Prepper Garden Update

Growing your own food is hard work, but can be fun and rewarding at the same time.  You haven’t tasted fresh until you’ve eaten strawberries or blueberries you picked right from the garden and what’s more self-sufficient than growing your own food? So with that being said I thought I would give you a little update on how our first real go at gardening is progressing.

buckets 1

buckets 2

The strawberries continue to produce (slowly), but the blueberries have run their course for the year.

beans

The beans and peas are running; watermelon, cantaloupe and cucumbers are flowering and putting on babies.  The seedlings we started inside seem to be doing well in the containers we keep on the deck.

buckets 3

The crows once again decimated the corn that we planted, but who would have thought you could actually grow some in containers?!?!? That plot will be reseeded as a second crop of green beans.

corn

The apple and peach trees we planted last month seem to have rooted well and are putting on new growth, however it’s too early to know if we’ll actually get anything off them this year.

peaches

Our little patch of carrots and radishes in the past has always been little more than a buffet for the many rabbits in the area. However, this little girl prowling the yard seems to have put an end to this problem.

Boo

We have a second wave of seedlings we’ve started inside that we need to get planted by the end of the week and we’ve started broccoli and cauliflower in trays on the deck. We’re hoping that if we keep adding new seedlings as the season progresses we can extend our harvest further into the fall.

peppers

That’s all here; hope you’re all having a great summer!

Hope for the best, prepare for the worst!

Happy prepping!

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Common Myths About Prepping Part 2

There are lots of misconceptions about being a prepared citizen or ‘preppers’ as we’re often referred to. I would like to take a little time over the next week or two to address a few of those. Hope you enjoy

Preppers are all right-wing extremists

While many preppers/survivalists are driven by their political views, the movement is really as diverse as the population itself. Fact is, I personally know several folks that most people would consider to be ‘preppers’ who are definitely left of center. The desire to be prepared or simply more self reliant really has no political boundaries.

You live in constant fear/paranoia

Again, while this maybe true of some, most preppers I know find that being prepared gives them a certain peace of mind. Preparing for potential disasters is like buying insurance; if something bad happens, you’re covered. To me it’s like money in the bank; a job loss, ice storm, blackout, or civil unrest – I am covered.

Preppers are just religious zealots

Building an Ark? While many Christians will cite Proverbs 21 as a basis for their preparations There is treasure to be desired and oil in the dwelling of the wise; but a foolish man spendeth it up”; not all Christians subscribe to this concept. I have even heard some Christians say that prepping is based on a lack of faith – though I disagree with this, the fact remains that some do believe this. Just as prepping is not limited to those who hold certain political beliefs it is also not limited by religious affiliation.

You have to have an underground bunker

While there aren’t any solid statistics to back up my conclusion (where would you even get those), this is clearly false. While the ultra rich silicone valley types may have such elaborate preps, the vast majority of us do not. Fact is, a pantry stocked with food, water and other basic supplies will get you through most disasters you might face. Disclaimer: I do have an underground bunker stocked with food, water, medical supplies, firearms, ammunition and communication equipment all powered by a solar back up system – it’s called a basement.

Preppers just hate Obama

“Clinging to their guns and Bibles” certainly didn’t endear him to many folks in this part of the country, but the fact remains that the prepper/survivalist movement long predates the Obama presidency – remember Y2K? Some say it began during the Cold War, others say that it goes all the way back to the Pilgrims. My parents were both depression babies and always prepared for “what might happen” – it was just what you did. While the movement may have picked up steam during this time, the basic premise is false.

You live in the mountains eating MREs and wearing camo

You might certainly get this impression if you look at the stereotypes that are often attached to the term ‘preppers.’ Fact is the term ‘preppers’ is often used as a derogatory description of the prepared citizen – and the very reason I chose it for the name of the website. True, I personally live in the mountains for a variety of reasons, however I do not OWN any camo and I absolutely hate MREs. No, preppers live in cities, suburbs, large towns, small towns, urban, rural and probably right next door to you.

What misconceptions about preppers have you heard?

Hope for the best, prepare for the worst.

Happy prepping!

Common Myths About Prepping Part 1

prepper faints

There are lot’s of misconceptions about being a prepared citizen or ‘preppers’ as we’re often referred to. I would like to take a little time over the next week or two to address a few of those. Hope you enjoy.

Prepping is expensive

Yes, we’ve all seen stories about Silicon Valley millionaires buying luxury underground bunkers and staging helicopters to whisk them away to a secluded island, but the average prepper is living on a budget just like you. Can it be expensive, of course, but that depends on you. You can spend $50 a month or $1000 a month; even $5 a week can make you far more prepared than your neighbors – slow and steady wins the race.

You have to have commando like skills

While skills are certainly an important part of being prepared, you don’t have to be skilled in hand-to-hand combat to prepare for most disaster situations. Are there preppers with a military background, absolutely; helpful, yes; necessary, no.

You are just gun nuts with an arsenal of guns and ammo

This is probably the most common misperception about preppers. While most preppers are keenly aware of the need for security, prepping is far more than collecting piles of guns and ammunition. Do you lock your front door, of course you do. Do you leave your keys in the car, I certainly hope not. Preppers tend to own firearms because they are aware of the world we live in and refuse to rely on someone else for their family’s security.

You are a delusional/conspiracy theory nut

You don’t have to be an Alex Jones fan to realize that natural and man-made disasters can, do, and will happen. I do not think that the government is reading my mail (although they obviously have the ability) nor do I think that aliens are secretly running our government – yes, I actually heard that one recently. Are there a few ‘different’ individuals in the prepper movement, of course, but isn’t that true of any group?

You are hoping for the end of the world

While I’m convinced that some of the folks appearing on ‘Doomsday Preppers’ are indeed hoping for the end, most preppers certainly do not. Preparing for a disaster is not an indication of hoping for one no more than carrying a spare tire in your trunk is hoping for a flat tire. Sorry, we like air conditioning too!

Hope for the best, prepare for the worst.

Happy prepping!

Practicing Your Preps

All the guns, ammo and equipment in the world won’t do you much good if you aren’t practiced and prepared to use it. I ran into this many years ago when we were transitioning into our current home. A strong thunderstorm rumbled through knocking out power across the area, no problem I thought as I had already brought the generator, but to my dismay the heavy duty extension cord that I would normally have used to power the refrigerator was not long enough to reach – fail. I thought I was prepared; generator, fuel, cord – but I had not tested the plan. If YOU have a generator, when was the last time you started it? Does it have gas; did you use a fuel stabilizer? The point is you need to test your preps periodically to make sure they will work in a crisis.

Recently I shared an article titled ‘Hey! That’s my water!’ in which the author tested their preps by turning off the water and the challenges they faced and the lessons they learned. Most people really don’t understand how much we take water and power for granted till it’s not there. Personally we have gone for days without power and tested our blackout preps, but I think I would have a really hard time convincing my wife to turn off the water! If suddenly the water supply stopped or was somehow contaminated, how long could you survive?

water 2

One area where I was lacking and I suspect I’m not alone, is in practicing with my firearms. I’m fortunate that I can practice safely on my property and avoid the range fees, but range time can be useful as well. Range time can help you smooth out your technique, dial in the sights or even get some professional instruction, all which are important. Some ranges actually have combat training which can be invaluable in developing your skills. Unfortunately I don’t have access to such a facility here so when I practice at home I like to work on those types of skills; shooting across your body, shooting on the move, etc. Practice, practice, practice; if you’re not properly prepared to use your weapon it might very well be used on you.

target practice 1

Being practiced and confident in your skills can turn a crisis into little more than an inconvenience.

Hope for the best, prepare for the worst.

Happy prepping!

Off-Grid Solar Project Update 5-08-17

Our little solar project just got a little bit bigger, ok, a lot bigger. We’ve been a little slow getting this latest update in place as the Solar Controller we ordered from Amazon literally took 6 weeks to arrive (slow boat from China?).

 New Charge Controller

So here it is: 4 new solar panels for a total of 8, another 12v 100ah GEL battery for a total of 3 (yes we need more) and a new 80 amp solar charge controller.

 8 panels

3 batteries

Yesterday was bright and sunny and gave us a pretty good picture of how well the system was performing. The (8) 100 watt panels (4 monocrystalline, 4 polycrystalline) produced about 677 watts during peak sunlight for an efficiency of about 85%. We ran our modem, router, PC, fan, and several lights for a full 24 hours as well as the dehumidifier for about 3 hours without draining the batteries below 70%. Today we will see if the system can run our 15 cubic foot freezer for the day under partly cloudy conditions.

If you are prepping for a bug-in situation, off-grid solar might just be for you. I’ll be posting a review of the individual panels as I have purchased from 3 different companies so stay tuned!

Hope for the best, prepare for the worst.

Happy prepping!

Top 10 items for any emergency

 

As storms spring storms and tornadoes rip through the South, I thought it might be a good idea to repost this basic introduction to prepping. Stay safe out there!

If you’re depending on some Government agency to come rushing to rescue, odds are you’ve found yourself here by mistake! However, if you believe it is your responsibility to take care of yourself and your family, then you’ve come to the right place. So without further delay…

Water – you can’t live without it and you can’t have too much, also consider having a Water Purifier.

Food – basic canned goods along with other longer shelf life products can literally be a life saver. Check out our big incomplete list of items to store:

Medication and basic first aide – any prescription medication that you or your family need plus Baby Aspirin, Band-Aids, gauze, antibiotic creme etc…consider a small First Aid Kit.

Light – getting around a darkened house can be dangerous; a couple of good flashlights, LED Lantern and of course batteries will brighten any situation.

Heat source – particularly in colder climates, a small indoor-safe propane heater can be the difference between life and death when the power goes out.

Propane stove/grill – obviously not all food needs to be warmed/cooked to be edible, but having a camping stove definitely opens the menu a bit.

Fuel – usually becomes scarce quickly and your nifty stove and heater are useless without it.  Also, if you need to ‘bug out’ your vehicle is a lot more effective if it has fuel!

Radio – knowing what is going on in any emergency situation is critical for planning as well as for simple peace of mind. A good AM/FM radio is fine, but I like the Red Cross Hand Crank Radio that you can use to charge your cell phone with.

Firearms and ammo – it many disaster situations looting starts almost immediately; all the supplies you’ve stashed won’t do you any good if you can’t protect them. Please be sure to not only practice using your firearm, but make sure everyone in your family does as well.

Cash – cash is still king, at least for now. I don’t recommend hiding all your money under the mattress, but a few hundred dollars in small bills may buy you out of a jam. We keep a decent stash of cash at home, some in each vehicle as well as a few bucks stashed behind the old cell phone cover.

Yes, there a dozens of other items that could be added to the list, but for now let’s keep it simple. Regardless of what you’re personally preparing for these 10 items will give you a definite advantage over those who simply go through life chasing Pokemon and watching America’s Got Talent.

Happy prepping!

Spring Fever! Update

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

We were finally able to get into the garden spots for a day and were able to get 2 of them planted. Rows of green beans, peas, and hills of cucumbers, yellow squash, watermelon and cantaloupe hopefully are still resting where they were planted as the rain has once again moved into the area. We did get 15 containers of bell peppers and 5 more containers of strawberries transplanted as well as rooting a couple cuttings of grapes. Hope you all are enjoying a prosperous spring!

Have a great day and happy spring!

Hope for the best, prepare for the worst.

Happy prepping!