June 3, 2014 at 12:40 pm #15534
1974, we are blessed to have a backhoe that does all that heavy back work for me! My pile would never be turned if I had to do it by hand. We just moved the pile so it would be close to where I needed it, and it is so much better. The current issue is that it is used up! My gardens ate every bit of it, so now all I have left is the compost that the chickens make in their yard. It is well turned (by them), fertilized (by them), and watered when I go out to change out the water, plus the rain of the spring season right now. It must be a good 10-12″ deep now and all ready. I am just leaving it there right now till I get all this kitchen stuff done. After that, it will go out onto the compost pile and the chickens will begin with fresh stuff. They love it, I love it and the garden loves it! Win, win, win here in Texas!June 3, 2014 at 1:17 pm #15535
I thought I did a lot this weekend, but after reading what some of you have done, maybe not. The garden area is going well, I’m fearful of all the canning we’ll be doing in the fall. Preparing the old horse pasture for planting tobacco, planted more corn for chicken feed too. I was in Oregon last weekend, went to a GIANT Army/Navy surplus store and bought stuff that would have cost a lot more ordering online. I bought a few army blankets “wool” $5.00 ea,some AR mags used for $9.00ea and a spool of para cord.
Some powdered butter? Wonder what that’s like? Anyway I’m already set, this is an instinctive thing, habit forming, this prepping thing is.
My newest thing is going to garage sales and buying broken hand tools, most of the time just replace wood handles or sharpen them. I must have 10 sledgehammers,12 axe’s and I lost count on picks and shovels. It’s a cheap hobby. Restoration can be fun…June 3, 2014 at 1:36 pm #15536
Libbylindy – If you have a place for it – here’s one of the ways I make compost fairly quickly when needed:
-I have a big cattle trough. You can use a kiddie pool too.
-Take bales of straw or hay and either shake it loose, pack it in the trough/pool 3/4 full or use a chain saw to shred it (I don’t have a chipper which would work)
-Fill it the rest of the way with water. Cover it with clear plastic or a tarp.
-Hold your nose, take the cover off and fork it around a bit in a few days, add some more water and or straw/hay, then recover.
-In about 7/10 days I fork out the ‘glop’ onto a tarp beside the trough, roughly spread it out
-I have a hose attached to the outlet drain, and use it to fill plastic milk jugs and buckets with the ‘tea’/leftover water that I use to water plants/fruit trees.
-The silt/glop at the bottom gets shoveled out onto the tarp with the other stuff. Sometimes I sprinkle a few handfuls of a 10-10-10 granulated organic fertilizer over the mess. I cover with clear plastic to solarize it and kill any weeds that might have survived.
-I am always making some this way – because I always need compost.
If you have room and can get a round bale, put it somewhere (mine is near my other compost area)- and take a chain saw to it a bit and hack all around it some. Stick a length of pvcpipe in the middle with holes drilled randomly on the length. Water the heck out of it down the pipe and on the top in particular. Do that as often as you think of it or have time. Drag a pitch fork across the sides to loosen it up. Or just let it sit. Basically in a year or 2, if you keep hacking/raking it you willend up with some pretty decent compost if you are in an area that gets rain (I’m in mid-atlantic) – I speed up the process with the chain saw/pitchfork.
I’ve used/am using the wood chip mulch method – trouble is for some crops it sucks up nitrogen too much if underlying soil not so hot I think. And my beds seem to eat those wood chips. It’s expensive for the wood mulch for me to always be adding. But it does help with the weeds.June 3, 2014 at 2:54 pm #15537
If you have any sawmills in your area approach them about their bark and or dust. Some of the smaller mills will give it to you.June 3, 2014 at 2:56 pm #15539
Great barter items.June 3, 2014 at 7:11 pm #15545
Tweva, how long do you leave the “glop” under the tarp to kill the weeds? This sounds like a great idea! I am going to try it!
In our county, we have a place where the county accepts – for free – any landscaping/yard waste and then they mulch it up. Also for free, you can go and get all you want of the mulched stuff. They even load it up for you with their heavy equipment! What a deal! So just for the price of gas, we have absolutely all the mulch that we can use. I would love to get piles of it, but right now don’t have the time to deal with unloading it and finding a place to store it till it composts down some more. I am so excited about it. It is doing a wonderful job at controlling weeds this year and keeping the soil cooler. Here in the south, a cooler soil will help with the harvest. So far, so good, although I will probably have to use more fertilizer this year and for subsequent years for a while until it really starts working like it should. So far I have used a full 16′ trailer load and need to get at least two more to finish the project. All I am looking for now is time!June 3, 2014 at 8:05 pm #15549
Libbylindy – I let the glop sit on the tarp but covered in clear plastic sheeting for about 5/7 days If nothing looks like it is sprouting – I go with it. Basically it gets so hot under the clear plastic it fried the sprouts up – which I usually don’t have too many of to begin with. HTH! I am jealous we can only get bagged leaves from our county landfill in the fall.June 24, 2014 at 5:06 pm #17196
I have been buying pvc pipe and parts
for my well to make a hand pump to use if the electric goes offJune 24, 2014 at 5:52 pm #17209
Right now I’m experimenting with different wires to increase radio reception, as well as attempting to make some sort of crude antenna from speaker wire and a few other things.
Canadian Patriot. Becoming self-sufficient.June 24, 2014 at 9:59 pm #17220
Finally, finally, we have finished the outdoor canning kitchen and tomorrow I will can my first crops – beans and peppers. This endeavor has taken so very long, but now that it is finished, work can get started. I have so much canning to catch up on that I could can every day for a month before I was caught up! Anyway, there is no time like the present, so I will get started and keep you posted. Now let me see, there are the beans and the cucumbers and the tomatoes and the peppers and the chicken and the chicken broth and……………June 25, 2014 at 2:32 am #17230
Mr Red try this:
Use 18 gauge single strand wire. One piece 41 ft long and another 96 feet long. There is a “balum” you use. It will go between those two sections of wire. Use regular coax to hook to the balum and run towards your radio. The balum should be between 30 and 40 feet above the ground. At the point where the coax is closest to the ground install a 1 to 1 balum. Then another piece from there to your radio. Sounds complex but not really. This is called a “Windom” antenna. It is an offset fed dipole antenna.
RobinJune 25, 2014 at 2:35 am #17231
PS….on the ends of the wire not connected to the balum you need insulators. Tie these to something at least 10 feet off the ground. Try not to install in a “V” or some such. Keep it as straight as possible.
RobinJune 25, 2014 at 2:20 pm #17238
Hey Robin, good stuff. I wonder if you can give me a little advice? Those small hand held short wave radios like the Bao feng, are the any good?
I just want a monitor, not much interested in any conversation in SHTF conditions. I live in the mountains and @ about 2,500 feet above sea level. Rigging that antenna you described to Mr Red would be an easy task for us.
A few years back when I was involved with our local militia units, some of the guys were getting into coms. They went and got their license’s and became proficient with them and larger models. I don’t want to do that. Just in case of an E.M.P. situation, I’d like to pull a radio out of my faraday cage and here any life out there. Simple, basic and cheap is what I’m after. What say you?June 25, 2014 at 2:40 pm #17239
Those small handheld radios are great for what you mentioned. They are, however, not good for much else. Short range and low power limit their use.
Check around for a “Scanner” discone antenna. New maybe $30-40. Also check for a “push-up” pole or use the top rail of an old chain-link fence. Try to get as high as possible. The antenna on the radio will come off. Run “8X” coax from the antenna on top of the rail down to the radio in the house (you will have to buy a connector to put on the cable that will work on your radio.) You can buy the coax with the connectors already installed and buy a “PL259″ to “BNC” (female) conversion connector (or buy the cable with PL259 on one end and BNC on the other.)
If possible buy an old microwave oven. Keep your radio in there unless you are using it. Cheap Faraday cage.
Using the “Windom” antenna mentioned above would be overkill in your case.
At 2.5k ft above sea level means you will have tons of signals to choose from, unless you are surrounded by other taller mountains.
RobinJune 25, 2014 at 3:49 pm #17240
Excellent information Robin, thank you!
With regards to the Baofengs, I plan on getting one to play around with and see if they’re good enough to buy en mass as a sort of “hand out” radio for people. Their cost point is very attractive.
Canadian Patriot. Becoming self-sufficient.
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