, nothing fancy, but a larger unit than is contained in most solar kits in this price range. At 500 watts it will run most small electronics and can easily run more than the 2 panels can generate.

20170309_055342_resized

The battery is the biggest surprise here as none of the other kits actually came with a battery, none. This 12v 100ah sealed GEL battery is a little beast weighing in at nearly 70 pounds with a claimed 10 year lifespan. Oddly, the stats claim a maximum recommended charging of 20 amps in a system that is expandable up to 30 amps, but so far so good.

Set up

Surprisingly the kit actually came with all the cables, z-brackets, and fuses necessary to get the unit up and running in just a couple of hours. My only complaint is that the tray cables are not color coded for simplification nor are the cables on the back of the solar panels. Yes, this was easily overcome with some red electrical tape, but details can make a difference. The kit came with instruction manuals for each unit instead of one manual for the kit. However, their help line was extremely good.

Overall I am very pleased with the kit as an easy way to get started with solar. If you are well versed in solar, then you would be better off purchasing individual parts to better customize the system to your needs. However, this is a great way to get started without breaking the bank.

Update: we have added 2 more panels, another 100 watt battery and upgraded the fuses to meet those needs. Now 8 weeks into the project, I would still recommend this kit to anyone taking their first journey into solar energy.

Hope you found this helpful.

Here are 7 great videos on the subject from the TinHatRanch.

Solar Part 1

Solar Part 2

Solar Part 3

Solar Part 4

Solar Part 5

Solar Part 6

Solar Part 7

Irony: Hollywood Writers Who Pushed Obamacare May Strike Over Failing Healthcare Plans

Yes, you read that right. Back in the dark days of 2009, Hollywood writers gleefully accepted Obama’s request to push his socialist healthcare bill, now known as Obamacare, by including the subject in their scripts. Now it seems, the result of these actions are coming back to haunt them. The astronomical increase in healthcare costs resulting from this horrendous new government entitlement (we have to pass it to see what’s in it) threaten the Union’s healthcare plans. Ha! The screenwriters are threatening to strike over it and with the May 1st deadline fast approaching negotiations are currently at a standstill. The chickens are coming home to roost indeed.

There’s and old saying, ‘be careful what you ask for because you just might get it.’ Congratulations Hollywood, you’re getting just what you asked for, not that you’re smart enough to actually learn from it. On the bright side, they might just strike and temporarily shut down some of the nonsense we’re supposed to consider entertainment. Enjoy your day.

Hope for the best, prepare for the worst.

Happy prepping!

ASU Professor Allows Students to Protest Trump Instead of Taking Final Exam

According to an article from Breitbart this morning, ASU Professor Angeles Maldonado allowed her students to complete a ‘group project’ instead of taking the traditional final exam. What was their project you might ask…well, protesting President Trump of course! What an education our young people are getting! Oh and in case you were wondering, a quick trip to their website reveals that a student studying Liberal Arts Degree (read useless)  pays nearly $1000 a credit hour at this bastion of higher learning. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I don’t recall ever reading of a professor giving students credit for protesting Barack Obama, do you? And you should know that this Mexican-born ‘teacher’ is an immigration activist and has spent ‘many hours’ protesting Sheriff Joe Apria. And what about the taxpayers who foot a great deal of the bill for these Government sponsored centers for liberal brainwashing? And they wonder why we’re peppers?

The 2017 election may have slowed the decline, but unfortunately, the decline will continue.

Hope for the best, prepare for the worst.

Happy prepping! 

Trump: 1st President Since Reagan to Speak At NRA Annual Meeting

Bloomberg has announced that President Trump is scheduled to speak to the NRA’s 2017 Leadership Forum on April 28th. Love him or hate him, but Trump is clearly a departure from Washington’s ‘business as usual.’ If you support the 2nd Amendment, which was clearly designed to keep an overbearing government from disarming the public, then Trump is acting in your best interest (at least on this issue.)  

In the November election, we clearly ‘dodged a bullet,’ as Hillary Clinton had repeatedly expressed her bias against guns, gun owners, and has long sought to demonize groups such as the NRA. Trump on the other hand embraced the NRA and it’s supporters and our right to defend ourselves, our families and our liberty. Trump has already reversed Obama’s Social Security gun ban, and Obama’s ban on using lead ammunition on Federal land. Oh, did I forget to mention the nomination and confirmation of a conservative Supreme Court Justice? Thank you sir, may I have another?

Hope for the best, prepare for the worst.

Happy prepping!