The MAY 2020 Check In Thread

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This topic contains 42 replies, has 9 voices, and was last updated by  namelus 2 days, 5 hours ago.

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  • #28222

    Crow Bar
    Keymaster

    It is MAY!

  • #28223

    Mama cando
    Participant

    Happy May Day everyone!!

    • #28225

      Crow Bar
      Keymaster

      Right?

      YAY!

      Now if it would just feel like it! (I have 30s lows in my forecast, grrrrrr!)

    • #28227

      Anonymous

      Yeah, the weather man says 80s this weekend here in the deep south. Oh boy, I can barely wait for the days of 100 degrees and 98% humidity, NOT. lol

    • #28235

      Crow Bar
      Keymaster

      Ugh!
      Spoke too soon!
      Had a light frost this morning.

  • #28228

    grannyj smith
    Participant

    Went shopping yesterday and today trying to get enough food for the month and found things very limited and costing more than it did last month.  One manager at the grocery store told me she didn’t know if they would have meat much longer and didn’t know about the rest of staple food.  I did find hot dogs and a few boxes of mac & cheese, some meals may have to be beans & wieners and mac & cheese.

    I put in an order for laundry detergent, dish liquid, bath soap and sugar,  but still no tp online or in the stores.   I read where this pandemic could last as long as two years, my goodness I pray not.

    Thanks

  • #28232

    namelus
    Participant

    @granny j smith look to buy some lye or caustic soda beads and learn how to make soap and detergent you can still get this stuff cheap but it will run out.

     

    This will make a great barter item. Since we have lard rendered from pig fat which makes soap but no suds great for detergent. To make the hand soap foamy we add vegetable oil. To make it sale able we add mint and lavender which we grow best seller is rosemary mint and our bug repellent with crysanthamum (sp) And lemon eucalyptus.

     

     

  • #28396

    Anonymous

    Getting warmer here in the Mid South.

  • #28401

    Scooby
    Participant

    Stocking up on canning lids and jars.  Prices increasing rapidly.

  • #28414

    corsaire
    Participant

    Hello Friends

    Decided to try making sauerkraut. Round 1; misread the scale. Yup thought there was 2 pounds but it was 1. Discovered that after it was smashed and packed. ( It only filled 1/2 a jar).

    Round 2. All was well until the jar fell over in the cooler and spilled out all the brine. It was a soft side cooler which apparently had a hole. So the brine went over the kitchen cabinet. I refilled it with salt water and hopefully it will be ok. Walmart had hard sided coolers so now its sitting in there. Also ordered a silicone top and weights so I wont have to burp.

    Purchased more seeds as the box stores had plenty. Also a couple of herb plants.

    A ten pound bag of rice was on clearance at Walmart, so that was vacuum packed into smaller portions. Will place them in Mylar bags later, as I will have to order the 1 gallon and/or 5 gallon bags. Did the same with the 10 pound bag of barley.

    Veggies are doing fine.

    Hope everyone is well 🙂

    • This reply was modified 3 weeks, 3 days ago by  corsaire.
    • #28432

      Crow Bar
      Keymaster

      Do keep us up to date on the sauerkraut goes.
      As a kid I hated cabbage.
      Now, I love it!

      Past two mornings, the dogs outdoor water bowl had a layer of ice on top. We have SNOW in the forecast for Thursday night/Friday morning, and Saturday! UGH!

  • #28441

    Mama cando
    Participant

    YES keep us posted . I LOVE Sauerkraut but I’m the only one who eats it here. So I’ve been getting the tiny cans of it for me.

    I went to my “fresh” store this AM as they had whole beef tenderloin on sale $9.99 lb. DH and I thought we could cut the loin in half, vac seal it and put it in the Freezer for Christmas.  Got there at 6:45 am, store Sr hour is 7-8 . Saw two people coming out of the store at 10 to 7 with loaded carts, so I went in. Went to butcher area and NO more Tenderloins. They only got 4 whole tenderloin packages in and the couple I saw had snarked all four because they double teamed the store.  The store has limit only two types of meat(2 beef, 2 pork, 2 chicken) PER PERSON. So he took two and she took two .Manager couldn’t do anything about it right then but I know he’ll be changing that limit sign tonight.He did tell me they expect to have a few more on Friday. So IF I can I’ll be there when the store opens to get a whole tenderloin and  cut it up, vac pac the chunks and get it in the freezer. I host Christmas for the family and depending on whether or not my niece and fam show up this year, I can have 14 to 22 people around the table.We do the meat and potatoes(and gravy). and everyone brings a dish to pass.

  • #28442

    Scooby
    Participant

    I went to the stores last night for the first time in 2 months.  Sam’s Club left me worried for the future. If you ever want to kick into high gear prepping, spend time in a few stores that are beginning to look empty.  There was virtually no fresh meat (except for salmon). Frozen meats were also running low, as was the dairy section. The fruit and vegetable section was well stocked, so I am loading up the canner and dehydrator. Most other sections of the store were running with minimal inventory. There has been a lot of repositioning of merchandise to fill in areas.  As I shopped, my head SCREAMED…”pay attention and quit listening to the reassurance coming from the top”.  I am always in prepping mode, so I wasn’t sure what was creating the anxiety.  I think that after 2 months of shortages, it is becoming apparent that this crisis isn’t going away anytime soon.  Our dollars are already not stretching very far.  I will do a calculation today, but I am guessing there has already been a 25-30% increase in food costs.  I fear hyperinflation, combined with economic downturn, financial loss,civil unrest, supply disruption and shortages.  Except for financial loss, these topics were things that I had as level two disruptions (I keep a list of three levels).  I laughed at myself yesterday, as I reviewed my crisis planning for each, never having thought that I would need to address even one of them in my lifetime, yet here I am, surviving in this new altered world.   On a good note, I was able to score TP, paper towel AND bleach!  The flour and sugar were also back in stock, as were the rice and beans. At my second store (a major grocer) I found meat limited to 2 packets per person.  Again, the aisles were looking thin, but there was more available than there had been in March.  There are still plenty of supplies to get prepared, but seeing the low inventory of such a major supplier, just looked a little shocking, to someone who does it regularly. I also spent the day reviewing our food preservation supplies (canning lids, Sure Jel, mylar, oxygen absorbers, food saver pouches and even Zip lock freezer bags).  Canning lids especially, are skyrocketing in price and already in short supply. There are long waits for many things to come back in stock with online suppliers.  So ultimately I ended my day feeling like I had shored up part of my preps, but I must remain diligent for the coming changes.  I remain ever “the little red hen”.

     

  • #28443

    grannyj smith
    Participant

    I had some ground beef that was used to make tacos and had some left over, so today I took the left over taco meat and added tomato sauce, chili powder and a few extra things and made hot dog chili out of it and it taste really good.  Meat when I find it is limited to only a few packages, so I have to come up with ways to use what is left over.

    Thursday they are giving away free produce in our town, so going to go and get some for the kids.  Local law enforcement here is growing large gardens to help feed the inmates and I hope they have extra and maybe sell or share with the community.

    We got the tomatoes, egg plants and pepper plants in the raised garden bed, but dh has not got the new tiller motor on the tiller so he is borrowing a tractor to break up a garden for planting the seeds from the can I found in the pantry.

    Thanks

  • #28454

    namelus
    Participant

    For meat shortages go to local pig and chicken farmers  buy live and butcher yourself hog only needs to hang at 4 c for a 24hours day till the the rigamotis comes out and you can butcher. Lots online hoe to butcher a hog.

     

    You can get them cheap and maybe even a hand  doing it at farm. Just skin them not worth trying to dehair with scalding a lot more work unless you are set up for it

     

    Bring cheese cloth or clean linen to wrap as  plastic garbage bag even for a few hours can cause bone rot to happen .

     

    If you cut into pieces use a sawzall and a fine blade to reduce bone chips then put into fridge empty of other items so that the meat is surrounded  by air (cookie drying racks)  hams whole and bacon get a food safee bags and cure in bags in fridge.

     

    Test cut and zip lock bag and dunk in water pail to get air out. Date it and you are off to races. 220 lb pig will give about 100 lb of finished meat.

     

    Heart kidney liver good dog food

     

    Jowls are the BEST bacon better than ANY OTHER CUT

  • #28510

    grannyj smith
    Participant

    Soup and honey cheddar cornbread has become our favorite food lately mostly for that is what I have ingredients for in the pantry and the kids seem to like it.  I think ingredients for soup will be what I stock because it’s easier to find those ingredients and it cost less.

    I found another ham in the freezer that I will be baking along with a chocolate cake for mother’s day since we are not going out despite Texas being open,  new cases are still being reported here each day and I just want to keep the babies and our kids safe.

    Thanks

  • #28520

    corsaire
    Participant

    Happy weekend and a Happy Mothers day

    Sauerkraut is still plugging along. It will be week 1 on Monday and a taste test. The cooler hack is working out well, but its taking up too much room in the cabinet. So off to find another place.

    Pre-ordered canned meats. Shelves are slim now and one hint of a tropical system, everything will be out in a matter of hours. Need to take inventory though and fill in the blanks.

    Looks like the heat wave, eg temps in the 90’s are done for now.

    • #28552

      Crow Bar
      Keymaster

      @corsaire,
      We got snow!
      Yep. Yesterday it was windy and it would snow from just a few flakes to low visibility heavy flakes.

      Happy Mothers day!

  • #28601

    corsaire
    Participant

    Whoa, @crowbar and it looks like the North East and midwest is getting hammered yet again.

    My sauerkraut survived week 1. I gave it a taste test. It was a tad salty, but that could have been just the top where I needed to add more brine. Otherwise it tasted like a sweet kraut. Its in the wine cooler for week 2 after which I taste it again. I am going to start on another batch as soon as my Juniper berries arrive. My go to online shop was out of everything I needed. So instead of ordering that one spice, I went elsewhere to get everything.

    Meat shortage hasnt hit here yet, so I picked up more bacon. Discovered Mayocoba beans and boy are they tasty.

  • #28679

    grannyj smith
    Participant

    Is there a natural products that can be used to treat mites on my chickens.  They are pecking each other and when they peck each other some of their feathers are pulled out leaving bare skin.

    Thanks

  • #28686

    namelus
    Participant

    Yeah you dust chicken coop with diatomaceous  earth.. wear mask wait till at night roosting and powDer whole Room till it looks like  it snowed in there

  • #28671

    Muffy1938
    Participant

    Hi, all!!! Been a while since I checked in but I’ve been reading your notes. I remain physically well, but still having difficulty dealing with how VERY ANGRY I feel over this stupid virus thing….I’m definitely limiting the time I spend in daily review of news. I’m trying to think outside the box and ahead in the long term. For me that’s hoping for another good ten years (I come from long lived stock). Some questions I’m thinking about and trying to understand are:

    1. What does the cashless society mean for me? I really think this is just a matter of time. Will the little bit of cash I have in reserve going to end up being nearly worthless through hyperinflation (think Germany after WWI) or through devaluation by some governmental fiat (think the proposed New American Money which will replace the current greenback)? Should I continue to purchase basic supplies now that are going to increase in price down the road? I’m thinking canning jar lids, for example, OTC meds with long use by dates, ammo for my shotgun, etc. 🙂

    2. What do I do if through this virus tracking they are now doing some one shows up at my door saying I’ve been exposed and am therefore now under strict quarantine? In Tennessee, our state health department is actually sending the names and addresses of everyone who has tested positive for the virus, to our county sheriff’s office and local police offices! Can you believe it? And folks are being hired to do the contact tracing of that person.

    Whatever. I’m not worrying about any of this for worry is pointless. But, I am a “prepper” of sorts and feel I must have thought these things through so I know how to prepare. 🙂 Any ideas out there or point me to sources that might help me be better informed. This craziness is apparently going to continue on unless the American people en mass rise up and say no more.

    Thinking of all of you regular posters and praying all goes well with you.

    • #28693

      Crow Bar
      Keymaster

      Howdy Muffy!
      Good questions.

      I dont think the physical dollar is going away anytime soon. If the government tried such a move, it might promote more cash transactions.
      How would my Amish neighbors survive?
      Might even lead to regional currencies.

      Contact tracing is a mixed bag. We have had it for things like TB for awhile now. But looking at some of the numbers of people who test positive but have no symptoms, they would be putting a large % of people in quarantine for what? And what if they test positive, despite not having any signs or symptoms, quarantine for 14 days and still test positive?
      That is where I see common sense falling wayside to some idiot in DC who made up some arbitrary rules, and other idiots blindly follow them.

  • #28698

    Muffy1938
    Participant

    Thanks, Crow Bar! I always look forward to your responses. As I try to research the cash issue, I keep running across stories where cash is discouraged and is to eventually be replaced because the paper carries germs. I guess I just think total “digital” money is not that far in the future. Even for those who do not have ordinary banking relationships, are not food stamps and other government benefits already provided on plastic cards?

    I am adamantly opposed to this whole testing craziness for what does it actually prove; but that seems to be the be all and end all focus right now. Everybody gotta get tested. I say it’s just a way to get all of us in some ginormous data bank in the I-cloud which may than become the basis for the Gates Foundation dream of every single person on the planet being vaccinated with the vaccine of the day. Big pharma loves products that must be purchased and repeated ad infinitum, right?

    Golly, am I sounding like some conspiracy nut? 🙂 Sure hope not. But I do think we would naive to ignore all these little warning signs of what may be in our future and more importantly the future of our children and grandchildren. Hmmmm…..

    Again, thanks Crow Bar for you input. I’ll look for other possible thoughts on the potential results of our approach to this and future pandemics. Is there another forum where this type of discussion is occurring among the readers of The Organic Prepper?

    Oh, yes, finished planting my little garden yesterday with my neighbor’s help. Lots of tomato plants I grew from seed; some squash and zucchini I planted in my front yard; some herbs in a potable container. Got my fingers crossed as I hope to do a bit more canning and dehydrating of these veggies this summer.

    Twin granddaughters graduating high school and headed to college next fall. One granddaughter graduating college and headed to U of MO dental college in KC, MO in Fall. One granddaughter already graduated from Mizzou has moved back home. Job prospects looking challenging for her. All the rest doing well.

    Be blessed all of you. What are we hearing from OldMtnWoman lately?

    • #28700

      Crow Bar
      Keymaster

      @muffy,
      I think we are a little conspiracy nutty in one way or another! 😉
      Gotta be to stay sane in this world, eh?

      With all the crazy going on, how much money the Fed is printing, you idea of Germany inflation post WW1 I dont think is too far off.
      Then I think that is where having a garden, networking within your community will really pay off.

  • #28706

    Mama cando
    Participant

    Hey all. Good to see you’re doing ok Muffy. Yeah, I’m worried about the money as well. As for Gates , I think it’s strange he keeps pushing vaccines  IF I what I’ve seen is true,that none of HIS kids are vaccinated but that could be something that people(antivaxers?) are saying.to denigrate/discredit him.

    Crow bar, yes they had tracking for TB back in the day.How I know,  I am allergic to what ever they use so I show positive every time. Freaked the nuns out when I was in fourth grade because my TB test blistered up, Dad had to come and get me from school. His sister was a registered nurse and also was allergic to the serum. It took awhile for me to get the all clear to go back to school but it was in May they did the testing so I got out of school earlier than my sibs TEE HEE. Mom and I had to go monthly to the county health and get our chests x-rayed for about a year. Still carry the scar on my arm from the test.

    It’s not too bad here, MOST people are wearing masks and we stay 6ft apart. Some things still are scarce but shipments are coming in. Son2 and family are doing okay but granddaughter 2 is getting stir crazy. Grson2 is happy as a clam, he gets to stay home. DIL2 had a conference thing with her boss and the other teachers and she is worried she won’t be able to do her job with the things the boss is being told how it’s going to be come Sept. She teaches pre school and it’s is very hands on. Kids and teachers wearing masks, cutting the number of students in the room, No Contact even on the playground, No using the cafeteria, gym, or music room. No water bottles or back packs.  It’s going to be really strange come this fall. Her boss is saying that things may not be that stringent in the fall if things get better here. Just hope so.  DIL1 hand surgery went well. she has a soft cast on and they are doing well. Son1 FINALLY got ahold of the unemployment people, got everything straightened out so he got a check retro’d for the back pay.He’s being told that they should be back to work with strict precautions by July. Although with the spike that’s going on now down there it may be pushed back. My friend(salon owner) sent me a message, she’s shut down till END of May now. So I’ll have to wait a little longer for my haircut. NO will NOT let DH do it, LOL. Dug my headbands, barrettes and my curlers out so it’s not too bad.Now I have to “remember” how to do it HA HA HA.

    Went to Costco today for Son2. OH NO they are OUT of microwave popcorn. My grands are disappointed but I was told it’s on it’s way from my friend there. Will have to go out next week, he suggested I call first to save me a trip. Can’t order it on line as I believe they are sending the stock to the stores. Amazon is getting much slower now so my gaskets for my “sucky machine” won’t be here till next week or the week after. I can seal the bags but with out that gasket it won’t suck the air out of the bag. Have some bags that I can use with a Ziploc hand held vacuum, but I’m running out. Will be looking on line to see if I can get more. Target used to have the bags but last year decided to clearance out the Zip Locks that went with the hand held, got as many as I could then but haven’t seen them in the stores lately.Have been taking classes on line for container/ Raised bed gardening. DH order two nice boxes, price was better than we could build them. Can’t wait to get out “in the dirt” and get things going. I hope Old Mt Woman is doing alright as well. Stay safe and be well.

    • This reply was modified 2 weeks ago by  Mama cando.
  • #28712

    grannyj smith
    Participant

    namelus

    Is it the food grade diatomaceous earth that I use to dust the chicken pen and chickens?

  • #28718

    namelus
    Participant

    Yes the food grade stuff granny j smithe.

  • #28726

    grannyj smith
    Participant

    namelus

    Thanks

  • #28728

    namelus
    Participant

    GRandy j smith if you do this every 3 months it stops the stuff from reoccurring.

     

    We have been converting cash into useful stuff as auctions. Tons of business dieing so lots of stuff few buyers so prices are crazy low. We just picked up a dual chamber Industrial vacuum sealer  for $1000 new this brand is over $10,000 and used into $6000 range… for a 1000 you can barely buy a decent new home one.

    There are mixers 300 quart mixers for $950 a 5 ton ac unit for $35 yes $35 crazy. Some things like stands and commercial range and oven sets for propane 12 burner 2 oven under $500

     

    We also bought stuff from tool and die making shops lathes, power tools all hilti cordless, cnc machine. Crazy prices.

  • #28771

    Anonymous

    The garden is growing rapidly.  Tomatos and rasperry’s are flowering.  Zucchini is producing male and female flowers and the tiny zucchinis are starting to grow.  Dill, Parsley, and Kale are being freshly picked and incorporated into our meals.  This is the first spring here in this house, and the garden is in 5 gallon buckets.

    In 2015 I started a 3 acre organic farm for a restaurant out in California and farmed it for a year, produced lettuce, arugula, tomatoes, beets, radishes, and about 2 tons of butternut squash for the restaurant.  It was a lot of work but I learned a LOT about scaling up from a backyard garden to a small farm.

    Where I live now in the Mid South there is a long growing season and thankfully more rain than CA!  Deciding wether to build a raised bed garden, or buy a tiller and farm a small area of the back yard.  Looking at Cost/Benifit/Labor etc.  So started with buckets this year.  I dont have time to pull weeds, so the buckets are working out for that.

  • #28783

    corsaire
    Participant

    I went the bucket route also. But I started late so there is only a few items. Will begin again in September.

    Its week 2 of the sauerkraut and it is tasty. By week 3 it will reach its full potential microbe wise.

    Rain will continue for the next 2 days as Tropical storm Arthur moves north.

  • #28784

    grannyj smith
    Participant

    DH got the new motor on the tiller and it is working great and my little garden area is tilled and ready for planting those vegetable seeds I found in the pantry.  Planted the potatoes in a split plastic barrel and in about seventy days I will find out if it gives potatoes planting them that way.

    Need for dh to finish up the new chicken house and pen and get those baby chicks which now are big chicks moved in their new home so they can begin laying fresh eggs in about four or five months.

    I found some vegetable seeds online from Walmart so I ordered them and would like to try and have a fall garden this year if I am a success with the Spring garden.

    Started my list of food and supplies that I will begin to stock a little at a time each month hoping to be ready and prepared for what comes this Winter.

     

  • #28810

    Anonymous

    I’ve grown potatoes in buckets and it worked great.  Also, if you are looking for seeds and want to go the non hybrid route check out Baker Creek Heirloom seeds.  Sign up for their free catalog.  It has a lot of information about the origin of the different plants we grow for food, amazing photographs, and great seeds to buy.  I have grown a lot of their varieties.  Currenty growing kale seeds I purchased from them in 2007.

    https://www.rareseeds.com/

  • #28821

    Crow Bar
    Keymaster

    Got the A in A-frames built for the livestock.
    The old ones, 5-6 years old finally fell apart.

    The new ones I am adding additional supports, and put a coat of weather proof paint on the plywood.

  • #28826

    namelus
    Participant

    More fencing repairing cow pasture and inner property line fence.

    Road building when it’s not so wet have road marked and cleared 300 feet of Geotex down and covered in gravel.

     

    Put in 7 acres ultimately of potatoes  1 acre of onions and 1 of garlic. Tractor done and seeded.

     

    We hope to get to pick up auction bought items next week arranging transport detail.

     

    More chick’s, poutls and piglets due next week.

     

    That will take up all of this month.

     

    June is nearly upon us….

     

     

  • #28852

    Crow Bar
    Keymaster

    Building the first cow shelter.
    A bit different from the goats as obviously it has to be higher to accommodate a cow.

    Finally! The fields look like they have enough forage for the livestock! It has been so cold here for so late in the season, the grass/plants are now to the point where it can sustain the livestock.
    Normally by this time of year (Memorial Day weekend) the apple trees have fully bloomed and or have lost most of their flowers.
    They have not bloomed yet!

  • #28861

    Mama cando
    Participant

    Hey all. got 5 of the boxes planted. We have two more still to do. Hopefully it will stay nice this week end and we can get them done and planted but the weatherman is indicating intermittent showers for this week end. Guys came and sprayed the apple trees today,yeah. With the shut down they are a “little” bit behind and now we’re shut down until 6/12. Just glad they were able to get here when they could.   Don’t know if this is exactly prep related but DH and I went and picked up a 4 drawer old fashioned dresser Thursday. Got so ticked the other day with the one I have, keeps falling apart and I can’t fix it anymore. Told DH I’m going for one like we have from his mother and the one from my dad, solid wood, dovetail joints, deep drawers.  Made in America in the 30’s-40’s. Found one on FB that looked like his mothers. The gentleman is an antique dealer and is retiring I think he said next year so he’s been posting things on FB that he still has. He can’t open the store because of the shut down, so he’s been pulling pieces from the store and putting them in his pole barn. DH said as we were going to pick it up, this is the longest trip away from the house we’ve made since February LOL.So sick of the crap that passes for “well built”. Before the shut down, we’d been looking to replace 2 dressers but most of what we saw is press board glued together crap.Even at a couple of high end stores we’d gone to most of what we saw was crap with high prices. The gentleman told us that he still has the store and we would be welcome to see if there was anything else we might like when we can go places.Told DH we will be going as we need a couple more bookcases for all the books we’ve been acquiring.

  • #29039

    corsaire
    Participant

    Opened and tasted my sauerkraut today as its week 3, the optimal time for fermentation. It tasted great. I started another batch today with Juniper berries. Cabbage was on the dry side so I am not sure how this will turn out.

    Found an unused Nesco dehydrator at the thrift store. Jerky packets were dated 2017, so it probably was sitting in some ones garage.

    Its been raining quite a bit, which is fine we can use it.

    Tomatoes are almost ready. Pimentos still need to ripen. Eggplant is doing fine.

    • #29045

      Crow Bar
      Keymaster

      Good to hear about the sauerkraut!

      Two weeks ago we had snow.
      Today, high near 90!

      Got the cows and ducks out.
      But the batteries for the energizers for the goats went bad.
      So they are still in the barn.

  • #29049

    namelus
    Participant

    Crowbar do you have any at batteries they work for the fencing

     

    Also using battery equalizer when new lead acid type makes they double life expectancy

    • #29052

      Crow Bar
      Keymaster

      Not sure what kind of batteries those are.

      The energizers are portable.
      I did find a local source that has them in stock so no worries there.

  • #29056

    namelus
    Participant

    Atv batteries…. most things from quads. You can also use a capacitor ftom TV but 5hat requires a bit of extra stuff and is not done by me.

     

     

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